NOTE: THIS REVIEW IS MY OPINION ONLY. ALL IMAGES TAKE FROM THE GAME WITH MY PS VITA.
HyperDimension Neptunia; ReBirth 1 is a Japanese Role-Playing Game (JRPG) on the PlayStation Vita. It was developed by Compile Hearts, Idea Factory (IF) and Felistella and published in North America by Idea Factory International. It is a remake of Hyperdimension Neptunia for the PS3 which saw a western release in 2011.
HyperDimension Neptunia takes place in a realm called Gameindustri during a period called the Console Wars. Four lands are at war for supremacy, represented in combat by their Console Patron Unit or CPU. The lands and their CPUs are; Lastation, with Noire (Purple Heart), Leanbox with Vert (Green Heart), Lowee with Blanc (White Heart) and Planetptune, with the titular heroine, Neptune. All of them are cute anime girls.
In case you didn’t notice, each character/realm represents a video game console. Noire is the PS3, Vert is Xbox 360 and Blanc is the Wii. Neptune represents Sega , and her name is a nod to the Sega Neptune, a Sega Genesis/ 32X hybrid that was planned but cut in favor of the Saturn. Why didn’t they reference the Saturn or the Sega Dreamcast, the console that lost the actual console war? I don’t know. Sega distributed the original game in Japan; maybe they did not want to bring up sad memories?
So as you can guess from above, the console war does not go well for Neptune. At the start, she is knocked from the heavens and crashes down to Planetptune. She is found by a well-meaning but a bit ditzy woman named Compa who helps her recover. Neptune has lost her memory, though, and is in contact with a mysterious voice named Histoire, who needs her help. Along with another adventurer named IF (called Iffy by the girls), they set out to travel the lands to regain Nep-Nep’s (Compa’s nick name for Neptune) memory. Along the way they discover a plot to take over the realms from the CPUs and encounter the CPUs as well.
The game play is typical of JRPGs with your character fighting monsters to level up and get money to upgrade weapons, armour and get supplies. Battles take place in areas you get to from the world map. Enemies are visible are you move around the area and combat is initiated only if you get to close, perform a symbol attack (attack first) or trigger an in game event. Combat is turned based, with each character able to move in a certain area during their turn and attack, either with a physical attack with their weapon, a skill attack or magic. Combat end one the enemy is defeated (with surviving party members getting XP) or when the party falls.
Certain characters, such as Neptune have another skill called Hard Drive Divinity ,in which they transform into their CPU or Goddess forms. Neptune transforms into Purple Heart and her attacks and stats increase (as well as not looking like a loli) You can change and upgrade you HDD form with game discs as you progress in the game. You can do the same with the other CPU characters if you recruit them along the way.
This game is a pretty fun JRPG. The setting is truly unique and but it plays like you typical Final Fantasy-type game, which is a good thing. The characters are interesting and have English voice actors bring them to life. Sure the character design is a bit cutesy but it works in this type of RPG; one that doesn’t take itself too seriously. Sometimes the character or Neptune is self-aware, commenting on how the game is a remake and how certain event did not occur in the same way as the last game.
Overall, this is a great RPG for the PS Vita, which seems to be having a drought in games. This is not the only HyperDimension Neptunia game for the Vita as there is an Idol training sim HyperDimension Neptunia: Producing Perfection out as well. They are planning to release a remake of the second game as well as two other spinoffs (one featuring Noire/Blackheart, the PlayStation avatar in a lead role as well as an action game developed by TAMISOFT who did Senran Kagura: Shinovi Versus) for the PS Vita in the next few months. So there will be a lot of Neptune and the girls available for the Vita in 2015 This game is solid addition to the PS Vita catalogue.