3.75 out of 5


  • New characters
  • Bike riding
  • More action combat
  • Lots to do


  • Framerate issues
  • Sound hiccups during battle
  • Dungeons feel too bland
  • Battles feel too easy

Switch, PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X
Idea Factory International
Idea Factory, Compile Heart
Action, RPG
File Size (Minimum)
6.8 GB
Release Date (NA)
May 14, 2024

Neptunia Game Maker R:Evolution is the next installment in the Neptunia series. While it has entertainment value, the game does take some steps back when it comes to visuals and gameplay mechanics.

A New World

Neptunia Game Maker R:Evolution - Screenshot

You’ll play as the older goddess, dimension-hopping, bug-hunting Neptune. She stumbles onto an abandoned building which used to be a game maker studio that lost in a competition. She’s found by the three goddesses who once ran the studio, and they ask her to become president of their game making company and help revive it. Neptune happily agrees and now has another chance to compete with other game makers to get their games released.

However, Croire, a fairy-like girl, who was imprisoned by Neptune’s notebook due to criminal records of ruining other dimensions for enjoyment, breaks free and is looking to cause chaos in the new world Neptune is in.

If you haven’t played any or much of the previous Neptunia games, you’ll miss out on some of the backstory of a few characters. Fortunately, in Game Maker, the majority of the characters in this world are reintroduced as new but familiar-looking characters. This makes it easier for newcomers to the Neptunia world.

The three new goddesses introduced, Pippih, Jagaa, and Reedio, are amusing, designed well and their transformations in battle are enjoyable to use.

Duke it Out

Neptunia Game Maker R:Evolution - Screenshot

Battles in Game Maker are initiated by running into enemies during exploration. The game offers preemptive attacks, which are real easy to initiate, except for boss battles. You’ll have a set team where you control one character at a time, and the others initiate moves and skills by the game’s computer. You can switch to other characters easily by the game controller’s directional pad, and set up commands, such as focus on offense or healing, that can be used during and outside battle in the game’s menu.

Expect battles to be all melee attacks where you are constantly pushing the controller buttons or swapping between characters, unlike previous entries like Megadimension Neptunia VIIR. Players will notice a party member’s avatar along with their associated directional arrow appear on screen. When this occurs, use the directional pad direction associated with the character to create a link chain attack. These attacks can create more damage and also prevent enemies from attacking. You can keep linking chain attacks for the entire battle if there’s no disruption from enemies.

If that wasn’t enough, players can activate various power-up attacks. For example, the goddess characters can transform into a powerful form to initiate even more devastating attacks. Additionally, players can initiate the “EXE Drive”, where the goddess you command can unleash a flashy high-power attack, complete with cutscene. These attacks and transformations appear on-screen when ready. To gain access, you’ll need to fight in a few battles beforehand. With all these various attack methods available, the battles feel too easy and one-sided many times.

While fighting, the frame rate does drop or freeze momentarily between power attacks and when defeating the last enemy. For a game running on a PlayStation 5, that shouldn’t be happening. Also, between creating combo links, sound effects during player attacks jump up a few notches and then settle back down. These could be patched if the development team wants to iron out the bugs.

Spicing Up Dungeons

Neptunia Game Maker R:Evolution - Screenshot

Exploring a dungeon the very first time is exciting, but they soon start to feel bland with their copy-and-paste designs. For example, all caves have the same dark dreariness, puddles of water, and giant crystals as the decor.

You’ll also encounter closed-off areas where you’ll need to find switches in order to open them. It does become a chore to do this, but these dungeons aren’t large enough to cause much of a stir of frustration. Players do have the option to ride Neptune’s motorcycle, which makes driving through dungeon maps quicker. However, you can’t perform preemptive attacks on enemies. Motorcycle driving feels a bit difficult to maneuver at first as it takes some time to get used to it. That’s not all you can use the motorcycle for, though. The game offers players a chance to race against a monster. It’s not required, but winning nets the player rewards. If you lose, you can try again without losing anything.

The game records how much exploration is done and how many treasures are found in each dungeon. Clearing it at 100% for both exploration and treasure doesn’t result in any rewards except a trophy/achievement for your first 100%. It would be a nice gesture if the game gave you something for completing a dungeon. Instead, the journey itself will have to be its own reward.

Making Games, Equip Games

Neptunia Game Maker R:Evolution - Screenshot

As president, your job is to improve the company. You’ll start with a genre (e.g. puzzle, role-playing game) and work your way up to where you can create more genres. Before you can grow, you need Company Points (CP). These are earned during exploration (battles and side quests), story development, and Disc Development. Once you earn enough, you can build your studio by unlocking nodes, which resembles a skill tree you see in other RPGs such as Final Fantasy XII. These nodes can help sales, lower development time, earn items for battle, and more. 

You’ll encounter emails from fans and freelancers to help build your studio. These freelancers can help improve your game quality and can be ported to other video game studios to level-up their skills. Additionally, you can pay for commercials, create trends, and develop DLC to help boost your game’s sales, but doing so costs a good amount of CP. Fans can give suggestions, giving you ammo on your next game creation.

When doing Disc Development, you’ll need to choose a genre, style of game, and workers, and add bonus features such as increasing critical hits on enemies. These bonus features are moreso used for equipment features than the game itself. During development, there will be moments where issues arise from employees such as bugs or outdated software. You’re given an option to pay more CP or ignore them and hope for the best. This can affect sales and the quality of your game. 

There’s a lot to learn, and building your studio is like running a side job while adventuring.

The Final Disc

Neptunia Game Maker R:Evolution is entertaining and has a large number of things to do, but at the same time, it feels too easy and has some visual hiccups. Who knew making a game could be so demanding!

A PlayStation 5 review code provided for this review and gameplay footage.

Neptunia Game Maker R:Evolution - Gameplay Footage (PS5)

About Seth Hay - Editor-in-chief / Webmaster

When Seth is not designing or developing, he spends time with his family and his occasional dose of anime, sports and video games.

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