Hyperdimension Neptunia Rebirth 3: V Generation Review

Rebirth 3

 

Title: Hyperdimension Neptunia Rebirth 3: V Generation
Developer: Idea Factory International, Compile Heart, Felistella
Game Type: PlayStation Vita
Download: 2.7 GB
NA Availability: 
Digital Download | Retail

EU Availability: Digital Download | Retail
PSTV Support: Yes

The Hyperdimension Neptunia series is practically the flagship series of the PlayStation Vita at this point.  In the west, the PS Vita already has five games, one on the way, and two more potential games in the near future.  If you’re interested in the Neptunia franchise, the PS Vita is definitely your best bet on getting the full Neptunia experience with the Rebirth remakes and the spin-offs that are PS Vita exclusive.

With going forward with the series, Idea Factory International has two spin-off games going on in Japan soon as well as the PlayStation 4 exclusive Hyperdimension Neptunia Victory II.  In the West, though, the Vita is finally catching up on the series in full.  A full remake of the PS3 title with the subtitle of Victory, here is my official review of Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;Birth 3: V Generation!

Story

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The story of Victory takes place 3 years after the events of Re;Birth 2.  In light of the events of that game’s True Ending, Gamindustri is in an era of peace.  As the lazy Neptune is sent out on a quest by herself, she encounters a strange person whom sends her to an alternate dimension.  In this dimension, the year is 1989, where the country of Planeptune is just being founded and she runs into variations of everyone she knows and loves, along with newcomers like the young Planeptune CPU, Plutia.

The plot involves Neptune trying to increase shares to be able to return to her own dimension along with seeing a political war brewing between the CPUs of this new dimension and a group of villains known as the Seven Sages.

The story of the game contains the lighthearted vibe that the series is known for.  The game also has parody and references by the boatload.  While the game references many gaming elements, but also references many newer things, such as Sony’s Oculus Rift VR Helmet and the new story paths present from Re;Birth 2.  The game has a very large share of parodies and humor to keep you laughing.

Gameplay

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Much like the previous games, V Generation is a mix between a turn-based RPG and an Action RPG.  It uses the same gameplay engine as the previous Rebirth games, so you’ll be spending your time working on quests, traveling dungeons, fighting enemies, using materials to make Plans, and advancing through story events to unlock new content.

Since this is the same engine as the past games, we should talk about what is new.  The bulk of the game plays like Rebirth 1 and 2, but one noticeable improvement is the buffing of Stella’s Dungeon.  This mini-game is now accessible in the main menu and can net you materials, new plans, dozens of recruit-able NPCs and is crucial to achieving the True Ending of the game.  There are also other improvements, such as new dungeons and enemy types, changes to the SP and EXE Drive system, and other minor changes.

The progression through the game relies on finding events and quests.  As opposed to the earlier games, you will have Story-based quests you’ll have to find and do for new story events to unlock.  Outside of this, you’ll progress by watching story events as well as traveling through dungeons and finding events and bosses to defeat.  Story Events are a crucial part of the progression, because if you don’t do some of the optional events, you won’t be able to go through to the Good and True Ending paths once you reach the later chapters of the game.

Fighting enemies has mostly remained unchanged.  You still go in 3D arenas where you have free roam during your turn and fight up and set up attacks based on your angle, what weapon range you have, using SP to use skills, and level up to increase stats and learn new skills.  The biggest change is that SP doesn’t regenerate when you leave dungeons.  The only way to increase it is to fight with physical attacks or use SP regeneration items.  This makes setting up boss fights a little bit longer and incorporating more strategy.

The difficulty of the game is also something to put in play.  Rebirth 2 was a bit easier to play through than Rebirth 1, and I would put Rebirth 3 above Rebirth 2.  There aren’t a lot of huge difficulty spikes, but many key boss fights throughout the game raise the bar quite a bit.  Many of the later bosses in the game can test you and show that you will need to stop a few times to grind for levels and make sure you always have the best equipment available.

All in all, Rebirth 3 should take you at least 25 hours to achieve the normal ending.  If you want for the better Good or True endings, you’ll be spending between 30 and 40 hours on the game.  There isn’t a lot of post-game content, outside of Colosseum Battles with a lot of enemies from Rebirth 2, but it has a good amount of content in it.

Controls

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First of all, the controls for this game do not change when you go back and forth between the Vita and the PlayStation TV.  The game has touch controls in the same as the other two Rebirth games.  When you’re in the middle of a battle animation, you can tap the touch screen to skip the animation.  All in all, though, you’re not having a lot of touch controls thrown at you.  The animation skip can also be done with the L button (or L1 on the PSTV).

Moving around the World Map or the field is done with the Left Analog Stick and the camera is moved with the Right Analog Stick.  The D-Pad can move the menu in the World Map, but it can zoom in and out with the camera in the field and battle.  The L trigger is used to skip battle animations and the R trigger is used to switch menus in battle.

The X button is used to confirm options and the Circle button is used to cancel options as well as defending or running in battle.  The Square button is used for battle commands as well as skipping story scenes.  Finally, Triangle is used for battle commands as well as opening the customization menu.  All in all, they are the same controls as the previous two Rebirth games and are explained to you very thoroughly.

Presentation

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The visual presentation is something that has been improved upon since Rebirth 2.  There are some jagged edges around the character models, but zooming in on them will show that they’ve touched up on each model by a pretty large margin.  It’s one of those games where the closer you zoom in on the character models, the better they look.  The flow of the game has also improved.  There is a much faster frame-rate when you move through the menus and running through dungeons.

The presentation isn’t without its faults, though.  Although the battle animations were cleaned up compared to Rebirth 2, there are still a few dungeons and animations where the frame-rate drops and the game lags.  One boss battle in particular is full of lag, despite the fact that normal battles in the same arena don’t have nearly as many frame drops.

Another hindrance on the game is the voice-work.  When you go through the voiced scenes, there are some cases where the text and the voices don’t match.  This is more of an incomplete state.  Many scenes will have dialogue in the text box and the voices will say all but the few last words and it creates an odd situation when you expect to hear more and don’t.

Summary

Hyperdimension Neptunia Rebirth 3 is a faithful remake of Victory and improves on many things from the previous Rebirth games.  On the downside, some of the voice-work is incomplete and there are still sections where there are frame drops.  Past this is a cute and colorful RPG that will make you laugh but also challenge your mind. 

8/10

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