Hyperdimension Neptunia MK2 Playstation 3 Review

The timing of the Mature rated Hyperdimension Neptunia MK2’s and the new Playstation Vita’s release is at the very least, ironic.  Los Angeles based import publisher NIS’s Hyperdimension Neptunia games feature a plot that is a pseudo-parody of the video game industry with the newest release’s main characters, avatars for handheld gaming systems, the little sisters of their home console counterparts and representatives for niche JRPG developers.

This turn-based JRPG sequel is an inside joke for fans of the genre and blends the quirks of each of the co-developer’s series seamlessly and in a sexy package.  Where the first Hyperdimension Neptunia was widely panned, MK2 is a fairly short and fun success.  Most gamers may not find much to love in Hyperdimension Neptunia MK2’s dated gameplay but hardcore Anime fans and those that love the smaller JRPG series like AR and Atelier will appreciate the effort.

Hyperdimension Neptunia MK 2 continues in the world of Gamindustri, where Arfoire, has defeated the four sexy CPUs of Gamindustri and Neptune’s little sister, Nepgear.  Three years later, in 20XX, IF and Compa arrive in the Graveyard to find Neptune and the others trapped.  With the power of the Sharicite, a crystal made from the hopes of people, the two manage to free just Nepgear and escape.  Nepgear, the CPU Candidate of Planeptune and must then set out on a quest with IF and Compa to restore Gamindustri’s prosperity and set her sister free.  To accomplish this, Nepgear needs the help of the other CPU Candidates.

Travel in MK2 is executed from the overview map of Gameindustri which shows the different console inspired regions and other points of interest.  In the map view, the game can be saved, equipment and items can be used and equipped and settings can be adjusted.  Locations shown on the world map are either towns or dungeons.  The map also marks trigger locations where the plot is advanced.

The towns are menu based, meaning that after travelling to a town a menu offering a shop for buying and selling, the guild where quests are assigned and completed, an item synthesis location and Chirper a Twitter parody where additional information, events and sometimes quests can be found.  Events that are triggered through Chirper or plot related are 2d dialogues that use the city as a background and in many cases will increase NPC Lilly ranks which are representative of the closeness of their relationship with Nepgear.

The dungeons on the other hand are small free-roam affairs although saving can only be done at a specific location.  Not only Nepgear roams around the dungeon, monsters circle about areas which allows battles to avoided or initiated with a bonus if Nepgear strikes the monster to initiate combat.  Once the battle begins, each member of the party has a stat based circle they can move within on their turn.  Attacks, special skills and using items use and are limited by action points.  MK2 does offer a few wrinkles to the standard combat with types of attacks and the HDD transformation of CPUs and candidates.

Hyperdimension Neptunia MK2 doesn’t stray far from the turn-based JRPG formula that for the most part, hasn’t changed over the last ten years but fans of the genre will find much to appreciate.  There is a little bit of everything from 5bp and the other JRPG developers and this time, it’s well blended in a nice package.  With an M rating, many may find the game gratuitous and some aspects just in poor taste but, if you’re able to get past that, the tongue in cheek humor can be a lot of fun.  There’s nothing revolutionary but Hyperdimension Neptunia MK2 knows what it is and wears it well.

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Hyperdimension Neptunia MK2
A im-mature psuedo-parody JRPG. You should already know what you're in for.
The voicework is solid and the music is surprisingly not as obnoxious as you might think.
The 2d art is appropriately styled and executed. JRPGs aren't known for pushing the graphical limits of consoles and the bounciness of MK2 isn't going to change that.
Fans of the smaller JRPGs will find the stuff they love but most casual gamers will be turned off by the turn-based combat. The relationships do offer some replayability for this comparatively short RPG.
This game is for hardcore JRPG fans and Anime enthusiasts for them, this can be a lot of fun. Those desensitized by action games filled with sex and violence and with short attention spans will probably be bored.