A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Megadimension Neptunia VII is a Japanese role-playing game (RPG) with turn-based combat. Therefore, your party of characters exchanges attacks with enemies, such as demons and robots, using weapons such as swords, lances, guns, and magic attacks. There isn't blood or gore, but enemies can cry out in pain before perishing. The game's female characters are often dressed provocatively (as are women in non-playable sequences), plus there are some sexually suggestive lines in dialogue sequences. Finally, the game has some profanity, including words such as "s--t" and "a--hole."
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What's it about?
MEGADIMENSION NEPTUNIA VII is the latest game in a role-playing-game franchise. It's a turn-based fantasy game that drops you in the middle of the world of Gamindustri. You play as Neptune and her fellow goddesses, all of whom are personifications of fictional video game characters (often referred to as CPUs). Interestingly, the single-player game is split into three stories, each with its own title screens as if it was separate. The first, "Zero Dimension Neptunia Z: Twilight of the Desperate CPU," challenges Neptune to go up against a mysterious, giant foe. The second has an even longer title -- "Hyper Dimension Neptunia G: The Golden Leaders, Reconstructors of Gamindustri" -- and tells of giant towers that emerge, and the citizens seem to forget who the CPUs are; here you can play as any of the four main characters: Neptune, Noire, Vert, or Blanc. The third is entitled "Heart Dimension Neptunia H: Into Legend," which wraps everything all together.
Is it any good?
Unless you're a fan of anime shows, graphic novels, or video games, you won't likely get much out of this Japanese role-playing game. While the three separate (and complimentary) stories are an interesting approach, and the visual style bests its PS3 predecessors (though it's still nothing to write home about), the combat is standard fare for these kinds of turn-based JRPGs. When it's your turn, you attack an enemy using a melee or ranged weapon and adopt a powerful formation attack with your party members, and after winning the battles and moving on, you spend virtual money to unlock new areas on the map.
The problem is that combat sequences tend to grow repetitive, dialogue sequences are bloated without always making a whole lot of sense, and the save-game system is frustrating because you can't choose where you want to save; instead, there are predetermined save points without an auto-save feature. Plus, there are some scenes of young girls taking a bath together, with barely enough water or hair covering their disproportionately large breasts, topped by sexually suggestive dialogue. Moments such as these are simply uncomfortable to watch or play through. At best, Megadimension Neptuna VII is an average JRPG and certainly not worth the $60 price tag, solely appealing to fans of the franchise.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about sex, gender, and body image. Is it OK that most women in this game wear suggestive outfits that reveal ample cleavage and buttocks? What about naked girls taking a bath together? Will young males think women are mere sexual objects? Or will boys and men clearly understand this is just a fantasy game?
Talk about role-playing games. What's so appealing about these kind of games? Would this game be enjoyable if it were a platformer or a shooter?
- Platforms: PlayStation 4, Windows
- Price: $59.99
- Pricing structure: Paid
- Available online? Not available online
- Developer: Idea Factory International
- Release date: February 1, 2016
- Genre: Role Playing
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy, Princesses, Fairies, Mermaids, and More, Monsters, Ghosts, and Vampires, Robots
- ESRB rating: T for Fantasy Violence, Language, Partial Nudity, Suggestive Themes
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