«

»

Neptunia x SENRAN KAGURA: Ninja Wars review for PS4


Platform: PS4
Publisher: Idea Factory International
Developer: Idea Factory/Compile Heart/Tamsoft
Medium: Digital/Disc
Players: 1
Online: No
ESRB: T

I’ve played – and occasionally even really liked – my fair share of Hyperdimension Neptunia games. I’ve played – and occasionally sorta-tolerated – the odd Senran Kagura game. So in theory, I should be able to enjoy – or at least mostly appreciate – Neptunia x SENRAN KAGURA: Ninja Wars, seeing as it’s a mash-up of the two, right?

Goodness, no. Somehow, Neptunia x SENRAN KAGURA: Ninja Wars brings together a series known for its sense of humour with a series known for shoehorning ginormo-boobs into every situation decent action, and ends up being the dullest game imaginable.

The main problem is that even if Ninja Wars has dashes of Neptunia’s humour, it also features the series’ biggest drawback: the endless talking. While Ninja Wars may promise (obviously) ninja wars, the reality is that the game features only tiny bits of action here and there, scattered amongst very, very long – and very, very inane – dialogue sequences.

How long? Let me put it this way: not counting a brief tutorial, the first time you get to actually interact with the game beyond moving the dialogue forward comes around the one-hour mark. Then you briefly get to fight your way through a fairly easy dungeon, before the game throws you into yet another long dialogue scene. Repeat that a whole bunch, and you have some idea of what there is to expect here.

This might be okay if Neptunia x SENRAN KAGURA: Ninja Wars featured dialogue that was actually interesting. But it’s not. In fact, it’s pretty much exactly what you’d expect from a mash-up of these two series – which means you get a fair amount of self-aware jokes, lots and lots of stupid innuendo, and an absurd amount of useless exposition. Maybe that latter bit will be fascinating to anyone who really cares about Neptunia lore – but I honestly can’t imagine how. Ninja Wars takes the series’ tendency to use twenty sentences where two would do, and expands it to absurd proportions.

And again, it does this without offering much in the way of action. Eventually you unlock side quests, but even these are just more grind-y dungeons where you hack away at enemies whose offence mostly consists of bouncing at you aggressively. For a game that promises ninjas, Neptunia x SENRAN KAGURA: Ninja Wars is awfully short on actual opportunities for fighting.

I know: that’s not why people usually play these games – the presence of Senran Kagura should have been a dead giveaway for that. But even so, as much as I generally loathe those games, I can still acknowledge they feature some decent action – and Neptunia x SENRAN KAGURA: Ninja Wars simply doesn’t, by any stretch of the imagination.

Idea Factory International provided us with a Neptunia x SENRAN KAGURA: Ninja Wars PS4 code for review purposes.

Grade: C-