A jumble of a mess with solid mechanics.
At this point in its life, the Hyperdimension series is really just milking its niche fan base for all they’re worth. What started out as a satirical view of the video game industry, Hyperdimension has since turned into an overused joke with mixtures of pedophilia and continual stale attempts at humor. Its meta attitude, too, feels extremely forced and played out to the extent that it is almost embarrassing.
But let’s backtrack. What is Megatagmension Blanc + Neptune Vs. Zombies? Well, it’s nearly what its title claims it to be. Megatagmension is a hack n’ slash action game about Blanc, Neptune and friends. When their school, Gamacademi, is facing financial issues and may be forced to shut down, Neptune–the president of the film club–decides to make a film to save the school and chooses Blanc to write, direct, and star in it. Shortly thereafter, Blanc and Neptune discover that zombies are mysteriously attacking Gamacademi. So, they decide to use them as real props in the film. But what ensues is a jumbled plot, rescued only sporadically by a solid combat system.
Speaking of gameplay and functionality, Megatagmension offers you basic hack-and-slash mechanics that take full advantage of the game engine’s abilities. The Square button performs attacks that can combo with the triangle button, which unleashes a power attack. Circle dodges, and X jumps. Each mission allows the player to choose a partner character to ‘tag’ with, and you’re also able to choose two allies who give the characters their ability boosts. Combat works well, and I never noticed any issues with the gameplay. But that’s mostly because each level is beatable within five minutes.
Hell, I beat the first half of the game before realizing I could upgrade my characters. Obviously, I knew there was a store, so I purchased weapons. Upgrading of the characters takes place in the setup screen, where the player can spend points gained from leveling. These points can be used to upgrade heath, power, defense, or abilities such as extending combos. The game is so simple, however, that you do not need to upgrade your character stats until the final fight at the end of the first half of the game. Megatagmension does allow the player to choose from a decent selection of characters, though I always kept Neptune in my party. To extend the value of the game, should you actually wish to continue playing, each character has lily ranks, or bonding, with every character that unlock special scenes depending on rank and partner selection in particular scenes.
The mechanically sound gameplay does not mean much when the missions themselves are so brief. The length of the missions are short because every level is chosen from one of about four different maps. Even then, you rarely move out of the area you previously fought in. In other words, if you marked a 100 yard circle where you started on the map, you would rarely have to leave it. Worse yet, each mission has you complete the same set of quests continuously. It comes down to eliminating a certain number of common foes, and then clearing said common foes to eliminate uncommon foes or defeating a boss foe or two. That’s it; nothing more.
So what value does this game have? Outside of the lily ranks per character that were mentioned earlier, there isn’t much at all to do. Sure, there’s an online mode where you can team up with three other players. However, after discovering the worthlessness of each solo mission, how could you be excited for the multiplayer? Your average gamer could complete this game in about two days of uncommitted time. I suppose you could find extra time if you tried to piece together this convoluted narrative, but you’ll most likely find yourself skipping through the majority of the lengthy dialogue segments between every scene (trust me, I read them all).
In looking back at Megatagmension Blanc + Neptune Vs. Zombies, I have mixed feelings. The gameplay itself is fun if a bit uninspired. The narrative stumbles from the starting blocks until the finish line, finding itself in more embarrassing scenarios as it progresses. With mission lengths falling terribly short and being the very definition of redundant, there isn’t much value to be had outside of the gameplay. It’s a sad cycle to see the Hyperdimension series fall into; it has officially become what it set out to satirize. If you can find this game for less than $20, then perhaps it’s worth your money (if you’re a fan of Hyperdimension lore or hack-and-slack games). Even then, I can’t, in good faith, recommend this one to anybody.