Between 6 Nov and 4 Dec 2014 18:00 (Japan Time), people can vote for one of Neptune series’ characters, once a day by visiting this website:
Another way is to buy physical copies of Dengeki PlayStation vol 577 or 578, which includes one ticket that lets you cast 5 votes. Indeed, some crazy Twitter user bought multiple copies to vote for Blanc. It supposedly requires you to ‘mail the ticket’ along with stamp, your name, address, age, phone number etc though, I guess in order to avoid cheating. So it’s not really something that can be done outside Japan.
The theme of the poll is ‘possibly the next title’s protagonist’ (i.e., no promise but hopeful).
Indeed, last time this kind of poll happened (in mk2 era), the first place went to Noire:
And she got her own spin-off game 3 years later:
Which turned out to be an SRPG.
By the way, according to the patterns, the spin-off is always of different genre.
Right now, these genres have been done for spin-offs:
– Idol simulation (ala Idolmaster) (Neptune PP)
– SRPG (ala Tactics) (Noire)
– 3D brawler (ala Dynasty Warriors) (Neptune U)
There’s also social card game for iOS/Android (service already ended, i.e., it was a failure), ‘communication game’ (still being updated on iOS), wallpaper themes for Android and physical card game (not sure the name).
These genres are not yet turned into spin-offs:
– Racing (ala Wipeout/Mario Kart etc)
– Shooter (ala Call of Duty)
– Top-down shooter (ala Toho games)
– 2D sidescroller (ala Mario)
– Rhythm game (ala Project Diva)
– Fighting game (ala BlazBlue)
– Monster huting (ala Monster Hunter)
I would include things such as visual novel, dating sim and 3D action (ala Devil May Cry). The thing is, they’re already kinda included in some form within the series or the spin-offs. For example, Neptune PP which is idol simulation can also be considered dating sim. There might be a few genres I missed though.
Some of the genres I listed above also might be ‘too much’ for a spin-off project. I mean, fighting games and monster hunting games seem to require expert knowledge to make.
Now, I’d like to talk about the potential winners of this poll:
The idea is that Neptune has always been the protagonist throughout the series, and Noire has gotten her turn in the spin-off game. So it’s now the ‘3th goddess’ Blanc’s turn, followed by Vert next time. So each of the 4 goddesses gets to become a protagonist at least once.
With Blanc as the protagonist, suitable genres for the spin-off include 2D sidescroller (ala Mario, though I’m thinking along the lines of Bleach Soul Carnival and the 2D Kamen Rider sidescroller game on Nintendo DS) and racing (ala Mario Kart) since she represents Nintendo. For racing, maybe the goddesses can transform to ‘ride form’ (like Neptune turns into spaceship). I think that would be cool.
Personally I’m not a big fan of Blanc, but I gotta recognize that she seems to have quite a sizable following.
This is rather odd to me but apparently there are a lot of IF supporters. I guess the idea is that IF has been supporting Neptune throughout the games (except in V) and now it’s her time to shine.
IF represents Idea Factory, the company behind Neptune series. So yeah, if they make a game out of IF, it’s like making a game out of your own personification (like Capcom making ‘Captain Commando’).
I don’t know why IF is popular, but I do know that IF is all over Compa, which is pretty much confirmed in the anime and epilogue of manga version Hello New World.
I’m not sure what genre would be suitable for IF. Monster Hunting maybe? (since she’s a treasure hunter) Or maybe dungeon crawler ala Etrian Odyssey…
Nepgear is quite popular as well. The thing is, she already stars in her own game in a sense (mk2). And she also made quite significant appearances in V and even seemingly in VII (Zero Dimension). Maybe she should give other characters a chance? ^^;
I’m personally voting for Uni. And I think people who voted for Noire should vote for Uni this time, unless they want another Noire spin-off.
Uni is another representative for Sony platform, particularly the portable platform and the spin-off game is most likely on Vita (based on the patterns). So I think it’s appropriate that she is ‘the star of her own platform’.
A suitable genre for her would be shooter, either third-person shooter or top-down. Also, as Neptune U shows, the sisters are all quite a shooter – with Nepgear being a mix of gun and blade.
A fighting game would be cool as well. I mean, one ending shows that Uni is quite a fighter:
But I wouldn’t bet on this genre (I think they need to hire knowledgeable team to work on fighting game).
Uni starring in her own game can also be seen like Nepgear starring in mk2, i.e., one possibility of a Uni game is that it’s a sequel to Noire spin-off game with same genre (SRPG) where it now features the sister characters as well. This is quite feasible as they already have the gameplay frameworks and existing assets. If they’re not feeling courageous, this is the most likely path they would take, I think. Personally I’m torn if they go with this because while I would like to see the chibi sister characters missing in the Noire game, it would break the ‘new spin-off new genre’ pattern.
So yeah, those are just my two cents. If the winner is none of the above and it’s neither Neptune nor Noire, then it’s something that would completely take me by surprise.
I can’t really see other characters winning, especially since a lot of maker characters are excluded.
But yeah, the more Neptune games the merrier. Neptune series is pretty much the series I follow besides Metal Gear, Project Diva and Tekken now.