MegaTagmension Blanc + Neptune vs. Zombies Review
Well, at least I have to give them credit for trying something new.
MegaTagmension: Blanc + Neptune vs. Zombies is another entry in Compile Heart's massive moneymaking monstrosity, the Neptune universe. As with previous versions, the characters are all anthropomorphized versions of consoles, game companies, game journalism magazines, and other game-related stuff. Depending on the game, they go to school, conquer the world, have adventures in old, broken game consoles, and a ton of other wacky adventures. Seriously, the franchise has covered almost everything now. I'm just waiting for a Mario Party game to seal the deal.
This time around, the Gamindustri gang is at a failing academy purportedly inhabited by both human and Gamindustri inhabitants known as Gamicademi. To drum up interest in the school, Blanc and Neptune decide they're going to film a zombie movie starring them and their friends. Coincidentally, there's an actual zombie outbreak just as they start filming, causing them to band together both to film the movie, and save the school from the zombie invasion.
Anyone who's familiar with Dynasty Warriors or other spectacle brawler games is going to feel instantly at home mowing down hordes of zombies. It's hard not to. It's also good to know that no matter how many times you plow into a massive cluster of enemies, sword at the ready, knocking them hither and yon, it's still instantly satisfying. MegaTagmension also gives the player a huge cast to knock people around, running the gamut from fast sword strikers to blunt technicians to a brawler who hits people with a giant prawn. That's all very well and good overall, and I love a good spectacle game. There's nothing like it in the world.
Now if only they'd just stayed with that. The game is a mess of half-visible features, including having game modes only accessible from the main menu (instead of, you know, actually inside the game,) calling itself MegaTagmension and yet somehow actually not having tag-team capabilities, and a tips screen where all the tips helpfully refer to things like being able to talk on the shop screen, a thing that doesn't even seem to be in the game. On top of all of this, the lock-on feature, something that really should be a prominent part of a game that throws a billion enemies at you at once, is intermittent at best. Most of the time, I activated it by accident in an attempt to do a super-move. When the enemy immediately died upon contact, I then felt kind of stupid.
And it's a shame, because this is actually one of the few Neptunia games I could see myself revisiting again and again. When the controls work, they're smooth. The game balance is decent, even if it's nigh-impossible sometimes to hit a boss the proper way. Some of the between-scenes dialogue is great, and the various characters are unique enough to keep me coming back for more. But the flaws overshadow the fun of the game. Eventually, playing through just becomes and endless slog of zombies that won't quite die, powers that won't quite activate, a lack of hit recognition, a random drop system that feeds grinding, and just some odd choices mechanically.
So, in the end, it's not a bad game. I'm still not as much a fan of the franchise as I was, and it's not something I'll play by appointment, but if there's a sale, pick it up. It's fun, and the range of characters, customization, and replayability makes this at least worth a ride part of the way. But if you're looking for a spectacle battler or mass-combat slash-em-up, I think there's actually Dynasty Warriors on PC now.