Note from OG: With all the games coming out it is becoming more difficult to cover some that I wanted to. Luckily another super cool Nation member accepted the request to review this title so here is a long overdue review of the first entry in the Re;Birth trilogy written by josefcd904.
Hello I am Joe, from the Reviewer’s Corner. I remember seeing the Neptunia anime when it aired and never really thought much about it until last year when a lot of people on Twitter were playing the games. Of course this got me interested, unfortunately my computer could not run it. Recently however getting a new computer changed that. After a year of waiting I could finally play the game. Of course having this guest post here means there is yuri. So without further ado, let’s get started on this review.
Genres: RPG, Comedy, Parody
Themes: Video Game Consoles, Soft Yuri
Systems: PC, PS Vita
Plot Summary: The game is a remake of the 2010 Playstation 3 game. Steam ported the remake game in 2015. Developed by Idea Factory the game is an RPG, Strategy, as well as have a few parody elements with yuri undertones added to mix. The game follows the Console Wars that the Four Goddesses take part in. Set in the world of Gamindustri the four goddesses serve as Console Patron Units, more commonly referred to as CPU, each one has their own area to rule. Purple Heart is the CPU of Planeptune, White Heart the CPU of Lowee, Lastation’s CPU is Black Heart, and lastly Green Heart is the CPU of Leanbox. One day as the CPUs are battling Purple Heart falls out of the sky losing the battle. Neptune wakes up with amnesia, later discovering she is Purple Heart, but either way she is told to look for Fragments. These fragments will unlock Historia, a tome that will help put an end to the evil that is plaguing Gamindustri. Neptune makes plenty of friends along the way and unites the goddesses. But will the Console Wars get in their way, will evil prevail or perhaps the Goddesses can fully unite to save everyone?
With the game being a remake it does become clear later in the game. This can mostly be noted with how things are unlocked known as the Remake system. However, besides adding to the gameplay, it does make changes to the story. Although I may never have played the original version, they are not noticeable unless looked into.
Note from OG: The main story remains relatively unchanged from the original, such as “Thunder Tits” and Neptune asking a question regarding cookies. However, of the three Re;Birth games this one has the most tweaks in its dialogue, gags and stuff like that.
The game, depending what is done, like any RPG, can make it more difficult or easier. Over leveling being one reason the game became easier at some points. Even if it was thought to be over leveled, it may still not be enough. One major instance of a rapid increase of difficulty, so much so there are plenty of guilds on how to do it. It is a rather early boss; it throws two back to back attacks with no time to save or heal. Only buying DLC characters saved me from spending a few hours grinding levels to do so. Even then being over leveled with them the bosses were difficult. However, this was the only real instance of jumping difficulty, story wise. Some bosses do throw you off if you are not paying attention and you do need to lose. So wasting a healing item is not always wise when a team member gets KO’ed only to find out your attacks do nothing after wasting a healing item.
As for the dungeons and enemies, well, most are similar. They are designed differently in some cases for the dungeons. Sometimes you appear in a dungeon that will look like another one just having a different exit point. The enemies do share similar traits at times. But they do get stronger and have different strengths and weaknesses and have different attack patterns in some cases.
However, like most JRPGs the story can be more important than actual game play. If you don’t like long cut scenes, visual novel like stuff, this part of the story will not grasp you or this game may not be for you. Some can be well over thirty minutes long so just be prepared.
The story itself never takes itself seriously. It lives to be a parody and breaks the fourth wall from time to time and it even has a few running gags like Noire being a loner. But when it comes to being serious and the background music changes the story balances itself rather well by toning down the humor and being self-aware of it. There are also two different endings, both which I got and both are very different, such as the True Ending having an extra boss.
So, before the final verdicts come into play, time to talk about the yuri undertones, since it is very clear in some cases while not so much in others, this being the True End, which I obviously won’t say. So, Iffy and Vert are the obvious ones, Vert being flirty with Iffy and Iffy liking it. Iffy blushing and even having that line at one point, “But we are both girls.” and Vert replying that she does not care for that fact in some fashion. Neptune’s main pairings are Iffy and Compa but Noire and literally everyone else can be a part of the main character’s harem. Even the minor characters that only get a box on the screen have a few pairings with the goddesses. Due to the fact this is the first in the franchise and I have not played the other series, I assume even more pairings and reasons for those pairings would be clear. As for the first game it seems rather light on yuri undertones besides the Iffy X Vert and Nep X Everyone. The only reason for this is due to how there is just so much fan art. But the characters change over time so that is to be assumed since this was the first game.
Fans of JRPGs, parodies, and strategies, this game can easily provide hours of fun. Just to get the True End in my case for example, it took almost 50 hours. Fans of the anime will probably enjoy this more. Between the art style, humor, and just the characters, fans of visual novels can find fun too outside of the gameplay.
Overall Score Story: 75/100
Overall Enjoyment: 80/100
Level of Yuri: Mild
Note from OG: For readers who have not picked up any of the original PS3 Neptunia games it is recommended to go for the Re;Birth trilogy instead for not only do they share the same overall plot with a few tweaks here and there, but they also contain more playable characters, cutscenes and other bonus content and all three share Hyperdimension Neptunia Victory‘s gameplay mechanics with a few new tweaks with each newer entry. Victory’s gameplay is arguably the best in the original trilogy. The originals are for collectors or the curious who want to see what they are like.
Get the game at a local game store for PS Vita, on PSN or PC through the following links: