Neptunia x Senran Kagura: Ninja Wars
Neptunia Enters The Land Of The Ninja During Her 10th Anniversary
The Hyperdimension Neptunia series has been around for over a decade, beginning with 2011's namesake on the PS3. Kicking the 10th anniversary off was Neptunia reVerse, Hyperdimension Neptunia's PS5 remaster. With its inclusion of every DLC character available from the beginning, reVerse was tied to fanservice. It wasn't just the definitive version, but it was the start of Neptunia's celebration. The unexpected collaboration between Hyperdimension Neptunia and Senran Kagura, Neptunia x Senran Kagura: Ninja Wars is its culmination.
Tamsoft and Idea Factory are frequent collaborators, working on various spinoffs within the Neptunia series in the past. Characters from Senran Kagura have been featured in several games as guest characters. Fans of both series may have seen the collaboration coming a mile away. What does Ninja Wars bring to the table to those who aren't familiar with both IPs? For the curious player who is interested, would this game be a perfect segue?
The Game Industry Is Now A Hidden Ninja Village
Players new to the Hyperdimension Neptunia series yet familiar with Senran Kagura can enjoy Ninja Wars. The same can be said vice versa, with those inexperienced with both IPs left in an interesting predicament. There is no mention of the console war from the original series, nor is there mention of the wars between schools in Senran Kagura. The story of Neptunia x Senran Kagura: Ninja Wars is self-contained, located in its separate universe. A universe where the game industry, or Gameindustria, is now a ninja village.
For years, the Compa style, consisting of Neptunia's heroines, has fought with the Honeypa style, featuring Senran Kagura's heroines. This has persisted until a new challenger, known as the Steeme Legion, enters the fray. Now the two warring schools must clash with their foes in an all-out "SUPER ninja war." At least, from what the villain calls it anyway. Neptunia, Vert, Noire, and Blanc are re-imagined as "Ninja Goddesses," adorned in ninja attire and weapons. They join the Senran Kagura ninja girls, Asuka, Yumi, Homura, and Miyabi.
Take Hyperdimension Neptunia, But Add Some Ninpo
Gameplay outside of combat is similar to previous Hyperdimension Neptunia titles with its menu system. Occasional dialogue and points of interest are abundant in-between missions, leaving fans of humous banter much to enjoy. Neptune is just as witty and prone to breaking the fourth wall as ever. The rest of the Goddesses all act as they do in the main games, the only difference being all references are changed to ninja ones. Players can imbue themselves with spirit gems, offering generous stat boosts, while also participating in "espionage."
Before each mission, the player can interact with various townspeople for extra dialogue, some of whom will give bonus side quests. Within this mode I found a funny easter egg/reference to another game altogether. Many characters are direct references to other anime and games. One of these references is a certain ninja thief named "Uffie" who claims that she will "steal all of your spirit gems." While random, the Final Fantasy 7 reference was cute enough to warrant a chuckle.
Neptunia x Senran Kagura Is Unlike Other Neptunia Games
Once the player enters the map, however, things start to be a little bit different. At this point, the game shifts to Senran Kagura mode, turning Hyperdimension Neptunia from a turn-based RPG to an action hack-n-slash. Players can "mash square" to attack enemies and rack up combos with ease. The number of flashiness and special effects rival Senran Kagura including the usage of "ninja tools" like shuriken and kunai. To keep things as close to Neptunia as possible, players can access skills at the cost of stamina. Doing so in success builds a chain, with higher chains giving better status effects. This all comes together during the game's first "mini-boss," teaching the player how to properly handle stronger targets.
Although most of the gameplay was littered with cutscenes and expositions, the combat is refreshingly different from previous Neptunia games. Neptunia x Senran Kagura: Ninja Wars gives fans of both RPGs and hack-and-slash titles a little bit of both. Die-hard aficionados of Senran Kagura and Hyperdimension Neptunia will enjoy the fanservice the game will have to offer. Overall, Ninja Wars is a game made for the fans and is another amazing way to celebrate Nep-Nep's 10th anniversary.
Neptunia x Senran Kagura: Ninja Wars is now available on the PlayStation 4.