In Lieu of a Review: Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;Birth1


Hyperdimension Neptunia is infamous for its “misogynist” portrayal of airheads.

Idea Factory International’s list of issues presently being fixed posted on the Steam Community Hub, includes “background going black”; an issue which has unfortunately forced me into writing this featurette in lieu of a review.

I was introduced to the Hyperdimension Neptunia series with Mk2, the second in the series. I liked it so much that I bought the original, which has since been remade under the title of Re;Birth1. First on PS Vita, and now on PC. With the release of Victory soon after I bought the original, I never actually got around to playing the original, which might be a good thing—Re;Birth1 updates the much maligned combat system of the original with the latter games’ super smooth and super fun battle system and dungeon design—complete with jump and attack buttons.

Instead of simply selecting from a list of attacks to be enacted by one’s party in battle, one composes one’s own list of combos, mixing individual attacks in three base categories: heavy attacks, multiple hit attacks, and defensive guard breaking attacks, then uses these attacks as if performing a turn-based beat ‘em up combo. While navigating the battlefield as if one were playing an SRPG. The emphasis on combos and equipment means that once one comes to grips with the battle system, grinding is rarely necessary—one is only as good as one’s combo set ups and equipment (some of which is acquired through the use of a simple crafting system).

Interestingly, perhaps the greatest improvements (at least compared to the latter games in the series, if not the original itself) are the reduced loading times and the consistent frame rate engendered by the PC platform. The effect these have on the flow of dungeons cannot be understated. One transitions from the dungeon to the battle and back seamlessly, and can rush easily through the battle itself so that a genuine cadence is developed as one hops swiftly from battle to battle. The artwork in the visual novel-style cutscenes doesn’t look too shabby at a proper resolution, either. (Now that 1080P works.)

Idea Factory International’s regular posts on the Steam Community Hub is, hopefully, indicative of their commitment to iron out all the issues still present so that Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;Birth1 becomes the triumphant arrival of one of the most exciting contemporary JRPG series that it should be.