Generally favorable reviews- based on 75 Ratings
Apr 3, 2013The Hyperdimension Neptunia series is a strange one indeed. Despite the relatively constant panning it receives from most mainstream gaming sites and video game “journalists”, the series continues on and has garnered itself quite the cult following in the process. Having only played a small portion of the previous game, Hyperdimension Neptunia Mk2, I can’t say I knew too much about what to expect.
Naturally, the thing that separates this series from the rank and file is its concept. Hyperdimension Neptunia is based around the concept of personifying the game industry itself into cute anime girls. The main characters are all personifications of different consoles and have personalities that reflect the companies, user bases, and of course games on each system. And for a decent part, in terms of the Japanese industry anyways, the characters do a decent job at that.
The combat is interesting and fun. I actually had flashbacks to Dragon Quarter while fiddling with this game’s combat system, which is in my opinion an awesome game. It is a turn-based game where you are able to position your characters at will in a three dimensional space, using a variety of different attacks to strike at your foes. As you keep getting further in, the amount of options available just keeps on piling—starting with a few simple combination attacks to turning your characters into space shuttles that bomb your enemies from orbit. It’s honestly one of the best battle systems I’ve seen in JRPGs in this gen.
Exploration and questing are somewhat lacking in this game, sadly. The quests range from pretty good to mind-numbingly boring and tedious, even if the flavor text is usually pretty funny. If I didn’t get to fiddle around with the combat system more, and if the rewards for doing so weren’t pretty decent, I probably wouldn’t have bothered questing at all, to be perfectly honest. Exploration mainly revolves around the Chirper system, too. Made to represent Facebook/Twitter in a sense, the Chirper system leads to some pretty funny quips from NPCs and ultimately is what you use to get from town to town. While it is a cool system, an actual overworld would have ultimately been better. If they were to do that the next game, it would be very cool.
Dungeons in the game are decent. Some have some pretty crazy designs, as well as some decent music. I also adore this game for not having random encounters—any JRPG that doesn’t have random encounters instantly goes up in my books. You can also find more dungeons using the scout system, which you can use to find all sorts of info about the land.
The game is also surprisingly challenging. Bosses and virus enemies in particular will slap you silly if you're not careful. It's a level of challenge that I haven't felt in many JRPGs as of late. The game either forces you to equip and play well or grind for many tedious hours.
The dialogue and characters are rather simple and over-the-top, but can be quite entertaining. If you’re looking for Shakespeare-level character depth, look elsewhere right now because you’re not going to find it here. There are references littered throughout the game, too, which fans of many different series may come to appreciate. Dialogue can also be pretty sexual at times—one character in particular seems to be unable to go on for less than a minute without some kind of sexual innuendo, which may or may not throw off some people. There is also a LOT of dialogue in this game, and while I would never say that is a bad thing in an RPG there is enough to sour some. Thankfully, the square button can be used to skip any dialogue you wish.
Also, a strange complaint, but it feels like much of the dialogue is not voiced. However, when in Japanese, pretty much everything is voiced. It kind of hurts when the game boasts it's English dub and you never HEAR the English dub.
Graphics-wise, the game is "okay". It's not Crysis-on-max or anything, but it's a pretty cartoony artstyle which makes up for it somewhat. Conversations also use beautifully animated 2D portraits, with mouths that lip-synch to the text. Honestly, I wish more people would take a page from this game when making 2D visual novel-style conversations.
In the end, this is a very niche title. While I did have fun with it and think it’s surprisingly a pretty decent game, I would recommend that anyone interested do some research before they jump into it, because it certainly isn’t for everyone. The game does a good job of conveying a very retro feel, which I guess is what they were looking for. In reality, this is probably more around a 7.5/10, but for the sake of rounding it will go down as an 8 from me.… Full Review »
Mar 24, 2013The Hyperdimension Neptune series is, as far as I'm concerned, one of the best surprises of this gen. Despite harsh criticism from «professionals», it keeps going on and I'm tremendously happy to enjoy this 3rd entry.
The first contact is disappointing though. Graphically speaking, the game is roughly the same as Mk2 3D modeling is sometimes poor and the game still has the bad habit of going below 30 images/sec. on some occasions. Worse, the dungeons look more or less the same! On the other hand, fans will surely be delighted to see the return of 2D animated dialogs, which are waaaaay cuter than the ones in Mk2. Neptune Victory still looks good generally speaking, but Compile Heart has clearly been saving some money on the technical side.
The story is pretty bad. It looks like it was written on a tablecloth between main dish and dessert. The references to the world of gaming are not always clear (7 sages? Edin?) despite good interpretation of the market from the 80's to date. This is hardly a problem, because the scenario is just a convenient way for delivering to most delicious Japanese humor there is. Let me get this straight, Hyperdimension Neptune Victory has been a huge laugh from A to Z! Pururuto, a new central character, is especially funny she's naive, lazy in her human form and talks slooooooooowly. While in goddess form though, she... well I'll let you find you by yourself. Let's stress that this newest episode has a LOT of (very long) dialogs. It therefore mainly addresses than fans of the genre, because the level of moe can be lethal for others.
It's on about gameplay that I was the most curious about, because Mk2 was too easy when grinding a bit. Victory fixes this with higher difficulty. Common foes can wipe your party out in a flash if you don't pay attention. Bosses all have auto-heal and can OHKO your characters every turn, so that you actually HAVE to grind. The bad thing is that the boss fights are pretty much one-patterned, that is to say fill your EX jauge, break the enemy's guard and unleash your ougi. To achieve that sequence though, you'll have to fully understand how guard breaks works, because now you have to be VERY precise in the timing. Like in Mk2, you have to be careful where you place your characters. This is even more crucial in the True End path, because the fights become even harder, breaking the repetitiveness because you have to carefully think your way to victory. This is especially for the final boss which demands a long preparation and a solid strategy. The ougi are as impressive as ever, and there are more than ever.
Hyperdimension Neptune Victory has more. I've been working on some trophies after the True End, and the internal clock shows 94h. It is far longer, richer than Mk2. There are a lot more side quests, trophies hunting will take half of your life (I'm only around 50%!), and it has 3 different endings. Victory introduces a «scout» system in which you send the inhabitants of the various towns to search the dungeons. They will discover new dungeons, special bosses, rare items, XP bonuses and such. This is a central feature, very addicting and essential to fully enjoy the game. Item creation also get more interesting and important, whereas I wasn't of much use in Mk2. Sadly, there are fewer character than before 6 during most of the story, 10 if you get to the 10th chapter on the True End path IF and Compa who are optional as a paid DLC).
Despite some disappointing aspects, Hyperdimension Neptune Victory felt as great as the previous episodes. It goes further than Mk2 in many ways, and is therefore a good pick for the fans of the series and JPRG gamers as a whole.… Full Review »