Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;Birth1 Early Impressions

What if Sony, Microsoft, Nintendo, and, in a world where they still made game systems, Sega, were real life nations engaged in an actual console war? Developed collaboratively by Idea Factory International, Compile Heart, and Felistella, Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;Birth1 is a turn-based / action RPG hybrid that answers the question with parody and anime girls.

The game takes place in Gamindustri, a land divided into four nations; Lastation, Lowee, Leanbox, and Planeptune. Each nation has a goddess that protects them, Noire, Blanc, Vert, and Neptune respectively. The goddesses fight in a conflict known as the Console Wars both physically and for stocks, which are essentially fans. During one of the goddesses’ battles, a mysterious person convinces all the other goddesses to take out Neptune resulting in a large plummet, causing her to lose her memory. She is rescued by Compa, an aspiring nurse who partners up with Neptune to fight the monsters that have begun running amok in Gamindustri.

The two friends later meet IF, whose interest in the elimination of the monsters leads her on the same path. A battle happens shortly after with the evil witch Arfoire, who makes it clear that she has it out for Neptune. They are luckily saved by Histoire, a powerful being who is imprisoned and needs the team to collect the Key Fragments so that she can be freed and restore Neptune’s memory thus starting the dungeon exploring adventure!

Re;Birth1 is a remake of its predecessor, simply named Hyperdimension Neptunia, and does more than simply port the experience to a handheld. For starters, the game doesn’t use a traditional turn-based battle system like the original, but instead, opts for a roamable battlefield in which characters move freely within a given radius to attack enemies in different ways.

Basic attacks are the easiest way to go about things. The X button is used to initiated a sequence where the other three face buttons are used to damage the baddies in different ways. The power attack is meant for huge damage and should be used in conjunction with the break attack, which allows you to break an enemy’s guard in order to do more damage to them. Finally there is rush, this move doesn’t do a lot of damage, but quickly razes your exe meter.

Exe is new to Re;Birth1 and can be used in a couple of different ways. The most frequent use you will be encountering is the EX Finisher which is executed at the end of a character’s turn given they have enough exe. This turns the face buttons into four moves of your choice that do a significant amount of damage. Later in the game you are introduced to the Exe Drive. When selected, an ultimate move will be performed that is both flashy and powerful.

Even with all these added mechanics the game still has regular RPG elements like using mana to perform special moves, using items and defending in battle. But when it comes to the goddesses, they didn’t get their names from being regular characters. Each goddess has a Hard Drive Divinity form or HDD, giving them super hero like powers and a cybernetic uniform. Neptune, for example, can transform into her alter-ego Purple Heart by sacrificing 20% of her maximum mana.

The changes don’t stop there as the Remake System makes an appearance replacing the former Scout System. Here you can customize the game to your liking, changing the items that appear in a dungeon, synthesizing items to create new ones, and increasing the strength of monsters in dungeons to name a few. Add on new music, voice acting, and additional characters and it looks like players of the original will have a lot to look forward to in this remake.

Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;Birth1 will be released August 26 for Playstation Vita.

Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;Birth1