Review: Neptunia Virtual Stars – SENSES

On paper, an insanely fun game idea – but in practice, Neptunia Virtual Stars will be something completely different.

Neptunia Virtual Stars takes place in another dimension called Virtualand and there are virtual planets that have an enormous ability to produce a raw material called Content. The tranquil planet EMO becomes the target of an evil group of creatures called Anti, who wants to destroy all Content. Just then, a group of live-streamers from Earth are transported to EMO and thus direct targets for Anti that turn them into data pockets are called V-Cubes. The Virtual Goddess Fair then sends out an emergency signal for help and now it’s up to you to save Emo from Anti and save V-Tubers and the rest of the planet.

Neptunia Virtual Stars - Idea Factory International / Reef Entertainment - copyright 2021 - press picture - Girl with big gun.
Press image: Idea Factory International / Reef Entertainment

For those of you who can not guess it from the plot above, so be it Neptunia Virtual Stars thus a Japanese game, the latest part in a game series. It caught my interest when I saw the trailer – the combination of shooter, hack n’lash and role-playing game was far too interesting to let go. So judge by my disappointment when I start the game and it does not meet my expectations at all…

Neptunia Virtual Stars - Idea Factory International / Reef Entertainment - copyright 2021 - press picture - The heroines
Press image: Idea Factory International / Reef Entertainment

When I reviewed Atelier Ryza 2: Lost Legends and the Secret Fairy, I was annoyed that it took so long before I had to start playing. It was sick a lot of dialogue to click through. That game is nothing against Neptunia Virtual Stars. Before you can play a single second, it is at least twenty (20 !?) minutes of dialogue that you must click through. What bothers me enormously about this is that there is no possibility of skipping the dialogue. You can click on faster, but you can not skip the whole section. This is part of the Japanese role-playing game mindset, I understand, but it works extremely well uselt on someone who is so eager to get started and play as I am.

Neptunia Virtual Stars - Idea Factory International / Reef Entertainment - copyright 2021 - press picture - Girl with bow.
Press image: Idea Factory International / Reef Entertainment

So after an uncontrollable amount of clicking of dialogue, I finally get into the first lane and get to start moving. The graphics have a good anime feel and the animations are nicely done. The music is a big part of the whole experience as it is part of the way you can fight back against Anti – cool and good sounding.

Unfortunately, I lose interest extremely quickly. After a few shots, it’s time for another long sequence of dialogue. Again. All dialogue is in Japanese with English text, so if you do not belong to a small minority of gamers in the world, you must read everything that is said and it is important to keep track of things in order to move on.

Neptunia Virtual Stars - Idea Factory International / Reef Entertainment - copyright 2021 - press picture - Girl fighting.
Press image: Idea Factory International / Reef Entertainment

Personally, that worked Neptunia Virtual Stars not at all for me. This is one of the most fun games I have ever played – and there is like nothing that weighs up purely in terms of play. The courses quickly become monotonous, both in terms of challenge and purely visually and it’s almost like I’m afraid of bumping into someone because then I know that soon I’m in yet another endless dialogue loop.

Neptunia Virtual Stars - Idea Factory International / Reef Entertainment - copyright 2021 - press picture - Girl with spear.
Press image: Idea Factory International / Reef Entertainment

I still can not give Neptunia Virtual Stars a bottom rating, because even though this was definitely not my cup of tea, it does not mean that the game is a disaster technically. It is well done and has nice graphics, with nice music and somewhere still an interesting layout. So the grade is, with difficulty, approved.