The Neptunia series continues on, going from the Hyperdimension to the Cyberdimension. That's what came to mind when trying to think of a snappy title, but it very much describes. Going online, incorporating another game play/genre and really sending these characters off to something both new and crushingly familiar. Cyberdimension Neptunia: 4 Goddesses Online gets a lot right and, well, let's begin:
The story begins with our main characters (including Neptunia and Netgear, because of course they're in it) going into a game with characters based on themselves. And then something, something, something save the world and by that point in the game where characters began giving their life stories through endless speech screens it turned into the background of every game ever, only with characters names changed. You don't need a lot of motivation in Neptunia games, and while the story is weak, it carries you through.
Playing on the PS4, the controls were great. I'm super glad this one was not on the Vita. Being a game based more on MMORPGs (it reminded me of games like Warcraft crossed with Mario games), it led to more of a straighter fighting style than previous games, and the PS4 controls handled it greatly. No confusion over controls at all. What can I say – it worked great.
As always, the still art was fantastic. It was greatly detailed and looked amazing. When inside the early access game within the game, the style switched to an oddly big-headed manga version for some screens (not a fan), with typical MMORPG graphics for the rest. While the characters were detailed, backgrounds almost seemed blurry at times, and I wish they had been given more detail. I mean, the grass sprouts move, but they're pretty much one solid color. When you move the camera, scenery moves with it, but it's generic looking. But, being that being in a game within a game, maybe that was to be expected. Overall, good, but needed work in parts.
There are three types of gameplay: clicking past text screens with stills (again, really not a fan of this.), shopping in town, also to stills and combat. The first is.....not fun. I'll never understand why many games out of Japan do this, but it always feels like a lazy cop-out to me. The second is in any RPG ever, so it gets a pass. And as for combat, it's always the same hacky-slashy fun as ever. Not a lot of variance, but it also sticks to what it knows.
The game's soundtrack is largely “anime adventure/fight sequence” music, which suits it just fine. There are times where it goes J-pop (to me) and more slower times, but essentially it keeps up the fight sequences with that. The sound also covers that same game type – you have the same-soundedness of swords whooshing, enemies getting hit and everything. The only annoying bit was all the girls saying random things when fighting – to me they all seemed to keep yelling and talking, and it got old fast. Besides that, good voice acting, even in front of those weird stills.
There wasn't much wrong mechanics wise. I've seen comments saying how this game wasn't an MMO at all, and it's like they didn't even get it. No real glitches I saw besides the always there (I hit you and you acted like you didn't get hit) parts which always pop up in these games.
Cyberdimension Neptunia: 4 Goddesses Online is a pretty great game overall. There are some cracks, but nothing that will take out the foundation. Fans of the game will love it, and fans of MMORPGs will like the skewing and gentle fun it has. If you like the realistic, it might not be for you, but fans of these types of games will find a lot to love.
Final Score: 8 out of 10
A copy of this game was provided for the purpose of review.