|Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;Birth 3 V Generation
|Idea Factory, Compile Heart
|Idea Factory International
|October 30, 2015
|ESRB – Teen
If you had asked me two years ago whether the Hyperdimension Neptunia series would go on to become a phenomenon in the West, I probably would have laughed at you. But it has, in part thanks to Idea Factory International’s wise decision to port the PlayStation Vita Re;Birth remakes to Steam. This has opened up the series to a far larger audience who might have been curious about trying the games out, but didn’t have the proper platform to play them on. PC players get the benefit of all the additional features they’ve added, and Re;Birth 1 and 2 go on sale pretty regularly. Meme images of the CPUs and their friends are often found on image boards, which spread like wildfire to social media outlets like Twitter and Facebook. By now, even mainstream gamers can at least recognize Neptune as a character, but she hasn’t yet reached the familiarity of your Marios or Sonics. There’s never been a better time to get into Hyperdimension Neptunia, and Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;Birth 3 V Generation concludes the saga and comes with some changes and additions to the previous games. You can think of this as a second opinion, since you’ve already seen Steve’s review of the Vita version.
As I mentioned in my Fairy Fencer F review, Compile Heart’s strength is in its humorous dialogue, and Re;Birth 3 definitely has that in spades. I’d played the original Hyperdimension Neptunia Victory on PlayStation 3, so I was already familiar with the characters. All your favorite CPUs, the Candidates, and the Makers are back, with a new group of villains who dub themselves the Seven Sages, with the goal of creating a world free of CPU rule through some very underhanded means. The Seven Sages are my favorite bad guys in the series — they banter just as much as the CPUs do, and the antics of Anonydeath and Copypaste made me laugh out loud a few times. The entire story plays out like History of the World: Part I for video games, a parody that makes references to the highs and lows of the industry.
For instance, in one scene Noire takes a shot at Blanc for creating the Virtual Boy (since she represents Nintendo), and in another Vert gets angry at the other CPUs, accusing them of slandering her hardware because it has been selling so poorly. A newcomer CPU joins the fray, as well: Plutia/Iris Heart, whose slow, sleepy, air-headed demeanor hides a darker, sadistic, and dare I say, very sexy dominatrix alter ego within. Iris Heart often ends up stealing the confrontational scenes, making all kinds of innuendos while scaring the living daylights out of both the CPUs and the Seven Sages — especially after they’ve been through her ‘services.’ That’s not to say the other CPUs don’t get their time to shine, as well, but, when it comes to dealing out punishment, Neptune prefers to sit back and let Plutia do it, at least until she gets dragged in unwillingly.
Combat has changed a bit since Re;Birth 2, and they’ve combined the SP bar and EXE gauge this time in such a way that it makes it more difficult to perform EXE Drives. You have to make wise use of your SP skills, because a solo EXE attack will now cost you three bars rather than just one, and the gauges are now all split among your characters. You also don’t recharge your SP when you’re leaving a dungeon, making items like Hero Drinks and SP Chargers far more useful than they were before. In short, don’t expect to get ridiculous damage on bosses as easily as you were doing before. Just to get solo EXE Drives, you’ll have to perform at least 100 SP moves per character to get the plan for it.
The Stella’s Dungeon mini-game makes a return and has been slightly revamped, as well. Now Stella doesn’t have to go it alone; she can take a Scout partner with her as she makes her ascent through the tower, which can make the trip a little easier on her by helping her avoid enemies, traps, and finding more treasure or outright stealing it. I had a chance to use the new DLC Scouts, and Umio’s EXP ++ ability is ridiculously powerful. I only ended up dying once, nine times out of 11 I was successful and got a ton of nice loot from it. You’ll want to play this every chance you get.
Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;Birth 3 V Generation looks just as good as the others on PC. Like the previous games, you can play in up to 1080p resolution with 60 FPS. I encountered a minor strange graphical glitch when performing combo attacks: the other characters and monsters flicker and disappear when I execute the moves, but that may just be an issue with the build I played and it may not happen in the live retail version. Otherwise, I encountered no issues or crashes whatsoever. I rushed through the game as quickly as I could, and the True Ending took me just under 30 hours to obtain. There’s so much content in this game to explore, between the many dungeons, coliseum fights, and other activities, it’s positively overwhelming. Between the CPUs, their Maker friends, the Candidates and Oracles, you have a really large cast of characters you can play with. You’ll find plenty to do in 1989’s Gamindustri, and I’m confident you’ll want to come back again and again.
Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;Birth 3 V Generation is the most solid entry of the trilogy. It is undeniable to me that they saved the best for last, and I highly recommend a purchase.
Review copy was provided by the publisher