Hyperdimension Neptunia 3 Re;Birth3 V Generation (PC review)

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Neptune and the gang are back with Idea Factory International’s latest port of its wildly popular HyperDimension Neptunia RPG series. Released earlier this year for the PlayStation Vita/PlayStation TV, it’s already been given the full PC release with the included 1080P graphical facelift that all the previous entries have received. For those who are venturing into HyperDimension for the first time, you’re given a quick introduction to the cast of characters from previous games before getting into the actual story of HyperDimension Neptunia Re; Birth3 V Generation. After the short intro, a strange power sends Neptune to an alternate dimension that is similar but also very different from the world of Gamindustri that she knows and loves, and she must set off on an adventure that transcends time if she hopes to return to her own dimension.

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Story

Shortly after arriving in this new dimension, Neptunia meets with what she thinks are her closest friends from her dimension but confuses them since none of them recognize her or have any idea about who this candidly speaking stranger is. Neptune soon learns that she is now in the past and her original kingdom is instead being run by another CPU Plutia, and her old friend Noire doesn’t have her kingdom either. Neptune then finds a way to contact her original dimension, but in order for her to return she must regain her powers as a CPU goddess and increase her kingdoms shares in order to reopen the portal to get home. Being trapped in this new world is just the start of her problems; however, the new team of 3 are quickly thrust into combat where Neptune realizes that her character level and stats have all been reset and her ability transform into her upgraded HD form has also been lost. This quest for shares is quickly made more difficult by an evil crime syndicate known as the Seven Sages who has the goal of eradicating all CPUs from the world Gamindustri so that they can rule. The tale is extremely lighthearted from beginning to end and it’s rare to have a cutscene or event where at least 1 of the characters doesn’t break the fourth wall for comedic purposes. The game is often at its best when this happens due to excellent writing that definitely appeals to a slightly more mature audience; however, this is not always the case and will still have gamers of all ages laughing all the way to end.

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So What’s New?

Besides the new coat of HD paint that the game is given, there is a whole slew of new features, bonus characters, and extra options for you to explore. The graphics are by far the most obvious upgrade for the second release of HD3. Everything about the landscapes, characters, and enemies just screams video game nostalgia. The story has also been changed since there is a new addition to console war and that side has decided that they are going to do what they want regardless of the rules. Combat remains mostly the same, but now with the ability to extend combos an extra hit to a total of 5 moves, there are even more creative combinations possible. There’s also the addition of tons of extra characters via DLC that, like the series, invoke and parody other icons of the game industry. Stella’s Dungeon, a real-time minigame, is also back and now Stella is able to bring along a friend to make her questing for your items easier and less lonely for her. Some of these items she finds will vary from normal gear up to “Plans” that allow you to alter dungeons to affect the enemies, treasures and much more. Last but certainly not least you will come across powerful equipment that will allow you to equip different pieces of armor on the CPU goddesses when they activate their HD forms. These will start off as small stat boosts, but the best gear may also grant new skills as well.

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Gameplay

HD3; Rebirth plays out like the previous JRPG installments in the franchise. You have an overworld map where you can select dungeons to explore or towns to activate story events or shop for items. There is a bit of a difference, however, in progressing the story in this installment. At most times, you will have a clear objective or a dungeon marked as new. However, there will be times when this will not be the case; at these times it’s imperative that you take on side quests from each of Gamindustri’s kingdoms in order to increase their “shares”. Once you have reached certain thresholds, story events will trigger and give you direction so it is imperative that you tackle side quests whenever possible, not only for money and gear but to make progress. Combat plays out like previous entries; it’s still a turn-based battle system where turn order and mobility in combat is decided by character stats. You will want to plan out your movement in combat. Every battle is not as simple as rushing ahead and laying into your enemies with your strongest attacks. This will work for early fights while learning the system, but later fights will quickly become catastrophes or worse, full party wipes resulting in that dreaded game over screen if you haven’t learned proper spacing and positioning. The combat is flashier than it’s ever been and utilizes full action sequences when you’re unleashing your special moves upon your enemies.

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Final Reaction

Overall HyperDimension Neptunia Re;Birth 3 V Generation is an excellent addition to the franchise and with all the sweet bonuses and upgrades that the PC version gets, it is definitely the definitive version for this JRPG. They still have tons, and I mean tons, of fan favorite contents such as the sudsy event that takes place only a few hours into the campaign. The writing is excellent and hits its stride nearly every time. There are a few moments that tend to drag along a bit too much, but these are few and far between and are easily forgotten once the 25-30 hour campaign is complete. My biggest issue with HD3 is that there were multiple times where I would get into combat and an enemy would either fail to act or get stuck in a position between my characters and be unable to complete their turn, forcing me to restart my game and losing all progress since my last save point. The lack of a clear path to progress the story would also cause me to lose interest at times, and if this happened in between play sessions, it would cost me more time than usual to get back on track. This is still by far the best game in the traditional HyperDimension franchise and is well worth the investment for fans of the franchise or just JRPGs in general.

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Rating: 4/5 Atoms

NR 4 Atoms - B

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Jada Griffin
Jada Griffin 334 posts

Legends tell of a princess captured and raised by Ninjas to be their future leader. Jada was trained from an early age to max the luck stat, always strike first and to never surrender.