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Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;Birth 1 - Review



Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;Birth 1 is made by developer IDEA FACTORY and is a remake of the original PlayStation-only game now being brought to the PC.


Story:

Game Industry, the world in this game has been for centuries ruled by four goddesses. Neptune, Noire, Vert, and Blanc. But since humankind can remember, the four goddesses have been entrenched in a long Console War, a war that took place to decide who will be the one to rule over the whole of Game Industry.


During this longstanding battle, a new figure inserts herself in the matter and takes advantage of the situation for her own purposes, getting rid of Neptune who is the most dangerous threat to her. With a combined effort of this new enemy alongside the other three goddesses, Neptune is defeated and thrown down from the goddess palace sent crashing into a nearby forest.


A young lady named Compa saw a shooting star-like object falling from the sky into the nearby park and decides to check it out. When she arrives she finds an unconscious girl at crash site.


After bringing Neptune back to her apartment and nursing her we find out that Neptune has amnesia and is clueless as to what happened. This starts an adventure to find clues and recover Neptune's memory to know who she is and to understand the events that happened that day.



To undergo this mission, we explore dungeons, forests, caves, and other places and dimensions. We control the movements and actions of Neptune and her new friend Compa to fight an ever increasing amount of monsters that have started appearing in Celestia.


Eventually, they come across a culprit named Arfoire who seems to understand what is happening. Their travels take the girls to Lastation, Leanbos, and Lowee where they meet the goddesses under different circumstances and it appears as though they are all involved in the scheme of Arfoire, who also brought trouble to them.


Slowly Neptune gathers more and more allies during her travels and new friends ready and willing to help her in this dire situation. A friendship, that is bound to rewrite the book of history in a new light.



World Presentation & Visuals:

The world is large floating island separated into 4 areas for each goddess. The diversity in the environments are varied between natural areas such as mountains, forests parks, to industrial buildings, old factories, and even ones that look dimensional. The environments match well to the specific city that they are in with the exception of Basilicoms. Each goddess has their own unique theme for their city.


Planeptune is the most advanced city of all with a very modern layout and presentation.

Laststation is a industry-driven city, were large factories and smoke seems to be the standard.

Leanbox is an atypic-looking city with a specific style of buildings and the look is very unique.

Lowee is a nordic style city, the buildings are round-shaped and modern-looking buildings adapted to cold weather and keeping one warm.



The character sprites are all drawn well with lots of diversity in their poses and facial expressions. The artwork really expresses each girls emotions perfectly and it really adds to the effect in comedic moments. Each girl only has one outfit for these scenes, but you can unlock new appearances from plans that you find from the second chapter onwards as well as various designs from purchasable DLCs.


The CG's are high quality with vivid details that are well highlighted which represent the specific area they are in appropriately.


Additionally, we have a feature that unlocks CG's and music in a Museum. This opens up by completing stories and unlocking new chapters.



Gameplay

This is a Dungeon JRPG in which we can set up a team of three characters as the active team plus three additional that play the role of background support characters. While we battle different kinds of foes we can change characters by switching the main character from the frontline to the character in the background adapting to the combative needs, or preference if wanting to level up a specific character's Lili ranks.


Once we know that Neptune is actually a goddess she ends up transforming and we can use her full potential in battle likewise to the other three goddesses and two additional goddesses available in DLC's.


The battles are turn-based, either fighting a horde of small NPC's or a single boss monster that is much stronger and more difficult to defeat. There are different types of elements involved where goddesses, friends, and monsters each have their own element. Adapting your team to be strong against specific elements is a necessity or the given monsters will remain too strong.


On an additional note, upgrades can be bought and unlocked by plans that you collect through the game. Once a plan is obtained, you can purchase the item in the shop to upgrade characters. Need a stronger sword? Collect the materials to unlock the plan and buy it!


This feature is a really neat one with a good variety of options for each character. An added bonus is that you can gather materials for plans that change the appearance of a character. As you tend to get invested in the characters, this is a huge bonus where you can personalize them and well worth the effort.



Voices and Music:

The game is partially voiced, events are not all voiced sadly but the voiced ones are outstanding with top tier voice actresses. There are frequent comical and funny quotes which made me laugh and smile over and over again. I can not say enough positive remarks about the voice acting when it was present.


During the fights the game is fully voiced. Attacks are named and voice quotes are added for a few of the special attacks from each character which I found to be very neat. This helps to further establish the personality types of the girls.


The game is accompanied by an amazing opening song and also enjoyable background music. I really did enjoy the opening and could see how many YouTube reviewers would want to include it somewhere in their video review as it fits this game perfectly.



Routes:

We don't have any choices in the game that would change the story, but we do have a choice between two different routes. I wouldn't call one route a bad route since both routes are good in their own right. But we have only one true ending.


The routes are decided by certain key points to attain and watch over. If we don't reach the necessary points requirements we won't be able to achieve the true route. Still, I really do recommend doing the playthrough twice for both routes because both endings are a must-watch.


Achievements:

The game provides different achievements of accomplishments, some of them require quite a few hours of gameplay since they are thought to be complete. The toughest of them being the millionaire achievement which is not easy to complete even with the additional DLC's.



Overall Impression and Thoughts:

Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;Birth 1 is definitely a great JRPG that has super cute characters, amazing opening and ending songs, nicely voiced parts, and a good deal of humor mixed inside fun combat. There is a noticeable grind, but the story is engaging and helps motivate you to make it through the grind of monster hunting.


I did enjoy it from start to end, and of course, once we fought our sweat off, why not finish the day with some delicious pudding? Neptunia Rebirth1 without a feast of pudding? Unthinkable! The love of pudding for the main protagonist is definitely addicting.


Additional DLC's evolve the game even more by adding new characters, higher max level, new epic monsters, additional dungeons, and items to unlock. With or without the DLCs I can highly recommend this title for it's enjoyable story, characters, and combat.


Check out the game at the Steam store page

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