By Steve Baltimore / June 3rd, 2014
|Title||Hyperdimension Neptunia: Producing Perfection|
|Developer||Compile Heart, Idea Factory Tamsoft.|
|Release Date||June 3rd, 2014|
|Age Rating||ESRB – Teen|
The goddesses have found themselves in a bit a mess, as idol fever has taken over Gameindustri. The idols from MOB48 (this is a joke referencing the actual idol group AKB48) have taken away all of the goddesses shares, forcing them to take action. This is where you come in. You are summoned to Gameindustri to assume the role of producer, and help the CPUs reclaim their lost shares.
That is the basic story premise of Hyperdimension Neptuina: Producing Perfection. If you have ever played an idol sim before, you will feel right at home here. For those who have never played one, let me explain the basics of how they work. You will do daily activities with your idol, which, in this case, will be one of the four CPUs, to build up their stats. In doing these activities, many events will take place, which is how the story of the game is told. You will help them put on some concerts to boost your idol’s popularity and take back the lost shares.
Fans of the series will have a blast getting to spend time with their favorite idol and watch all the crazy adventures you can get into with them. The CPU candidates (the sisters) are present in the game, as well, and you will spend some of your time with them. I do highly recommend that you check out at least one game from the Hyperdimension Neptunia series before picking this title up. There is very little gameplay here, and you get the most enjoyment out of the story. The game does give you a very basic description of each CPU and the world, but you will get a lot more out the game if you know a bit about the other games’ stories.
There are several different activities from which to choose. You may decide to spent the day doing promotion, working on voice training or, if your idol is getting stressed out, you may need to take a break for a day. If your idol’s stress becomes 100%, the game will end. Each different activity you do will have a different series of events that go with it, and these will be different for each CPU. There are some events that will just occur over the course of the game, and, oftentimes, you will be given choices. Think of this kind of like a visual novel. These can affect what ending you receive, as well as what stats will get boosted at the end of the event.
Each CPU has two endings; a Normal and True ending. You will need to meet the requirements of the True ending before making your idol Number 1 in order to see it. Fear not, though, as your stats and affection levels carry over after every playthrough, so this will speed the process along. Another feature I loved while trying to see all the different events the game has to offer is the skip feature. If you press the L trigger, it will skip over any text your have previously read, but it will stop when you hit any new events. This makes your life a lot easier when playing through a second time.
Each CPU and sister will have a heart beside their name that shows their level of affection towards you. Their affection level can be increased in a couple of different ways. Picking heart events for the CPU you are managing is one way, but this can be increased through other events and making the right choices during story events, too. There are many events — things like hanging out with your CPU or her sister(s) — you can spend the day relaxing, or enjoy the special events that take place! You can also have the CPU you are managing visit the other CPUs in the game, to improve your friendship with them. You will need to do this if you decide to form a duo or trio. Some story events can occur this way, as well.
The concert mini game is really the only gameplay here to speak of. If you are playing in Producer Mode or Story Mode you will take the girl (or girls, if you have formed a group), and put on a concert with them. You pick their stage placement, outfits and some stage effects to use during the concerts. If you are playing in Unlimited Concert Mode, you can place some decorations around the stage, as well. Each CPU has their own song, and there is an extra song to choose. Each CPU can sing any of the five songs from which you have to choose, but they will only transform when they are playing their personal song. Each Goddesses song can be sung by any other Goddess. For instance if you want Nep to sin Noire’s song, she can. If you have a duo or trio on stage, they will all sing the song. These will not all be available from the start — you will have to unlock them by playing Story Mode. I do wish they had used “Goddess of Victory” instead of “With Confidence” for Noire.
You will notice a circular meter in the bottom-right corner with a percentage under in it. You want to fill both of these, and it is really easy to do. Just listen for the crowd to start chanting to trigger your stage effects, and you have it licked. Stage effects can be things like a spotlight, snowfall, a stage gimmick and cyber butterflies. The more you fill up the meter, the better result you get at the end. This will earn your CPU more fans, and take back some of their lost shares. There are some camera angles you can play with during the concerts. These have no effect on anything, but it gives you something fun to play around with. If your CPU is performing her song, you can pinch the back touchpad to have her transform during the concert, driving the fans wild.
Graphically, everything looks really great here. All of the artwork is straight from the mainline series, and looks great on the Vita. The character models during the concerts have never looked better. I was actually really impressed with how they looked. The effects you trigger during the concerts are all pretty plain, really — there isn’t anything special about them, graphically-speaking.
As you would expect from an Idol game, the music is really good. None of the songs are dubbed in English, which was to be expected, but a lot of the lines during the events scenes are dubbed. To be completely honest, I think they dubbed more lines in this game then they did in the previous titles. All of the voice actresses from the previous games are present here, and do a great job, as always. If you’re a purist, the the Japanese audio is there for you, and as always everything is spoken in the Japanese audio.
I spent about four hours on my first playthrough, with each additional run through being a bit shorter since you can skip through things you have already read. The hours you pour into the game will vary depending on which ending you want. I personally had a ton of fun with this title, but, that being said, this one is not for everyone. If you have played any of the previous Neptunia series games, and love the characters and setting, you will find a lot to love here. If you have not, you’re going to find yourself playing a very boring Idol sim with very little gameplay. I would not recommend newcomers to the series to start here. You should probably wait a bit longer for Idea Factory International’s release of Hyperdimension Neptunia RE;Birth to jump into the series and come back to this one. For fans of the previous games, for $39.99, there’s a lot to love here.
Game was provided by the publisher for review purposes.
Hyperdimension Neptunia: Producing Perfection is available on Amazon:
Compile HeartHyperdimension NeptuniaIdea FactoryIdol SimTamsoft