It’s too common to see a video game release that takes itself too seriously. When things are taken too seriously and fun is removed from the grand scheme of things, you are left with an industry that recycles old game concepts and does little to introduce fresh ideas to reinvigorate the industry. Every so often a title comes along that turns the gaming world on its head through means of great humor and original conceptual design. Hyperdimension Neptunia is that kind of game.
Taking place in a realm known as GameIndustri, Neptunia makes fun of the home console war and this clever idea creates a pathway for a title to have limitless potential. The idea behind Hyperdimension Neptunia’s main story is brilliant, clever, and has all the elements to make it rich and entertaining, but the way it is told negates some of those positive attributes and the delivery instead comes off more dry than one would have anticipated from the initial vibe the game conveys. Tranquil character portraits tell the story and there are many circumstances of long, drawn-out dialogue sequences that get are borderline boring.
Players seize control of Neptune – a Sega inspired character based on the concept of a Sega 32X and Genesis/MegaDrive combo system that never saw release – whom happens to be one of the console goddess that looks over the human word. After commencing in battle with her three sisters, Neptune is exiled to the human world where she awakes with amnesia. Upon her reawakening, Neptune is told by a mysterious voice that she must travel the human world’s four realms: Planeptune, Leanbox, Lowee, and Lastation to collect key fragments and bring about a revolution in GameIndustri.
As you can tell based on the realms’ names, the game makes a lot of puns at the console manufacturers and gaming in general. Each of the said areas has a unique personality and look. Lastation has a Steampunk visual décor that some may feel suits Sony, while Lowee is more fantasy based and Nintendo kid-friendly design, then Leanbox has a very western styling that’s very reminiscent of a pre-Renaissance era.
When it comes to characters, though, the game doesn’t hold back the humor as every company that had a part in the title’s development has a character inspired by their repertoire of titles: Gust has an alchemist character, NISA has a flat-chested ninja, while Idea Factory’s IF and Compile Heart’s Compa take the starring roles alongside Neptune. Each character represents their respective company with great humor and each has plenty of personality. Pending your history and familiarity with each company and their software, the humor will impact you differently. The game's humor is targeted at a specific fanbase and those within it will love the humor, but anyone outside of it will fail to find most of the game's humor and lose out on the game's strongest attribute.
Those familiar with Idea Factory’s last PS3 title, Trinity Universe, will feel very comfortable...