Neptunia X Senran Kagura: Ninja Wars Review
This isn’t the first time that developer Idea Factory has experimented with its popular Neptunia game franchise in a new and different form, and it has been in the form of RPGs with Super Neptunia RPG, and also virtual singing games with Neptunia Virtual Stars. New this time is a collaboration contract with another similar franchise, Senran Kagura, and an attempt to weave the two worlds together in a new and distinctive action template under the name Neptunia X Senran Kagura: Ninja Wars.
The characters of both franchises are set in a remake of the world of Gamindustri, the recurring setting of the Neptunia series, but this time the world is divided into two different kingdoms on an island that is geographically similar to a giant ninja star.
The game does not attempt to break through the fourth wall and make the characters aware that they are inside a video game, but it is treated as where the characters have been living from the beginning and belong, and that there have always been tribal ninja wars between Neptunia and Senran Kagura characters.
Neptunia X Senran Kagura: Ninja Wars will be available on October 26th this year exclusively on PS4.
In fact, at the beginning of Ninja Wars, players get a very small glimpse of the characters clashing together because that’s not the main focus, as the ninja girls will have to work together when a mysterious army called the Steeme Legion invades the kingdom and threatens to destroy everything.
All the well-known characters are here like Neptune, Vert, Blanc and Noire representing the different consoles, and the ninja girls Asuka, Homura, Yumi and Miyabi from the most important instalments of the Senran Kagura series.
We were pleased to see all these characters interact and roam together, especially Senran Kagura characters because the franchise has been idle for many years without seeing any new releases, but unfortunately, the story of this game comes with only 7 or 8 hours of playing time, which affects our chance To explore the full potential of this imaginative collaboration.
A number of nice references have also been made to other games from the publisher, but the foundation is generally based on spending enough time developing the original cast and giving them the attention they deserve.
Ninja Wars doesn’t feature any of the viewer-inappropriate scenes that were prevalent in previous series entries. On the contrary, the game puts you directly in the midst of the action and asks you to face many ninjas, massive shields and devastating machines in a framework similar to the war games of developer Koei Tecmo.
Characters and their attacks
The game also allows you to use two characters from the set of characters available at any time and switch between them as needed with a power indicator for each individual character and their own set of blows.
Each character will be equipped with a different set of moves and weapons but the combat system will remain the same for the 10 playable characters. There is only one button to use normal strikes, one button to jump and one to roll, while the last button will be useful for using ninja tools like daggers and sharp stars, and the player will be able to use additional tools with special abilities as he progresses through the stages. The control style is very smooth and wonderful and is very similar to the Naruto Ninja Storm games, not only in the fluidity of the movement, but in the general presentation style, the look of the menus, the text, and the sound effects.
But the ninja arts remain the human techniques that give flavour to the game. Four different techniques can be activated, using pre-defined keys, and connecting them in sequence to achieve the largest possible amount of damage with different and innovative animations. Each hit consumes a certain amount of energy and you’ll need to hit enemies to recharge them, but unfortunately, the only problem is that time stops when any of them are triggered, making it a bit difficult to immerse yourself in the fast-paced gameplay similar to other action games.
You will also be allowed a certain number of times per mission to strengthen yourself with the help of one of the four elements: fire, water, air and earth, which makes normal attacks more effective, speeds up the recharging of the power indicator, and above all decorates and changes the colours and clothing of the characters according to the nature of the element used.
The last option you have is the Shinobi Extreme ability which is the main drop in the Senran Kagura series and is used to display a true ultimate technique for each character after filling in a special indicator to deal a decent amount of damage to the main enemies.
Neptunia X Senran Kagura: Ninja Wars game world
With time, you will find yourself having moved between many different cities in the Kingdom, and it will open up some additional outlets for you to develop yourself, buy equipment, and hold electronic chats with friends.
Soul stones are placed on each character’s specific patch such as the development patch in Final Fantasy X to give them additional benefits such as higher rates for obtaining coins and items and increased offensive abilities. It might seem pointless at first, but some really boss fights will need such preparation in order to succeed.
Despite the presence of all these options, the practical application on the ground is very easy, and as we mentioned before is similar to the Warriors games in which you fight hordes of enemies in semi-open areas, with some barriers here and there, and some side corridors that also contain additional groups of enemies, and so on until the end of the campaign. What you will see in the beginning is what you will continue to have until the end, and if you accept that that is fine, but it should be noted that the nature of the repetitive gameplay may not be suitable for most players.
The style of the fights is just a re-enactment of the core storyline, which seems to have a decent amount of passion pumped into it to deliver a satisfying and compelling outcome and many comedic and unexpected interactions.
Although there has been no previous collaboration between any of the franchises’ characters, their mixing here feels very natural as if they’ve always belonged to each other, and when you take certain characters with each other, they create enough dialogue and arguments within the mission to keep you entertained and attentive. All the time.
My personal opinion about Neptunia X Senran Kagura: Ninja Wars
To put things as clear as possible, Ninja Wars is more of a Neptunia franchise identity than Senran Kagura and doesn’t quite live up to what we’re used to in other games in terms of the amount of content, add-ons, outfits, accessories, shooting modes, and more. So even though the game works well in terms of style and concept presentation, we felt it was just the beginning of an idea that is really worth pursuing and working on to come out in its best, most complete and comprehensive picture.
Game review summary
Neptunia X Senran Kagura: Ninja Wars is a strong action game in terms of style and presentation and is filled with a lot of love and attention to all the iconic characters from both franchises, but we were hoping to pay more attention to the quality of the missions and the length of the story so that the idea would have its own identity and the appreciation it deserves.
Neptunia X Senran Kagura: Ninja Wars Pros and Cons
- Wide range of ninja moves and abilities.
- Lots of different customization modes.
- Natural dialogues are carefully written to highlight the merits of all characters.
- Additional content beyond the completion of the main story.
- The combat system becomes repetitive shortly after starting the game.
- All levels are average in design and the idea of the missions doesn’t change much.
- There is no extra feature that we are used to from other Idea Factory games.