Review: Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;Birth1 (Computer)
- Release Date (NA): January 28, 2015
- Release Date (EU): January 28, 2015
- Release Date (JP): January 28, 2015
- Publisher: Idea Factory International, Inc.
- Developer: Idea Factory, Inc.
- Genres: Strategy RPG
- ESRB Rating: Teen
- Also For: PlayStation Vita
Single playerLocal MultiplayerOnline MultiplayerCo-operative
Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;Birth PC port, released January 28th on steam.
Originally released (and localized) to Vita August last year, "Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;Birth", a strategy RPG, has now been ported to PC via Steam for what is perhaps the best reason ever given for porting:
“Nowadays, the demand for moé is quite high overseas, so, we must quickly release the main titles.”This from Idea Factory's president, Yoshiteru Sato.
But that certainly sets the tone for Re;birth, it is a game that does not take itself too seriously, whether it's breaking the fourth wall, referencing otaku culture with games and anime, or just attempting to be moé.
Ah, but one must address the elephant in the room, "Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;Birth" is a rather loose remake of 2010/2011's "Hyperdimension Neptunia", in that it does not follow the original game's plot verbatim, and is more a re-imagining of the original rather than a straight up remake.
"Re;Birth" takes place in "Gamindustri", a world divided into four separate regions; Planeptune, Lastation, Leanbox and Lowee. Each contains a certain "Goddess" that is in charge of said regions.
The game begins with the four Goddesses fighting a midst themselves in a land above "Gamindustri", for the Console War.
The titular character "Neptune" is turned on by all three and falls down to "Gamindustri" and in doing so, develops amnesia.
The plot quickly turns to a "save the world" scenario of collecting key fragments from all over "Gamindustri", and it's around here that the game starts differing from the original.
Main dialogue throughout the game is displayed in a visual novel style with some of the best character sprite animation I've seen, it's quite the spectacle to watch the characters breathe in and out and how that translates to the motion of the sprite.
The "Gamindustri" map is your general RPG hub, where you can buy items equipment, talk to characters, go to dungeons and progress the plot among other things.
Dungeons are done in third person, where you can harvest items and fight enemies.
Here you can attack enemies to get a "symbol attack", which is basically a preemptive strike, just the same, you'll be ambushed if they sneak up on you or if you mistime the attack.
The game also has hidden items that you can detect by pressing a button, but since you can only press the button and hope for the best to find those hidden items, you'll most likely find yourself mashing it in a dungeon in order to find them.
Battles are akin to a fusion of "Eternal Sonata" and "Phantom Brave"; it is turn based, calculated by a character's speed, and from here you can move your character around in a circular perimeter depending on their movement stat and aim attacks at enemies.
There are a few options in battle, utilize skills that use your SP, use items, block, and attack, which is a four part chain that breaks into 3 choices: attacks focused on breaking enemy shields (the blue bar under enemy's health), attacks focused on raw damage, and attacks that focus on hit count (which increase the EXE gauge most).
Early in the game you will gain an EXE gauge, this essentially serves two purposes.
The first is EXE finishers, if you raise the gauge you can follow up your attacks with an additional move.
The second is EXE skills, which are overpowered moves that eat from the EXE gauge.
Different equipped weapons have different range, and you'll likely find yourself positioning the blue indicator in a way that selects as many enemies as possible.
Equipped items change what your character wears and the game has a large selection of clothes and accessories.
Unlike the prior two games in the series, you're limited to 3 characters in battle, with an additional 3 characters you can pair up. Pairing allows you to switch between two paired up characters in battle, but will also slowly raise affinity, or "Lily rank" between the characters. Raising Lily rank unlocks both passive skills and battle skills.
Characters you talk to generally give you items and plans for the "remake system", a new addition to the series that allows you to add multiple things (if you have the ingredients) such as gameplay changes, new dungeons, and allows for new items and equipment to be sold in shops. The ingredients are dropped from monsters and search points in dungeons.
Gameplay changes include changing difficulty, jumping higher in dungeons, getting higher item drop rates, and even unlocking characters.
In terms of music, it's mostly ripped from the prior two games in the series (Which remixed the original's music). Personally I never found it too grating, but you will hear the same tunes play throughout the game. Character lines in battle may annoy as using the same attacks will yield the same dialogue. It's worth noting you can adjust the volume of either in settings as well as SFX.
Additionally, the game features dual audio.
As a port
To those wondering, the PC port works for the most part.
You have the pretty standard XBOX 360 controller native xinput most steam games these days have, albeit, one needs to turn that on in settings.
Curiously, mouse and keyboard still works even if you turn game-pad setting on.
You can also rebind controls should you wish to.
Graphical options are kinda bare-bone allowing only for resolution changes and full screen toggle.
For the most part, I ran the game at a constant 60fps 1080p (excluding minor things like loading enemies, which would lower it for a few seconds) with my i5 and gtx770, however, an issue that cropped up was that fps would start to lower the more hours I spent playing the game, usually at 4 hours the fps would start dropping to low 30s 40s and struggle to get back to 60. Relaunching the game seemed to fix this every time, however.
Also steam did a silly
+ Nice amount of customization from remake system
+ Lots of stuff to do
+ Nice variety in battle
- Neptune's crippling pudding addiction can get pretty annoying
- Chapter related miss-able items
A re-imagination of the original "Hyperdimension Neptunia" and a decent port. Lots of humor, references, and some beautiful sprites. There's plenty here as long as you don't expect a high budget. Also NISA shall forever be missed.
Grindy and repetitive in just the right way. With a fair share of stuff to keep you occupied.
It took me 47 hours to acquire all the achievements but there is still so much more I could do in the game, especially when it comes to the remake system. It also includes new game +, which carries all your items and unlocked remake system stuff
out of 10
(not an average)
Re;Birth has plenty to keep you occupied for several hours on end. But everything WILL become repetitive. The main story should last you a good 30 hours, with side-quests and the remake system will certainly add a lot more hours for hungry competitionists.