Hyperdimension Neptunia (2010)
Hyperdimension Neptunia is a 2010 role-playing game co-developed by Japanese studios Compile Heart and Idea Factory, and published by Compile Heart in Asia, NIS America in North America, Australia and Europe, and Cyberfront Korea in South Korea.
The game focuses around the so-called "Console War" which wages in a world named Gamindustri, which has four countries each ruled by a Goddess who is a personification of a major video game console (Vert aka. Green Heart rules Leanbox, which represents the Xbox 360 for instance). The game's opening moment shows Purple Heart, who represents Sega, being defeated by the three goddesses Black Heart, Green Heart and White Heart, before becoming the CPU Neptune and losing all of her memory. She is found by a nurse named Compa, who represents the developer Compile Heart, and while unconscious, she is approached by Histoire in her dreams, who tells her that Gamindustry is under threat by an evil entity named Arfoire, and she must stop her, with the help of her new friend Compa and other new friends such as IF, while also trying to regain her memory by defeating the other Goddesses in the process.
- Tedious combat system, which was greatly changed in the sequel and the later entries of the series.
- Mediocre graphics which barely take advantage of the PS3's hardware, looking more like an upscaled PS2 game.
- Suffers from a very slow pace due to the huge amount of events.
- Most of the music is rather dull and uninspired.
- Bad and clunky camera while roaming around dungeons.
- You cannot sell items or use healing items outside of battle, which was addressed in later entries. This alone was a far cry from RPGs that were released before and since this game came out.
- The game has almost $100 worth of paid DLC that costed more than the game itself did at launch. Thankfully, most of this DLC was included in the later Re;Birth 1 remake (and it's enchanced port Re;Birth 1 Plus on PS4) which also improves on many of the original game's flaws.
- You lose shares permanently if a CPU dies in battle.and the only way to get them back is to reload a save where you still have them.
- The story is very flawed as it's mostly only about regaining Neptune's memories and doesn't tell anything about the villain in the game.
- The true ending is more like a bad ending. The monsters disappear but the protagonists become humans and they die.
- The framerate drops very frequently.
- Huge amounts of backtracking.
- Most of the characters are unlikable. Fortunately, the remake made them more sympathetic.
- If you exit a dungeon, you'll lose shares and have to start the quest over.
- Most of the other CPUs are not involved in the story until the end (true ending).
- Due to the crappy share system and its rules, its tedious and hard to get the true ending unless if you start New Game Plus.
- Grinding is more of a chore since you get low EXP and because of the tedious combat system.
- Skills that would be used for SP are used in the combo section instead of a battle menu as well as HDD which is strange.
- You can only escape in battle if you have an item called "restart button".
- The only way to use items is to make the item percentage go higher and is never used as a battle menu option.
- While there are a lot of dungeons, too many are required to beat the game and this can be tedious.
- The only way to get back lost shares is to start New Game Plus.
- The character designs by Tsunako are pretty decent, despite the game's mediocre visuals.
- Had a decent Opening and Ending Song.
- The premise is interesting and original.
- The game was later remade in the form of Re;Birth 1, which is a significant improvement over the original PS3 game. Improvements were made to the combat, items, pace, music, and camera, and the main cast was made much more likable as opposed to how insufferable and jerkish they tended to be in the original.
- It spawned a franchise that grows in popularity with each passing year.
- Has a lot of funny and humorous references to otaku culture and video games.
- The content (even without DLC) is large and very fun to explore.
- New Game Plus makes the true ending easier to get.
While the game was still generally well received in Japan despite the game not having strong production values, and while it received mixed to negative reviews in the West, the game still managed to sell well in Japan to warrant multiple sequels and spin-offs, while in the West, as a result of the mixed reception, it only sold moderately well, but it still received western releases of its sequels and spin-offs none-the-less.
Following its success and legacy, the game was remade and refined into Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;Birth 1 in 2013, which was released for the PlayStation Vita, and in 2015 for the PC via Steam, in which it was finally able to gain a large Western audience, which in its early days, did not manage to achieve due to the mixed to negative reception it got from western critics and gamers at the time.
- In Japan 超次元ゲイム ネプテューヌ Chōjigen Geimu Neputyūnu, lit. Super Dimension Game Neptune