We recently received a copy of Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;Birth1 from NIS America and so far so good. I am brand new to the series and, for the most part, am enjoying it quite a bit. I am several hours in so there will be much more to come in the review next week.
For those who are unaware, Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;Birth1 is an updated version of the original Hyperdimension Neptunia that came out for PlayStation 3 in 2010 but now on the Vita. It is a JRPG that takes a sort of satirical point of view on the video game industry and the console wars. From a gameplay perspecitve, it is split into three main sections: a point and click world map, dungeon exploration and battles. However, with this being a JRPG, battles are going to be a very prevalent aspect to the game, so that is what will be focused on here.
When you enter a dungeon, there are no random battles but enemies that you can see. Like in other RPGs that take the same approach, you can run up and hit them for a surprise attack which will make sure that all of your characters receive a turn before the enemy can act. However, if you miss, the enemy can do the same thing. Once this happens, the battle system begins which has a real Grandia meets Tales vibe. Each character has a turn where they can move a certain distance within a specific radius and act whether that is to attack an enemy or cast a spell. In the top right corner of the screen is a queue where it shows who has the next move, enemies included. This adds tactical considerations, although so far I have not seen a way to knock an enemy back on the queue besides outright killing them. It has been fast and fun so far and I will delve into it more in the review.
In terms of story and characters, I was hesitant at first. Generally speaking I am not a proponent of fanservice in anime which translates to the anime artstyle in the game. For those who do not know, fanservice in anime is when female characters have oversized breasts, panty shots are focused on and other things of that nature. So far, there has been some but not enough to where it feels like the game is trying to distract you with it. The fact that one of the characters at one point says, “Oh you know, fanservice. Well time to get a bit more serious now,” made me pass a sigh of relief that at least they knew that they were doing this. And this kind of breaking the fourth wall works well in the game causing me to laugh out loud on more than one occasion thus far.
As you can tell, my first six or so hours in the game have been enjoyable. There are some things here and there like how the voice acting be grating or that there are some minor framerate issues, but all of these will only be judged once the game is completed. Keep it here on Those Gaming Nerds for a review of Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;Birth1 next week.