Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;Birth 2: Sisters Generation Review (PS Vita)on January 26, 2015 by Kitsumeda
If the original Hyperdimension Neptunia on the PS3 left you disappointed, Hyperdimension Neptunia Mk 2 is a reboot which serves as a great way to get back into the series. Almost every element was vastly improved over the first game, which is even more pronounced with the enhanced Vita version out now.
Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;Birth 2: Sisters Generation is the second title remade for the PlayStation Vita. The plot tries to be a bit more serious this time around. After losing to CFW Magic, the CPU goddesses are imprisoned in the Gamindustri graveyard, a place where game systems go to die. Meanwhile the world shares have been overtaken by ASCI, a criminal organization who distributes illegal software. You play as Nepgear (Sega Game Gear) who’s goal is to go around the land collect the power of the gaming mascots in order to save Neptune and the other goddesses. On your way you will meetup with the other younger sisters including Noire’s sister Uni (PSP) and Blanc’s sisters Rom and Ram (the DS twins). The only goddess without a younger sister is Vert, who represents the Xbox. I’m still waiting for that portable Microsoft gaming console.
The game features the largest character line up in the series. Gust and NISA were cut from the Vita version, but instead you will get Red and Broccoli. In addition Falcom, Cave and Tekken who were DLC in the PS3 version are now included in the game, as are the oracles from each of the four Gamindustri countries. Unfortunately the sheer amount of characters makes the pacing a bit uneven at times, as there will be chunks of time in which you will use the same handful of characters only to be promptly bombarded with a slew of new party members.
The whole Hyperdimension Neptunia series is heavily influenced by the gaming industry. On your trip you will talk to various characters including: Mario, Luigi, Solid Snake, Monokuma, Spelunky, Sega Saturn Shiro and Chie from Persona 4. The more you know about the game industry and its history the more enjoyment you will get out of this series.
Compile Heart has made it very far after the original Hyperdimension Neptunia. All enemies are visible in the dungeons alleviating the frustration of the random battle system. Battles are simple to grasp, but still allow for a lot of flexibility. During a turn you can freely move your character within a radius. All attacks do damage in an area, meaning you can target multiple enemies with your basic attacks.
You have three standard types of attacks: Rush, Power and Break. Rush attacks deal multiple hits filling your EXE meter which helps you to unleash your ultimate attacks. Power attacks focus on dealing damage. Break attacks mainly lower enemy’s guard, which drastically increases the damage enemies take once emptied. All combos are fully customizable in-between battles, so you can personalize characters to your liking.
Aside from the four party members you bring to battle you can have one support character for each. These characters can be swapped mid battle, allowing for an additional layer of depth. Supporting characters and the ones present on the field influence which EXE abilities are present. This makes some techniques harder to pull off, but much more rewarding when you finally do.
Whereas normal enemies will rarely pose a problem, boss battles and tougher enemies marked on the map force you to use everything at your disposal. Despite this not much grinding is needed, but when it is you can skip animations speeding up the already enjoyably short battles.
One thing that has not aged well is Hyperdimension Neptunia Mk2’s level design. After the Mugen Souls games, Hyperdimension Neptunia Victory and Fairy Fencer F, Re;Birth 2’s dungeons feel flat and empty. There is not much to do except battling enemies and heading to a single scene marker on the map to progress the story. Making dungeons even more monotone is the fact that they are reused multiple times in different locations in the game. The game tries to spruce things up a bit by introducing a jump button, but I haven’t found myself ever needing to use it. Dungeons also have points where you can pick up resources. These are primarily used for side quests and for the remake system which was introduced in Re;Birth 1.
The Remake System has an interesting premise even if it falls a bit short. As you talk with people in the world you gain various plans. They serve as blue prints for new gameplay elements, dungeon changes or shop items, however unlocking each one requires a specific items collected in the resource points or from monsters. Unfortunately it feels like it’s there to prevent you from buying what you want, rather than rewarding the players who spend more time with the game. The biggest problem is that you cannot see which items are available in which dungeons, so you will have a hard time looking for something specific.
Re;Birth 2 adds a mode called Stella’s dungeon, a mini companion game which is a great addition. You send Stella into dungeons, where she automatically collects both equipment and items for herself and you. The trips are in real time, meaning your Vita doesn’t need to be powered on for her to do the exploring. However this also gives you incentive to return to the game often just to check up on what she picked up in her latest loot.
It took me around 25 hours to complete the game including all quests that were available, but add the fact that the game has multiple endings depending on your relationship with specific characters, additional unlockable dungeons and an arena mode and that time can easily skyrocket.
From a technical standpoint Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;Birth 2 is an amazing game. It has no loading screens, the frame rate is much better than the original and everything looks very sharp. All story sections now feature 2D images instead of 3D character models, which thanks to Compile Heart means that the characters breathe, blink and are fully voice synced (only for the Japanese dialog).
The game features both an English and Japanese voice track, with a lot of the dialog reworked for the Vita version. The translation does a good job adding more references to the video gaming industry than there were in the original, still there are some slip ups. Tutorial texts lack correct spacing and some scenes and items have misplaced descriptions.
Since Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;Birth 2 is a reboot, it can be played regardless if you played through the original or not. It brings many great additions to the table and is even better on the go because of its bite sized gameplay. There hasn’t been a better time to get into the Hyperdimenon Neptunia franchise, with both the first and second game now on the Vita and the series arrival on Steam. It’s just a matter of time before Re;Birth3 makes its way to the west.
You can pick up your copy of Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;Birth 2 from our store at a discount price and with free shipping in the UK!