By – Matt Camp

Hyperdimension Neptunia

In the late nineties, SEGA had planed to release a two-in-one console which would have been the combination of the SEGA Genesis and its 32X attachment. This new hardware would have been called the SEGA Neptune. But after the decision to stop producing the failed 32X, it was scrapped. This device (which ultimately never saw production) became the inspiration for Neptune, the primary protagonist of the Hyperdimension Neptunia series. Originally released on the Playstation 3 as Hyperdimension Neptunia in 2010, Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;Birth1 is the PS Vita remake and features several revisions to improve gameplay. The PC release is based on the PS Vita version, although it is not a direct port.

Several PC specific configuration options have been provided, including both full screen and windowed support for several resolutions ranging from 640 x 360 to 1920 x 1080, although the original Vita resolution of 960 x 544 does not appear to be available. The ability to redefine controls for both keyboard and controller has also been added. However, while it is possible to rotate character models around the X, Y, and Z axis in the Equipment screen on the PS Vita, rotation along the Z axis has been removed from the PC release. While this does not affect gameplay it does mean it is no longer possible to view characters from more risqué angles.

It is possible to play Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;Birth1 with either the original Japanese or English audio. While most dialogues are fully voiced in Japanese, lines featuring English audio are far fewer. When playing with Japanese audio, incidental phrases spoken by the characters in dungeons (such as when Neptune jumps) and during the end of battle report do not have English subtitles. So there is a trade-off between fully understanding these sequences while having less spoken lines overall, or having a near fully voiced experience in Japanese and potentially not understanding everything that is said.

Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;Birth1 is essentially a tongue-in-cheek look at the Japanese gaming industry. Just like Neptune, the majority of characters are female representations of Japanese game-related companies or consoles. For example, her initial companions are IF (Iffy in the English translation) and Compa. These characters represent the developers; Idea Factory and Compile Heart respectively. With other characters being the personification of the Xbox 360, Wii, and Playstation 3. The basic storyline sees Neptune fighting with these other consoles, and ultimately losing both the battle and her memory. Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;Birth1 is thus the tale of Neptune attempting to regain her identity.

Hyperdimension Neptunia

Gameplay consists of two main phases, visual novel style conversation events and action based dungeon exploration. The story is delivered using the chat events and these can be fairly lengthy. These can be skipped but as they are fairly humorous, skipping is only advisable when starting over in a New Game + mode. For the dungeons, presentation takes a 3D approach. Progess in Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;Birth1 can be saved on the main menu at any time, except when in dungeons. In this case, you must find and activate a save point. Combat is a enjoyable turn based affair, where each character and enemy can move within a limited circle emanating from their current position and perform an action. Moving to the edge of this circle offers a chance to escape the battle.

Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;Birth1 does not feature traditional difficulty levels. In its place are two crafting systems. Throughout the game there is a possibility of finding memory upgrades, these provide a limited capacity for the player to craft plans from drops found in dungeons. These plans provide a range of features, such as new dungeons, changing item drops in a dungeon, and altering the difficult of enemies. Once crafted, these plans permanently consume memory. Plans relating to difficult or item drops can be toggled off, but the memory won’t be returned. Thus there is a need to decide which plans to craft initially. It is not possible to craft every single plan in a single playthrough. In addition to the plans, there is also a disc burning system which allows you to create bonuses for each party member. For example, one such disc combination allows a character to regain some health after a fight.

The PC version of Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;Birth1 does have a couple of issues. The mouse pointer is not automatically hidden. So when playing full screen there is a need to move it out of the way when playing with a controller. There also some instances where text is not properly confined within the window. Such as the description for some of the item plans, making it either impossible or difficult to fully read text in such instances.

Hyperdimension Neptunia

Conclusion – Is It Worth Your Money?

Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;Birth1 is one of Japans more popular recent role playing franchises. With it’s humorous take on the Japanese gaming industry, cute characters, and solid gameplay, Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;Birth1 is well worth playing by anyone who is interested in the genre. This release is a perfect opportunity for PC gamers to enjoy Neptune’s exploits.

Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;Birth1 Technical Summary:

Hyperdimension Neptunia

  • Time Played – 9 Hours
  • Widescreen Support – Yes
  • Windowed Mode – Yes
  • Resolution Played – 1920×1080
  • Bugs/Crashes Encountered – None
  • DRM – Steam
  • System Specs – 3.50 GHz i7 3770K , 8GB RAM, 4GB GeForce GTX 960
  • Control Scheme – M/KB, Controller (Recommended)
  • Game Acquisition Method – Review Copy
  • Availability – Steam
  • Demo – No
  • Saved Game Location – Documents\my games\Idea Factory International, Inc\Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;Birth1
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