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Neptunia: Sisters VS Sisters Review

Neptunia: Sisters VS Sisters Review

Before this game I had accumulated over 250 hours in various Neptunia games since 2019, and I’ve not even made time to play them all yet. For instance, the latest two games before Neptunia: Sisters VS Sisters, which would add another 40 or so hours. Because of the Neptunia series I’ve checked out a whole bunch of other Idea Factory and Compile Heart titles because they have a certain charm to them: to say that I was excited for this is a bit of an understatement. I know that the various spin-off titles aren’t for everyone, but this feels like a main title even though I’ve been assured it’s not. Of course, you can play the games in any order, but if you’ve played previous games you’ll get tons of references.

In Neptunia: Sisters VS Sisters you take control of the younger sisters of the goddess CP (AKA the CPU Candidates) after the older sisters head off to the PC Continent to answer a call for help. It’s an action RPG which gives you a party of three characters who you can swap between, and a rotating list of characters to choose from.

Quick crash course, they are called CPUs because everything in the world is related to videogames. Each nation is themed around a console maker; Lastation is Sony, Leanbox is Microsoft, Lowee is Nintendo, and Planeptune is Sega. They had a console war in the past, but now just cheer on each other as friends while each nation makes its own consoles. Except for Planeptune which has only released some mini consoles recently, something Leanbox looks down upon while making mini fridges.

For reasons, the CPU Candidates are put in stasis and awaken in the year 2021, coming back to a world that has changed from what they knew back in 2019. Everyone is obsessed with their rPhone smartphones and have become shut-ins, which is fine as monsters have been attacking more than they ever did thanks to something called the Trendi Phenomenon. Thanks to how popular the rPhone is, it’s taken away people’s belief in the Goddesses, known as Shares, so Nepgear, Uni, Ram & Rom have to get them back!

You gather Shares as you complete quests, and what usually happens in this series is unlocking different endings depending on how many Shares you have. Also having maximum friendship rank between the characters, but I didn’t get this months ahead of release so that I could try for multiple endings. But other than endings, Shares don’t really affect anything.

The best way to gather Shares in Neptunia: Sisters VS Sisters is by doing side quests. You get these from social media, known as Chirper, which lets you take them and hand them in at any time. It’s things like “kill 10 of this monster”, “find this person” and “hand over 10 of this material”. I was glad to see that the map screen will indicate where you need to go to complete quests, and if you select the marker it will show you which types of quests you have there! Very useful.

Speaking of materials, you’ll be finding lots of them as you break open boxes in levels and defeat monsters. They are used to create discs which are equipment that gives you passive abilities, such as more experience if you don’t get hit, or faster combos. It’s not how you’re imagining it, though, you only use one material per disc, choose an unlocked NPC to craft it, and a genre for it, and it’s randomly generated after the time limit elapses. I fiddled with it for ages but couldn’t work out what caused the time to be longer or shorter, although I did work out that the timer does not run while the game is turned off.

Combat in Neptunia: Sisters VS Sisters does something I’ve not seen before. You come into contact with the enemy while wandering around, and then it transfers you into a little area to have your fight, as with many RPGs. Your two teammates will automatically attack while you control the third character, but you can switch between them. The bit I’ve not encountered before is that you stack moves in a combo, but can only attack until you run out of action points, then you need to wait for them to refill. You can change the order of moves or switch which moves are in the list, but you don’t have a lot of direct control over attacks during a fight. If you swap to another character at the right time — an icon appears on the screen — they will do a follow-up attack before you can then use their action points. They don’t refill very quickly, but by the time you’ve used up another character’s points you’ll have had a chance to swap again.

There are also special moves which can only be pulled off when the meter fills, and you can choose from multiple special moves depending on your level. As your characters are CPUs which makes them magical girls, they can also transform into a more powerful form. You need to wait for a different meter to fill up, though that one at least carries through each battle, whereas the special meter is empty at the start of each fight. As most of the tutorial stuff is in the menu, rather than presented during play, I was confused why I couldn’t use any healing items during fights. Once I looked it up, it turned out that item use is locked behind the special meter too, which can be frustrating.

You’ll encounter stronger monsters referred to as Trendfluencers, which need defeating otherwise they will keep spawning other monsters until you do. Honestly, that just means two other monsters at a time, but they will keep respawning until you kill the Trendfluencer which is much stronger.

Although saying that, the beginning of Neptunia: Sisters VS Sisters was quite challenging, as there is a monster you encounter (called Mecha Doll) which can unleash a move which does multiple hits. You can’t block if you’ve already set up a combo, either, not that it matters if you never go into the tutorial to find out how to block… Until I’d reached level nine I was worried whenever I saw one appear in a battle, especially as healing items had been sparse to that point. However, I grinded a few levels by fighting every monster I encountered during every sidequest, and started to find even Trendfluencers easy.

Graphically, Neptunia: Sisters VS Sisters looks nicer than previous titles while retaining the same style. The environments look great in the Unity engine — also this is the first Neptunia title developed using it — and as a nice update the character models have moving arms in cutscenes. Usually it’s just swaying hair, moving mouths and bouncing breasts, but now they will actually move or lift their phones, rather than just switch from one pose to another.

Unfortunately, while the environments are nice looking, they are repetitive. The development team has saved time by creating a bunch of connecting pieces and just putting them in different configurations. So in one area of Virtua Forest you’ll cross a field, go around a corner, then go down a slope, in the next you’ll go down a slope, round two corners and cross a field. Okay, it might not be as egregious as that, but each area is large, so you will notice when things repeat. Another example is in this area there’s a tree blocking your exit to the left, but in the next area there’s no tree.

As areas in Neptunia: Sisters VS Sisters are so large, you’ll also have to listen to the same music on repeat the entire time. There’s nothing wrong with the music, but having played 200+ hours of Neptune’s games I’ve heard it all. Worse, you’ll be subjected to the same four things that each of your partner characters says while running around, over and over. In every area. For every mission. OH DID YOU PASS ME RAM LOL THAT’S SO FUNNY!

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Hah! You've been replaced with the Switch, sisters-based-on-the-DS!

I shouldn’t be mad about the voice acting as the familiar cast has returned for the first time since 2019’s Super Neptunia RPG, and I really enjoy listening to them. But would it have broken the budget to have more than a handful of things to say? If it would have, then the development team could have surely set the timing of each phrase further apart than 40 seconds?

Finally, the writing is on point. The Neptunia series is always good for a laugh, but I had an absolute whale of a time with the writing in Neptunia: Sisters VS Sisters. The new characters are fun, the references to previous games are great, there are references to actual real life but with a Neptunia flavouring…

There’s talk about vaccines and 500G radio waves, everyone is obsessed with playing Pocketed Monstrosities GO, Leanbox tanked its smartphone division, Lastation’s latest console is only available to purchase by raffle or lottery… It’s all clever stuff. Noire is asked why Lastation doesn’t allow dating sims or otomes on its consoles anymore, whereas Lowee has been producing more, and she says that she can’t discuss it with anyone outside the country. Blanc gets super violent and litigious with people using Lowee’s copyrights! Most of these are optional scenes, but I loved it all.

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Also their first-party games cost more and only get discounts of up to 30%

Neptunia: Sisters VS Sisters is a great RPG, and a fantastic addition to the Neptunia series. Maybe not the ideal first entry to the franchise, but far from the worst one, and definitely my favourite.

9.00/10 9

Neptunia: Sisters VS Sisters (Reviewed on Windows)

Excellent. Look out for this one.

A fantastic entry in the series, and fans of the franchise should definitely pick it up. RPG fans in general will also enjoy it, though it can become a little easy.

This game was supplied by the publisher or relevant PR company for the purposes of review
Andrew Duncan

Andrew Duncan


Guaranteed to know more about Transformers and Deadpool than any other staff member.

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