NIS America released an interesting looking RPG, Hyperdimension Neptunia, which is known for its unusual plot and a cast of female anime characters. Unfortunately, there were quite a few technical glitches and overly-complex mechanics that hindered its appeal. Nonetheless, there was enough popularity that led to a release of its successor, Hyperdimension Neptunia mk2.
Set in Gamindustri, you start off in Arfoire with the Console Patron Units (or CPUs) in battle. A few years later, a rescue attempt was made which only led to successfully save one character, Nepgear, while the rest of the CPUs imprisoned. It is then upon the team of Nepgear, IF and Compa to do what’s right.
You got three main sections to the game. There’s the world map, towns, and dungeons to journey through. Using the Nepgear, you can travel across the illustrated world map of Gamindustri. While you’re in towns, you can enter into shops where you can purchase various equipment and items, which in turn can be used to create special weapons. This gives players an added layer of customization to the game. Within the town, there’s also the guild where can you find out about quests. When you complete them, you can adjust the amount of support or shares towards a faction you want to give within different parts of the world. Changing this allocation of shares will affect the number of CPUs that will coming to fight with you as well as change the kind of ending you will see.
Finally, the dungeons are where you’ll encounter enemies, which also means an opportunity to fight. The combat system is turn-based where in each turn, you can move a character by a pre-determined distance depending on their stat. When you get close an enemy, you’ll get a number of attack options which are accessible via the face buttons. Each has a different function or attack assigned. They can be your basic, powerful attacks, and dash attacks. By pressing certain sequence of buttons, you end up pulling off powerful combo attacks. Whenever you attack, you’ll consume attack points. So the key is to determine which character you’d want to perform what attack.
While Hyperdimension Neptunia mk2 is very easy to pick up and play, it’s actually a double-edged sword here because the game is a bit too easy. This can be a good thing if you just want to rush through. There are no lengthy journeys thereby allowing you to complete the quests in a short amount of time. Enemies that appear can also be avoided, which means you can avoid those lengthy attacks. However, this takes away from the true RPG gameplay. That’s not to say that the boss fights aren’t challenging enough. As a matter of fact, they can take some time to beat because of how much more powerful they are. But if you look at the whole picture, players can potentially miss out on some valuable RPG experience.
Graphically, Hyperdimension Neptunia mk2 has a nice tone and color arrangement. There environments are beautifully designed and filled with some impressive artwork. On top of that, you’ve got some pretty neat-looking 3D models for characters even during cut scenes as they appear to have more personality attached to them. However, upon closer examination, the game does appear to be a bit too simplistic in terms of detail if you compare to other RPGs.
As for Hyperdimension Neptunia mk2’s audio, the soundtrack does have its charm and can be quite catchy. The tracks consist mostly of techno electronic melodies that fit well with the game’s setting. Both the voice acting and the sound effects have been executed fairly well which in the end allows for some impressive audio experience.
For an RPG game, Hyperdimension Neptunia mk2 is kind of short considering how it can be completed in about 30 hours. This can be attributed to how easy the combat system is, which consequently can shortchange players in terms of overall gameplay. But the amount of customization options and fairly-nice presentation compensate for this. Whether or not Hyperdimension Neptunia mk2 is right for you will depend on how much of an anime fan you are as this would also determine how much of an appreciation you’ll have towards it.