What is Cyberdimension Neptunia: 4 Goddesses Online?
Cyberdimension Neptunia: 4 Goddesses Online is a single player role playing game, which sees the lovable characters from the Hyperdimension series join forces to help beta test the new (in-game) game, the titular 4 Goddesses Online. Packed full of games industry references and jokes, it's up to the girls, each of which is essentially an anthropomorphic take on a console manufacturer, to work together in the virtual virtual world and round up the four Sacred Treasures, in order to see off the Demon King, who threatens to destroy the world of Alsgard. With simple, button-mashing battles, big bosses to tackle and daftness galore, Cyberdimension is a game about a game that never takes itself too seriously - and although it may be styled like a massively multiplayer online adventure, it's actually an entirely offline affair.
How do you play Cyberdimension Neptunia: 4 Goddesses Online?
As you make your way through the game's story, you and your party will venture out into Alsgard's forests, caves and lava mountains on many a quest, taking out groups of enemies as you go. Battles are fairly simple, button mashing affairs, as you mix regular attacks with the odd special move at the press of only a few buttons, be they fancy sword strikes, a fire ball or a quick healing spell. At the end of each dungeon, you'll come face to face with a boss, whose much larger health pool requires a little more work to beat - some timely presses of the block button will reduce the damage you take from his attacks, allowing you to carry on chipping away at his health. Depending on how you like to play your games, you're able to chop and change which of the Hyperdimension girls you're playing as, with some best suited to close combat, whilst others focus on long-distance attacks, or even specialise in healing and buffing your other party members.
Between your dungeon jaunts, most of your time will be spent in the game's main "hub" town, which is represented by a simple map of various shops, important landmarks and various characters to chat to. You'll want to check in regularly at the The Guild, as it's here you'll find all your quests, whether they be simple fetch quests for folks in town, monster annihilation requests, or tip-offs for the location of the all-important Sacred Treasures. Working through the game's many side quests will in turn help you progress the story, as the all important story quests only show up once you've completed a number of the rest. The story is also one of the highlights of Cyberdimension Neptunia, with plenty of playful banter and witty dialogue between the characters, relayed through "visual novel" style cutscenes that cover everything from mission-critical details, to obligatory chest size comparisons, and even opinions on types of tea.
How easy is Cyberdimension Neptunia: 4 Goddesses Online to pick up and play?
Generally speaking, Cyberdimension Neptunia is pretty straightforward - most battles are pretty easy, with your party making mincemeat of groups of enemies in seconds. Boss fights can be a little trickier, if only because of their much larger health meters, although perseverance, as well as a few well-timed blocks, can make all the difference. However, as you're largely free to mix and match your party members however you see fit, it's a good idea to have a good mix of character classes in your team, with a healing Priest or Paladin making your life a lot easier. In terms of difficulty, Cyberdimension Neptunia has only one standard difficulty level to play on, with no option to turn it up or down.
The game is also pretty heavy on text. While the main story segments are fully voiced in English, much of the side content, as well as important mission objectives, is delivered through text only. For those who are hard of hearing, it's worth noting that, while the majority of the game is subtitled, they chose not to subtitle some of the cutscenes.
- "By the way, what kind of online games have you been playing lately? I don't think we've talked about that."
- "Let me explain! In real life, Noire is a cosplayer and hits up doujin events pretty regularly, but she's still trying to hide it from everybody!"
- "Have you heard of the sword-wielding giant at the top of Logi Mountain? Confident warriors have gone to challenge him, but no one stood a chance. Can you win?"
In terms of mature content, Cyberdimension Neptunia: 4 Goddesses Online is fairly middle of the road, with mild bad language, equally mild violence, and a hefty helping of innuendo.
Violence and Gore
Violence here is fairly slapstick, as you fight various fantastical enemies (jelly blobs, skeletons, giant turtles) with swords, spears and spells, accompanied by bright flashes of light, impact sounds and the occasional cry of pain. No blood is shown.
Swearing is infrequent in the game, although the periodic utterance of b*stard and "p*issing off" does crop up.
Like the other games in the series, Cyberdimension contains a large amount of 'fan service' - essentially lingering/revealing shots of its female protagonists. The characters are pretty scantily clad in general, with some displaying large amounts of cleavage, while breasts and their relative sizes is a fairly common topic of conversation amongst the girls - "She's occasionally frustrated with her shortcomings in the, um, chest area...", "If you received this message, send it to three other people with the same message in three days, or you'll become flat-chested.". One recurring joke involves one of the characters forcibly hugging another, pushing her head into her ample bosom. There's also various upskirt shots, where you'll catch a glimpse of the girls' underwear, often accompanied by comments about their choice of lingerie - "Blanc's panties are Priest-like, white and clean!", "Noire's wearing some that are fittingly chunni Black Knight-esque black. How mature!" and "Is this very low-angle camera a function made for panty sommeliers?".
Format Reviewed: PC