Reviews - Updated on April 9, 2022

Hyperdimension Neptunia is an amazing, very specific Japanese RPG series that also includes a light novel, manga, and anime series based on it. Concentrated and very cute anime, pop-eyed chans in lace outfits, focus on fan service, in some places the most cruel grind – all this here is adjacent to a frankly postmodern setting and a plot written by geeks for geeks. The action takes place in the world of Gamindustri, and we mainly play as four cute waifu, who periodically take the form of goddesses – the guardians of this world, but at the same time personify … game consoles: Sega, PlayStation, Nintendo and Xbox.

That is, if you are a geek and a game lover in principle, then, you yourself understand, you simply have to get acquainted with Hyperdimension Neptunia – even if you don’t particularly like JRPGs. In addition to the numbered releases of the series (the first was released in 2010, the fourth in 2015), there are also a bunch of spin-offs – for example, Cyberdimension Neptunia: 4 Goddesses Online appeared on PS4 two years ago, telling about the adventures of our heroine goddesses in a fictional MMORPG. And this June, a new spin-off appeared – the first two-dimensional in the series. By all the laws of this geeky universe, the main villains in Super Neptunia RPG are just 2D retrogrades who oppose new technologies, tride and VR.

And amnesia again!

As you may have guessed, this series has a lot of humor, all sorts of references and jokes about games, the villains are often “pirates”, and the scenarios allow you to survive significant events for the gaming industry – console wars, the decline of Atari and Sega Dreamcast, the Steam era, and so on. . But all this is in a veiled form, in the spirit of a typical fantasy about the confrontation between good and evil.

At the same time, the authors do not hesitate to use hackneyed tricks – for example, with amnesia. So in Super Neptunia RPG, our favorite protagonist Nep-Nep, who instead of bows in her pink hair has crosses from a gamepad, after some events finds herself completely without memory. And even when he meets his faithful companions, none of them recognize each other.

Nevertheless, the eternal girlfriends unite this time to resist the insidious villains from the Bombyx Mori guild, who hide the presence of 3D, VR and related consoles from the inhabitants of the Game industry, force them to pay taxes on the support of two-dimensional games, suppress any initiative and new ideas in fellow citizens-developers and generally advocate a total “two-dimensionality”. Our heroines join the local resistance, which wants to return three-dimensional games and modern consoles to the people.

Girls who play

All this, as before, is accompanied by a bunch of jokes and funny dialogues. “Why are you sure your name is Neptunia?” “Well, this game is called Neptunia, right?” Our girlfriends complete quests for a student who studies the influence of games on the human brain, hardly remembers an ancient spell called Click and is surprised by strange commands from a magic book in the spirit of “Press the button quickly 23 times in a row!”.Super Neptunia RPG game review

Here it is, fanservice!

At the same time, the story itself is able to hook even those who are indifferent to all these geeky jokes – there are a lot of events, we visit different cities and regions, travel even under water, complete a bunch of quests, rescue one of the four heroines from captivity, flee, make an infiltration hacking into local archives, where you need to fight with books. And most importantly, we observe how the heroines try to remember everything and only somewhere around the 40th level do they return their memory, as well as the ability to take on their divine forms. But who are these strange shadows, similar to the twins of our goddesses and repeating all the time: “Sink, sink, sink”? The intrigue persists for a long time.

And all this is richly flavored with fan service (although here it is much lighter than in some of the numbered issues of the series) and typical anime cuteness. The main villain is, of course, a funny girl. And our Neptunia, as before, is crazy about puddings – the meals of the main characters are illustrated by separate cut-scenes and evoke a feeling of deep tenderness. Well, in general, the game looks great – cozy, beautiful and kawaii. Unless you can’t call the animation perfect …

Jump and hit!

If everything is fine with the plot, setting, jokes, characters (and their voices) in Super Neptunia RPG, then with the gameplay, as is usually the case in this series, everything is not so simple. The essence is clear – we run through two-dimensional locations (trying to save three-dimensional games, yes!), fight in turn-based fights, complete quests (in the vast majority, of course, to collect items / kill enemies), look for treasures in chests, trade, upgrade, try on a new equipment, doing the usual grind for the series.

Platform elements were added to this recipe, but the jumps themselves were not implemented very well. Although a lot is built on them precisely in terms of exploring the world – you can’t get into some areas and you can’t get to some treasure spots until you learn a double jump or learn how to call a hand pudding (well, of course) that Neptunia can use as a springboard. However, there is nothing critically inconvenient either.

Super Neptunia RPG game review

It is not often that we have to fight underwater in such games.

The most controversial thing is the battles and their balance. Fights take place in a somewhat unusual step-by-step mode, when, as the progress bar accumulates, we must activate one or another heroine in time, who will carry out the action assigned to this key – hit, conjure a useful aura, heal, and so on. At the same time, you can change the heroic formation right in the battle – and the set of available techniques and actions depends on who and in what position of the girls.

And before that, you yourself must determine on a separate screen who, what and at what location will do. You can assign an attack with physical or, conversely, magical damage, which hits only one or all enemies; you can decide that from this position one should heal, and here the other will impose an increase in physical damage.

Where are the rivals?

The system is interesting and allows you to flexibly adapt to the situation in each battle. We met, for example, an enemy that was resistant to physical damage from Neptunia, who was in the forefront – they changed the formation, putting another heroine in front. Etc.

We also influence the effectiveness of young ladies with equipment. Each item increases survivability, or intelligence, or health, gives resistance to different types of damage, and so on. But first, these skills of the item need to be pumped as you use it – then they become available, and you can activate them. But you won’t be able to turn everything on – you need to meet the limit of skill points, which gradually increases as the character is upgraded.

Super Neptunia RPG game review

The Japanese, as usual, are just obsessed with food.

The problem, however, is that most of the enemies in Super Neptunia RPG are harmless for most of the game. There is also a handy function of accelerating time in battle, and as a result, the lion’s share of battles does not take even 10 seconds, during which we simply hold down the acceleration and “spam” one or two buttons. Problems arise only with rare enemies for which a reward is assigned, and with bosses – and even then not with all. Either I was swinging so well and using the game mechanics correctly, or there are holes in the balance.

On the one hand, in such conditions, the load of the grind branded for the series is practically not felt. And this seems to be good, especially considering that the main thing here is the story, humor and characters. On the other hand, there is somehow too little challenge for a JRPG.

This is what most battles look like here.

***

Super Neptunia RPG is cute, cozy, cute and kind of childish, or something. Even the fanservice, as I said, is very light here. Although, of course, pleasant for all fans of the series.

Fans are the main target audience of the game. Here, all the key fetishes for the series and its specific atmosphere are very carefully, lovingly sustained and shown, and the story, characters and their voices leave an exceptionally pleasant impression (cute Hyun was especially successful, of course). But as a game itself, Super Neptunia RPG is hardly able to interest those who are indifferent to this franchise. Although you can try – strange as it sounds in the light of the history itself, Super Neptunia RPG proves with its appearance that 2D games look much better than 3D ones.

Pros: fascinating story; corporate humor; familiar and beloved characters of the series, to which new colorful heroes and villains have been added; interesting equipment system; many opportunities in the formation of combat tactics; chic hand-drawn graphics; great music; good sounding.

Cons: most opponents do not pose any danger; poorly implemented platform elements.

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