Hyperdimension Neptunia was an extremely fun JRPG made by developers Compile Heart that was originally released on the Playstation 3. Following the release of two successful sequels, the game was ported over to the Playstation Vita that gave more RPG fans the chance to enjoy the game on Sony’s handheld device. Fast forward to 2015, Compile Heart has teamed up with Idea Factory to bring Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;Birth1 to Steam to share the Neptunia series with the PC gaming community.
The game tells the tale of Neptune, a young woman who awakens with amnesia who is saved by a friendly but dense nurse named Compa. In the world of Gaminindustri, there are 4 factions: Lastation, Leanbox, Lowee and Planeptune – each of them are ruled by 4 CPU Goddesses. After suffering a defeat at the hands of the other CPU Goddesses, Neptune transforms back into a young woman as she falls from the sky and awakens with no memory of past events. Each of the factions are a parody of last-generation consoles from Sony, Nintendo, Microsoft and you guessed it, Sega. As you venture to make sense of the world, Neptune is thrown into danger and chaos as monsters have appeared and threatened the peace and stability of the Gaminindustri universe. There is an abundance of references that include developers, visual novels, gaming piracy and more to be found throughout the game that is sure to bring a smile to many fans and gamers out there.
Battles are a radical departure from the original combat system found in the original Hyperdimension Neptunia game on the PS3. Rather than being stuck during turn-based combat, you have the ability to control the character positions strategically as you fight your enemies. Teaming up with your allies is much easier as you can attack multiple enemies at once. With the combat system drawn from Hyperdimension Neptunia Victory, battles are a lot more engaging and intuitive as you also have the option to transform into powerful CPU Goddesses when facing tough enemies and devastating boss fights. Super moves can be unleashed on unsuspecting monsters when the EXE gauge is full and you can utilize Plans, a feature that helps moderate the difficulty of the game with respect to enemy stats, item drops and other offensive and defensive tactics.
There are many side quests for players to embark upon if you wish to take a break from the main storyline. Acquiring better equipment and gear is vital in the latter half of the game as certain monsters and enemy encounters are deadly and very unforgiving. As for the story, it rarely remains tense or serious for long as there are plenty of jokes, comedic references, whimsical behaviors and tomfoolery to keep any situation from getting too dire or grim. Each of your team members have distinct personalities that keep things interesting when the game infuses you the task of grinding and item fetching. Customizable battle options and specialized weapons will keep players focused as button mashing and reckless decision making often results in a quick and painful death. Regarding the dialogue, much has been revised from the original game as conversations are more fluid and easier to follow this time around.
Visually, the game looks spectacular and fully supports 1080p resolution. Known for their artistic backgrounds and colorful character designs, the developers have succeeded in delivering a gorgeous Hyperdimension Neptunia game to Steam that is far superior to the game’s original release on the Playstation Vita. The soundtrack is appropriate and fitting for this game that features bright visuals, cute anime girls and an intuitive combat system. Though the game initially supported a maximum of 1600x900 resolution, Idea Factory has swiftly resolved that issue with their latest patch made available a couple days after the launch date.
Hyperdimension Re;Birth1 marks the arrival of the first Neptunia game on Steam with better dialogue, improved visuals and a revamped battle system. The game can be enjoyed by using either the Xbox 360 controller or keyboard as this reviewer prefers the first option. It serves as the best introduction for JRPG fans and prospective gamers who missed the opportunity to play the original on either the Playstation 3 or Playstation Vita. Though the game suffers at times from excessive grinding and pacing issues, JRPG fans looking to sink their teeth into a lighthearted RPG on Steam need look no further than Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;Birth1.
PROS – Gorgeous Visuals, Intuitive Combat System, Improved Dialogue
CONS – Excessive Grinding, Pacing Issues
SCORE – 80%
This review is based on a digital copy of Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;Birth1 provided by Idea Factory.