Anime Hack'N'Slash Review

Neptunia x Senran Kagura: Ninja Wars – Review

Neptunia x Senran Kagura: Ninja Wars has our favorite pudding-loving protagonist Neptune take the lead once again in this crossover event. Bringing much of the cast of both the Neptunia and Senran Kagura games, it restyles them as ninja. Fighting for the honor of their countries and shares, soon a bigger threat appears.

Mechanical Ninja Invasion

In the middle of one of the many battles between Heartland (Neptunia) and Marveland (Senran Kagura), a flying battleship appears. Mechanical ninjas suddenly attack. A new player has arrived and decided to bring down not just these two superpowers, but the entire continent of Gamnindustri. Yoh Gamer, the master of Headshot style has arrived and brought along the Steeme Legion to do this.

The Steeme Legion quickly take down several nations without powerful ninjas and pick up powerful allies along the way. Despite long being at war with each other, the two major countries eventually decide to team up against this threat.

Meeting several new friends along the way, the ninja work together to stop Yoh Gamer and discover her motivations.

The plot itself is nothing special. There were quite a few common tropes and it didn’t particularly stand out. What carried it was the interactions between the characters and the silliness involved at parts. There are quite a few funny moments and just outright absurd ones. Thematically it’s much closer to a Neptunia title than a Senran Kagura one, for those familiar with both settings; this means that silly events and fourth-wall-breaking are the norm.

While the plot isn’t amazing, I still enjoyed it for the silliness. Seeing Neptune joke around with her friends is usually the highlight of this series and this is no different. I should note that it did tone down the lewdness that both series are known for and it keeps itself to a few jokes about Blanc’s (lack of) chest, a couple of jokes about porn, and a couple of bathing scenes for the most part.

Neptunia x Senran Kagura: Ninja Wars - Bath Scene

JRPG Or Hack and Slash

Neptunia x Senran Kagura: Ninja Wars is a hack and slash title, though perhaps not a standard one. It’s on the slow side and mixes in RPG elements such as levels, dungeons, equipment, and skill menus. The story is told via visual novel scenes, but most of your time will be spent cutting down enemies.

The player can choose a main character and a partner, who they can switch between at any point. This can even be worked into combos, or used to keep up a barrage of skills when one runs out of stamina. After unlocking them, any two characters from the roster can be selected, so you can mix and match between series and change characters between battles if preferred.

Much like the story, it’s closer to a Neptunia title than a Senran Kagura one. This is despite the involvement of Tamsoft who created several of the previous Senran Kagura games. The player runs through short dungeons, can find item boxes, and clear out enemies. This aspect feels more like the Neptunia JRPGs.

While limited, equipment can be found and equipped too. These extend to kunai, shuriken, and charms to give stat boosts and similar. More extensive is the gem system. Gems can be found or bought and then assigned to a grid to boost various stats or aspects. They can be combined to make more powerful gems too and assigned in patterns for even more boosts.

Neptunia x Senran Kagura: Ninja Wars - Steele Legion

Crossover Combat

The standard hack and slash action itself feels quite limited. There are quite a lot of special actions, but there is only a light attack, jump, guard, projectile throw, and a dash that cannot be used constantly. You can use healing and status-boosting items too.

Small things make it feel basic and less free-flowing, like the jump attack which is a straight shot towards the ground with no way to guide it. Another example of how ninja can’t throw projectiles unless they’re on the ground. The characters don’t feel particularly different in how they play either, despite slightly different attacks.

The specials are more interesting. Called ninja arts, each character can use four skills that use up stamina. The skills can link into each other by activating them in order. This activates status effects for your character or the enemy. The ninja arts are activated through a menu, which took a while to get used to – luckily time slows down while you choose. You can learn new skills too and assign them. Some attack all around you, while some state they hit a single target, but essentially just hit whatever enemies are in front.

The ninja arts can be used quite often, which helps break up the monotony of light attacks. More limited are ‘Shinobi Extreme’ attacks that charge up over time and the limited use Fuurinkazan Drive which lets you bring out special abilities such as increasing attack power in favor of defense or regenerating health. Boss fights can be quite difficult and these can really turn the tide.

Legendary Weapon

Plain and Simple

I’m sorry to say that the enemies are not particularly good in Neptunia x Senran Kagura: Ninja Wars. There’s a very limited number of types of enemies, with many just being reskinned enemies with more health or different status effect attacks. Even some bosses get reused.

Not only are the enemies quite limited – they’re also not smart. It isn’t unusual to run up to an enemy and kill it before it even fights back. Several types won’t do anything until you get close and even then it’ll wait for a second or two. I’ve also come across several getting trapped by running into various barriers or ones that essentially just let me throw kunai at them without reacting.

This does make the difficulty somewhat possible to get around though.

Time to Grind

I completed the main part of Neptunia x Senran Kagura: Ninja Wars in a rather short nine and a half hours. I’d hazard a guess that seven of those hours were completing story-related missions. Two and a half would have been completing optional missions.

Between story missions, you can visit the shrine and take on requests. These are revisiting previous dungeons, though perhaps with a different layout of enemies or some other activity like finding switches or collecting items. They’re fairly repetitive but provide experience and items.

In theory, these are optional missions, but realistically they’re required to some extent. The main story missions have huge leaps in difficulty. At one point I stopped grinding the optional missions and found the boss killed me in a single attack when I next took a story mission. To give you an idea, it recommended the player to be level 13 for one mission, level 20 for the next, 23 for the one after that, and then level 30. It’s unusual to gain more than one level per mission, so I quickly fell behind here.

While it’s often possible to outmaneuver the enemy and their simple attack patterns, getting hit even once is painful if significantly below the suggested level.

Neptunia x Senran Kagura: Ninja Wars - Angry Blanc


After the main story wraps up, you can mop up any remaining optional missions if you like. There are also a few extra story scenes you can find, though no attached missions.

Adding onto this is the Yomi Training. These are essentially the same as the optional missions, but more difficult and they come in sets of three. You need to clear all three missions in a set without stopping between them. As well as no break, your health and use of Fuurinkazan Drive don’t recover between them. It adds extra challenges too, like certain equipment not doing anything or no items being allowed. It’s nice to have the extra missions but isn’t anything too special or new.

Neptunia x Senran Kagura: Ninja Wars - Looks Off


I don’t have any issues with the audio in Neptunia x Senran Kagura: Ninja Wars. The voice acting is all in Japanese and they deliver their lines well. There’s not a particularly wide range of music, but it’s enough.

Visuals are another area where it becomes clear that this is a Neptunia game rather than a Senran Kagura game. The Neptunia cast and the original characters all look amazing at all times. The Senran Kagura characters look great in CGs and the gameplay aspects, but their sprites somehow look off. It’s not just me either – I asked a fellow reviewer and they said exactly the same. I will give praise where it’s due though. I loved the ninja redesign for the Neptunia cast. It looks great, as do the designs for the original characters.

The game uses a lot of animation to help bring things to life, which is always appreciated. Sprites have eyes that blink, sweatdrops, or hearts that appear to show their emotions, and action is often accompanied by screen shakes. The animation does have one big issue though…

More Issues

The characters all resemble goldfish. The lip sync is completely off. It doesn’t even attempt to match the speech. It’s basically the mouth opening and closing at a constant rate of about 2 lip flaps per second whenever they’re speaking. I learned to ignore it.

The other major issue here is the loading time. I timed it a few times and it averages about twenty seconds to load a mission. That’s on a PlayStation 5, so the fastest console it can run on. I’d worry about how it’ll run on the original PlayStation 4 or the Pro.


Despite there being quite a lot of issues with Neptunia x Senran Kagura: Ninja Wars, I still enjoyed playing it. It’s not the best hack and slash gameplay around, but it was fun seeing the Neptunia characters and how they interacted with the Senran Kagura ones. Still, if you want a hack and slash game, Senran Kagura Burst Re:newal might be a better option.


Platforms: PlayStation 4

If you enjoy Hack’N’Slash games, then perhaps you’d like our review of Utawarerumono: ZAN or Samurai Warriors 5.

Many thanks go to Idea Factory for a PlayStation 4 review code for this title.

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