Hyperdimension Neptunia

2D Anime + Bad Story = Hyperdimension Neptunia

Dimensiontrans Nep...huh? Hyperplanet Dimensionia? Wait, I can get it. Hyper Neptune Dimension? Oh forget it...
Author: Andy Curtiss
Published: March 8, 2011
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For those of you who come around often it comes as no surprise that I am reviewing an NIS game. When I found out about Hyperdimension Neptunia I threw myself at the feet of our benevolent founder, Sam Bishop, and begged him to let me do the review. Several days of persistent harassment and one restraining order later, I have the pleasure of bringing you my review of the newest JRPG from said publisher. All joking aside though, I was actually looking forward to this game. I loved the idea of a game that was loosely based on the videogame industry's power struggle between the big three (four if you count Sega... but who does these days?). As it turns out, my hope for a successful, well made, videogame industry parody was not to come true. Sadly Hyperdimension Neptunia (HN from here out) was not well made, nor will it be successful.

As always, I'd like to start with what is generously called a story. It really does pain me to say this because I really do like NIS and what it usually puts out. But this was simply unoriginal and half-assed all the way around. If you hadn't already heard, the basic idea for HN is that it's a sort of parody of the videogame industry. How so, you ask? The world HN is based in is called Gamindustri. Yes - it's pronounced game industry as one word. In Gamindustri there are four lands each based upon one of the big consoles plus Sega. Each landmass is governed by a Goddess. For example, the Playstation 3 is represented by the land of Lastation and the Goddess Black Heart. The X-Box is given form by the land of Leanbox and the Goddess Green Heart. Do you see a pattern forming? It's a pattern that continues through the whole game - a complete lack of originality. The Wii is personified by the Goddess White Heart and the land of Lowee while the Sega (yes... Sega... .they helped make this game) gets the Goddess Purple Heart and the land of Planeptune.

The story opens up with the four Goddesses fighting each other for no apparent reason. They decide that after eons of battle that at least one of them should be eliminated. So the Goddesses decide that Purple Heart (aka Sega) is the best one to attack and banish from Celestia, the home of the Goddesses. Stop and think about this for a second. Sega, who again had a hand in developing this game, makes itself the victim... having been forcefully and unfairly ousted by X-Box, Playstation and Wii. Seriously. I couldn't make this up. After being cast down to the surface, away from Celestia, the player wakes up as Neptune. A girl that looks oddly like Purple Heart and can't remember who she is or where she came from. She promptly meets several vapid characters whose personalities are that of stereotypical cookie-cutter anime personalities and forms a party. Even though Neptune can't remember who she is, or why she can morph into this all powerful form of Purple Heart, she takes up arms to fight hordes of bad guys who have, of course, mysteriously appeared.
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