Hyperdimension Neptunia mk2

Since When Did Sega Save The Game Industry?

It's revisionist history time in Hyperdimension Neptunia mk2.
Author: Kirsten Weaver
Published: March 22, 2012
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I never played the original Hyperdimension Neptunia. The premise of the game intrigued me and when everyone else on staff was running away in horror at the idea of reviewing the sequel I stepped up. Within five minutes of popping in Hyperdimension Neptunia mk2, all I have to say is that this game sure is something. Iím still not quite sure what that something is but it is most definitely a thing. There are times when you donít want your significant other blundering into the room while in the middle of playing a JRPG and this was one of them. I have to thank Idea Factory and Compile Heart for making the first cutscence one of the longest and most uncomfortable that I have sat through to this day. After fielding some general female anatomy questions and three trophies later it was time to delve right in.

For those of us out there who havenít played the first game it wasnít hard to catch up with the storyline. In the land of Gamindustri the Console Patron Units (CPUs) rule over their countries and compete for the worship of their citizens. Along the way a group known as ASIC is rising to power and spreading their malicious influence in the shape of pirated merchandise, all in hopes of reviving the evil deity, Arfoire. Our leading lady of the story, Nepgear, who after being rescued from the Gamindustri Graveyard, must restore her power to save her friends by rallying up the faith of her people.

Thereís no mistaking that this is a satire on the gaming industry, and although the concept is sound the execution was not. First and foremost is our main protagonist, Nepgear, who is the personification of Sega Game Gear is supposed to be saving the gaming industry. You know, just like it happened in real life. The characters never flesh out and leave much to be desired, particularly in the clothing department but Iíll touch on that later. The entire story is based off of fetch quests and dialogue that drags on for what seems like eternity. Note to game developers: I donít want to spend the entire time collecting your stuff for you. With just a few hours into the game it feels like Iíve made more progress in monster hunting than towards the actual plot of saving the goddesses of Gamindustri. The game industry is surely doomed at this rate.

The combat system is straightforward, turn-based style that carries no punches and is fairly mediocre. CPUís with higher Agility skills will have more turns throughout the battle. Players have a set area inside a blue ring that their character can move inside, after performing certain actions the circle will shorten and limit any further movement. The attack range is represented by this square that sits in front of the girls. Basically the whole goal is to point your square at the enemy to attack them. Sometimes this can be a hurdle because you have to make sure that itís exactly on point and with groups of enemies there is no way of singling out a specific enemy. CPUís can initiate preemptive strikes by running up to the enemies and trying to attack. Sadly, this system isnít as fluid as one would think. There were times where Nepgear would run up right on an enemy, try to whack them and miss. Sometimes it would take more than one try for a preemptive strike or enemies would initiate a fight sequence.

Each CPU has skill points for performing actions like healing and special attacks. One of the special attacks is the HDD mode, or Hard Drive Divinity, it sort of reminds you of a Sailor Moon episode where their transformation increases their power but with less clothes. Each enemy has Guard Points that can make the battle take a slightly longer amount of time if youíre not trying to send your party to into break it and to lower their defense. Attacks consist of pressing square, X, or triangle and combos come in combination of those buttons. X reduces the enemies Guard gauge meter, square is for heavy attacks and triangle is multi-hit attacks. After each consecutive hit actions cost more skill points but put more power behind attack.
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