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.… Expand
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.… Expand
Apr 10, 2013GOOD: Great Battle System, Funny Dialogue/Story, Scout System, Improved Frame-Rate, Tough Boss Fights, Multiple Endings, Dual Audio
BAD: Designs for dungeons, baddies, weapons, costumes, etc reused from previous games Slow and excessively grindy start, cliche alt universe ploy.
The third game in the Hyperdimension Neptunia series takes everything that we loved from the first two and gives us plenty more to enjoy! I spent about 60 hours clearing HDN: Victory through it's true ending and after I hurdled the first 20 hours this RPG is certainly a gem. If you are not already familiar with the HDN universe, the game is a complete satire of the current-gen console wars between Sony, MSoft, Nintendo and Sega (Yes, apparently Sega still lives on somewhere). CPU's (Console Mascots Girls) are leaders of their respective console-nation in Gamindustri, fighting for shares, only to unite to destroy a global threat. The writing, the art style, the story and more are meant to be over-the-top and I found myself laughing several times at some of the jabs taken, particularly at the PSN Hack crisis.
HDN: Victory takes place after the events of MKII in Gamindustri (Home of the fictionalized console wars) and things quickly get rolling as Neptune is swept into an alternate past dimension of Gamindustri. The cast largely remains the same from previous titles with the edition of Plutia (Planeptune/Iris Heart) and Peashy. Both add even more dysfunctional hilarity to the collection of CPU's with Plutia's sadistic transformations and Peashy's 'endowments'. Victory's story was well paced and light-hearted with moments of strange, the usual Japanese tropes and even some surprises to be had. Dialog is shallow, but suits each character perfectly with their quirky sayings, emotes and other such oddities each CPU has to offer. Neptune and Plutia are the worse offenders and, on occasion, their banter feels purposely padded. Quest and share management are nearly all optional in Victory which I found as a relief after MKII. Instead, after each chapter you are rated on a scale of 40 on the amount of quests you completed, Planeptune's shares, the new Scout System and baddies KO'd. My scores were usually in the low 20's, save for one chapter where I intentionally took the time to perfect the review score, and the score has no effect on the outcome of the story, just a helpful item as a reward. Item crafting makes it's return using loot picked up in dungeons to forge powerful healing items, weapons, accessories and costume tweaks. An additional game development craft system is added to Victory's mix as well. By fighting off optional Tough Boss fights you can earn either medals to redeem for a blank game disc or chips to craft the game. Hidden in the craft system are 'godly games' and 'terrible games' which grant a powerful boost or a debuff. Final Fantasy, Super Mario and Call of Duty all make a cameo in this optional craft system.
The battle system is great blend of action and turn based elements. Each turn you can freely move your CPU's around the area and line up an attack on the baddies. You are given three different kinds of attack that can: build up hits for an EXE combo, hit for maximum HP damage, or chip away at a baddie's guard points. Deciding on how to build each CPU's attacks for bigger battles became a strategic addiction, and once you had access to a larger pool of CPU's; experimenting with different parties and attacks were essential. It became apparent from the start (more on this later) that baddies hit much HARDER and also recover quite a bit of HP/GP every turn in HDN:V. This is countered with the ability to change into HDD form at any point during battle at the expense of SP points and the AP system from the previous games are gone. Even a small dungeon crawl could turn deadly if an enemy went viral, giving them the ability to one-hit each CPU suddenly. CPU's are now given overpowered EXE attacks that are executed by powering the EXE gauge.
While the game makes it quite clear that the CPU's cannot age as part of their powers, aging them well beyond their looks, this series can sometimes push the mascot girl trope a little to the point of 'uneasy'. Another review pointed out the series' sexism towards men which could generate a whole new discussion, but was pretty interesting take on the story as well.
HyperDimension Neptunia Victory is a solid RPG and deserves your attention. The battle system is active and fun, the story is remains true to its satirical backstory with a crazy cast and goofy dialogue and there is a great deal of content to be explored. Aside from a few frustrations I completely enjoyed my time with this title and look forward to DLC content and future titles.… Expand
Sep 2, 2013This is an underestimated game due to what you can see on images and reviews but behind Hyperdimension Neptunia Victory there's a deep system that many games classified as RPG nowadays doesn't have.
If you played mk2 you should know that this game is very similar to it but with many improvements. So if you enjoyed the previous title, this game is a must play. If you're new to the series you will be able to understand the universe and the story but be aware that you must at least enjoy niche JRPGs and/or anime style. This is not an AAA title and has many aspects that you may classify as boring and poor.
Graphics in cutscenes and events have been improved because now they use 2D animation instead of the cel shading, which works better with the anime style. On the other hand, 3D graphics have not become much better than mk2. Speaking of cutscenes, that's when I say that you must enjoy japanese humour. They are long, with many dialogs that sometimes doesn't add content to the main story. Not that it isn't good. Characters are charismatic, full of personality and the jokes are funny with metalanguage, something you usually don't see on games (Metal Gear Solid has some of it).
The battle system is turn-based with free movement over the environment. It is fun and there's a good number of skills that you can use. There's also combined skills, something that I always enjoyed since Chrono Trigger. You can also transform the characters into stronger forms. One bad thing is that bosses usually do the same thing: one strong simple hit. I missed their use of skills to make the battle more dynamic. Frame rate drops during the animation of the skills but it's not a big deal.
There's a lot of sidequests that you can make and items to find and forge. Secret monsters and areas can be activated by the Scout system and there's also an affection system to unlock combined skills. Like I said before, there's many content to find in the game if you have time to spend.
There's a disadvantage for those who play only the main story without looking for extra content. The normal ending is disappointing and leaves many gaps in the story. It happens suddenly, making you ask "Wait, did I finish the game? That's it?". In order to have a better experience you need to spend more hours to watch the other endings, so I recommend looking for a guide to know exactly what you gotta do.
Unfortunately, the game suffers from recycled content. Different dungeons have the same design and they change only the enemies. The game is cheaper than the standard price, and that may justify the use of the same objects. And even having some ecchi moments in the game, I don't think they're the focus.
If you're looking for a great strategy JRPG and enjoy the anime style you should take a look at this game.… Expand
Apr 2, 2013Hyperdimension Neptune series is definitely targeted for those who can actually stand virtual woman with incorrect body proportion with overwhelmingly varied breasts size standing right in front of you talking about other's chest size. Which may not apply to some. Although many praises this game, it should be noted that it's result of this game hitting their targeted gamer's requirement with tremendous preciseness, and the result is something that normal gamers, such as those who can't stand watching virtual woman with incorrect body proportion with overwhelmingly varied breasts size without feeling ashamed, should stay away.
I must say, combat is pretty good. Mix of traditional JRPG's turn-based combat, and real time combat causes combat situation to be very engaging. Although game requires lots of grinding as normal mooks can kill your entire team if you're unprepared, this engaging combat system keeps you entertained as you grind your character's level. Whether you're careful strategy person who thinks every single move, or straight-up button mashing guy, you'll find enjoyment in combat of this game.
It's everything else that this game falls short on. It has terrible story, despite having interesting subject of "console warfare" as its focal point, whole story basically is stopping bad guys from attacking good guys' territory, which have done by other games countless times, and I expected more from story because its uniqueness of background. Also, this game features a lot of dialogue, filled with Japanese-styled humors. Problem is, those who who are not up-to-date with Japanese humor won't find anything humorous, other than few chuckles here and there.
Graphic is not really important as I for the one believes game is not decided by its graphics, but It will certainly disappoint some as it haven't evolved much from the its predecessor, and sometimes frame rate drops to 30, which is problematic for smooth gaming experience. I won't be complaining about these factors if game had graphic that surpasses or remotely resembles the shock Crysis have brought onto gaming industry at that time, but with its PS2 graphic, it leaves something to be desired.
It's pretty evident that this game was meant for Japanese crowd. Those who likes Japanese culture and accustomed with these sort of media will definitely find something to appreciate here, which will probably boost the game's score to even as high as 8 or 9. However, if you are neither, then nothing will satisfy you other than its combat, which will quickly slide away from your focal point as other factors of game is flat.… Expand
Jun 1, 2013Hyperdimension Neptunia Victory is a step up from Hyperdimension Neptunia Mk2. The most important thing, in my opinion, is that the disgusting white and black text box and the 3d models from Mk2 are gone during dialogue sections. We're back to our nice 2D sprites.
The gameplay is great, the story is great, the art direction is fantastic, and we still have the one thing we wanted; Cute girls doing cute things in cute outfits and battling monsters. I recommend you ignore the "professionals" and buy this game.
Although i think its about time they took a break considering we've had a Neptune game every year, i want my Disgaea 5. Please~.… Expand
Jul 17, 2013For a JRPG, having no worthwhile character development or well-written plot is a death sentence, and Hyperdimension Neptunia Victory is guilty on all accounts. Its annoying characters will test even the most ardent of JRPG players and its ho-hum, dungeon-crawling gameplay leaves much to be desired. Even with the excuse of being a niche title, Hyperdimension Neptunia Victory doesn’t meet even the most basic requirements expected of the genre.
May 2, 2013An hilarious RPG that tries to be light-hearted, yet deep at the same time. Those who love Compile Heart style RPGs will fall in love with this sequel, but detractors will turn their nose up at it. Great for the fans but not a gateway game to bring non-fans into the fold.