Hyperdimension Neptunia Victory is the follow-up to last year’s Hyperdimension Neptunia Mk2. It’s timing couldn’t be better. We’re on the verge of a bloody console war and this series is all about console wars… and hyperactive anime heroines. Victory takes things to the 80s, though, so don’t expect any references to Sony and Microsoft’s upcoming battle.
The Story – A few years have passed since the Deity of Sin’s destruction. Even though it’s had a few small conflicts here and there, Gamindustri has remained peaceful, and all the CPUs have been living fun and carefree lives. Then one day, Neptune—the CPU of Planeptune—is swept away to another dimension. The new dimension she arrives in is a very familiar Gamindustri, but with a nostalgic 80′s feel to it. She learns that a mysterious group called “The Seven Sages” have been planning evil schemes meant to eliminate the CPUs in this other Gamindustri. Neptune’s new journey to return home, as well as protect this other dimension, starts here…
Title: Hyperdimension Neptunia Victory
Developer: Idea Factory
Release Date: 3/26/13
- Battle System – The battle system mixes turned-based strategy with real-time action. When it’s your turn you can move the girls around the battlefield and attack your foes. You also have assists, special attacks, and transformations. The battle system isn’t the best around, but it gets the job done.
- Scouts – You can send scouts out to… scout dungeons. This gets you extra items, credits, and it can alter dungeons. So you may encounter new monsters and gain extra EXP.
- The Pretty Colors – Anime fans will enjoy the game’s art style. It’s glossy, colorful, and it creates a carefree atmosphere.
- Soundtrack – The game comes with a soundtrack CD and it isn’t half bad. It fits the game’s presentation perfectly and most of the tunes will get stuck in your head.
- A Love Letter to Gaming – There’s gaming references around every corner. I enjoyed discovering all of them, but I wish they were less obvious.
- Customization – You can customize the girl’s outfits by uploading pictures to your PS3. Perves will abuse this, but it’s still a cool feature.
- The Girls – Do you like cute girls doing cute things? The girls’ personalities aren’t unique (tsundere, moeblob, etc), but I enjoyed their silly antics.
- Talkative – You can fast-forward through the cutscenes by pressing start, but they’re still a little too long. I felt like most of my time was spent reading dialogue.
- Small Dungeons – You can run around the dungeons in a few minutes. They’re some of the smallest ones I’ve seen in a game. This is probably a good thing because the enemy encounters aren’t anything amazing. That brings me to my next point.
- D.R.A.K.E. (Do Right And Kill Everything) – The combat is solid, but it starts to feel automatic. The enemies are predictable and I found myself cruising through the battles on autopilot. I’d just go into a trance and kill everything that wasn’t an ally.
- Kill “X” Number of Monsters – The mission structure quickly becomes tedious. Go here and kill 5 monsters, find 10 of these, etc. You’re basically doing the same thing from start to finish.
- Framerate Hiccups – Compile Heart still needs to tweak their game engine. Once again the framerate is sub-par while exploring the dungeons. It isn’t game breaking, but you will notice it.
- An Uninspiring Narrative – I didn’t find the story interesting. It has a few cool moments, but it’s far from memorable. They could’ve done more with the time traveling aspect.
Long time fans of the series will enjoy this new entry, but the small dungeons, uninteresting monsters, quests, and lack of exploration will turn away mainstream JRPG lovers. I fall somewhere in the middle. I overlooked many of these problems while playing Mk2 last year, but Victory made them more noticeable because it sticks too closely to its predecessors’ formula. I can appreciate the game for its niche appeal, but it ultimately feels too limited.
Good – This game probably won’t win any awards, but it’ll keep you entertained, and at the end of the day that’s all that matters – it’s worth a look.