The Hyperdimension Neptunia series continues! This time IF gets the lime light in an all new spin off of time bending proportions. Should we fix time or should we let the clock break?
IF is on a mission to find the Grand Library when she sees somebody fall from the sky. Upon reaching the library, the person regains consciousness and reveals her name as Segami and she has amnesia. Histoire tells them about how time is changing. Whole pieces of history are disappearing and IF and Segami must go through time to try and fix history and find out who is at fault and why they are making the Sega Hard Girls fight the Goddesses?
The story is nothing grandiose. Travel back and forth between 4 different time periods (Mega Drive, Sega Saturn, Game Gear, and Dreamcast) and the present. You can do the time periods in any order you want and it doesn’t change the outcome at all. The main problem with the game is its pacing. At 9 hours in I was thinking “Oh wow, i’m already fighting the final boss?”, but it didn’t end. Nor did it end the next 3 times i thought it was. The reason for this? The game constantly loops. You have a certain amount of time to complete missions (and you cannot complete them all in 1 playthrough) at which point the enemy is still too strong and you must fight him, and you will lose, and you will be sent back to the begin of the game timewise…..then repeat the whole process…..then again….and again. Play until you complete enough missions to weaken the boss to the point of defeat.
The biggest problem is that the story never feels like a real sense of danger. Throughout the game there is constant comedy, laughing, stupid yelling, and ditzyness, to the degree where a serious part will come on and it feels almost weird.
VISUAL AND AUDIO DESIGN
As always, the music is very good, but there is a reason for that. You see, most of the music, if not all of it, is recycled from other games. Don’t get me wrong, it fits in perfectly, but there is more old than new in the game. Speaking of recycled from other games, you have visited each of the area’s already. Except for 2 or 3 play areas, all of them have been in the other games. So even with the new story and gameplay, you feel like you have been here over, and over, and over, and over again. And that’s because you have been. The neat thing about the levels is that they change somewhat depending on what time period you are in. One level could be a baren wasteland with tree’s felled in one time, then in another its a green field with a more open area to explore. Or perhaps a big tomb area with multiple rooms to explore and in a later time its merely a small room due debris and corrosion. Its not much but it helps with the feeling of being in a different era.
Here is where the game really changes things up. This time around, the turn based combat still intact, takes a meter approach. When a character’s turn is ready in battle each action, whether it be to attack, use an item, use a skill, or even just move, takes up a certain amount of the meter. At any time you can hold the attack button to use a charge attack. The charge attack will max out the meter and do a more powerful attack than normal. How much of the meter you use determines when you will get to attack next. Its a nice and interesting way of seeing when the perfect time to Attack or end your turn is. As you attack you fill up the Fever meter. When the meter reaches 100% you can activate Fever mode which automatically gives your characters priority in the attacking order up until the fever mode ends. Fever mode is also the only time you can activate EXE attacks, which are the most powerful attack a character can do. The best thing to do is get into a spot where all 4 characters can hit the enemy, then activate fever mode, and you will have the exact amount of fever meter to use all 4 characters EXE attacks. Just a little tip for ya!
I enjoyed this game and had no problem getting through it, but I also couldn’t get heavily invested the story. The game industry puns are just as bountiful but i’m starting to wonder if they are over staying their welcome. This is a good addition to the Hyperdimension Neptunia series, but not a necessary one. The gameplay makes it a fresh take on the series, but with all of the reused enemies, area’s, and music, I spent the entire game feeling like i’ve already done this multiple times. The characters personalities range from cute and charming to obnoxious and irritating. If you enjoy fun romps through a lighthearted JRPG, this game is for you. If you enjoy something more serious then you will want to pass this by.
6 out of 10
Superdimension Neptune Vs. Sega Hard Girls releases on the Playstation Vita on October 18th, 2016.