Review: Hyperdimension Neptunia MK2 for PS3

March 1, 2012 - 3:00 am No Comments

Review: Hyperdimension Neptunia MK2 for PS3

Title: Hyperdimension Neptunia MK2 (a.k.a. Neptunia 2)
Price: $49.99 ($64.99 special edition)
System:
PS3
Release Date:
February 28, 2012
Publisher (Developers):
NIS America (Gust Co.,LTD., Nippon Ichi Software, Inc., 5pb., KI/comcept Inc., Idea Factory, Compile Heart)
ESRB Rating:
“Mature 17+” for fantasy violence, language and sexual themes.
Pros:
Great graphics, lots of lovely ladies, plenty of over-the-top graphics and particle effects, able to skip the story and some combat. A lot of game play and you will be able to import character outfits. Voice acting is not the usual high-pitched squeal fest.
Cons: A lot to learn, slow progression and hard-to-read tutorial screens.
Overall Score: One thumb Up, one thumb Sideways; 80/100; B-; * * * out of five.

If you like Japanese style role-playing games, pretty girls and crazy over-the-top particle effects wrapped in a wacky story that both parodies and pokes fun at the game industry, then Hyperdimension Neptunia MK2 is right up your alley.

This sequel is more of a stand-alone game than derivative of is predecessor with a revamped system that takes away random opponents and incorporate much more fantastic 3D attacks.

Oh, Noz! Gameindustri in Troubles

Neptunia MK2 is a story-based role-playing game (although you can speed-skip through most of the story) set in the year 20XX. You controlling a group of computer-based warriors – called CPUs – who travel though the Gamindustri Graveyard trying to defeat ASIC (Arfoire Syndicate of International Crime) and recapture key creatures.

Many of these characters are cute yet deadly homages to classic game characters (primarily based on old Atari games and Nintendo artifacts) including ghosts, pipes and even Space Invaders. You’ll also see the usual living plants, mashup creatures and ginormous bosses.

Neptunia MK2 Chirper area involves a lot of social chats with NPCs.

Neptunia MK2's Chirper area involves a lot of "social chats" with NPCs.

As you wander through the game’s various areas, you can dash around opponents, run in and tack them on or even take a swipe for an early attack. Combat is turn-based and included both physical and magical attacks as well as items.

In the map you can also so to a social network of sorts to get tips and also information that will supposedly (though not often) help you defeat opponents. really, you just need to scan through the quickie conversations to open the next major game event.

Did I just Fight a Friggin’ Pipe?

Part of Netunia MK2‘s allure is that it takes a laughable approach to paying homage to classic gaming by calling the world Gamindustri (which is even pronounced “game industry” within the game) and peppering the game with classic handheld game elements as opponents. And, of course, the anime style ladies in skimpy outfits throwing down some mighty particle-filled attacks.

Neptunia MK2 opponents include a Super Mario Bros style pipe and a ghost from Pac-Man

Neptunia MK2's opponents include a Super Mario Bros. stytle pipe and a ghost from Pac-Man. Check out the names.

Neptunia MK2 has a menu system that requires a lot of tutorial time, making it complex almost to a determent especially with its tiny text. Crafting items and even buying new gear take a lot of navigation that will frustrate anyone who wants to get back to playing with scantily clad anime girls.

Combat, however, is relatively easy, allowing a mix of physical, magical and items that you can use in various combinations. When an extra powerful combination is avaialble, it even lets you know so you can perform the optimal moves. It’s just enough help to keep it useful while not making things overly easy.

The game certainly offers a lot to do and you can even go a bit off path to level up a bit more or test out the pairing system. There you pair two girls – and, yes, all the characters are female – who then fight together, allowing them to become closer, resulting in more powerful attacks. These pairings are not very helpful in the short term and really only useful to anyone who plans to put in 20+ hours. Plan on extra grinding, however, to buddy up.

Several character also develop more powerful version with fancier (and skimpier) costumes and mightier attacks. These are visually stunning and ultimately prove worthwhile as you progress.

Online or Die in Archive?

The Japanese style of drenching a game in a good-versus-evil story truly comes through in Neptunia MK2 with plenty of developing characters and a lot of (pleasantly voiced) dialog. It sometimes dips into bishoujo territory with outfits and random girl-on-girl smooches but it’s still a surprisingly complex game.

It does lose a bit of its pace – and points from me – when it comes to the limited terrains (although they have some visually fun elements), overly complicated gear system and silly attempt at a social network.

At $50 Neptunia MK2 is a bit of a hard sell for someone not already into NIS’s games but it will certainly offer a satisfying hour per dollar spent in terms of game play for those who are. It’s certainly a step up for what you might expect for an NIS release and a bit of a surprise in terms of depth for a game with an all anime ladies cast and pantie shots aplenty.

SITE [Hyperdimension Neptunia MK2] Read [Gamertell]

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