Hey guys, it's a pleasure to be able to deliver an exclusive sneak peek at the latest game from Idea Factory Today, up for discussion is the title Hyper Dimension Neptunia: Re;birth1, which will be due for release in North America on the Playstation Vita on August 26th. Stay tuned for more reading material related to Idea Factory titles, with another big one coming out in the next few days! Now, this is only going to be a first impression, a skim if you will, from a player who hasn't played games in this franchise before. Click "Continue reading" down below to see what I have to say about it. Introduction My review copy was sent from Idea Factory as a downloadable title, whose file size was 3073MB. I spent a couple of hours getting into this game as part of the impression, with a full and detailed analysis to come in the next few weeks as the release date nears. This game bore a lot of similarities to a title I had reviewed in a different franchise. It felt a lot like the title Conception II: Children of the Seven Stars. For my review of that title, you can go here. I had a relatively low opinion of that particular title, with a lot of my criticism coming from the fact that the game was really just an average dungeon crawling RPG. I came into this title hearing good things about another title that was from this series, reviewed by T-hug: Hyper Dimension Neptunia: Producing Perfection. I heard good things about this series that were completely unrelated to the waifu-like style of gameplay, and due to some other constraints my colleagues were facing at the time, I decided to pick this one up to see how good it was. So without further ado let the impression begin. Graphics and Art Style I'm going to use Conception II: Children of the Seven Stars as a point of comparison here, because these games shared similar elements. While Conception II: Children of the Seven Stars was rather washed out and dull in terms of colors, immediately off the bat Hyper Dimension Neptunia: Re;birth1 shows off as a colorful and vibrant title, which is further amplified with the amazing OLED screen of the PS Vita. Colors that were meant to be bright are really bright, and things stand out. It looks every bit like an anime. Think along the lines of No Game No Life. Don't know it? Google it. Seriously. More on that another day though. I was entirely put off by the shoddy graphics that were used for Conception II: Children of the Seven Stars. It felt dull and listless, and it made my task of reviewing it that much harder. In this game's case, we have colors that really show this game's style, which is a big change from games that come out of Nippon Ichi's studio, like Disgaea, which favors a more moody style of art with a hint of comic. At the end of the day, this really shows how versatile Idea Factory is. It shows that they have a range that can be melodramatic with comical elements to something that's completely bright and sometimes flat out over the top. And I'm okay with over the top. Plot and "Plot" I'm going to try and avoid spoiling too much here, I'll save the meat for the main review. This title's plot follows our protagonist in purple, Neptunia, and her adventures in Gamindustri. Apparently there's been a conflict between neighboring realms, who are named after older games consoles, and the fight to find a sense of peace. From what I've been exposed to, Neptunia does a very interesting take on the plot. The plot is a device that's used to often break the fourth wall and talk about issues that plague us here in the real world, issues that plague the gaming world, such as console power. It also sheds a lot of light into different cultural aspects such as otaku culture. Now, for all of you males out there, let's talk about the "plot." Contrary to popular belief, the game isn't throwing sexual innuendos all over the place. It's actually quite tame compared to Conception II: Children of the Seven Stars. That game had sexual innuendos everywhere. This one is present but in much more palatable quantities. Will there be moments where you might want to avoid being seen in public? Yeah, there definitely are, but it's still quite interesting to see this play out, and I'll be back with a more detailed throw down in the review. Music Music is always something that I really consider when I write reviews. I like to immerse myself in games and music kind of helps me do that. With this game, it gets me into that attitude... I don't really know how to phrase it, but it feels like something you would hear, if the world of Gamindustri were real. It has a Dance Dance Revolution kind of feel to it. Game Mechanics The game plays like a good old RPG - you start on a map, go somewhere to complete objectives, and you are unleashed into a dungeon or map to complete a task - you can go on Quests, and you can equip your characters with equipment. You can do what are called Remakes - which is basically a shorthand for choosing your own adventure. By picking up Remakes, called Plans, you are able to modify aspects of the game to make the experience more personalized! How you interact with monsters on the field is up to you - attack them from behind and you attack first - but if the other way happens, be prepared! The Battle System - The Difference Between The Original and the Current In an interview conducted on Playstation Life the developers of Neptunia described that the main change was to the battle system. The plot has similarities, with some changes, but the main idea was about the battle system - and boy it's a doozy. The battle system has a Kingdom Hearts kind of feel to it - it's still turn-based, but it feels quick and has good pacing. It's not overwhelming either, and it's not mind-smashingly dull. It's a good balance that still lets you execute attacks and combos, without the need for an Active Time Battle system like in Final Fantasy. You can use button combos to try different attack combinations, with attacks being regular or power attacks. It's like Dynasty Warriors, actually, in some ways. I'm still working out a lot of the nuances and waiting to get into Hyperdrive/Overdrive mode, but that's for later on, and will most likely be covered in the review. Technical Information I conducted a mini Q&A on reddit yesterday, to a good degree of success, and a lot of the users were commenting about whether or not the game was experiencing any slowdowns or lags. After playing several hours, I didn't notice anything that was out of the ordinary. I'll categorize out of the ordinary slowdowns as Pokémon X & Y 3D battles. I experienced none of that on the Vita, none that was noticeable. There weren't any slowdowns or crashes. Things were still sharp and vibrant on the Vita. ..And That's All She Wrote!! And with that, I don't really know what else I can talk about in this mini-impression! I don't want to divulge too much, or else I'd have not a lot of room left for my review! Big thanks to T-hug and the folks at Idea Factory for letting me get my hands on this game. I will definitely look forward to see what else this title has to offer.