Neptunia x SENRAN KAGURA: Ninja Wars Preview
Neptunia x SENRAN KAGURA: Ninja Wars is an absolute joy to play. As a disclaimer, playing as cute anime girls is not something that I’m actively seeking to do. With this declaration out of the way, I previewed the JRPG with a fairly neutral mindset. However, being a huge anime and JRPG fan, I did come in with some expectations. As a game on its own, it’s fun. On the other hand, it’s nothing crazy special. Honestly, if you like either Neptunia or Senran Kagura, I know you will pick the title up anyway. These two franchises are popular for a reason (besides the obvious), so why wouldn’t you? Luckily, I have mostly positive experiences to share, so breathe a sigh of relief and read on.
While Ninja Wars doesn’t serve a deeper purpose other than entertainment, there’s nothing wrong with enjoying a game that makes you happy. Its relatively risque dialogue and accompanying bath scenes help fuel the fanservice. Even though half-naked girls don’t do much for me, the purpose of it was adorable. I am all for girls bonding with one another, and this collaboration showcased sisterhood and acceptance very well.
A pretty decent JRPG with an average plot, the game does a great job bringing every girl’s personality into the mix. A huge selling point is definitely playing as your favorite character because the storyline is pretty meh. While it doesn’t bring anything new to the JRPG genre, the humorous dialogue and the girls’ charming personalities make it difficult to skip. This is especially true if you’re already familiar with Neptunia or Senran Kagura.
A Fun Ninja Collaboration
As a single-player game featuring a large selection of characters to choose from, Ninja Wars does an excellent job catering to fans of Neptunia and Senran Kagura. Taking place in Gamninjustri (not quite Gamindustri), there is a ninja war. On one side we have our Neptunia characters who are Heartland ninjas. On the other side are the Senran Kagura girls who are Marveland ninjas. Their battles are short-lived as they get interrupted in the first few minutes of the game. A legion of mechanical ninjas arrive and wreak havoc in the world of Gamninjustri. With a declaration from their leader Yoh Gamer, a new war begins, forcing our two teams to work together for the sake of bringing peace and harmony back to their nations.
It isn’t exactly the greatest storyline to follow and the villains’ motives aren’t the most interesting. However, that doesn’t mean the game is a bore. It’s actually easy to pick up and though fans will enjoy this piece, newcomers to both franchises may find it hard to follow. There is a brief introduction to the characters, but the appeal won’t be there unless you are familiar with the characters. And as with most RPGs, dungeon crawling and grinding are expected. Luckily with Ninja Wars, dungeons don’t take forever to complete and the rewards are tremendous. Of course, if you decide to challenge yourself with the highest difficulty available, you will sing a different tune.
Although Neptune’s self-awareness tells everyone she’s the protagonist of the game, we can use any member of our party. You have a large roster to choose from, but you can only select two characters to control. These two characters then become the leader and the partner. The leader is who you will mainly control, and the partner is someone who can tag in and out whenever necessary. It’s handy if you want to reserve someone’s HP or stamina, or if you just have two favorite characters you want to be. If the leader dies, the partner comes into play automatically to keep the battle going, and vice versa.
Your New Guilty Pleasure
I will admit, Neptunia and Senran Kagura are not the first games I turn to for immediate gratification. I am actually a fan of otome games and enjoy a good reverse harem. Truthfully though, it’s hard to discriminate against a game just because the fanservice isn’t directed at me. Balancing on bouncy peaches while wearing only a towel doesn’t necessarily excite me, but if a character is charming, no amount of suggestive bath scenes will make me think otherwise.
Even though there are conversations not suitable for children, Ninja Wars has pretty decent gameplay. Movements are smooth and characters are easy to control. Slashing enemies is immensely gratifying and the animation is pretty good. Considering this could be played on the handheld is also a major plus. That’s not to say the game was mind-blowing and I will remember it for the rest of my life, but it was fun. There’s nothing wrong with learning zero lessons and having a good time.
If you are a fan of either Neptunia or Senran Kagura, I would give this one a go. It can be hard to enjoy if you’re a newcomer, because there isn’t much character development as it’s assumed you know everyone already. Though it doesn’t have the best storyline, it’s definitely not the worst I’ve played. Nonetheless, the usual fourth wall-breaking comments and our beloved isekai’d characters make this one hard to skip. Whether you are here for the characters, the fanservice, or looking for a new JRPG to play, Neptunia x SENRAN KAGURA: Ninja Wars is one delightful crossover.
***A Nintendo Switch code was provided by the publisher***