By – Matt Camp

Hyperdimension Neptunia ReBirth 3 V Generation PC Review He

Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;Birth3 V Generation starts like all the other Neptunia games, with lead CPU Neptune finding herself in trouble. Only this time, she has to save not just her Gamindustri but a whole new dimension too! One that is apparently still stuck in the Eighties. With the majority of the game taking place within this new dimension, Idea Factory have once again managed to provide an access point into the Neptunia series that doesn’t require experience with the previous games.

Those who have played other entries in the series, will find that Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;Birth3 V Generation is comfortably familiar. Many of the game mechanics have been carried over from the previous Re;Birth titles, along with the same distinctive colourful visual style. The combat system has had some changes made to it however. The SP gauge has been merged with the EX one. Standard skills, EX finishers, CPU coupling and formation moves, as well as the EXE drive, now all rely on the same source which is capped at 1000 points. To off-set this, SP is now gained when hitting enemies with normal attacks. The result is a need to think more carefully about when to use skills or when to conserve points. Likewise, once used, the player will now have to fight more of the regular enemies just to refill the SP gauge. Although there are SP replenishing items of varying strength, the stronger ones will need to be crafted from plans before they are available in the shop.

Naturally, most non-CPU characters do not have access to EXE drives or related moves. In the previous games this left them with a disadvantage compared to the CPUs. This time though, they have the Awakening ability which allows them to power up their moves in exchange for SP consumption, similar to the EXE drives. Thus, they are more useful in boss fights. However, they still do not have coupling or formation skills, so are likely to still be benched in favour of the CPU characters.

Hyperdimension Neptunia ReBirth 3 V Generation PC Review He

The hidden items in dungeons can now be found inside “Mario” like blocks. These invisible blocks are only revealed by jumping underneath them. Head butting them the first few times will cause credits to fall out. Additionally, they may also randomly provide items. Continuing to hit these boxes once they are depleted will result in objections from the character you are controlling. Neptune will cry out how horrible you are being to her, in amongst cries of pain. The items found in these containers may drop from their own unique loot tables. Therefore, it is necessary to farm specific blocks when searching for certain items. For example, in order to find the Jumping Star plan, I needed to farm the same box in the Halo Forest dungeon six times.

First introduced in Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;Birth 2 Sisters Generation, Stella’s Dungeon also makes a reappearance. At its core, this is still a simple rogue-like mini-game. But some significant improvements have been made. First, Stella’s Dungeon is now accessible from the main in-game menu and not just from cities. This allows you to keep micro-managing Stella’s adventure while you’re in a dungeon yourself. Thus eliminating a lot of the dead time between runs.

Second, Stella now has a choice of companions to travel with. Each of these scouts start with a skill, such as finding more treasure, or reducing enemies. There is also an empty slot for an additional skill, and these can be found during runs. While scouts may discover several such skills, only one can be selected at any time. Scouts may also discover new locations in the main game, which will provide a few items when first entered.

Hyperdimension Neptunia ReBirth 3 V Generation PC Review He

Unless you choose to use the Insurance plans, available as paid DLC (for 1 dollar), defeat in Stella’s Dungeon results in the loss of all equipped items as well as your current scout being left behind. Even when the Insurance plan is used, success in Stella’s Dungeon is not guaranteed. However, the only rewards lost in such cases are the scout discoveries. Finally, as an extra little touch, Stella is now voiced. Although, unless you’re specifically watching her adventure log in real time, you won’t hear the majority of her comments.

Naming for certain items in Stella’s Dungeon are still lacking however. For example, stones of the same type all share the same name but the perks provided may differ. For example while one Stone of Death may increase damage near death and give 20 extra HP, another may ignore enemy defense stats and offer 30 additional HP. The only way to determine is to look at the description at the bottom of the screen. This can make finding a specific stone difficult when you have many of the same name.

For the PC release, Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;Birth3 V Generation comes packed with all the free DLC items right out of the box. This includes several additional characters which were initially paid for DLC when they were released in Japan. Thus, as the game progresses, players can have access to an overwhelming 28 characters with which to construct their 8-member party. While having such variety is certainly a good thing, once players have obtained several of the CPUs, there is little reason to use the non-CPU allies. Even with their Awakened mode, the non-CPUs lack the benefits, such as far more powerful special moves, that the CPUs gain from their transformations.

Hyperdimension Neptunia ReBirth 3 V Generation PC Review He

There is another issue with the additional DLC characters, which I found to be mildly irritating; the handling of their events. During the course of Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;Birth3 V Generation several events will appear either in the cities or in dungeons. The majority of events found in cities can be accessed consecutively from the Information option in the city menu. However for the DLC related events, it often becomes necessary to exit Information and then re-enter in order for the next one to appear. There are several times where this needs to be repeated ten or more times in order to see all the currently available events.

Like other Idea Factory games, saving at any time is only possible outside of dungeons, and I would recommend doing so before accessing a city if the presence of an event is indicated. This is because some key story events may automatically play before displaying the city menu. These can last upwards of 30 minutes if you choose to listen to the audio dialogue, and several may occur in succession.  Starting from the second chapter, there are special Nep Station events. These include the Millionep Quiz and Wallet Crusher Nep. The former rewards items for correctly answering a set of questions; with a million credits up for grabs if you get all 27 right. The latter is a parody of television shopping shows.

Generally, the English localization of Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;Birth3 V Generation is enjoyable. There are more game related references that are missing in the original Japanese, and these definitely help maintain that the Neptunia games are a parody of the Japanese gaming industry. Unfortunately, there are several areas where the English version is lacking. As an example, in one scene Cyber Connect 2 mentions that Blanc had her hand bit by a turtle. The original Japanese however states that it was her head the turtle chomped on; which is far more humorous when you consider how that could have possibly happened.

In terms of performance, Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;Birth3 V Generation still suffers similar issues as the previous games. The frame rate slow down on first entering a dungeon is still present (with the frame rate remaining at 60 FPS the rest of the time). The mouse pointer is still visible and needs to be moved out of the way. I would still recommend playing with a controller over using mouse and keyboard. A new issue seems to have cropped up as well though. During fights there is a noticeable flickering of sprites when first starting an attack. This flickering is also present in some of the animations for special moves too, such as in CPU’s Punishment – a coupling move for Plutia and Noire.

Hyperdimension Neptunia ReBirth 3 V Generation PC Review He

Conclusion – Is It Worth Your Money?

There is no doubt that Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;Birth3 V Generation is well worth playing. The introduction of Plutia (who hides somewhat sadistic tendencies), allows for some brilliantly risque humorous undertones. The changes to the combat system shake things up just enough that fighting provides a different experience to previous entries. And as with other Re;Birth games, there is plenty to do. The end result is a truly enjoyable game that doesn’t even attempt to take itself seriously.

Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;Birth3 V Generation Technical Summary:

Hyperdimension Neptunia ReBirth 3 V Generation PC Review He

  • Time Played – 81 Hours
  • Widescreen Support – Yes
  • Windowed Mode – Yes
  • Resolution Played – 1920×1080
  • Bugs/Crashes Encountered – None
  • DRM – Steamworks
  • System Specs – 3.50 GHz i7 3770K , 8GB RAM, 4GB GeForce GTX 960
  • Control Scheme – Keyboard/Mouse, Controller – Controller recommended
  • Game Acquisition Method – Review Copy
  • Availability – Steam
  • Demo – No
  • Saved Game Location – Steam\userdata\\353270\remote

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