Welcome to Celestia, a place where the size of your breast determines your rank and your place in life. This game was definitely not written by a man and is not intended for Men. This game is intended Teenagers because it's rated T for Teen. Hyperdimension Neptunia is a JRPG where you assume the role of Neptune in a world created by a computer gone mad. What was the name of that computer that was recently on Jeopardy? Watson? Maybe he has something to do with this. The world has been divided into 4 regions and is now up to Neptune to save Histoire and restore order to the world.
The story starts with Neptune in her world of Celestia, She is a goddess who is sent to Gamindustri or as I like to call it Earth. She loses her memory but regains it back when she meets up with Compa a nurse in training who wishes to help Neptune save Histoire. The beginning of the game is very slow as the story is put into place by the cast. The world below is being run by monsters and Neptune must go to the dungeon to defeat the Boss in order to slow down the death of men who are being eaten by monsters on a day to day basis.
As you enter a dungeon you will be met with random battles from monsters whom you must defeat. You will use a variety of powers to complete your goal and defeat the boss who is spawning all these monsters. The combat is all turned based. Each character has different combinations which can be modified in the main menu with /\, O and X. You can also collect elemental attacks which consist of Neutral, Fire, Earth, Water and Wind. You will also collect RW Disc which contain elemental powers depending on who is using them. While in battle you can also transform Neptune and other characters into CPU's. Neptune transforms into Purple Heart and her strength increases throughout the rest of the battle.
Outside of battle each characters has different abilities such as smashing through walls or finding treasures in dungeons. After completing a dungeon you will get the chance to go outside and purchase supplies and proceed to the next dungeon. If you haven't caught on, that's basically all you do in this game. Proceed from one dungeon to the next. The story is told via character art so not much will be shown in terms of background on the world or setting. If you've played Evolution Worlds on Dreamcast/Gamecube or Mega Man Legends on Playstation, Hyperdimension Neptunia features similar gameplay style. HN does give users the ability to upload any image from the PS3 Album into the game. You can upload images into the power ups or on Neptune's custom. You can get creative from here on out as to what you want to load.
Besides the dungeons, there's not much in terms of exploration. You can explore the world map via menus in a click and point fashion to select shops and dungeons. There are plenty of missions for you to enjoy and depending on the grade and time you finish your quest, you can post it online and see how you rank up against the world.
The story is quite interesting but may put off some players as it may seem a bit cheesy. While the game uses computer terms like RW Disc's, CPU, etc. it's all based on consoles as the main character is fighting in the console wars and the world below is known as game industri. What's also lame is that once Neptune rediscovers her powers in battle there is no introduction and other characters don't question it. Neptune transforms and that's the end of it no questions asked.
If you love anime and the art then you will definitely love Hyperdimension Neptunia. It has that kinky anime feel where women have large breasts and wear short skirts to the point where you can see what type of underwear they wear. Of course the story is all explained in a 2D Slide show but when in battle and in dungeon free roam the characters still maintain their anime look.
The soundtrack is another story tough. It may be fun to listen to, It does not capture the feel of Hyperdimension Neptunia. It sounds like something you might have heard back in the Sega Saturn days. Interesting fact. HN was suppose to be a title for one of Sega's consoles called the Neptune but because it was discarded the idea was trashed and it isn't until today that we are playing that very same game that we should have been playing a decade ago. The idea may have been brought back to life but I wish the soundtrack would have been updated. The voice over's are amazing though as they match each and every single characters personality. You can't just pick any random stranger and put them on a game, you have to carefully select each individual and make sure they fit the part properly. I am still disappointed in the American Release of Final Fantasy 7 Advent Children. But this isn't the story for HN.
HN may be long but it's a game you play in short bursts as playing through dungeons all the time may cause severe head trauma from banging your head against the wall. The trophies are easy to acquire as all you have to do is play through most of the game to get through them. You can go back to dungeons and replay the area, collect treasure or level up to defeat an even stronger enemy.
Hyperdimension Neptunia is a great anime based game but it's not the best game out there. If you're looking for an RPG to pass the time this is the newest and only one available. The story is decent, the battle system is very indepth and it will keep you entertained for a while. I just wish it offered better gameplay and exploration like Final Fantasy or other RPG's from the past instead of this dungeon system which is the reason why I gave my copy of Evolution World for the gamecube away. But with that said HN is definitely an interesting game and it is worth checking out. Breaking news, Watson has is now looking for investors to fund his company Skynet and plans to start working on a new assistant called the T1000 to help with everyday needs. If you want to invest please contact Watson.
Gameplay: Great Combat system but game falls short for dungeon exploration and no world exploration. 7/10
Graphics: Truly captures the anime style of Japan in both 3D and 2D. 7.5/10
Sound: Strange soundtrack but the voice overs more than make up for it. It's a shame it doesn't support custom soundtracks. 7/10
Story: Not the best story but it does sort of drive the game forward.7/10
LifeSpan: Decent amount of gametime with leaderboards if you want to be the best. 7/10
Total Score: 71/100