The worlds of Hyperdimension Neptunia and Senran Kagura finally collide in a new game! Fans knew it was only a matter of time before these franchises crossed over and that time is now. Specifically, storied developer Tamsoft developed the game brought forward by the various publishers like Idea Factory, Marvelous, etc. The result is Neptunia x Senran Kagura: Ninja Wars, a Musou and action RPG hybrid that brings a cast of whimsical and beloved characters together in a new conflict. Fourth wall breaking, many trophies and shinobi action awaits.
The Land of Crystals and War
The story begins in the land of Gamninjustri, a shuriken-shaped continent with nations of ninjas and shinobi. For ages, Heartland (Compile Heart) and Marveland (Marvelous) have been fighting over the power of share crystals and nations. Each nation has a share crystal powered by its people. With both nations seeking to destroy each other’s share crystal and take over, the Compa Style ninja led by Neptune clash with the Honeypa Style shinobi led by Asuka. Their battle comes to a halt as oncoming cannon fire aims to destroy both parties. Suddenly a large aircraft shows up in the skies of Gamninjustri and projects a broadcast from up top. Yoh Gamer and Tetsuko, leaders of the Steeme Legion (Yes, Steam), announce that Gamninjustri is at the mercy of their might under the declaration of the Super Ninja War.
The Four Ninja Goddesses and Four Honeypa Shinobi agree to stop fighting for now as their nations are under threat of this new superpower. With Neptune and the gang back in Heartland, they decide to go to long time friend and local daimyo Histoire. Histoire is annoyed but not surprised at Neptune’s lack of urgency in the current situation and grants her a new mission. Neptune, Noire, Blanc and Vert must deliver a temporary treaty to Marveland in order to unite forces against the Steeme Legion. They must also cross through forests filled with dangerous yokai. At the same time, Histoire researches to uncover why the Steeme Legion is hellbent on taking over Gamninjustri. For Histoire, it usually takes about 3 days for that sort of research to be done. This quirky and fun story is underway…
Those familiar with past Senran Kagura games will feel at home with Neptunia x Senran Kagura: Ninja Wars. The Musou-inspired combat is back in 60fps and a more methodical, action RPG twist. A team of two characters may be switched on the fly and have access to standard combos, ninja tools and skills. Time slows down to a crawl while holding down the skills button to unleash a powerful attack, similar to using abilities in FFVII Remake. A “Trigger” window becomes active where skills may be combo’d into another skill to unleash more damage and various status effects. At first, it felt like the flow of combat was broken up but chaining skills becomes rapid and satisfying once getting used to. For instance, I could unleash a sweeping attack with Neptune and follow up with a flurry of slashes that increases her attack strength.
It wouldn’t be a ninja war without exceptional skills and attributes! These attributes may be enhanced by equipping and synthesizing Spirit Gems. Each character has a Spirit Gem grid with slots that link together if paired with the same type of gem. By linking together, their respective gem powers are enhanced. The roster also has access to Shinobi Extreme and Fuurinkazan Drive abilities. Shinobi Extreme is a devastating attack that may be unleashed after filling up the Extreme gauge in combat. Fuurinkazan Drive is an awakening technique that specializes in buffing attributes for a temporary duration. Wind, Forest, Fire and Mountain drives enhance ninja art skill power, vitality regeneration, attack power and defense respectively. It’s quite handy for boss fights so worth using regularly since each character can use them 5 times in a mission. Overall, the game’s combat is very simple but enjoyable as attacks and skills synergize together.
Content in the Gameninjustri
Neptunia x Senran Kagura: Ninja Wars has a decent amount of content in terms of the story, requests and additional features. Various dungeons unlock as the story progresses which in turn, unlocks more requests at Kumotsu Shrine. Players can also check out previously unlocked CGs, events and music at the shrine. More requests and rewards are unlocked by talking to various characters from across Gameninjustri in the NinChat feature. There are some neat cameos here from the Neptunia universe so it’s worth checking up on after a mission. The Peaches & Cream Meditation mini-game is available for those looking to have an temporary stat boost before going into a dungeon. As the name suggests, the mini-game revolves around balancing on top of a giant peach by using the DualShock4 or DualSense controller’s built-in gyro. The tougher the difficulty chosen, the more difficult it becomes to remain balanced on the peach.
More content unlocks after completion of the main story such as more requests, NinChat events and the Yomi Training challenge. In Yomi Training, 8 high-difficulty trials await with special restrictions and each trial is 3 levels deep. Depleted health and Fuurinkazan Drive usage carries over until the trial is completed. A final challenge becomes available after the 8 trials are completed. This is the extent of the game’s content and although I’ve enjoyed the story, the requests do get repetitive since many of the objectives are similar like “defeat all enemies” or “collect all dropped objects”. The story, NinChat and Yomi Training are clear highlights here but I wish there was more variety in terms of side content. It leaves me wanting more since I really enjoyed the story, combat and characters.
A Shinobi’s Weaknesses
As a Senran Kagura and Neptunia fan, this game is a seriously good time since I’ve followed those series for years now. That being said, I really hope these two franchises collaborate again in a sequel since there are plenty of improvements that could be made. The game’s roster has 10 playable characters and some of them are among my favorites like Black Heart and Miyabi. For a big collaboration like this, I want to see more characters represent their respective franchises like Nepgear, Hikage and Daidouji. Proper side-quests where these characters meet more NPCs from their worlds would have been interesting too. Gamninjustri doesn’t feel completely fleshed out as the collaboration world these characters should be living in.
The game’s combat is a good blend of character driven action and RPG but the lack of heavy attacks on the triangle button takes some getting used to if you just finished a game like Senran Kagura: Burst Renewal. During my playthrough, I used ninja tools (set to triangle by default) as a way of bringing combat back to neutral before coming through with another skill. It’s good for inflicting status effects too but I’d rather have that heavy attack back for more interesting combo strings. This is the only real gripe I have with the combat though!
At Ninja War’s End
25 hours and a platinum trophy later, Neptunia x Senran Kagura: Ninja Wars was a really fun game from start to finish. As a fan, I hope to see more of Senran Kagura in the future and would like to see both franchises collaborate again. The game’s combat kept me going through those Yomi Training challenges and the story was a blast. The side content is something that might not satisfy players who are eager for side-quests in a traditional RPG. Anyone remotely interested in Ninja Wars should at least check out what Neptunia and Senran Kagura are all about in their respective games. At the end of the game, I definitely wanted more to play through and I think those who pick this game up will feel that same way. There’s a lot of potential for a sequel with room for an even better game, a bigger ninja war!
Thanks to Idea Factory for sending us a review code of Neptunia x Senran Kagura: Ninja Wars on PS4!