What does Neptunia Mean to You?

Friday, April 15th, 2016

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To conclude our wonderful Idea Factory International Appreciation Week I thought it would be nice to reach out to our readers and ask, “What does Neptunia mean to you?” The Hyperdimension Neptunia series takes a lot of flak from some of the mainstream outlets for its fan service and over the top content. However as fans of the series we know it is so much more than that.

The reaction to our question was very positive with readers such as @KirbySonicfan saying “Neptunia means a lot to me, the characters are amazing, the games are great. but most important, it made me make friends.” I can relate to this, I’ve made many long lasting friends on Twitter due to my love of the series and finding others with similar feelings. It’s ironic that a game centered around the console wars can bring gamers together of all walks of life in this way.

Hyperdimension Neptunia | Consoles Get Along

Our very own William Haderlie gave me a long response, which is on par for him, but it was very on point with some of my own feelings. He said, “Neptunia expresses the fun of anime in the mileau of a classic JRPG. Both of those things are fairly rare on our shore. And its ability to be both serious at times and also extremely fun makes for a compelling package. It has also been fun to see how the developers themselves have grown as a production studio in its development. You can see them spreading their wings in real time. But most of all, its just fun to play due to story and RPG mechanics, so I always enjoy my time in that world so much that I miss it when it’s gone.” That series has grown so much in just five years. We all remember the original PS3 release of Hyperdimension Neptunia, where the story was great yet the gameplay had some issues. Idea Factory has not only improved the combat and gameplay with every release since, they have created a combat system that I would rank as one of the turn based systems out there. I believe Idea Factory International has also improved on the localization as the series has moved forward as well.

The Neptunia series has also brought some users back to JRPGs after there was a pretty big dry spell of niche games around 2010. Our very own Azario Lopez said “The series brought me back to the JRPG world and video games after a 5 year video game dry spell. I owe a lot to the franchise.” This was followed up by @Zaku_John saying “Great series with great characters. Fun gameplay that reminds me of why I loved JRPG’s in the first place.” The Neptunia series is a breath of fresh air to genre and there still is really nothing else like it out there. What other series not only pokes fun at itself, but the industry as whole? I can’t think of any.

Nep and Chou Chou

For some the Neptunia series is a gateway to check out other niche JRPGs. This is what @KitsuneHawk had to say “Well, for me, I think it’s the series that got me more interested in following niche/obscure titles.” It makes me happy whenever I see something getting others to check out some of the crazy niche titles I enjoy because you never know what you’ll like till you try it out.

To our Co-Owner Crystal Colwell the series means girl power! Here’s what she had to say “The Neptunia series represents (among other things) total girl power! Just like in real life there are boobs and strong, powerful, crazy women everywhere.” I absolutely agree, not only do all the character have all different shapes and sizes, but they are all very strong willed. These ladies are heroes, make no mistake about it. 

I think overall our review manager Josh Speer sums up what I think about the series best “A series that fully understands the ridiculous nature of the industry and deftly parodies it, while still embracing what it means to be a gamer.” I couldn’t agree more, this is a series made by gamers for gamers. It never takes itself too seriously, and it doesn’t have to. It is a reminder that games are supposed to be fun above anything else. I for one am truly grateful for all the hard work that has gone into the series thus far and look forward to many more adventures with these beloved characters.

Here are few more of the wonderful responses we got from our readers:

About Steve Baltimore

Steve started with oprainfall not long after the campaign moved from the IGN forums to Facebook. Ever since, he has been fighting to give all non-mainstream RPGs a fair voice. As the site admin, he will continue to do this and even show there is value in what some would deem "pure ecchi." He loves niche games and anime more than anything... well, except maybe Neptune.

  • Neptunia doesn’t mean as much to me as it used to. My love for the series started dying when I played the horrible overrated game known as Victory. Only thing that seems to be keeping me into the series is my favorite goddess that never really gets treated well. My main gripe with Neptunia nowadays is the dialog. I think the jokes are old and stale. I’ll admit VII was surprisingly good!

  • deadeye

    Neptunia is one of the series where people talk about it a lot, and I’m baffled by it.

    It brings nothing new to the table, it does nothing interesting, everything is just paint-by-numbers, and throw in all the overused tropes and cliches that weebs like to shovel into their mouths.

    The characters are dull. The stories are dull. The gameplay is dull. The dialogue is incredibly corny, and I don’t care how many people throw up the “it’s just fun, you’re not supposed to take it seriously” excuse, it doesn’t absolve it from criticism.

    If Compile Heart didn’t shit out like 4 of these games a year, maybe they could actually focus on one game and make it good. That’s what really upsets me. If they actually wanted to, they could make it good. They have the potential. Why would they though? People eat up what they shit out, so there’s no reason to change.

    • Vanadise

      Yeah, that’s pretty much my experience with Neptunia. I gave the first game an honest shot and had the same opinions about it; the only redeeming part would’ve been the comedy, but comedy is very subjective and it just didn’t do anything for me. I’ve looked at the others since then and it doesn’t look like they’ve changed any of the things I didn’t like.

  • Mr0303

    I see the Neptunia series as an amalgamation of Japanese gaming. It has light-hearted relatable characters that are usually joking around, but have the potential for some seriousness when the end of the game nears. The Neptunia games have many tropes in them and recently branched off into different genres, similar to how Mario jumps genres.

    I personally like the world and the critique and self parody it provides for the video game industry. I find the games an easy way to introduce more mainstream gamers to niche genres.

  • Crystal Colwell

    <3 great article. It is always fun to see what our readers and volunteers think about a series. I love the series (as made obv. by my quote in the article) and am glad so many agree. 😀

  • KissDisqus

    I always seem to encounter people with neptunia avatars who like to erp or they talk about how much they want to nepnep the girls.

    Oh well I’m definitely worse with my perversions and nosing my way into every neptunia article.

  • cotarie

    For me neptunia means a whole lot to me, i can’t say there’s a game in the series i haven’t enjoyed on some level! When i was going through hard time’s when i first came across the first game, it really helped me through my rough patch and thanks to that i’ve become more confident with who i am and the things i love~
    Because of that as well as of course the fun gameplay the series will always have a special place in my heart~!

  • neptuniafan

    I never see Neptunia as one of the best JRPGs ever, but for what it is, I am really enjoying it. While the story is not that good (with the exception of VII), the characters are the one that makes the game enjoyable to me.

    And like you guys said, it is really great to see the growth of the game with every release, and I hope the series will continue to grow. Hopefully the next main Neptunia game will surpass VII, and from what I seen, I believe it can happen.

    Also looking forward to Four Goddesses Online (or Cyber Dimension Neptunia).

  • MusouTensei

    I’m not very good at this but I try.
    I like it a lot because it’s just fun and silly, I love the characters and the humor, and that the series is constantly evolving without throwing away core design concepts. I mean I love Jak & Daxter but when I saw ND’s horrifying concept arts for a new one I almost noped out of existence, this is not how I want a series to evolve.
    I also love how it tries to branch out into other genres, as a big fan of Senran Kagura and Tamsoft in general I’m very happy that IF works with Tamsoft to make Neptunia Hack & Slays.
    And of course it brought me Plutia/Iris Heart.

    I hope the series continues for a long time.

  • DariusQ

    Neptunia is a better time capsule of a wondrous age than it is a good game series.
    The overall theme represents the video games industry at a time when
    neither technology nor creativity overshadowed one another and social
    politics had yet to dominate the press. IMO Neptunia succeeds because of the nostalgia factor.