Review – Neptunia: Sisters Vs. Sisters

The Neptunia series essentially releases a minimum of one game a year, to varying results. It might have something to do with the turn around time of these games, like how Assassin’s Creed used to be for a while. It’s also possible that it’s because the games can change in genre to some extent from game to game. Neptunia: Sisters Vs. Sisters is a dungeon crawling RPG that plays a bit like Kingdom Hearts or Ni No Kuni

Neptunia: Sisters Vs. Sisters Maho

This is the nerdiest compliment I’ve seen in a long time.

Let’s start with a real simple complaint, Neptunia games tend to have a lot of dialogue, which is fine as it’s always lighthearted, and a lot is voice acted as well. The issue is while Neptunia does have an auto-advance option on the dialogue, there’s such a long break of silence between each dialogue box so the conversations feel so choppy and broken. Choosing not to progress the dialogue manually can very easily take you out of what’s being said because of this. The story is then made hard to follow because of the long choppy pieces of story information.

On top of that, there are a lot of situations where the screen goes black for a second to save in the middle of long dialogue sections, which then turns off your auto advance for dialogue. If you’re just trying to listen, suddenly you’ll realise that the conversation stopped, when there’s still ten minutes of dialogue left. And here I thought the Yakuza cutscenes were long.

The actual dungeons in Neptunia: Sisters Vs. Sisters are very empty. Rooms with the same textures copied and pasted in, sometimes flipped, but very obviously the same tables with the same things on them, or the same square of broken glass. Given the time saved not putting individual rooms together, surely the battles are interesting then. Well, not exactly. There are some combos to take advantage of with multiple characters, and some abilities that can be used. Outside of that though, they could simply just be regular turn-based battles with their use of action points to determine if you can actually attack or just run around. Enemies are very easy to predict as they telegraph their attacks in an incredibly obvious manner, so simply moving a few steps back and then attacking is all it takes.

Smack. Smack. Run.

Where Neptunia: Sisters Vs. Sisters lacks detail in its maps, it makes up for in the character designs. The characters feel incredibly animated in their movements during the sections of dialogue, unfortunately, this is heavily marred by the fact the rest of these “cutscenes”(?) are simply just the characters plopped in front of a png of some typical location. There’s no interaction with the world, because the world isn’t actually there. It’s made even more clear that only the cutscene character models actually mattered in development when you start to play some of the dungeons.

The camera is a mess, organising it to look where you want will take more effort than it’s worth. Walking around any area, you can see the frames dropping and struggling to make the game run the way it’s meant to. Honestly, haters of Pokémon Legends and Pokémon Scarlet/Violet are owed an apology if you were hating on those games and praise the looks of Neptunia: Sisters Vs. Sisters.

Neptunia: Sisters Vs. Sisters World

Such a basic looking area, just like the rest of them.

There is one section that Neptunia: Sisters Vs. Sisters does well though, and that’s the music. Although at this point, does that really matter? Yes, the music is good, but that can be said for almost every anime style game. The chances of failing there are so low that just doing it well isn’t enough, you need to stand out. The music is upbeat and happy, even during battles which doesn’t always fit, but it matches the fact that the characters are always upbeat and happy as well.

When there is no voice acting and you’re put into dialogue you’re just meant to read, getting little fifteen to twenty second music loops can actually drive you insane. I’m trying to read this ten page script of dialogue you’re forcing on me every time I go to a location, please either make longer loops of music, make something more interesting, or get the voice actors to do all their lines, and not just a quarter of them. The characters may not be voiced all the time, but god forbid you don’t touch the controller for two seconds because the characters will start repeating the same two lines of dialogue about abandoning them.

There are a few things you as the player have control over, like the equipment of your team. There’s not a huge amount to pick from, especially early on, so you would be forgiven for forgetting to change things up every so often. There are also discs you can equip to give yourself extra effects, like decreasing cooldown times of your skills. These discs are developed using real time, so it’s not as simple as putting stuff together, you also need to then wait ten to fifteen real life minutes for it to finish, at which point you need to decide if you sit there and wait, or if you continue on in the game, at which point the game won’t tell you when it’s finished, or even remind you it exists.

Neptunia: Sisters Vs. Sisters Disc Development

Do I sit here and wait for this to finish, or risk forgetting it exists?

It would be overdramatic to say that Neptunia: Sisters Vs. Sisters broke me. Instead, more accurately is it just bored me to no end. The style of the game and everything it’s doing seems like it should make for a fun experience, but the execution is miles off the mark. Based on previous games, this game would be looking to be about twenty hours of gameplay total, if that’s the case, I would be willing to barter that only the biggest of Neptunia fans will stick with it the whole way through, because even Final Fantasy XIII felt like less of a slog.


Graphics: 3.5

There are segments that seem fairly decent, and the character design during dialogue/cutscenes are quite good. The issue is the simplicity and cut-and-paste nature of the majority of the areas.

Gameplay: 2.0

There’s basically no variety in gameplay. Use characters action points, avoid attacks while they recharge, rinse and repeat. Outside of battle its simply run up hallway, find next enemy.

Sound: 2.5

The music in Neptunia: Sisters Vs. Sisters is pretty good, but it’s all cut into such small loops that even just small sections of reading dialogue, you’ll hear the same small section of music about ten times.

Fun Factor: 1.0

There’s not much of a redeeming factor in the end for Neptunia: Sisters Vs. Sisters. Once you’ve been in one battle, you know how the rest of the game is going to go. It’s not a game that respects your time, and artificially inflates its length by forcing you into battles with the same enemies over and over again.

Final Verdict: 2.0

Neptunia: Sisters Vs. Sisters is available now on PC, PS4, and PS5.

Reviewed on PS4.

A copy of Neptunia: Sisters Vs. Sisters was provided by the publisher.