Hyperdimension Neptunia U: Action Unleashed (PC) Review

By Ian Soltes 25.03.2016 1

Review for Hyperdimension Neptunia U: Action Unleashed  on PC

Hyperdimension Neptunia has proven to be an unexpected, wildly successful franchise. Coming out of seemingly nowhere, the series game has spread like wildfire. In addition to the standard RPGs there is now a rhythm game, a strategy game, and even a title that pits them against zombies! Hyperdimension Neptunia U: Action Unleashed tries to take the girls into yet another genre dominated by the likes of Samurai Warriors and its kin. Has Compile Heart made a step in a new, good direction, or is the only thing holding this together the glue of the girls' personalities?

There is little point in hiding it. Hyperdimension Neptunia U: Action Unleashed (read the PS Vita review here) feels more like an experimental title into this genre than an outright full-fledged game. Like the developer thought it would be a good idea (and a correct one), but didn't want to risk time and resources to "finish" it, resulting in this over here.

Taking place in a non-canon event (it's outright said in-game), this has a very simple plot. Two reporters, Dengekiko and Famitsu, are assigned to write articles about the CPUs and their sisters, and, in order to get enough material and put on a good enough showing, the girls decide to embark on a series of quests in order to show off their skills with the two reporters tagging along.

Screenshot for Hyperdimension Neptunia U: Action Unleashed  on PC

Sure, there is a big bad villain, but in her own words she just wants to have fun and isn't even really trying to be 'that' malicious about it. Sure, there is a plot but it's clearly just there for the sake of having one as the entire adventure could easily be handled without one. There is another problem, though. This was clearly developed for a portable console, and therefore, everything is offered in fairly bite-sized chunks. So, whereas Hyrule Warriors managed to have huge sprawling maps and a multitude of characters, Action Unleashed has only ten characters, and the majority of the maps are limited to either a single room or a more-or-less straight line. Where a title like Samurai Warriors and its kin have multiple objectives the vast majority of problems available here can be resolved by simply attacking everything continually.

Screenshot for Hyperdimension Neptunia U: Action Unleashed  on PC

The worst thing, however, is its cast. This came out in 2014, yet it manages to have only ten characters, including the CPU's, their sisters, and the reporters. This means that, out of the fairly large potential HDN cast, there is no Compa, no IF, no Histy, no MAGES, Red, Falcom, Stella, or anyone else. Not even Iris Heart and Yellow Heart, despite being CPU's in Victory, get even a mention. The standard villains aren't around or playable, and they don't even have eggplant foes to torment Neptune with! This is why it seems like so much of a demo or a hesitant first step. The series has a big number of characters that could easily be thrown against the wall with little effort and still been playable, and, with a little more effort, missions could have easily be far more varied. That isn't to say that this had to be a knock-off Dynasty Warriors, but the lack of zeal clearly shows.

Screenshot for Hyperdimension Neptunia U: Action Unleashed  on PC

With that dealt with… this is far from a failure! On the most obvious note, Neptune and the characters are present and in full-on force. Even if their actions are a bit up-played for the game, even the simple things such as Blanc's relationship with her twin sisters and her protective and caring nature for them, Uni's constant efforts to try and grow closer to her work-a-haulic sister, Neptune's relationship with Nepgear that Vert seems to envy greatly, all are present and all are well-formed. Even the two new additions, though fairly satellite compared to the main cast, are decently solid for what could be expected.

Additionally, the combat itself, while repetitive due to its nature, is enjoyable and nowhere near frustrating and almost never seems to throw unfairly hard missions the player's way. That doesn't change the underlying problem though. While the characters are in their normal, top form, the drought of content and lack of variety are the major hamstrings to this game. The smaller cast does benefit by gaining more screen-time, but it doesn't fix the absence of many of the other series characters - especially when there is even a tournament post-game mode that seems like it would have been perfect for a larger cast!

Screenshot for Hyperdimension Neptunia U: Action Unleashed  on PC

Cubed3 Rating

5/10
Rated 5 out of 10

Average

Sorry Neptune, but with this shortage of content (though what is present is at least 'decent'), and outside of the map variety, there isn't much choice for a score. This isn't a PC game. It's a port of a portable title and it shows. Maybe some of the flaws, such as character variety, will be fixed later on through DLC, but… the water is warm and, while people may be more than willing to welcome Hyperdimension Neptunia into this new field, this seems more than willing to just sit on the edge and let its feet dangle into the pool than anything.

Developer

Tamsoft

Publisher

Idea Factory

Genre

Brawler

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  5/10

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

Seriously, I want more Iris Heart! She's is terrifying, yet alluring... And makes me feel all funny. Happy, yet scared.

Oh. I didn't bring up the clothing breakage because it's both fairly easy to get unbreakable costumes and, even if not, it really doesn't affect much on the whole. Unless someone is majorly turned off or on by it, it simply isn't enough to care. Though I am curious as to why Noire didn't outright flip out at her costumes being destroyed.

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