Npetunia U is still quest-based, so there's the usual bit of banter around each mission, but its clear to see what level missions you should take and which ones to avoid, until the girls have leveled up a bit. With the hordes of cookie cutter enemies all over the screen, it can be hard to see what you're hitting and what's hitting you. Sometimes, the girls clothes fall off, which means its time to switch characters. (I can't believe I just wrote that) and as you hit more creatures, your EXE and special move gauges fill, allow you to deploy the big stick actions.
While it looks good, some missions require whipping literally hundreds of the pests into oblivion, or taking down a mildly-threatening boss with a million whacks, which can't be fun for anyone. Most missions take two of the girls and their neophytes into action, so you can mix up battle styles and combos to vary things, but its really just chop, chop, chop. Regardless of ranged weapon or melee, weak or strong attack,
Between missions, you can explore the city and meet the girls, with a host of scenes to move the plot along, they also open up more quests! With plenty of quests, the game moves along at a fair old pace, and the vibrance and happy tone of the game makes it easy to keep going despite the repetition and lack of character development. Besides, how can complain about hitting a space invader with a lobster over and over?
It really is hard not like Nep U, despite the shallow gameplay and story. I really have no idea what most missions were about, most just end collecting a chest or hitting the right kill number. However, going along for the ride seems to be part of the fun. There are some issues, the enemy life bars are hard to see in the throng, and you can spend some time hitting a dead beastie that was just waiting for its vanishing animation to trigger.
If you're into the deeper core of the Neptunia universe them I'm sure you'll giggle at every twist and turn and knowing wink from a character. For the rest of us, its prettified clobberin' time, which is no bad thing. overall.
Dev: Compile Heart
Progress: Teenage level dreams