|Cyberdimension Neptunia 4 Goddesses Online
|Idea Factory, Compile Heart, Tamsoft
|Idea Factory International
|February 27th, 2018
|Multiplayer Action RPG
|ESRB T for Teen
The separation between releases on consoles and PC for Idea Factory games has been steadily decreasing as of late, and for PC gamers that is very good news. Our original review for their newest game, Cyberdimension Neptunia 4 Goddesses Online, only posted back in October. Thankfully I was able to get through all the awards candidate games since then and was able to go through this game on the PS4 prior to this port. Like any other re-review that I do for a game, I will be mostly just addressing any changes with the port. This is particularly true for this game since Steve reviewed the initial release, and he and I have almost the exact same thoughts on the game (and pretty much every Neptunia game). I would have also given that game the same review score, so for anything involving the content of the game, definitely consult our original review.
Obviously the first thing to talk about with any PC port are the graphical differences. The PlayStation 4 is a lot closer to a PC than the PS Vita is, but there is still room between the console and any modern PC (especially my Alienware). One very nice aspect of the switch to Unreal Engine with this new release is that those development tools scale really well between consoles and PC, and that is noticeable in the graphics department. All the characters are really well defined and the draw distance is extremely far. Unfortunately you can still tell that it was also built to play on a PS Vita with the character model’s detail, but everything else about the port looks better. The other major difference with any PC port is the issue of controls, and that is a very mixed bag in this case. The controls in the PS4 version felt a bit floaty and imprecise, and it felt even more so in this case on an XBox One controller. That being said, the controller did automatically sync with the game. That is a necessary thing because I would strongly recommend you don’t play this game with keyboard and mouse, since I found the experience very frustrating. The one advantage to having a keyboard in front of you is easy chat during multiplayer.
Of course, not everyone has a new Alienware PC to be able to run new games on. So it’s quite necessary to discuss the graphical options available in this port. That is a sticking point for many ports from console games ever since the trend became really popular in the past few years. This is particularly true with Japanese companies which have struggled to understand exactly what Western PC gamers are looking for. This is an example of these developers getting a lot better at this. Not only do they have a ton of graphics filter options (as you see above) but they also allow you to take the Window Size clear up to 3840×2016, well over what a standard (non-Pro) PS4 can do. So you can reduce the graphics of this game to even less quality than the PS Vita version, if you have a really terrible PC, all the way up to slightly better than the PS4 version. That range of options is very rare in the world of console ports, and I hope it becomes closer to standard.
Like previous Idea Factory games, the first round of DLC for the ports is free and easily accessible from the Title Menu. As you can imagine, if you saw or played the console release, there is a very large list of mostly cosmetic DLC releases coming up that are (mostly) reasonably priced. If you were going to buy all the different DLC for these games, they can be extremely expensive. But it’s more likely that for long time series fans you are just going to focus on your particular waifu and that makes the prospect much more reasonably priced. Another advantage to waiting for the PC releases of all the Neptunia games is that DLC items are easier to access in the Steam store than on PSN, and Steam sales almost always include a sale on DLC.
One experience that might have been different for me with this game than other console gamers was that I didn’t have too many problems playing multiplayer on PS4, other than rarely finding anyone else looking for groups. I didn’t have any connectivity issues, but I was also playing the game about two months after everyone else did, so I suspect that the issues were ironed out by then. That is not true in this case, even beyond the release day struggles that Idea Factory International had: the online system is very rough so far. I never entered an online session in this game that I was not disconnected from eventually. To be fair, that length of time varied, with some being a frustrating quick disconnect and others happening when I was ready to be finished with it anyway. But this is frankly not going to affect my score very much because I do not play these games for multiplayer. And even though Cyberdimension Neptunia 4 Goddesses Online obviously wears the trappings of an MMORPG, it was never actually one.
I really wish they would have added new characters (especially my waifu Sadie) to play around with because the long term appeal of this game still remains the character editor outfits and then taking those outfits out to hit monsters with. But, like Steve, I accept that this game is mostly about these developers trying out a new style and a new setting. And if the other games in the series have been any indication, they will learn from the experience and make the next game even better. The PC release is not a perfect version of the game—there are as many disadvantages to it as there are advantages. So I can’t exactly say you should double dip and re-purchase it if you’ve already been through the console version (other than maybe the PS Vita version). But if you are a Nep fan and were waiting for the PC release, then definitely pick this game up for the MSRP of $39.99 (even less currently with the Steam sale). It’s about 20-30 hours of good action RPG fun where the story and setting really shine, and our girls just get to have a light and breezy adventure while waiting for the next main series entry.
Review Copy Provided By The Publisher