Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;Birth1 (PC) Review

By Ofisil 28.02.2015 4

Review for Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;Birth1 on PC

The Hyperdimension Neptunia series' intentional overuse of anime stereotypes and light-hearted satire on everything nerdy, along with its simple, but also very entertaining gameplay, has been adored by some, while hated by others. Almost everyone, however, agrees that Hyperdimension Neptunia was mediocre at best. PC gamers can rejoice, though, because, like PS Vita owners, they have got the upgraded reboot. Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;Birth1 is still imperfect, and undoubtedly not everyone's cup of sake, yet this much needed metamorphosis produced something quite exciting. After take the PS Vita version for a spin not just once, but twice, now Cubed3 delves into the depths of the recent PC release.

Here's a brief explanation of the main concept: four scantily-clad goddesses, who are anthropomorphised versions of real-life videogame consoles, are fighting over a land called Gamindustri. Sounds silly? It surely is, however, Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;Birth1 was never meant to be a Final Fantasy epic. It's an upfront and self-aware parody of the gaming industry, with lots of anime clichés thrown into the mix. It's not exactly a comedic masterpiece, but it sure leaves a positive impression.

Unlike the strange storyline, the rest is pretty standard RPG-fare, with dungeons, turn-based battles, character interaction, and so on, without that meaning that innovation is non-existent. Furthermore, and although it's light years from perfection, this title is far better than the original, since it has fixed most of its problems. It should be noted that a somewhat casual approach has been taken, with one example being the world map, where selecting a dungeon is just a matter of moving an adorable little cursor around, eliminating the need for the usual, and boring walking between places.

Screenshot for Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;Birth1 on PC

Dungeons are tiny, and have a structure just an inch more complex than a straight line, with enemies and items scattered around in plain sight. This makes it easier to have a couple of small doses of heroines-vs.-monsters action before exiting, but it will soon get very repetitive, especially due to the fact that most levels are really nothing more than slight variations of the five-to-six basic ones. At least the previous system of random encounters is no more, letting people decide on their own when to enter a fight.

The battles are the part where most of the game time will be spent on and, thankfully, they are quite good. Characters can position themselves before attacking, which is something of great strategic value since it makes it easier to hit multiple foes - or get hit from a single monster, if not careful. Add to these three types of basic attacks, with different pros and cons, lots of special abilities, and an assortment of cool and devastating finishing moves, and the result is simply awesome.

Screenshot for Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;Birth1 on PC

Unfortunately, skill takes a backseat due to the unbalanced challenge that throws together enemies that are nothing more than super easy punch bags, along with "elite" beasts that can do insta-kills, turning the whole thing into a marathon for Experience points. Luckily, levelling-up is a relatively fast process, partly because of a very handy speed-up button that disables the somewhat long battle animations, but mostly because even a single level - or change in equipment - can really make a difference here.

The inclusion of plans makes things a lot more interesting, since these can be used to make new items and dungeons, unlock playable characters, or even alter certain aspects of the gameplay, like the difficulty of a level, amongst others. Gathering the needed materials, however, needs even more grinding, which, frankly, turns out to be the main thing of this title - and of the series in general - something that can be addictive for some, but very annoying for others.

Screenshot for Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;Birth1 on PC

Fighting aside, there's an insane amount of nicely-drawn, novel-style cut-scenes, which tell a good-vs.-evil tale of no importance. However, the plot comes second to Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;Birth1's satirical approach. The script is full of hilarious conversations between the characters, with tons of inside-jokes about videogames, fourth-wall-breakings, and sexual innuendo, which is usually limited to the harmless and typical anime boob-jokes, and the like. Just bear in mind that the humour is a bit hit and miss, and that these breaks from the action can sometimes turn into boring walls of text that go on forever.

This special brand of comedy, along with the overly cute and/or sexy all-female cast, odd enemy design, and overall anime look and sound, is surely not for everyone. The same goes for the gameplay, which will disappoint those expecting an epic adventure, since this is mostly a casual grind-fest for unlockables. Of course, in the end it's all about personal taste, yet, and while there is certainly lots of room for improvement, as a whole, this is a very good game.

Screenshot for Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;Birth1 on PC

Cubed3 Rating

7/10
Rated 7 out of 10

Very Good - Bronze Award

Rated 7 out of 10

Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;Birth1's comedic narration isn't perfect, yet it's a nice change from all those RPGs that attempt being "serious" only to end up being generic. The visuals, which consist of extremely cute teenagers, half-naked goddesses, busty ninjas, gothic lolitas, and other anime-inspired stuff, will put off some people, but will please the rest with how good all these look. Finally, underneath this repetitive hunt for levels and crafting materials, lies something very entertaining that has a nice pick-and-play simplicity and fast pace. It's not the best of the genre, it's not for everyone, but it's also a unique and really fun game.

Developer

Idea Factory

Publisher

Idea Factory

Genre

Turn Based RPG

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  7/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

Comments

I recently got this game and I very much enjoy it. Sure, from a TECHNICAL viewpoint it's pretty bad, but that's like saying Yu Gi Oh Abridged is worse than Avatar from a technical viewpoint. Might be true, but the former is far more enjoyable. Having all the little inpokes at gaming and its culture is very fun, battling against the plethora of shoutouts is fun, it's basically a fun little playground for gamers to just laugh happily at themselves.

Honestly I gained a lot of respect for both Compile Heart and Idea Factory after playing this game. Few companies that aren't Nintendo would dare try something this... different and comedic. They may be publishing JRPG's without that much depth, but they're out there, swinging, and actually making a small bit of headway instead of just sticking to one basic idea.

Is this any different from the original, like I kind of hated the original, but mk2 was good.

Dragon0085 said:
Is this any different from the original, like I kind of hated the original, but mk2 was good.
it is similar to mk2 and victory. It has changed a lot from the original

Can't a fella drink in peace?
                                -Farnham

It is different... sort of. The game is basically the '2.0' version and knows it full-well, making jokes about how some things are different from the original, introducing some characters who know they're early to their actual joining, and the like. In otherwords, it's the HDN of HDN.

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