It’s been a month since I last made a post? Well I’ve been occupied with things recently, just a lot of things happening in my life recently, like Arkham Knight, Neptunia VII and Kindred Spirits on the Roof… Yup, real busy period for me.
So to break the month long hiatus, I’ll be covering Hyperdimension Neptunia, a franchise viral enough to have 12 titles released over a span of 5 years.
First, to tell the tale of how I came to pick up this rather niche game. I was browsing through the shop checking the PS3 shelves. All the games were packed thin side facing out, so I could only see the titles. Amongst the wide variety of colorful texts and symbols was one in plain white font against a plain black background, ‘Hyperdimension Neptunia’.
“Oh hey, isn’t this that anime?”
That happened and, thus far, I’ve played and thoroughly enjoyed the 4 main games as well as one of the remakes. That includes the critically denounced pilot game.
(This doesn’t apply to the original HDN1)
The games, use the same basic system for dungeon roaming and combat. For exploring dungeons, enemies are visible and they will chase you down, starting a combat encounter upon contact. Thankfully though, they are usually easy enough to avoid so you don’t have to step into a thousand fights just to get to the end of the dungeon.
Combat is turned based where you can freely position your character within the range of their movement. The free movement allows for good synergy with weapons and abilities with large area of damage.
Performing attacks, you choose between different combos based on the moves that you preset for the character. The customization is a nice feature but you’ll probably just set up the most powerful attacks and end up using the same set of combos over and over, that is, at least in the earlier games. The later games do put greater stress on adding variation to your combos, most notably in VII where the player is rewarded for setting up combos around specified conditions.
Segment Where I Convince You To Pick Up The Game
Now that I got through the mandatory gameplay segment, it’s time for me to stop pretending I’m a game reviewer and get into the reasons why I play Neptunia.
First off, the whacky line up of characters, our 4 main heroines consist of:
- a gamer/fujoshi that constantly flaunts her large chest
- a bookworm with anger issues and a complex about her barren chest
- a friendless try-hard tsundere who’s into cosplay and VA
- an irresponsible, energetic lead character who frequently breaks the forth wall
The result is a zany plot which can go from serious to silly in seconds, most notably with Neptune’s ‘Serious Breaker’. This is a series that dives so deeply into established tropes that it wraps around to being original and unique.
Second being the frequent pop culture references, it’s a parody of the gaming industry, after all. This isn’t just limited to games though, you’ll find the occasional reference to popular anime and even to certain cancerous parts of the internet.
Third reason is that this game is incredibly relevant to my interests. After much meticulous research, it’s been discovered that enjoyment of a game can be linked directly to the degree of affection between female main characters, as shown in figure 1.1 below.
Here, have a bonus.
Lastly because the developers are ‘one of us’. If the references to ‘N-Chan’ hadn’t clued you in, the production team does roam the boards. They hold in mind, their audience’s criticisms, as a result, each new title improves upon the last.
Thanks to that, we get hilariously self aware scenes like these.