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Review #394

Hyperdimension Neptunia
Developer: Idea Factory
Publisher: NISA
Genre: Turn Based RPG
Release Date: 02/15/2011

Part Trinity Universe and part SegaGaga, Hyperdimension Neptunia is a game I’ve had my eye for a while – if only for the fact the game’s story is a lighthearted parody of video game console wars and piracy. As a long time Sega aficionado who plays his old Saturn Saturn (Dragon Force, Guardian Heroes, Panzer Dragoon Saga, Radiant Silvergun, all four versions of Shining Force 3, etc.) more than any other system, when I heard that the Idea Factory was running with the idea of Segagaga and updating it more the current console war, I was intrigued. When I learned Nippon Ichi was localizing it and bringing it stateside, I knew this was a game I had to play, even if it turned out to be junk.

I’ve had my eye on Neptunia for a while, listing it as one of the ten indie games of 2011 I was most looking forward to (Let’s face it – Idea Factor and Nippon Ichi are small niche companies in North America and both qualify as independent companies). However in my hands-on preview of the game, I found myself conflicted over the actual quality of the game. Since that was written when I was only a third done and I’m now just waiting for the DLC to drop so I can get the Platinum Trophy, it’s time to see my final judgment on Hyperdimension Neptunia.

Let’s Review

1. Story

On the surface, Neptunia is the tale of four warring goddesses: Black Heart, Purple Heart, Green Heart and White Heart. It’s been a stalemate between the goddesses for generations and finally three of them decide to team up and kick out Purple Heart, leaving only three competitors. Purple Heart is cast from the heavens and lands headfirst into the land of Planeptune, where she is struck with amnesia and is found by a young nurse in training named Compa. From there Purple Heart, now calling herself Neptune, receives a telepathic request from someone…or something named Histoire who has been imprisoned and who desperately needs Neptune’s help to escape. Neptune and Compa, along with their new friend IF set out to save Histoire and travel to the four kingdoms of the land to find the four necessary key fragments to save Histoire. After the four key fragments you then have to find the four legendary weapons, each of which has been broken down into four parts. Then you have to ally with the three remaining goddesses and take down the big bad.

Now from that above description, the game sounds fairly generic and almost dull, doesn’t it? A pretty generic story guided by fetch quests. Well on the surface that’s true, but as you actually play the game you discover that Hyperdimension Neptunia is unlike any other story you’ve probably played save for the 10,000 or so people on the planet that have played SegaGaga. Even then, it’s a very different take on a console war RPG than the originator.

You see, not only is Hyperdimension Neptunia a light hearted and often times hilarious RPG, but it’s the first ever “Gulliver’s Travels” for a video game. You see Swift’s most famous work (I prefer “A Modest Proposal” personally) isn’t just about some dude that goes to a land of giants, a land of teeny people and a land of talked well-mannered horses. Sure it can be read on that level, but it’s also a cloaked satire on 16th century British politics. It can be read on either level. Neptunia has the same quality. You can view the game as a very surreal and funny RPG but older gamers who have been around since the 8-Bit wars will catch a lot of in-jokes about the industry, hardware and software publishers and more. There’s also a strong commentary on piracy in the original Japanese version of the game that has been toned down in the English version (mainly because the form of piracy commented on is more common in Japan than here) in the same way “Gulliver’s Travels” also comments on ancients Vs. moderns. The game may be silly and light-hearted and a full 180 degrees away from the angst ridden grimdark that Japan usually fills its RPGs with may cause some gamers to write Neptunia off as shallow, but honestly this game has as much depth and layers to it as the first two Persona games, which is pretty impressive.

Now with this in mind, the game’s story does have its flaws. Chief amongst them is the fact that the game starts to drag after a while. The key fragment chapter is as long as the rest of the game combined and it’s just dungeon crawling and story scenes repeatedly. This wouldn’t be so bad if the game mixed it up a bit, but on all three worlds (Lastation, Lowee and Leanbox) you get the same storyline. Neptunia and friends are looking for key fragments. The goddess of the land thinks Neptune is there for revenge and takes forever to realize she has amnesia. There’s a shadowy conspiracy in each land where you learn an organization is manipulating the office of the Goddess for their own ends. Eventually the local Goddess realizes what is going on, teams up with Neptune (but doesn’t join her team – that comes at the end of the game) and once the big bad of the area is done, Neptune’s team is guided towards the key fragment. Huzzah. As much as I enjoyed the story if found myself saying, “Oh God, get on with it.” Part of the charm of the game is the stupidity of the characters, but trust me when I say it goes on a little too long.

Overall I had fun with Neptunia. I enjoyed the cast and characters of the game and the story never failed to make me smile or laugh, especially thanks to the dialog and characterization. The game did start to really drag at the end and it annoyed me how the plot recycled itself several times in the key fragments chapter, but I was also impressed by the sheer amount of history and specific franchises they managed to parody. It’s a very deep game but unfortunately the scope and the actual “moral” of the game will be lost on a lot of gamers.

Story Rating: 7/10

2. Graphics

The visual quality of Hyperdimension Neptunia is a mixed bag. On one hand, I loved the character designs of all the main players in the game. The character portraits are very well done. They’ve colorful, adorable and look great in high definition. Backgrounds for the dialog scenes are highly detailed and gorgeous as well. However anyone that isn’t a major character is just given a silhouette which I found a bit annoying. I realize it was an artistic touch, but I’d prefer to actual see my NPCs. As well, each character has less variations of their portraits than they did in Trinity Universe, which was a slight disappointment. You may be wondering why I bring up TU here, and that’s because the game runs on the Trinity Universe engine. In fact the game doesn’t just use the engine but almost all of the monsters (except for bosses) in Neptunia come straight out of that game, albeit it with some pretty awful palette swaps. This was another disappointment to me – not only in terms of colour choices, but because I already fought all of these monsters in both TU storylines. I was hoping Idea Factory would try a little harder here.

Dungeons also are mostly ripped directly from TU in terms of appearance. You don’t get a lot of variety in these. There are caves, pirate ships, towers and castles. The visuals and even the layouts repeat so you may find yourself with a case of déjà vu or boredom simply because of the lack of variety in the dungeon crawling.

So the game is pretty, but I was disappointed to see that a lot of the visuals were just rehashes of what was in Trinity Universe and a step or two down from that game to boot. Again, what’s here is fun and I love the character designs (Especially Compa, although Japan REALLY loves Black Heart for some reason), but much of the game is just Idea Factory regurgitating the same visuals we saw last year.

Graphics Rating: 6.5/10

3. Sound

The soundtrack to Hyperdimension Neptunia is excellent – let’s just get that out of the way right now. I find myself saddened that the Japanese LE version of the game came with the full soundtrack of the game and we don’t get that, even though we DO get an incredible hardcover artbook for the game. I especially love the opening song for the game and I’m going to have to hunt down an Mp3 of it. It’s extremely catchy and fun. All of the tracks are fun, but they are also quite varied. Some tracks enhance the comedy zaniness of the game, while others are fast and frantic which capture the battle aspects of the game wonderfully. It’s certainly a fun soundtrack and one well worth listening to on its own.

I also really loved the voice acting team. As much as I enjoyed the Japanese version of the game when I first played the game, I have to say that the English version knocked one out of the park here. If you’ve followed me or any amount of time, you know I’m got a decent grasp of the Japanese language but the English vocals in the game really captured the over the top wackiness (and some might say stupidity) of Neptunia far better than the Japanese crew. The game comes off a lot more emotive and surreal with the English cast, and trust me when I say that’s what you want for this game. The voice acting added so much to the game’s story and characterization and you definitely feel something is missing in the story bits where the game isn’t voiced.

Overall, the aural aspects of Hyperdimension Neptunia are one of its best aspects and enhance the entire product as a whole.

Sound Rating: 8/10

4. Control and Gameplay

…and here’s where the game starts to fall apart. Much like the reused visuals of Trinity Universe that aren’t quite as good as the original, the engine of Neptunia also suffers the same fate. First up, let’s talk battles. In Trinity Universe, you had a timed fighting system for each character. Each move used up Action Points, but you also had a certain amount of time before your turn ended. As such the game was like Shadow Hearts in that you turn based combat that required skill and hand-to-eye coordination, unlike 99% of turn based RPGs. For story battles, Hyperdimension Neptunia does away with this but in the ranked optional dungeons, it comes back with a vengeance. Let’s take a look at both.

In story battles, each shape button corresponds to a type of attack: distance weapon, melee weapon and hand to hand attack. The square button is “defense” aka “end your turn early.” As the game progresses and you gain levels, you unlock new abilities and skills that can take the place of your original attacks to a degree. You see, characters have attacks that hit in chains of four. But you can customize what each piece in the chain does outside of the first attack. Those are permanent. For example, at one point Neptune learns the ability to transform back into her goddess form. Some attacks will give you that ability but ONLY if they are the fourth piece of the chain. Other attacks also you to chain your hit count together via “Combo Link,” but again, only if they are the fourth link in the chain. Finally, you also have the switch ability which lets your front line characters change places with your back row characters. Unfortunately, you don’t get enough characters for a back row until the very end of the game (literally) or unless you purchase the DLC for the game and get characters based on Gust, NISA, Red Company and 5pb. (Gust and NISA do join your team as guests in the game if you do the right chain of events, but you have to pay to use them. BOO!) With this in mind, you have complete control over each character and you can make dozens of different combos with each. With a little bit of forethought and looking over your characters Action Points, the amount of hits and damage each move can do and what moves chain, you can easily set up a string of hits over 100 long (and get yourself a silver trophy). My longest combo was over 200 hits, but that was way WAY in the end game. This is pretty fun, but it also might be too deep for the average gamer who will look at the combo screen options and instantly feel overwhelmed.

In Ranked Dungeons (I’m ranked #1 on 95% of the dungeons in the game btw, so I’m basically giving you the secret of success here and a guaranteed S Rating in all of them), speed comes back into play at a level I’ve never seen in a RPG before. If you take a look at the rankings, most people are times double or triple what I have and that’s because there are two secrets to achieving a high score in these dungeons. The first is that you need to be really fast with your fingers. Do you play a lot of Ikaruga, Gradius or other fast paced shoot ‘em ups? Then you are fine? If not, you’re going to have trouble here. The second is to make insane use out of the L2 button which skips animation and attacks and just deals the damage on your character. So you’re going to be hitting an attack, L2, attack, L2, attack, L2, and etc. Again, if you have the speed, a non boss battle in either ranked or story dungeons shouldn’t take you more than five to ten seconds. My average speed is 2.5 seconds a battle (Yes, I timed it for the purposes of this review), but I was also ranked as the top Ikaruga player on the GameCube version forever ago, so my fingers move at Fist of the North Star speed. A third bonus comes in when Neptune learns the attack “Neptune Break.” For much of the game it’ll use all her AP, but it’s powerful enough that it’ll kill an entire team of enemies by itself. So make sure Neptune is your fastest character and liberally abuse “Neptune Break” in these dungeons in conjunction to the tips above and you’ll do guarantee yourself a S rank in these dungeons. Now the only dungeons I’m not ranked #1 in are ones where you have to waiting for a specific item drop or kill a certain amount of a specific type of enemy, but that’s only because those are based on random luck rather than skill and speed and so those are pretty much up for grabs. The above tips still help though.

The one truly odd thing about the game is that you can’t actively heal your party in or out of battle. As a person who primarily plays grid based tactical RPGs, this vexes me to no end and it’s a decision I dislike greatly, especially at the beginning of the game. See, healing, reviving characters and the like are based on where you put your skill points. Each skill point equals a percentage that a character will do a defensive act based on a trigger like damage, switching out or defending. So at the beginning of the game, you might have a 15% chance to heal. That is going to frustrate a lot of gamers. Meanwhile, when you’re hunting down Legendary Weapons, you should have 100% chance in three or so skills meaning every battle is a cakewalk. This strange juxtaposition leads to a problem with the Nurse trophy where you have to revive a character twenty times to earn it. In the early game when characters will go down, you probably won’t be able to trigger this ability (God knows I couldn’t) and in the latter game you will never have see your characters get KO’d. Oddly this becomes the hardest trophy in the game to earn. I really don’t like leaving healing up to random luck, especially as I’m a defensive player in SRPGs so this was a huge paradigm shift for me. As the game went on, I found I was able to accept it, if not enjoy it.

There are a couple other negative things about the engine worth mentioning. First is that there is a slight bug in the game where you can’t actual earn one of the gold trophies. You have to actually download some optional dungeons (that were free in Japan and thus will probably be free here in the States) to get it and thus the platinum trophy as well. I was really disappointed to see the bug remained in the NA version of the game as what happens in a few years when the DLC is no longer available, or god forbid if it is pulled like all the Cross Edge DLC was here in the States. No Platinum trophy for those of you that care about those sorts of things. There’s also a couple of things the game does that are inferior to the original Trinity Universe game. IF has the ability to find hidden treasure, but unlike TU where your character could trigger the chest’s appearance within a decent proximity to the item, IF can be standing a few feet from it and it still won’t trigger. You actually have to stand on top of the spot to trigger it. This is annoying,, especially if you have played TU. The game also gives the other two girls some special abilities as well. Compa has the ability to call monsters to her or summon a hidden boss monster, while Neptune has a hammer that shatters barricades. Neptune’s ability takes FOREVER to recharge and so in ranked dungeons, you will have to just sit there and watch the clock run up while you are yelling at the screen for her to recharge faster.

Overall I had fun with Neptunia, but the game has a lot of flaws and I found the overall experience to be a step or two down from Trinity Universe. Neptunia isn’t as precise, I dislike that you have to pay to use the extra characters in the game that join your team anyway, the battle system will overwhelm a lot of gamers, while smart ones will just build two to four killer combos for each character and spam them repeatedly, ignoring many of the abilities and attacks. The ranked dungeons are too speed oriented (and again, this is coming from the guy that is ranked the BEST at them) and I dislike that the game punishes you for watching attack animations. As well, you get so used to the format of getting through ranked dungeons, that you’ll find yourself doing the same thing to story dungeons, thus missing a lot of the visuals. This was just a poor design choice in my opinion. Finally I applaud the idea of trying something new with healing abilities, but I just didn’t care for the implementation and the fact combat is so focused on the game is more of a hack and slash title than an action RPG. The game does have a lot of flaws in the engine, but what’s here is decent and made up for by the other aspects of the game. Still, combat is the bulk of the game and it’s the least enjoyable aspect of the title. Take that for what you will.

Control and Gameplay Rating: 5.5/10

5. Replayability

Once you beat the game, there is a hard mode available. Really, it just makes the game faster. You do more damage so do enemies, ending battles quicker. Again, that emphasis on speed rather than savoring the experience. There’s a lot of DLC for the Japanese version of Hyperdimension Neptunia and it’s all coming stateside, so you’ll be able to play new dungeons and try out new characters in addition to trying to beat your best time (as well as those of other gamers) . The game is also offers a decent amount of flexability in regards to how you progress through the story. There are some bits that have to be done linearly, but much of the game lets you run around where you want. For example, you’re supposed to do Lastation once you first leave Neptunia, but I chose to go all over, collecting the story bits that unlocked Gust and NISA followed by progressing through Lowee first instead. Of course Lowee has much harder dungeons so I got my ass kicked a bit, but the option IS THERE for those that aren’t fan of linear titles.

The game does drag and nothing changes storywise with each playthrough, but you can customize your characters, their combos and try and outdo yourself in ranked dungeons. That pretty good for a JRPG.

Replayability Rating: 7/10

6. Balance

Hyperdimensiona Neptunia is a weird bag. If you don’t learn the combo system, you’re in for a looooong game. If you do learn it, you’re in for a very fast and easy one. There really isn’t much of a middle ground. The game is much harder at the beginning than it is towards the end when it’s almost laughably easy. But then again, if we take a look at my Ranking on dungeons compared to others, it might just be I’m insanely good at this game (yet I absolutely suck at something like Borderlands). You also can’t go by the recommended level for some dungeons. I did one that was recommended for level 30 and the monsters had a ton of hit points and did a lot of damage. Then I did one for level 40 characters and the monsters were super easy. Now you’re probably thinking “Well, you gained a few levels, right?” Actually, you’d be wrong. Experience is given out in miserly fashion. Let’s look at example. When you’re level forty, you’ll need oh, three to four HUNDRED THOUSAND experience points to advance. Battles in a level 40 dungeon might net you two to four thousand experience points total. That is a lot of battles to advance. However bosses and hidden bosses tend to doll out 150K in experience (or more!) and they are often easier than the rank and file enemies. They just have a lot of hit points so it takes longer. This is pretty unbalanced, but it also keeps people from grinding which is good in its own way. Still, it means you’re only going to really get XP for bosses and hidden boss fights, which again pushes you to clear things quickly rather than look at monsters, try new attacks and actually savor the game.

The story aspects of the game are a bit weird too. At times you’ll have three of four cut scenes in a row that feel like they should go together smoothly. Instead one will end and you’ll have to go through the usual screen of the world you are in revolving, followed by entering a menu, entering another menu and picking the next scene. This isn’t annoying - it’s just odd that the game is so choppy instead of a smooth continuation of a story.

So the game isn’t horrible in terms of balance, but it’s not very good either. Cannon fodder tougher than bosses? A game that gives you tons of skills and customization but then punishes you for watching them in action? Things are all over the place, but not necessarily in a way that will put you off the game. Instead you’ll just question why some things are done rather than getting annoyed by them.

Balance Rating: 5.5/10

7. Originality

On paper the game is basically a mix of Trinity Universe and SegaGaga. However the only thing it shares in common with TU is the engine, a lot of monsters and a few special character abilities. The only thing it shares with SegaGaga is that both are parodies of the whole concept of a “console war.” Hyperdimension Neptunia is a more fantasy version of the idea while SegaGaga actually puts you in charge of Sega as a company. Both are also RPGs, but they also play very differently.

It’s safe to say that while there are many games that share characteristics with Neptunia, like the flow of the core plot, random battles and other minor aspects, it’s also safe to say there’s never been a game like this one to compare it to. When the best cases against originality are a game that uses the same engine but has little else in common or a very obscure game for the Sega Dreamcast with a limited print run and that was released a decade ago, that tells you something about the uniqueness of this title.

That’s not to say Neptunia is that outside the box. Again, the engine, the monsters and dungeons are cribbed directly from Trinity Universe. You have a fairly generic plot that stands out because of the console war veneer pasted on top of it, and a pretty out there battle system that people will either love or hate with very little middle ground. It’s a unique game in some respects, but the more you look at it the more you feel Idea Factory really cared about certain bits of the game but was lazy in other areas. Neptunia is DEFINITELY a game that stands out from the pack however, and that’s what counts.

Originality Rating: 7/10

8. Addictiveness

Now I like to think I’ve been even handed with the game so far. I’ve talked about the things I enjoyed but also criticized the things I found to be weak or lackluster. That’s what a review should be – an in-depth commentary on a game so you, the reader, can decide if it’s worth purchasing or not. Addictiveness however tends to be more of a subjective thing than an objective thing. So even though I had a problem with how the game focuses on rushing through it (even though it still manages to drag in places), I found myself very addicted to the combat and especially the ranked dungeons. Part of this is because I love shoot ‘em ups. I also love RPGs. So the fact that I could put my ability to press a button 20+ times a second into a format other than something like Soldner X-2 was a neat concept for me. Basically I used story dungeons to test out new attacks, see how well they added to my hit and damage count compared to the amount of AP they used and formulated the best possible combo strings I could make. Meanwhile the ranked dungeons were often tappa tappa tappa tappa, battle over. Usually I played each dungeon twice. The first was to explore everything, find all the treasure chests, kill the hidden boss and see all there is to see. The second was just a speed run. Towards the end I stopped caring about the speed run though because I just wanted it to end. However, all of the above shows I really found myself glued to the game. The combo system, although heavily flawed, fascinated me and when I found a new attack or skill, I hurried to try it out. Unfortunately, the Altered Beast power is a flame based attack. I was hoping it would be a revive skill where the game would tell me to “Wise Fwom Wour Gwave!” Or that Alex Kidd would hurl rocks, paper and scissors at your opponent instead of being a Nature based magic attack. Admit it you fellow old fogies reading this – my ideas for those two attacks are better than the actual ones.

The story with all its in-jokes and Twin Peaks level weirdness had me hooked from the beginning. Factor in a weird combat system and some excellent voice acting and you have a game I had a damn hard time putting down even while the critic side of me was mentally take notes about what could have been improved upon and what sucked. In the end, even when I found the game a bit annoying or dull, I knew another laugh out loud moment was just ahead and that was all I need to keep the game going. I really enjoyed my time with Hyperdimension Neptunia even if I can freely admit it’s got its share of flaws.

Addictiveness Rating: 7/10

9. Appeal Factor

The real fatal flaw of Hyperdimension Neptunia is that the core audience that would truly appreciate this game is now in the minority amongst who currently plays video games. Were you gaming when the Master System and Sega Genesis were brand new? Can you remember commercials like, “Sega does what Nintendon’t?” Can you remember who Sega’s mascot was BEFORE Sonic? If so then, like me you are old and possibly crotchedy about the fact that in our day, we blew into these things called cartridges to make them work and we liked it that way! Seriously though, it means you are the perfect audience for this title. It means you remember when the console war consisted of Nintendo, Sega and NEC. You remember when Sony just made really bad games for the SNES, Genesis and Sega-CD. You’ll get in-jokes about the horribly botched launch of the Sega Saturn or why someone from Planeptune has a square white cake and then says, “It’s thinking.” A lot of the game is going to be lost on the majority of gamers these days, especially the younger and casual audiences. A lot of the gamers I know that would LOVE this don’t own a PS3 (By the way, how odd is it that a game about console wars in a system exclusive, eh?) or any systems from this console generation. Meanwhile a lot of younger gamers will get obvious jokes about Street Fighter or Tetris because those franchises are still in the public eye. But will they get the stuff about Phantasy Star or Thousand Arms? No. Most won’t. The younger gamers that do get it however, won’t be able to appreciate it on the same level as the people that actually lived through those games when they were cutting edge. It’s much like if I found a bunch of 15 years olds and explained to them why the 1980 Philadelphia Phillies had the best first baseman/third baseman/pitcher combination in the history of the sport. Even if they read about Pete Rose, Steve Carlton, and Mike Schmidt, looked at their stats and saw why these three were considered amongst the absolute best in the history of the sports, it’s not the same as having been there and watching them win the World Series.

Having said that, if you’re old enough to remember the 8 and 16 bit generation of games like it was yesterday, you’ll love the story in Neptunia. If you’re not that old, you’ll be amused by it on some level, but a lot of jokes will probably go over your head. The engine is definitely something that’s out there. You have no true control over your defensive abilities and that’ll put some people off, while offense requires the skills of someone who plays Star Soldier more than they play Final Fantasy. How many JRPG fans do you know like that?

Thumbs in the middle here as the gameplay weirdness will turn off more people than it converts into fans, while the story will be appreciated and even enjoyed to some extent by younger gamers, but the age group that would really love this game isn’t that in to this current console generation.

Appeal Factor: 5/10

10. Miscellaneous

Overall, Hyperdimension Neptunia can come off as a mixed bag on paper. I really enjoyed the story and I’m always happy to play a comedy game rather than a dark or angsty one. However the story also ran a little too long and recycled the same bits over a little too much for my tastes. The game was released with a bug that only affects people that care about trophies, but people seem to care about these things nowadays so it’s poor form that this wasn’t fixed before the US release. The switch mechanic is odd as you can’t use it until the final dungeon unless you buy DLC characters and it’s annoying that you can get two of the characters to join your party in the regular game, but you can’t actually use them until you purchase the DLC. Poor Gust and NISA – they’re still at level one for me. However once you can use switch, it is insanely awesome and powerful at the same time. The engine is a mixed bag and I still don’t know if I like it or dislike. Perhaps it’s both at once. The shooter side of me likes it but the JRPG side wants to stop and smell the roses.

Hyperdimension Neptunia is a flawed game, make no mistake about it, but it’s also a fun one. It just comes down to what matters most to you in a RPG – the story or the gameplay. If it’s the former, you’ll enjoy watching Neptune and pals trapeze around the world in search of MacGuffins. If it’s the latter, you’re probably be put off because the battle system is so outside the box from what one is used to in a turn based game. However, I found the game to be more fun than flawed and that’s what matters most, right? Plus hey, free hardcover artbook with purchase. At the end of the day I enjoyed Neptunia and I’m looking forward to the DLC content. It’s a game I’d recommend, albeit with caveats, but recommend nonetheless.

Miscellaneous Rating: 5.5

The Scores
Story: 7/10
Graphics: 6.5/10
Sound: 8/10
Control and Gameplay: 5.5/10
Replayability: 7/10
Balance: 5.5/10
Originality: 7/10
Addictiveness: 7/10
Appeal Factor: 5/10
Miscellaneous: 6.5/10
Total Score: 65
FINAL SCORE: 6.5 (ENJOYABLE GAME!)

Short Attention Span Summary
Hyperdimension Neptuniais weird. That’s the perfect word to describe the game. From a very out of the box combat system that favors shoot ‘em up gamers over fans of turn based game to the story that is brilliant, bizarre, surreal and hilarious all at once, Neptunia is definitely not the game for everyone. If you like your RPGs to be filled with spiky haired angst ridden androgynous bishonen where the mood is gloom and doom and angst drips off every line of dialogue, this game will be your kryptonite. If however, you would like something light hearted featuring adorable but slightly stupid college aged girls in a fantasy world full of obscure references to Sega, the current console war and video game franchises in general, then you’ll want to check out Hyperdimension Neptunia. Again, the game’s not for everyone due to the weirdness and the fact a lot of the commentary about the industry will go over the majority of gamers’ heads, but I enjoyed my time with Neptunia and it filled me with nostalgia for the days when Sega was my console provider of choice.

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