Dimension Tripper Neptune: TOP NEP by developers Idea Factory, Frontier Works, tiny cactus studio, WSS playground and publisher Idea Factory International—PC (Steam) review written by Richard with a copy provided by the publisher.
Estimated reading time: 3 minutes
We’re back again with another Neptunia spin-off! This time we’re taking a look at a 2D isometric rail shooter. Buckle up all you Neptune fans, cuz it’s time to take a look at Dimension Tripper Neptune: TOP NEP.
Just so you are aware, TOP NEP isn’t very large, or long, consisting of five stages that you can clear in about 15 minutes. That said, there isn’t really any plot either. Basically, you play as older Neptune, with some sort of flight gear, and you go around shooting and slashing down enemies of Gamindustri. There are also coins dispersed throughout the stages, and collecting them will add a helper to shoot at things with you for awhile.
Playstyle is pretty basic, with a shot attack, and a slash that will also act as a sort of counter move if enemies get too close. Basically, most of the time you’ll want to shoot at enemies, but if they get too close, or charge at you, you can use the sword attack to beat them back. You can also swing to clear bullets. Stages will progress through enemy waves, followed by a boss.
Visually, Top Nep has a retro style reminiscent of old SNES or NES titles, with a remixed soundtrack to match. The soundtrack takes existing Neptunia tracks and remasters them with a more chiptune sort of feel. Top Nep is quite fun, but it’s also really short and pretty easy. You have two different game modes, one where you can exchange score for lives if you die, and one where you can’t. I never ended up below half health, even on my first run, so it isn’t all that difficult, and like I mentioned earlier it’s really short, only taking about 15 minutes per run.
Honestly, I have to say that Dimension Tripper Neptune: TOP NEP feels less like its own title, and more like a minigame you’d see in one of the main titles. Not as bad as the Neplunker stages or Stella’s dungeon, but it really doesn’t feel like it should be its own thing. On the other hand, Top Nep is actually a lot of fun, and it got a lot of my positive nostalgia feelings going. Despite what you may think, retro isn’t always a good thing, because while all those loved aspects come back, so do the bad. Fortunately, these retro style Neptunia spin-offs tend towards the more positive aspects, just like Top Nep has.
Overall, I have to say I really liked this Nep-Nep spin-off. While Dimension Tripper Neptune: TOP NEP might not be long, it’s definitely a really fun rail-shooter. It’s also pretty cheap, so it doesn’t feel like you’re losing out really either. The soundtrack is good, the gameplay is smooth, and while it is rather short, you can always aim to beat your high score on subsequent runs. Top Nep gets 8 puddings out of 10.Score: 8 / 10 puddings