The next Neptunia game is up for preorder, and looks like lots of fun

It feels like a while since we’ve had a Neptunia game; it’s been over a year since the rather enjoyable Neptunia x Senran Kagura, after all. But there’s not too long left to wait before we can enjoy the company of our CPU goddesses once again, because brand new installment Neptunia: Sisters vs Sisters has finally gone up for preorder on Idea Factory International’s store, with a couple of different physical editions available.

In Neptunia: Sister vs Sisters, the focus is squarely on the CPU Candidates — the sisters of the main cast, including Nepgear, Uni, Rom and Ram. The four girls have awakened after a two-year slumber to discover the land of Gamindustri has been overtaken by a threat known as the Trendi Phenomenon.

Neptunia Sisters vs Sisters

Smartphone — or specifically rPhone — use has skyrocketed as citizens are confined to their homes due to the prevalence of monsters, and it’s up to the sisters — along with some new allies — to save the day once again. As you might expect, the game as a whole is satire on the rise of smartphones and the way in which they are perceived to have killed handheld gaming devices — which is what all the Candidates represent.

Like most Neptunia games, the supporting cast pays homage to a variety of recognisable parodies of modern culture. Anri, for example, is clearly based on the aesthetic of the Android operating system, and is even described as an “Apple-hating engineer”. Meanwhile, on the video game series homage front, we have Higurashi, whose “sweet and sour” nature pays tribute to the classic series of visual novels, and Shanghai Alice, who is based on the Touhou series, with her costume particularly resembling that of Reimu Hakurei.

As with most of the recent Neptunia games, Neptunia: Sisters vs Sisters eschews traditional turn-based combat in favour of real-time action. There’s more than just button-mashing going on here, though; success in battle is a matter of making use of normal attacks for baseline damage, Tactical Skills to increase your limit of Action Points, and the Action Points themselves to trigger powerful Combo Skills.

Neptunia: Sisters vs Sisters

In a nice callback to the turn-based Neptunia titles’ combat system, you can create your own combos by chaining skills together, and these skills fall into Rapid, Power or Break attacks to fulfil various purposes in battle. Assigning various attacks to one of two buttons at different “steps” in a complete combo allows for a variety of different chains to be created, and plenty of interesting flexibility in battle.

You can also chain character switches to keep combos going, which is a callback to the very first Neptunia game in particular, where custom combo attacks were able to switch characters between the front and back row in order to keep up a relentless assault. And, of course, expected series mainstays like Goddess transformations and EXE Drive attacks are still present and correct for the most devastating damage output.

Neptunia: Sisters vs Sisters is set to launch on January 24, 2023 for PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5 and Steam. The PS4 and PS5 versions have two different physical versions available: a Limited Edition and a Calendar Edition. Both are available to preorder now, as is a Digital Deluxe Edition on the PlayStation Store.

Neptunia: Sisters vs Sisters Limited Edition

The Limited Edition includes a copy of the game with a reversible cover sleeve for either PS4 or PS5, a steel game case, a hardcover art book, a soundtrack CD, a large mousepad and a nice box to keep it all in.

Neptunia: Sisters vs Sisters Calendar Edition

The Calendar Edition, as the name suggests, includes a calendar as well as a double-sided A3 poster and, of course, the game. It also features a special cardboard outer box, but this is more Blu-Ray sized rather than the large box the Limited Edition comes in, as with previous “Day One Editions” that Idea Factory have put out.

All in all, the game’s sounding like a fun time — so we’ll do our best to get a review up for you in the new year!

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Pete Davison
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