Man, I feel like I just played one of these things! Oh right, I totally did. Yet somehow, my interest in these silly games feels stronger than ever before. I’m pretty sure it isn’t Stockholm Syndrome, either. Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;Birth3: V Generation is hot on the heels of the previous title’s Steam release, which itself was hot on the heels of the Vita action spinoff, which was, well, fill in the blanks. But this time, the Re;Birth formula, feeling a bit on the stale side after doing very little of interest the second time around, has taken quite a leap forward. At least, in the realm of low-budget JRPGs. It’s not time for a review yet, although the June 30, 2015 release date is quite soon. Instead, I’d like to take this time to point out a few surprising new differences between Re;Birth3 and the two games before it.
The thing about Hyperdimension Neptunia is its lower budget, and emphasis on comedy and elaborate combat mechanics to make up for it. The thing about the Re;Birth games is they’re remakes of the older games in the series with the quite well-received third title. But… now we’re at a remake of that very game, and that kind of looks like a dead end on paper. Especially since Re:Birth parts one and two had very little to distinguish one from the other outside of the plot and characters. So what happens when the remake catches up to the catalyst of the remakes?
Well, some pretty significant changes to the systems in play, actually. First: achievements. Called challenges in-game, these little rewards are in play for each character, and getting them actually gives a little permanent stat boost. Additionally, certain challenges even unlock an additional combo attack for each type of attack. That’s a pretty big deal, as customizing what the player’s options are is one of Hyperdimension Neptunia‘s big draws.
Next, the EX system is significantly different. In fact, the EX meter is gone entirely. Instead, characters now gain SP points from dealing and receiving damage. In addition to being able to use skills and whatnot more often, building up to certain levels of SP lets characters use those familiar combo-enders. More of them are also available, like a lot more. That’s even more combo potential. Yeah, let’s just break this game in half, that’s cool.
The third major difference is a noticeable, albeit slight increase in production values. Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;Birth3 actually has some in-game cutscenes outside of the usual introduction, and many more new assets are present, although the usual ones are still reused to infinity and beyond. The map structure is also very different, more streamlined and sexy, and more of the soundtrack feels new and fresh. Basically, the presentation feels like a bit more effort than usual was put in. It’s not a massive difference, but one that counts.
There’s a lot more to like about Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;Birth3: V Generation, but this is a preview. I can’t spoil everything just yet! Look out for our(my) review very soon, and in the meantime, play some more Action Unleashed. Because that game is dope.