Megadimension Neptunia VII PC Review
Neptunia games release at an alarming rate; between the new entries, enhanced Re;Birth updates, and ports, barely a month goes by without another NepNep title to sate Idea Factory fans' hunger. This time, we have a straight port of the PlayStation 4 title Megadimension Neptunia VII (V-two), the fourth main installment to the series. With the promise of 60 frames-per-second and the appeal of bringing Neptunia to the large Steam user base, how does this newer entry in the series stack up?
Since this is nearly identical to the original PS4 release, both the story and mechanics are completely unchanged. Instead of being redundant, if you want to know more about the main elements of the game, check out Zack's review of the PS4 version here. The short version is that Megadimension Neptunia VII is largely equal to its predecessors, specifically the updates introduced in the Re;Birth titles. There are some small tweaks to the battle system, but it's otherwise the same combo-oriented approach.
The story features the same characters with the same tropes, and a few new characters to shake things up a bit. The difficulty is unbalanced; the beginning can be challenging (I had to replay the opening because I didn't get to a save point before dying), but it gets significantly easier as it goes on, especially if you fight every battle along the way. It would be nice if the game was a little more liberal about save points, as entering a new dungeon can be dangerous, and losing all that progress if you get a bad enemy mob can be discouraging.
In terms of the Steam port itself, it's serviceable. The port is supposed to run at 60fps, but unless you have a quality PC rig, there is a fair amount of stuttering when in the field or in battle. Having tested it on a mid-range laptop, I couldn't get the game to run smoothly on even the lowest graphical settings, while a higher-end desktop was able to run VII without issue.
The recommended specs for the title are also a bit on the high end. While VII is a PS4 game, its graphics do not really push the console to its limits. But other than the aforementioned stuttering, I did not face any other problems running VII. There are more graphical settings than I've seen with most JRPG ports (which are oftentimes lacking), so the game can be tweaked in hopes of fixing any framerate issues.
The bottom line is, if you like the Neptunia series already, you know Megadimension Neptunia VII is for you. However, if you don't have a higher-end PC, you may want to wait a bit on this purchase as it can be distracting to play with the frame drops and other performance issues. If you aren't a fan, there's really not much for you here, as this NepNep is far too similar to the entries that came before it.