First impressions of video games usually aren’t so strong, nor do they typically strike before the game is even finished downloading. Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;Birth 2: Sisters Generation had me at the semi-colon. What a name! This quaint little RPG for the PlayStation Vita has a name that implies pure, dripping, immaculate anime-style antics and quirks. So far, it’s delivering with a lot of fun, challenging battles, and some pretty decent dialogue within a rather slow storyline.
This is an incredibly sarcastic title, and all of the characters, worlds, enemies, and storylines feed into that sarcasm. A tone of self-deprecation is well-noted throughout the game, even within the title. Fans of the series will know of the game’s meta, “game within a game” style world, but it’s truly something strange and fun for someone unfamiliar with it. Many of the powers, items, characters, and game mechanics are based on video game and computer terms, systems, and tropes.
Characters have names like “Ram and Rom”, a portable gaming device called the “N-Gear” is your start menu, and the major cities are named Lastation, Leanbox, and Lowee. Powers are activated using “hard drive” capacity, with different powers taking up different amounts of space, be it 8, 16, 32MB of space, and so on. The overdrive mode is even called an “HDD Transformation.” The entire design of the game is a large inside joke for RPG developers and designers, and it does a nice job of keeping the fan feeling like they are in on the joke as well.
It can often be a tall task to distinguish a game from the vast sea of JRPGs available for the PlayStation Vita system, but Sisters Generation is doing a nice job so far of making it’s own impression.
The battle system is a streamlined mixture of classic action and strategy based RPG gameplay. There is a lot of nice ways that battles are moving, but it’s still up in the air as to how effective this mixture of styles really is. Like many action RPGs, movement is free and combat is done in close quarters. The battles are turn based, however, and enemy and player location plays into how you approach battle much like a strategy RPG.
Hyper Dimension Neptunia Re;Birth 2: Sisters Generation boasts some nice graphics, like most other modern RPG titles, but doesn’t stray too far from the 3D anime style that we’re accustomed to. While there isn’t much to say about the game’s uniqueness in terms of visual style or battle mechanics, there is ton of merit in the story and a lot of fun to be had with the gameplay as well.
A full review of Hyper Dimension Neptunia Re;Birth 2: Sisters Generation will be available soon, but for now, fans of JPRGs and this series in particular should be ready to be very pleased with the outcome.