+Cheeky, but amusing humor that carries on even to character names
+Solid change of turn based game mechanics
+DLC does not in anyway deter the game, but instead adds to it free of charge
+Even with a rebuilt story, the games remain true to the core, and fun as ever
–Some bosses can be truly troubling to combat against
–Missions can feel like a heavy grind
–Suffers from an inability to let you change up your party at the start
Lets just say that this series has been a flagship series for the PlayStation Vita at this point, which for Idea Factory and Compile Hearts? This is a rather good thing, which gives the main series, and even the spin-offs a chance to thrive, and even gain new friends. For fans of the series, this third reimagining of the franchise – namely Hyperdimension Neptunia: Victory (PS3) – fans once more get to take on the task of following Neptune, Noire, Blanc, Vert, their friends, and even their sisters story that is filled with video game references and the group’s mind blowing shenanigans. This time? Neptune has fallen victim of being transported to another dimension, and has now been tasked with helping her new friends in this dimension in order to get a chance to return home to her own. Thanks to having fallen victim to a brewing war between CPUs and the Seven Sages, Neptune once more finds herself trying to right the wrongs, bring up shares, and return home. The irony of this game is the humour itself where the CPU’s are fully aware that they are video game characters, that they are amidst a console war (namely 7th generation of consoles), but also the fact that the characters are not scared to break the fourth wall in order to bring out a few good laughs for fans. But like the spinoff titles, V Generation does not take itself too serious, but it does manage to keep the series fresh, and enjoyable to fans who are new and old as they continue on with this flagship franchise for the PlayStation Vita.
Much like the predecessors to the series, Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;birth 3: V Generation seeks to do several things as the others did when they were brought over to the Vita. This time around we are seeing some minor upgrades outside of added video clips, dialogue, and even a few alterations to how the game itself plays. This time around players will want to take their time in order to stay two to three steps ahead of the enemy, this means plotting out attacks, making sure they have set up their armour, weapons, and even small pieces of secondary equipment that will help assist them in fights in the long run. Much like before we do get to see a few significant changes that include a dungeon remake system, Stella’s (am I the only one that thought of Stella Glow when reading that name?) Dungeon where you can get better armour, weapons, and upgrades, but also a new take on the former combat system. This means that itemization and min-maxing as some will call it, is extremely important and will drive fans into figuring out what items and stats are best depending on what enemies are being encountered within that zone. Just like all the combat schemes from earlier entries, fans will able to once more take the characters into their CPU form and wreck having while building up enough ‘points’ or rather SP to unleash a devastating EXE attack or even an insanely powerful combo finisher that’ll send enemies into oblivion if you are dishing out enough damage. This means the same can be done to your characters, however, and will unfortunately punish newcomers who aren’t paying attention to what is going on.
When stepping away from the thirty hour game that fans will know, newcomers may find themselves a bit confused when approaching this one as their first title. For those who are new, let’s step back before continue on and explain the game for newcomers. Hyperdimension Neptunia as a series is one that can easily be compared to the likes of titles such as a “Tales of” title and even a traditional RPG such as Lost Odyssey (Xbox 360), which will push fans into moving characters around, attacking enemies by dipping into the games menu, and even surfing the menus quite a bit in order to prepare for combat and learning about what items do what as well as what items perform what functions in combat or out of combat even. The one major issue of this game, it is deceptively hard, challenging, and will require newcomers to spend money carefully, but also returning to repeatable quests in order to gain new items as well as in-game money.
Unlike in previous titles, V Generation has taken away the healing when leaving a dungeon, which to some is a low blow, but to others it is a refreshing challenge that increases the games overall difficulty and will push both newcomers and veterans alike into maximizing their items and utilizing characters as they need to be later in the game. However, one thing has made a return from Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;birth 2: Sisters Generation, and that is the Stella’s Dungeon, which has become a fan favorite feature in the core series itself. In this mode, fans send Stella and her companion Felis into a dungeon in a rogue-like dungeon RPG style mode, where fans will be gathering items, equipment, blueprints, as well as items, upgradables, experience for Stella and Felis themselves. This means that players will find themselves grinding out and proceeding carefully, if they don’t, this means trouble. Especially when having to deal with trying to continue on and determining whether having to dig deeper in the dungeon or not. The important part? Stella’s Dungeon is needed in order to 100% the game, which means post-game content will be locked without getting the games “True Ending”. To some, this seems to be unfair, and will only bring in the hardcore of the hardcore to complete the game in order to go on.
Like before, the game focuses with three endings depending on completion rates, this means a Good, Bad, and True ending where fans will aim to complete the game with the highest completion rate possible. Like previous titles, the game does not feature a bunch of things to do post-game, which means it’ll be shelved and possibly revisited at a later date unless you’ve grabbed the DLC that allows for characters to go up to level 300, and continue on with the games challenge mode, which unfortunately, we’ve not tinkered with yet, but we possibly will at a later date depending on if it’s something notable or not. Outside of these few drawbacks, the game does suffer from the inability to be kind, but overall? It’s a fun and enjoyable title that will lure fans in who have a PlayStation Vita or PlayStation TV in order to have a good time depending on their patience level and their ability to keep focused to their screens long enough to complete the game. With that being said? Hyperdimension Neptunia as a franchise is one that is unique, fun, and hilarious all together, but to some, it’s just a horrible franchise all together, but to us? It is one we can’t wait to see what Idea Factory does with in the future thanks to the PlayStation Vita crowd keeping it alive.
Our review is based upon a pre-released version that was sent to us by the developer and was reviewed with all current available content downloaded. Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;birth3: V Generation is now available on PlayStation Vita, PlayStation TV through retail and the PlayStation Store for 39.99 USD. For information about our ethics policy please click here.
Final Score: 7 out of 10
About the Writer:
Dustin is our native console gamer, PlayStation and Nintendo reviewer who has an appetite for anything that crosses the boarders from across the big pond. His interest in JRPG’s, Anime, Handheld Gaming, and Pizza is insatiable. His elitist attitude gives him direction, want, and a need for the hardest difficulties in games, which is fun to watch, and hilarity at its finest. You can find him over on Twitter @GamingAnomaly, Google+, and or you can find him on PSN with RaivynLyken.