Compile Heart’s first two games in the Hyperdimension Neptunia franchise were very different from what we usually see in JRPG’s. However Compile Heart and NIS America seem to be happy with the fan base of the franchise and don’t really seem to want to change it all that much with this iteration and that is why we have the third instalment in this amazing franchise; Hyperdimension Neptunia Victory.

Regardless of Hyperdimension Neptunia Victory being a JRPG, the core story does not stand out for it’s creativity or innovation. The story starts off with Neptunia (the protagonist) being sent back in time into another dimension and just as her world is in serious danger of destruction from unknown evil forces. This type of story has been seen many times in games and makes it easier for the developers as they can use some of the enemies and characters from previous games. This kind of plot may have been seen many times but not in the context of Hyperdimension Neptunia Victory which manages to sum the whole gaming industry up in a few characters.

What makes the Hyperdimension Neptunia franchise so gripping and interesting is how they manage to portray many game related companies by one single girl. For example Neptunia basically represents a Sega games console and Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo are also represented by their own individual characters. There are also many Japenese video game developers portrayed in the game by less important characters and there are some characters that represent the many different personalities within the gaming industry.

If gaming consoles could have personalities then Hyperdimension Neptunia Victory would makes these personalities be over the top and very amusing. During many of the games cutscenes they take the consoles wars that we see all over the internet and make them even more over the top than they already are. It does make for some very funny moments in the games and they never miss an opportunity to get a joke in about events that have happened in the gaming industry over the last few years. Some people might not find all the jokes funny as some of them could be considered a little tasteless like when they joke about the Foxconn suicides that involved many companies in the gaming industry like Nintendo and Microsoft. However for most gamers they will find the funny side of it and accept that NIS America doesn’t mean anything by it and that it is all meant to be a joke. This style of humour is not going to appeal to casual gamers as it based on laughing at the game industry and if you are not interested in the games industry that you won’t know what the characters at talking about. Also when the characters start talking directly to you it could turn a lot of people of for the simple reason of not understanding the jokes.

It does not surprise me that they keep going on about the same jokes as the story setup really supports the humour. Dialogue sequences are long and favour the more hardcore gamers as it is a very text heavy game and does not include much more than characters standing talking to each other.  However if you are a fan of the Hyperdimension Neptunia games then the humour will appeal to you as the quality of it is just as good as the last two games. Long-time fans of the series will also be happy to hear that Compile Heart has stuck to its roots with the full game almost still being an all girls party. Also most of the girl characters are still close to being naked which could turn some casual gamers away and make them feel very awkward. It is obviously done for humour and fun factor but I think most people will miss that this is the point of the game and will reject the small amount of sexuality in the game and the themes that it explores.

The gameplay is very similar to the last games in the series. The combat is turn based but allows players to move around the battlefield freely so they can plan the best attack. The character roles are what you would expect with JRPG’s whereby one character is the medic and the othersare experts in magic and combat. Also as in the past Hyperdimension games you are able to buddy up hero characters. Even though the partners hero won’t be on the battlefield with him he still helps out by giving his partner stat boosts and some extra abilities. There is also strategy to which characters you buddy up as different characters work better with each other and will help them improve overtime. There are CPU forms in the games to control like super attacks, extra-super attacks and assist attacks. However it does take some trial and error to learn this system as the in game tutorial does not do a great job at explaining it like most of Compile Heart’s games. However once you learn how to use the combat system it works great especially when they can sometimes make there combat system very complex like they did in Mugen Souls.

The game progresses by a quest system where you accept quests and every so often one of these quests will progress the story. This system really keeps the story progressing and makes you want to do all the quests as they all build up the story. Other than the quests and the combat there is a weapon crafting system that is fairly basic and a few NPC’s to interact with and talk to. The character design is unique as well as they are 2D paper cut-outs and when they are talking it is like they are part of a Twitter conversation. The towns and cities are not great however as they are basically just menus and when going to enemy environments you will find that there is not much to interact with and that the places are quite small.

Hyperdimension Neptunia Victory uses the slandered JRPG format but does not have a lot to do in game like other JRPG’s such as Atelier Ayesha. The game is long enough but this is down to the fact that the dialogue cutscenes take so long to play out. All of this will probably make many people pass on the game.

However they would be wrong. It may be more like a book than a video game but that is what I expected before I played the game and this is why I liked the game so much. NIS America has put a lot of hard work into the localisation and translation of the game and have also gave you the option of using the original Japanese voiceover. This is a great feature for many JRPG fans that want to have the original experience and is something many publishers are leaving out of JRPG’s like Tecmo Koei did with their latest release Atelier Ayesha.

PRO’S

  • Original Japanese Voice-over
  • Great English Voice-over
  • Great Quest System
  • Great Fan Service
  • Good Humour

CON’S

  • Not Many Interactive Environments
  • Not for Casual Gamer

Thanks to NIS America for the Review copy of Hyperdimension Neptunia Victory