Those lovable, wacky CPUs are finally back with a new adventure. Hyperdimension Neptunia Victory is a new chapter in this zany and very unpredictable role-playing game. Much like the previous releases, Hyperdimension Neptunia: Victory’s story picks up where the last game left off.
All of your favorite CPUs return in Victory. That’s right, you read it correctly. This means Neptune, Nepgear, Vert, Noire, Uni and the rest of the famous CPUs are back. Unlike other role-playing games that completely change the game’s main cast, Hyperdimension Neptunia does not.
If you felt the previous stories were crazy and hilarious, you’re going to absolutely love Hyperdimension Neptunia Victory’s story. The last Hyperdimension Nepunia ended with peace being brought to Planptune and Gaminindustri being saved from the clutches of evil. Now that Planptune is in a peaceful state, the CPUs have grown lazy by spending all day playing console games and munching on snacks.
Little do they know that evil is lurking around the corner and it’s about to change things. You play the lead character Neptune, opposite of the previous Hyperdimension Neptunia where you controlled Neptune’s younger sister, Nepgear. But despite the main role focusing on Neptune, you still have the ability to swap between characters from your party.
Hyperdimension Neptunia Victory has by far the most crazy story of all the Hyperdimension Neptunia games. The main character, Neptune, gets sent back in time to the year 1989 where no one remembers her. All the other CPUs are still present in the world of Planptune, but they are much younger and some haven’t become CPUs yet. This is the strangest story yet. Without spoiling too much of the story, all I have to say is that you better get used to retro gaming.
The biggest change to series is the new map/navigation system. While in a town or city, you can access shops, CPU housing, the guild, and converse with NPCs. In previous releases you were able to correspond with the other NPCs, but the menu features were not on a single map like they are now. You now can navigate the menu with ease and see everything that’s located around you.
This makes finding events that are tied to NPCs or other locations within the city very easy to access and locate. The process of getting missions, or even quests, is very straightforward. You can acquire them by visiting the guild inside any town/city. Once you have acquired a quest, the location will be marked on the world map.
The locations you visit are referred to as dungeons. Even when you don’t have a quest you can still hunt inside these locations to level. Don’t be alarmed; many quests will send you back to the same dungeons or locations more than once. The majority of them require you to kill a certain creature or collect a certain droppable item.
Hyperdimension Neptunia Victory keeps to the traditional turn-based combat system that makes the series so enjoyable. Despite being turn-based, you have the freedom to move around the battlefield before you initiate an attack. The game feels more cinematic compared to previous releases. The special attacks look the part as they are more detailed compared to previous releases. It adds to the atmosphere and makes combat more engaging.
Even though the environments are massive, you can reach different areas of the world easily with the new jump ability. This adds new depth to the gameplay; it allows you to explore areas that you never would have been able to reach before. This adds a new dimension to the dungeons; the multiple tiers also add a nonlinear element to the gameplay. Some of the dungeons can be quite large and they can take some time to explore. Rare items and treasure abound for gamers willing to search for to them. With the ability to revisit a dungeon at anytime looking for rare materials for crafting is a must. Plus, there are side quests to complete above and beyond the main story.
A favorite of many, and a personal favorite of mine, is the crafting system. It is worth noting that Victory’s crafting system is a bit different. Although hunting for materials is required to make an item, anything found during your adventure has to be purchased from a vendor. Essentially, the crafting system is merely a way of unlocking special items and weapons for your characters. This is not necessarily a bad way of doing things; it just prolongs the game by making you purchase the items instead of adding them to your inventory.
This method does two things – it allows you to grind for more capital and it keeps you tied up looking for materials. Since you need to level your characters anyway, you might as well hunt for the materials needed for crafting. All these things are necessary to progress through the game. It also offers endless opportunities to strengthen your characters by grinding.
The music composed by Nobuo Uematsu and his band Earthbound Papas is inspiring. It is simply the most delicate sounding, musically appealing soundtrack in a role-playing game. Time and time again, I find myself visiting the CPU house in the city just to listen to the in-game music.
Hyperdimension Neptunia Victory is a brilliant role-playing game that will keep you entertained for months. We can only hope for another sequel. You can never get enough of Planptune and those adorable CPUs.
James ‘Daripp3r’ Pittaro
Platform: Playstation 3
Developer: NIS America
Publisher: NIS America
ESRB: T (Teen)
|Stunningly beautiful; what you would expect from the Hyperdimension Neptunia series.|
|Nobuo Uematsu’s soundtrack is a masterpiece|
|The best turn-based gameplay in a Japanese RPG.|
|There are very few role-playing games that pick up right where their predecessors left off. Even though you don't have to play the previous games in the series to enjoy Victory, it’s still a great thing to experience.|