By Crystal Colwell / August 22nd, 2014
|Title||Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;Birth1|
|Developer||Compile Heart, Idea Factory, Felistella|
|Publisher||Idea Factory Intl.|
|Release Date||August 26, 2014|
The Hyperdimension Neptunia series is something that, until recently, I had admired from afar. I knew about the series and had seen some gameplay when fellow oprainfall manager Steve Baltimore went through them. Until the anime came out, though, I had no firsthand experience with the Goddesses of Gaminidustri. While watching the anime, I fell in love with the characters, so I jumped at the chance to review the remake Hyperdimension Neptunia.
Much like the anime, the story this time around is a bit different than the original series. The Goddesses still protect the world and battle things out in what becomes known as the Console War. In this version, monsters have been released and are trying to take over. The Goddesses can’t have that, and, though they are forever in conflict for world domination, they must come together to take on Arfoire. The story begins with Neptune, recently defeated by the other Goddesses, waking and finding herself in the lower realm with no memory of anything going on. She meets IF, Compa and Histoire who join her on her journey through the four lands of Gamindustri.
On your journey, you will access the game’s different areas from the main screen, with only a few areas being available at the start. More and more will open up as you progress in the story, and, for those of you who don’t like wandering around, you will be glad to hear that you can simply click where you want to go and enter an area.
Each different location will have on-screen indicators if there is a new event, new items or some reason why you may need to visit. If you enter into one of the main domains, you will be given a menu which lists a Shop, Guild, Disc Dev, CPUBLOG, Information and Museum. To accept or complete a quest, you will want to visit the Guild, check out the Disc Dev to make some discs for your characters to equip, which help you out during battle. The Information section will give you some random information and items from people throughout the world.
Graphically, things look like a miniature version of Hyperdimension Neptunia V. Each dungeon has its own unique look that keeps things interesting. The monsters are all quite different, and I found myself looking forward to what the next dungeon had for me to fight.
The characters are voiced throughout the game, and, while I did eventually get used to their voices in English, it took a bit of time. The anime was Japanese-only, so I kind of associated each character with their Japanese voice. Overall, everything seemed very well done! There is some groovy music for you to listen to as you battle, and the thwack of the girls attacking was rather pleasing to hear. Listening to what the girls say as they attack usually got a chuckle out of me, as well.
When you go into a shop, you will notice that a few things are available from the beginning, but not nearly as many things as you would expect to see! In order to have access to the items, weapons and other tools that the game offers, you will need to complete the plans for each item. Other things that the plans will do is shift the items you harvest from the dungeons, and add tougher enemies to dungeons. You also get plans to add new dungeons.
Plans are usually given to you when you talk to people scattered around the world. You will see them on the word map and just need to click on them to talk. After they tell you whatever it is they want to tell you, they will give you new plans. Once you have the plans, you will have to collect the materials you need by fighting or by finding them in the dungeons. After you collect the required materials, press Triangle to access your map and go to Plan. Once there, you can scroll through different options like items, weapons, armor and more. You will be able to see the items needed to make each different thing, as well as how many of each that you have or still need. It does keep track of what you have made and what you haven’t, so you don’t need to worry about having to remember it all.
When you go into a dungeon, you will be able to walk around and check things out. You can see the cool scenery, as well as the enemies. If you picked a certain dungeon because there was an event there, you will need to walk around until you find the event. It is marked on the map once you get close enough. If the event includes a battle, there is usually a save point close by, just in case!
As enemies are seen on screen, you can sneak up on the enemies and attack, but be careful because they can do the same to you! Once the battle has begun you can either attack, do an SP Skill, EXE Drive or defend. The battles here are turn-based, so you have plenty of time to figure out your next move. From the attack option, you will have a few different attacks to pick from. Break hit will lower the enemies’ GP and make your attacks more effective. Play around with the other attacks and see which will get you the greatest damage. SP Skills will consume SP, but do more damage and most are interesting to watch. The EXE Drive Gauge fills as you battle. The EXE moves will consume 1 or 2 bars from the gauge and grant you the most damage.
Each chapter has boss battles that you will have to get through. As I said above, you will need to grind some, but as long as you do you will be OK. The boss battles were mostly balanced enough that you weren’t going to be able to attack twice and win, but I didn’t feel like I was getting annihilated, either. Plan your strategy, fill your EXE gauge, use your SP Skills, and have plenty of items and you will get through the boss battles just fine.
Since you need to go back to the dungeons to gather materials and fight monsters who drop items, you might be thinking that you won’t have to grind too much. There is really a nice balance, though, because fighting to collect materials helps, but I did grind a couple of times when I found a certain enemy that put out a ton of EXP! If you want to take on some of the more powerful monsters, and not have to heal every round during a boss battle, you will want to do the same thing.
There is quite a bit of content to be found here with the Disc Dev, needing to make the items you need, fighting, and checking out the dungeons you can easily put 50-60 hours into the game. All in all, I enjoyed the time I spent with Nep and the other Goddesses. I had fun seeing the characters again and finding out what they had gotten themselves into. I would definitely recommend the remake for anyone who is interested in the games, regardless of whether they played the original or not.
Review copy provided by the publisher for review purposes.
Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;Birth1 is available on Amazon:
Compile HeartHyperdimension Neptunia Re;Birth1Idea Factory