Tamsoft returns with another spin-off game of the Neptunia series, MegaTagmension Blanc + Neptune VS Zombies, and they will probably continue this cycle until every genre is covered. Developed by the same studio, the similarities to the Senran Kagura titels are immediately noticeable, but let’s see how the tongue-twisting MegaTagmension Blanc + Neptune VS Zombies holds up as a spin-off of the popular Neptunia series.
Resident Highschool 6: What story?
MegaTagmension Blanc + Neptune VS Zombies takes place in an alternate dimension where the main characters actually attend a high school which seems to be the most basic setting to Japanese games similar to war zones for western developers. The plot kicks in right away as the “protagonist” Blanc is recruited by the film club to shoot a zombie flick to raise enough money to save the school from closing down due to being underpopulated. In addition, real zombies have conveniently invaded school grounds, which the girls use to shoot said movie. In case it hasn’t been made clear by now: This game does not take itself very seriously, exactly as expected of the series.
Square, Square, Square, Square, […], Triangle
Since MegaTagmension Blanc + Neptune VS Zombies is obviously not story-driven, the main focus lies in the gameplay. You hack, slash and dash your way through waves of wacky looking zombies with combos and skills, one flashier than the last. There is a vast cast of characters to choose from which will “act” in pairs on stage. Every girl levels up individually, so you will probably stick to the same pair after a couple of levels or have to grind it out. People familiar with Senran Kagura games will feel right at home during combat. Aside from basic attacks and blocks, every character has different special moves to keep the zombies at bay, but simple button mashing also does the trick for the most part with one exception: Boss fights. During boss fights it’s time to stop drooling over anime girls and start paying attention to attack patterns and movements. Bosses can deplete your health bar very quickly in one swift combo, so it actually is a challenge to beat them which is a very welcome change.
My wardrobe is full, but my lobby is empty
The single player story is completed after thirteen short chapters which took me about five hours total. It may not seem much, but luckily there is an online multiplayer where you can team up with friends or strangers to beat up even more zombies. Note that during multiplayer you can only select one character instead of two and waiting for players can take dreadfully long. Should teaming up online not be your cup of tea, there are still achievements and unlockables. Due to the large character pool, many things are available to buy, craft or loot, just to play dress up simulator with the various girls. This expands the playtime to many more hours depending on how much of a completionist you are.
Next gen from last gen
PlayStation Vita has games to offer that are far superior in the graphical department, but that doesn’t mean MegaTagmension is ugly to look at. While the locations and backgrounds are a bit uninspiring, the models and artworks are well made and animations fluid. Part of the fun was unlocking new characters to find out what their skills and transformations looked like. The game comes with the Japanese voice over as well as the English one. I know dubs are commonly looked down upon, especially in anime-related subjects, but I didn’t find this voiceover particularly bad. In the end it comes down to preference, but having a decent choice felt good.
Exactly what meets the eye
Fans of the Neptunia series will appreciate the change of pace of MegaTagmension Blanc + Neptune VS Zombies. The spin-off shines with its own humour and flashy hack ‘n’ slash combat with tight controls, but newcomers might be thrown off by the characters and the overall look itself. However, if virtual waifus und grindy gameplay spark your interest, you have a new reason to carry your Vita around.
What we liked:
- Awesome character designs and animations
- Light-hearted comedy
- Challenging boss fights
What we didn’t like:
- Uninspired graphics aside from models
- Button mashing fest during normal levels
- Very short game excluding grinding
This review was written using an PlayStation Vita code provided by Idea Factory. Do you like spin-offs that change up the formula of the main series this much? Tell us in the comments, on Facebook, or on Twitter!