Game Review: Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;Birth 3: V Generation
31/07/2015 1 Comment
Idea Factory’s onslaught of PS Vita titles continues with Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;Birth 3: V Generation a port, or re-master if you prefer, of the previously released PS3 Game Hyperdimension Neptunia Victory but despite it’s alternate title the game is pretty much exactly how you remember it.
Does this make Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;Birth 3: V Generation a simple cash or with a poor port? No; instead it’s a welcome addition to the PS Vita and one that deserves your attention – especially if you like Japanese-PRG’s or Visual Novel styled titles.
Published by Idea Factory International, and developed by Felistella and Compile Heart, Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;birth 3: V Generation is a Japanese Role-Playing-Game (JPRG) filled with visual-novel style dialogue and turn based gameplay that’s similar to the two previous games of the Re;Birth series. Interestingly despite this being the ‘third game’ in a series Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;birth 3: V Generation can be played and enjoyed by newcomers of the entire franchise; such as myself whose experience so far lies within the spin-off title Hyperdimension Neptunia U: Action Unleashed.
For those unfamiliar with Hyperdimension Neptunia it’s a franchise which sees four goddesses, known as CPUs, rule four separate nations within the world of Gamindustri and these people within these nations look-up to their goddesses. That’s not all either; as each CPU, and their little sisters known as CPU Candidates, are actually representations of popular videogame consoles. For instance Noire is a representation of the Playstation 3 while Neptune is a reputation of the SEGA Neptune and the lands they inhabit also have references as well. On paper it sounds comical; but when in motion you can understand why as they each attempt to prove they are the best within the Gamindustri – which sounds extremely familiar don’t you think?
Even if you haven’t played any of the previous titles Re;birth 3 begins in a way that explains who these characters are and what happened to them in the past title without feeling trivial for veterans or daunting for newcomers; furthermore it even provides detailed tutorial segments on how to play the game during its introductory phase. Veterans of the Re;Birth series may find this slightly tedious and annoying; but everything is skip-able so you won’t see them on your screen for very long. Of course even if the storyline reminders seen during these dialogue sequences confuse you you needed not remember them; as the story within Re;Birth 3 is something completely different entirely… that’s when you eventually get to it.
The whole introductory phase of the game, which is adequately title Prologue, is quite long and potentially tedious; but once again provides an overview of what you are getting yourself into. For starters the main selling point of Re;Birth 3 is that the story sees Neptune transported to an alternate version of Gamindustri and must overcome an evil threat in order to return home; however in order to ‘get to this storyline’ players must watch endless amounts of dialogue sequences, most of which see the CPU and CPU Candidates arguing about their workload and lack of videogame time, as well as venturing off into dungeons to collect items.
In a sense this is a prelude of things to come; as unlike your traditional RPG, such as Final Fantasy or Tales Of franchises, players accept missions from their guild hall and then enter the dungeons through the main map world. In a sense there is no free roaming ability; it’s simply mission accepted and then enter the dungeon located on the map, which in this case is a small isolated area filled with monsters. This is still part of the introductory phase of the game but the objective is to complete all missions available, all of which will see you defeat enemies to collect a selective item; at which point once the objectives have been met a dialogue sequence will appear that will trigger the game to move forward and into the real-storyline.
I guess this was Idea Factory’s way of getting people to grips with the game while allowing fans to experience their favourite CPU Candidates on screen; as after the warp – which sees Neptune in an alternate version of 1989, these characters do not make many (if at all) appearences and instead sees Neptune in a familiar, but different, environment whereby she must prove who she is to her new friends. I won’t spoil any of the story details; partly as it will take up too much time but mostly because the story is worth playing and enjoying – even if dungeon grinding can become a chore at times. Just like with past Hyperdimension Titles a great localisation, dubbing and writing process has been achieved and as a result you will find yourself constantly giggling at banter between characters; especially Neptune and her questionable, but comical ways that sometimes annoy others around here.
When it comes to gameplay then Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;Birth 3: V Generation plays like previous games in the series; whereby after choosing a dungeon to explore you’ll find yourself in a small 3D environment that you are free to explore but if an enemy attacks you will be thrown into battle. Combat is done via turn-based-gameplay but when it is your turn you can move freely around the limited area; the idea is that your attack range, which is displayed as a square box, needs to be over the enemy and once it is you can attack. Interestingly however three different attack options are available, such as Light, Heavy and Special – and each attack uses a certain amount of your attack guage – which as a result means you can do more Light attacks, and potentially more overall attacks, or a singular heavy strike. The HDD Transformation returns as well and when your HDD Guage has been filled you can transform and perform more attacks and higher damage for the length of your turn.
The combat feels more free and open compared to other RPGs, especially Final Fantasy titles, but it also adds a depth of decision making to the game. In past games you would simply attack, but within Re;Birth 3 you could finish off one opponent with a light attack and then deal heavy damage to another opponent all within the same turn.
Of course this being an RPG then you can expect level-ups and upgrades to make an appearance; with quite a lot on offer as well. For starters the basic level-up, which can at times be difficult to work out how much XP Points you currently have, is here with points awarded after every battle – additionally during dungeon exploration battle items, weapons and accessories can be discovered, picked-up and then later equiped – each of which will yield some benefits for your character. Items aren’t just picked-up in battle either as a shop is also on hand whereby useful items can be purchased for use during battle – yet again another typical JPRG trait.
Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;Birth 3: V Generation may seem like your traditional JPRG title with its familiar combat mechanics and dungeon exploration but actually its something much more entertaining. A cast of colourful, lovable characters blended together with a progressive story that gets more interesting the further you progress is what’s on offer here and while some aspects of the game may seem like tedious and dull, such as grinding for a selective item, the overall game is a joy to play.
Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;Birth 3: V Generation is now available within the UK and Europe exclusively for the PS Vita. It is available as both a physical cartridge and as a digital download from the Playstation Network Store.