Continuing with the trend of never giving us a new mainline entry in the series, Neptunia is back with yet another spin-off. And also continuing that trend, its quality is debatable at best.

So the big thing with this spin-off is that it plays more like a hack-and-slash game with just a touch of turn-based elements to it. Combat is still initiated by hitting enemies on the field and it throws you into these little virtual arenas, but the actual combat itself plays out in real-time and you can spam moves as much as you have action points. Once you use all of those, you have to wait a little before attacking with that character again, which sounds a bit annoying, but never really ended up being a problem because you’re able to swap between your three characters at anytime during battle and even chain link attacks together.

It’s a cool system, but it also ended up being the game’s one major downfall – it makes the combat far too monotonous and hardly engaging in the slightest. Like, you’re given all of these tools to come up with custom combos and new moves and all of that, but it doesn’t change the fact that you can win battles simply by spamming your one attack string and chain linking that combo to your next party member and just repeating that infinitely while the enemy is permanently staggered.

Neptunia Sisters VS Sisters (3)

The game lacks difficulty options to remedy this and even then, difficulty scaling in these games are generally not the greatest to begin with so I’m not sure if that would even help. Given this, the game quickly falls into this tedious pattern of running into an enemy on the field, spamming one button to get off an attack string and then hitting another button to swap to another character before repeating that same pattern until the fight is over and then repeating that fight with the next and so on. Fun for maybe the first 30 minutes, but that is literally the entire game here and it feels like the entire combo and move system is wasted as a result.

The level design too. I know this series isn’t exactly known for its quality, but this is a full-priced release where level layouts are quite literally copy-pasted right next to each other. I’ll get through an area, enter a new one and know exactly where to go because the layout is the same as the one I just left, just with new enemy placements and maybe a new path branching off of it that ultimately leads nowhere.

It gets worse when you realize that not only are the layouts copy-pasted, but entire levels too. I went from one cave with all of its copy-pasted layouts to an entirely different cave on the other side of the world map that has almost the same layout, but with different textures and new enemies. I’m like, are the devs really trying to pass this off as some entirely new thing? Combine that with the combat and you have the recipe for one boring JRPG.

Neptunia Sisters VS Sisters (2)

And as for the story, I can’t say it really makes up for much. It’s not terrible, but just like these other Neptunia spin-offs, it’s not particularly interesting and the fact that it IS a spin-off and is written as such makes it come off as filler. The dialogue scenes account for a significant portion of the game’s playtime and the writing is incredibly fluffy too. I describe myself as a Neptunia fan, but even I can’t really find much to like there.

On the technical front, Sisters VS Sisters is not the greatest. I mean, it could be worse, but this is yet another Japanese PC port with lackluster keyboard and mouse controls, hardly any graphical settings, and some other weird technical issues to note. For one, I did have the game crash on me within the first two hours. It hasn’t happened since, but any crash is a crash worth mentioning. There’s also this odd stuttering issue where the game looks like it is screen tearing, but it’s not? I’m not sure how to describe it, the terrain and characters sometimes jitter when moving and it just doesn’t look smooth.

Otherwise, the game at least runs well. I played at 4k and the fps hovered around 120 or so for most of the experience, never really dipping too much, but still fluctuating just a little bit. A disappointing port overall though, maybe one day we’ll get a Neptunia PC release with decent keyboard and mouse controls and more settings than just quality, resolution, and a fullscreen toggle.

Neptunia Sisters VS Sisters (1)

So no, I cannot recommend Neptunia: Sisters VS Sisters. Just as with other spin-offs in the series, it takes the gameplay in an interesting direction, but falters on its execution, offering up a far too monotonous gameplay loop to match a story that is simply not interesting. Add on the lackluster PC port and this is yet another Neptunia spin-off that is better left forgotten.

Quote: Neptunia: Sisters VS Sisters takes the gameplay in an interesting direction, but falters on its execution, offering a far too monotonous gameplay loop to match a story that is simply not interesting.

Neptunia: Sisters VS Sisters retails for $50 USD on Steam. It is also available on PS4 and PS5.

I was provided a review copy of the game in order to write this review. Read more about how I do my game reviews here.