Sunday, January 13, 2013

Summer of Video Games - Hyperdimension Neptunia mk2

It's currently summer where I live. I recently thought "What better way to spend summer then to play video games?". So that's what I've done.

I wanted to start this last month, "Summer of Video Games", but unfortunately things got hectic because of the Christmas season and things have run late into January, but I already have a few articles ready to be written for it thanks to that. I'm planning on making this simply me discussing and kinda reviewing the games I play (Whether I've finished them or have given up). And to start off with, a game I've wanted to talk about for quite a while, Hyperdimension Neptunia mk2. I won't be going into too much detail though, this isn't a full review.

Neptunia is a very interesting franchise, from the moment I bought mk2 I was asked at the counter "Is this game a hentai or something?".

This game was first released in Japan during 2011 and then the rest of the world in 2012, to the surprise of many. The first Neptunia game was very poorly received; and for good reasons. Because of this it was surprising to see it's sequel getting localized, or heck even made.

This game improved on almost everything that held the first game back. They completely reinvented the first games battle system, keeping it the same at the core but turning it into a more free-roaming turn based system. The graphics looked sharper and a bit less gloomy then the first game, the "Visual Novel" sections of the game were improved, among many other things.

This game follows Nepgear and friends who are trying to save their sisters, who have been captured by some big evil group and you know how this kind of thing goes. The game is full of fanservice nonstop, as expected of a Compile Heart game, which has led this game to get some negative criticism, which I think is unfair due to the target demographic of the game. If the game isn't for you, then it isn't for you.

One of the most fun things about the game is the transformations the main characters can undergo; they give a power boost and overall give you something different to look at, making battle fun. The dungeons are all pretty and nice to look at it as well.

Gust's "Totori Alchemy" attack

But of course, the best thing about this game, much like the first game is the dialogue. So many video game references and other great one-liners pop out of this game. I also should have mentioned this earlier, but all of the main cast are based off of either Video Game consoles or companies. Many great references to historic or comedic moments in gaming history are made as well as one liners that will give you a chuckle, such as "I thought we were winners! 'Cuz winners don't do drugs!" - Neptune

The game runs for about 24ish hours with the normal ending and around about 30 for the true ending. Although not as much so as Disgaea, this game will require some grinding, as many of the lategame bosses have attacks that can easily 1HKO everyone.

There isn't really much to talk about with this game, though. Other then: "The characters are fun", "It's not as sexist as most reviewers make it out to be", "The video game references are great" and "It makes me look forward to Neptunia Victory". Yes, that's right. There is a 3rd game in the franchise, showing just how well it's doing. Neptunia Victory also looks like a major improvement over mk2.

Another thing I didn't really talk about are references to Japanese media that isn't really made as apparent in the localization, such as the character Nisa.

"Rider Henshin!"
Nisa, while being an obvious reference is also quite clearly a reference to Kamen Rider, constaly talking about being a Heroine of Justice, as well as her scar and iconic pose. There are quite a few references to Kamen Rider in the games so far; and I'll touch upon that some more if I do a review of the first game, including Neptune's "From start to finish, I'm at a climax!" line.

Hyperdimension Neptunia mk2 is a good game, especially in comparison to the first game in the series. It's a fun dungeon crawler that is innovative in both battle style and story telling and I think it's most certainly worth a try if A. You're a gamer B. You like JRPG's or C. You're straight.

Summer of Video Games will continue soon with "Mugen Souls". And Ugh, I'm dreading having to write about it.

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