I’ve been a fan of the Neptunia franchise for a decade now, and it’s been just about that long since the last mainline title, Megadimension Neptunia VII, released in 2015. Neptunia fans like myself have resigned ourselves to the fact that it’s pretty unlikely we’ll see another main title unless Compile Heart is about to go under. However, the announcement of Neptunia: Sisters vs Sisters intrigued me.
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For those not in the know, the Neptunia series has four main characters, called CPUs or Goddesses: Neptune, Noir, Blanc, and Vert. These four have appeared in every game, with series protagonist Neptune leading the way. However, Sisters vs Sisters focuses on the CPU Candidates: Nepgear, Uni, Rom, and Ram. These four were the main characters of the second game in the series, mk2, with Nepgear appearing as the protagonist, and the Candidates have been in a supporting role ever since. In some of the recent titles, they haven’t appeared at all. Their return to the spotlight could potentially signal a new direction for the series.
Neptunia: Sisters vs Sisters starts with the four CPUs going to investigate strange happenings on the PC Continent, leaving the four CPU Candidates behind. The Candidates discover a mysterious cave on an excursion outside the country of Planeptune, where they wake a slumbering girl in a capsule upon reaching the end of the cave. The girl suddenly shoves the four Candidates into capsules, putting them to sleep inside. Two years later, the Candidates are found and rescued. They are informed of the disappearance of Neptune, as well as the Share energy that powers the four CPUs. This Share energy has instead gone towards a new third-party that is leading the way with smartphones.
Neptune herself is the soul of the Neptunia series. However, when it comes to me at least, Nepgear is the heart. While the story beats of Sisters vs Sisters more or less follow the second game in the series, mk2, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. That game’s story was my favourite in the series, and it’s been long enough since then that a retread isn’t the worst thing. Nepgear and the other Candidates are always trying to live up to the legacy of their older sisters, and their coming-of-age story can produce some heartfelt scenarios.