The following game has been given a 0/100 which, to some, may seem to be a bit of a harsh score. However, our review copy for the game did not work so well, and it seems as if there are many problems others are experiencing with the PC port. The review below will still focus on an in depth look into the game. However, we cannot, with a clear conscience, give the game any type of score whilst still knowing what we do.
When reviewing PC titles, it can somewhat be a case of pot luck, especially when it comes to ports. Japanese titles in particular always seem to be a hit or miss on this platform and we can get subjected to frame rate issues, low resolutions and general user interface oversights. Unfortunately, in this case, my copy of Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;Birth for the PC is an absolute mess. The game rarely manages to launch with constant crashing upon opening, there is no 1080p resolution option and the frame rate switches between 60 and 30 spontaneously. My attempts at fixing the issue have done little more than delay crashes. This is all on a fairly powerful computer no less. However, this is not a uniform problem and whilst I have found many that share my issue, there are far more that are able to play the game without the risk of crashing or bad performance.
I have contacted Idea Factory International about these problems that I am experiencing and the email I received back stated:
“We ask that you give our development team some more time in order to address many of these issues that our players are encountering.” – Idea Factory International Support
So, while the game is still available for purchase, just know that buying Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;Birth on Steam is at this moment a risk. The risk of spending $30 and not being able to access the title. It’s inexcusable and unplayable, which is why I have given it the final score of a 0 purely due to the risk involved within this PC Port. I strongly encourage you to either purchase the original title on its native platform, the PS Vita or stay up to date with the state of this port and constantly research whether there is risk or not. That said, here is my review of the title itself, performance issues aside. [/alert]
Welcome one and all, to the console wars of Gamindustri in Idea Factory and Compile Hearts’ Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;Birth. In this title, you play as Neptune, the manifestation of the publisher Sega as you travel around this fantasy world. Yes, as you may have deduced, but not quite believed, this game is all about the Console Wars between Nintendo, Sony, Microsoft and Sega for some reason. It’s a narrative gimmick, sure, but it’s played into the whole aesthetic with shares, game developers and various references to other titles. You fill your party with these characters based on actual developers; for example, Iffy from Idea Factory or Nisa from NIS America. It’s this whole world concept that just makes the game fun.
However, although it is indeed an engaging premise and world, it can be difficult to get involved in this due to the sheer lack of any real character or engaging plot. You’re travelling around, defeating monsters and meeting new characters but that’s essentially it. You’re solving the problems of some of the people you meet and completing various quests, yet it never puts you in a situation where you feel involved. The storylines going on here are just so painfully basic that it makes you forget the interest brought in by the premise at the start. If you’re looking for an intriguing narrative, you’ve come to the wrong place.
We get the same blandness with our cast of characters. Whilst the whole idea of them being based on game studios sounds like a great premise, the execution just lies within the realm of anime cliches. Hit or miss humor, breast jokes, underwear shots, lackluster character motivations, overabundance of anime archetypes, it’s weak. They’re characters who you often don’t want to play as or play with and with voice acting that you need to switch over to a foreign language in order to tolerate it, it makes for narrative sequences that you just want to skip your way through.
You do have some solid combat mechanics that really lend themselves to customization, though and you will certainly need to put some thought into it, in order to defeat the various bosses you will encounter in your journey. Operating within a radius of the character’s initial position, there’s a level of strategy that you’ll need to understand to fully utilize the skills at your disposal. That interest does quickly die out, however, as it just ends up building upon the same mechanics and no amount of flashy lights or animation will quell the fact that it does quickly become repetitive and it just ends up feeling slow.
In essence, Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;Birth is a decent RPG, but the general consensus here is that, whilst it holds a great appeal and premise, the execution just isn’t there. The world is great, but the plot is basic. The characters are interesting, but their character is clichéd, the combat system is compelling, but eventually becomes repetitive. It’s a common theme within this title that just ultimately brings it down. And of course, the PC issues are the nail in the coffin in this case. If you’re still interested in playing this for yourself, Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;Birth is available on PSVita along with its sequel.
The score given, whilst seemingly harsh, is due to the unplayable state of some releases of the PC version. After contacting their support line and receiving a statement asking consumers to wait for an update, this is the only fair score I can give.
This review was based on a digital review copy of Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;Birth for the PC provided by Idea Factory International.