Hyperdimension Neptunia (video game)
European cover art
Felistella (PS Vita)
Hyperdimension Neptunia (超次元ゲイム ネプテューヌ Chōjigen Geimu Neputyūnu?, lit. "Super Dimensional Game Neptune") is a 2010 role-playing video game developed by Idea Factory and published by Compile Heart in Japan, NIS America in North America and Tecmo Koei in Europe exclusively for Sony's PlayStation 3. It is the first installment in the Hyperdimension Neptunia franchise, and is followed by Hyperdimension Neptunia Mk2. The game is a take on the seventh generation era "console war" among the three major home video game consoles: PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and Wii.
Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;Birth 1, a remake of the game for the PlayStation Vita, was released on October 31, 2013 in Japan, and in August 2014 in North America and Europe. Re;Birth 1 was later released on Microsoft Windows and distributed via Steam.
This game is in essence a story-based adventure game, in the sense that much of the game is spent reading the on-screen text, as in a visual novel. However, the game also features 3D-style dungeon exploration, similar to recent Final Fantasy titles. Like most modern turn-based role-playing games, the dungeons feature random encounters, treasure chests, and various obstacles. These obstacles can be cleared by utilizing the various unique dungeon skills each character of Neptune's party has.
During battle, the current turn for characters and enemies are displayed at the top right, as well as upcoming turns. When it is Neptune's turn or any other supporting character's turn, they are given a set amount of AP (Ability Points), which determines how many moves they can make. Each different move consumes a set amount of AP. There is a Sword move, which has the character slash an enemy with their weapon, a Gun move, which has the character shoot the enemy with their weapon (or in Neptune and IF's case, a gun), a Physical move, which has the character go straight up to an enemy and punch and kick them, and the Defend command, which consumes no AP, but puts the character in a defending state and ends their turn.
When using a Gun move, the circle next to the Combo Counter on the right displays your current bullet. When the game starts, you will have a default bullet. However, as the game progresses, Neptune and the party will obtain other types of bullets, and you can switch between them during combat with the shoulder buttons. Different bullet types usually have special effects or elemental powers.
Each enemy has a GP gauge, as well as an HP gauge. When that enemy is attacked, the GP gauge will decrease. When the gauge is empty, Guard Break mode will activate. During this time, that enemy will receive more damage than usual until the GP gauge refills.
What sets this game apart from other RPGs is the Game Disc System, which allows Neptune and company to perform various special actions through special combos, accessible and editable through the pause menu. Neptune can summon characters from classic video games by initiating the combo assigned to that game disc, and it will inflict higher than normal damage. Neptune can also activate a transformation state, which is called HDD (Hard Drive Divinity). This transforms Neptune into a much more powerful state, and she will gain access to two additional moves, both of which deal massive damage. Although the default transformation is Purple Heart, Neptune can also install other game discs to change her transformation. Finally, she can also use the game discs to summon an image, which appears on-screen, then inflicts higher than normal damage on the opponent. Although the default image is blank, one can change the image by using pictures in the PlayStation 3 photo library.
While a player is viewing the region screen, you can shop for additional weapons and accessories, transfer to another region through a dungeon excursion, view any side quests, and enter dungeons.
The game takes place in the world of Gamindustri (ゲイムギョウ界 Geimugyō-kai?, a pun on ゲーム業界 Gēmu gyōkai, "game industry"), which is divided into four regions: Planeptune, Lastation, Lowee, and Leanbox. Each region is completely different from the others, and has a Basilicom where the citizens worship their country's goddess, also known as the Console Patron Units, or simply CPU.
The player takes on the role of the main protagonist Neptune, one of four goddesses who is involved in a long series of conflicts known as the Console War. After an incident where Neptune is defeated following a one on three battle with the other goddesses, she loses consciousness and begins dreaming. Upon waking, she finds herself at Compa's house having crash landed earlier in front. Neptune reveals that she can't remember anything up to that point, which leads Compa to believe that Neptune is suffering from amnesia. After hearing from Compa that monsters have begun to run loose, Neptune decides to go hunt them along with Compa. During her first hunt, she suddenly transforms into her HDD form, Purple Heart, and defeats a large monster. Eventually the two meet IF, who explains that she is looking for treasure, and Neptune invites IF to join their party. After clearing another dungeon full of monsters, the party heads to the Basilicom to gain permission to travel to other landmasses to fight more monsters.
The game features three endings, which are the Normal Ending, Bad Ending and True Ending. Under the former two endings, the Console War doesn't technically end. There was a ceasefire if one or two of the other CPUs were recruited to stop the main enemy, Arfoire, but no armistice took place afterwards. There are two possible endings after the fight. If the requirements for the True Ending are fulfilled after Arfoire is defeated, the following events lead up to the end of the Console War.
Development and release
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The game's name is derived from the scrapped Sega Neptune which combined the Sega Mega Drive/Genesis and Sega 32X into one unit, originally scheduled for release in 1994 or 1995 before the project was dropped after the release of the Sega Saturn.
Nao from 5pb. Records performed the opening song of the game. The theme of the game, Ryuusei no Bifrost (流星のビヴロスト?, lit. "Bifrost of Meteors" or "Meteor Bifrost") was released on a single album, along with the song Sincerely. Both songs are available on the album Prismatic Infinity Carat.
Hyperdimension Neptunia was shown at a closed door event during the Game Developers Conference 2010 in March 2010. The game was released on August 19, 2010 in Japan, in North America on February 15, 2011, in Europe on March 4, 2011, and in Australia on March 31, 2011.
Various different types of downloadable content (DLC) exist for Hyperdimension Neptunia, including character, quest, and item downloads. In total, $98 of DLC was released for the game in the United States.
Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;Birth 1
Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;Birth 1 (超次次元ゲイム ネプテューヌRe;Birth1?) is the enhanced remake of the game for the PlayStation Vita and Microsoft Windows, developed by Felistella. In addition to completely reworked visuals, improved framerate performance, new music and voice acting, various gameplay aspects and plot details have been modified. A new feature dubbed the "remake system" unlocks special game modifications such as new dungeons and in-battle perks. Some characters from the original game were removed, such as Gust, Nisa, 5pb and Red, whilst new characters were added, including the CPU candidates and a series of characters representing game developer companies; Plutia and Peashy from Hyperdimension Neptunia V, in addition to Histoire, are playable as DLC characters.
The battles feature a visible bar known as the "EXE drive gauge", with up to 4 stages that fills during battles within the same dungeon. Specific character abilities known as "EXE abilities" can be performed once the required gauge level is met. In addition, characters can execute "EXE finisher" attacks at the end of a combo, depending on the gauge level.
The original continent travel system involving dungeons has been scrapped in favor of a world map system similar to that of Hyperdimension Neptunia mk2, and the dungeon and battle systems also based on a style reminiscent to that of Hyperdimension Neptunia V. During the development phase, the enhanced Vita version was intended to fill in what were identified as flaws and shortcomings of the original game. Developers aimed to address the concerns of fans, and features of the earlier PS3 version that were often subject to criticism, such as the music and game performance, were given improvements in the new version. The game's theme song is Miracle Portable Mission by nao and the ending song is Mirai Button by Afilia Saga.
Unlike the first four games in the series published by NIS America, a western localization was published by Idea Factory International and it was released on August 26, 2014 in North America, while the European version came out the following day.
The original version received favourable reviews in Japan. GameWatch notes that the gameplay is interesting and the parody aspects of the game have its appeals, although the colourfulness of the characters might suppress the plot.
Eurogamer gave it a 2/10, stating that it is "a sexist, senseless, and ultimately stupid cultural curio." GameSpot gave the game a 3/10, criticizing mostly the oversexualized character design and "truly awful music". On the other hand, IGN gave the game a 6/10, praising its decent length and lack of need for level grinding, but criticizing the game's easiness and music.
In the West, it received mixed reviews. Aggregating review websites GameRankings and Metacritic gave the PlayStation Vita version 70.94% based on 18 reviews and 69/100 based on 16 reviews and the Microsoft Windows version 61.67% based on 6 reviews and 72/100 based on 4 reviews.
Hardcore Gamer gave the western release of Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;Birth a 4 out of 5 rating, referring to it as a significant improvement over its predecessor on the PS3, while effectively fitting a console RPG into a portable game. IGN Italy scored the game 7.4/10, referring to it as a "cheerful, alluring and pleasant" title for fans of the genre. Technology Tell gave a rating of A, referring to the game as one of the best RPG titles on the Vita alongside Persona 4 Golden, while Gamezone praised the game's mechanics and new changes, giving a score of 8.5 out of 10. Just Push Start, RPG Site and Push Square all gave review scores of 8/10, noting that the improved visuals provide no framerate issues and that the game features solid Japanese and English voice acting, while Battle Screen rated the game a 7.5/10, referring to it as the best Neptunia title to date. General consensus among western reviewers is that the Vita remake improves over the flaws within the original PS3 title.
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