PS Vita Review: Moe Chronicles

TItle Card
Moe Chronicles

Moe Chronicles is a First Person Role Playing Game developed by Compile Hearts and publishd (in Asia) by Sony Computer Entertainment.  It is the second game in Compile Hearts Genki series (which includes Monster Monpiece) though playing through the first game is not required.  It is not compatible with the PlayStation TV micro console.

(Note: This review is my opinion only. All pictures are captured in-game with the PS Vita’s screen shot feature.  This is not a paid review.)

Monster Girls are going Bad and attacking humans!
Monster Girls are going Bad and attacking humans!

Moe Chronicles takes place in a fantasy work where humans live alongside monster girls.  Monster girls are all cute girls that look human, save for some features like cat ears, wings or even a non-human creature they ride..  You play as Io, a young man who is a lazy dreamer who can’t talk to girls without looking like a creep.  When monster girls, who are usually friendly, start attacking people for no reason, Io is send out to find the cause.  Along with his childhood friend, Lilia, a pink haired monster girl, he sets out to solve the crisis so he can return home.

Io and his friend, Lilia
Io and his friend, Lilia

As they set out, Io and Lilia encounter another being investigating the monster girl problem.  His name is Otton and, well, the only way I can describe him is that he’s is a talking seal. A talking penis seal.  Just take a look at him!

Look at Him!!!
Look at Him!!!

That’s Exhibit A.  Now, you might think that’s just the way the cartoon seal was drawn and I have a dirty mind.  True, but, I give you Exhibit B;  Otton is a Panty Hunter.  That’s right, he defeats Monster Girls and takes their panties as his prize.  That thing around his neck?  That isn’t a bib;  that the panties of some poor Monster Girl he beat.  And then there’s the fact he ejaculates gold coin from the top of his head if he gets too excited.  More on that later.

 

Io can't help but admire the guy.
Io can’t help but admire the guy.

Combat is all menu driven.  Io doesn’t fight.  He can store his desire energy, release it to one of the party to increase their stats that round, use an item or order the party to escape.  The girls can attack, use a skill/magic attack, defend or charm, which increases Io’s desire energy.

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Otton has a simple goal.

 

The game has you explore mazes in a first person view, where you will randomly encounter monsters as you explore.  The monsters, drawn in 2D and with minimal animation vary and include bee-like creatures. UFO’s with faces and  blue monsters with a panty over their head.  You will occasionally encounter a monster girl, either at a checkpoint or an occasional wondering one.  There you can attempt to defeat it and have it join your party.

The battle screen
The battle screen
Even the monsters like panties!
Even the monsters like panties!

When fighting the Monster Girls, you can either aim at their body to get them to faint or aim at her armour pieces.  if you manage to destroy a piece, Otton gets  excited and his excitement gauge, shaped as a heart, starts to fill.  If you manage to strip her down to here underwear, Otton gets really REALLY excited, his excitement gauge fills completely and starts ejaculating gold coins all over the Monster Girl. (See?  Penis Seal.).  From there you go into the Bumping Scratch mini-game.

Targeting her clothes can help end the battle quickly. And Otton likes it.
Targeting her clothes can help end the battle quickly. And Otton likes it.
Otton makes it rain!
Otton makes it rain!

For the Bumping Scratch game, you turn your PS Vita screen 90 degrees.  You rub the screen with the picture of the monster girl trying to find their sensitive spots, which will fill Io’s “Postive Desire” gauge as well as Otton’s.  If Otton’s gauge fills up, you will go into Nude Flash mode, where the monster girl is naked, save some well placed hearts.  This will fill up Io’s gauge faster.  If you fill it within the time limit, you mange to bring her to her senses and save her.  If not, she escapes to show up again later.

Nude Flash. The hearts protect her Modesty
Nude Flash. The hearts protect her Modesty

As you recruit Monster Girls, they will join you party.  If your party is full (you can have up to five Monster Girls in your party) they will go back to the in and wait for you.  Each Monster Girl gains skills as they level up.  They also have what is called Moe Traits, which can provide an advantage in certain conditions .  The Moe Traits run from Animal Ears and Innocent to Cute Butt and Tiny Tits.  Yes, having Tiny Tits can give you an advantage, in this case the ability to counter attack if Io’s Desire is over 45%

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The skill page shows both skills and Moe Traits

The graphics are simple but colourful.  As I said, there is little animation with the monsters you fight and the cut scenes use static images of the characaters with only slight changes to their facial expressions or animated question marks being used.  The levels all have 2D back grounds but each level varies in its design.  But the characters are well drawn and the art is good.

The 2D art is well drawn.
The 2D art is well drawn.

The copy I reviewed was an imported copy from Asia.  I do not believe it is coming out in the West.  However this version has the text and menus translated into English, and done quite well.  I haven’t come across any misspelled words or improper grammar.  The voices are still in Japanese, but that’s not that uncommon, even with Western releases.  With the PS Vita having no regional locking (unlike the 3DS) you can play it on any PS Vita, no matter when it was bought.

Some enemies will join your party. Making Pet Packs can give you skills.
Some enemies will join your party. Making Pet Packs can give you skills.

Moe Chronicles is an interesting game.  Sure it is weird (*cough* penis seal *cough*) but it is interesting to see a game like this fully intact like the Japanese release, but in English.  I doubt this game would ever see a Western release, with the partial nudity, the rubbing and the vocal phallic sea mammal,   I took a chance with this game and I can say it was worth it.

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Yes it did, Otton. Yes it did.

Moe Chronicles was released in May in the Asia region.  I bought my copy from Play Asia for about $55 Canadian.  Check online for availability.

4/5

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Nude Flash.
Nude Flash.

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PS Vita Review: Hyperdevotion Noire: Goddess Black Heart

Hypedevotion Noire: Goddess Black Heart Title Screen
Hypedevotion Noire: Goddess Black Heart Title Screen

Hyperdevotion Noire: Goddess Black Heart is a tactical Role Playing Game developed for the PS Vita by Sting and Compile Heart and published by Idea Factory International. It is a spinoff of the Hyperdimension Neptunia series of games. the game also works on the PlayStation TV micro console.

(Note: This review is my opinion only. All pictures are captured in-game with the PS Vita’s screen shot feature.)

The CPUs are back.  This time, Noire takes charge!
The CPUs are back. This time, Noire takes charge!

The game takes place in an alternate version of the Neptunia series’ setting called Gamarket (as opposed to Gamindustri). Instead of Neptune, the game centers around Noire, the CPU for Lastation (PlayStation) The CPUs fight for control of Gamarket with their armies, and Noire is close to total victory. When a mysterious woman named Eno shows up with a way to achieve peace, however, Noire decides to trust her. It turns out to be a trap and Noire and the rest of the CPUs are stripped of their powers and that land is thrown into chaos. Noire manages to regain a bit of her power and, once she convinced the other CPUs to help her, sets out to recruit an army and free the land.

Noire in her HDD form, Lady Black Heart
Noire in her HDD form, Lady Black Heart

Her army is made up of former generals that followed the CPU in the Console War. Like the CPU, who are avatars of the different game consoles, the generals represent games. Again, all of them are cute anime girls. Some of them represent well known games. Lid, a sneaky lone wolf soldier with a bandana and electronic eye patch, represents the Metal Gear Solid series. Lei Fei, a ‘road pugilist”, is a nod to Chun Li and the Street Fighter series. Lady Wac represents Pac-Man. Other are from lesser known games. Each has their own unique abilities.

Lid (right) is a soldier that likes stealth and hiding in air ducts to spy on people.
Lid (right) is a soldier that likes stealth and hiding in air ducts to spy on people.

The game play is mostly your standard tactical RPG. At the beginning of the battle, you choose what characters to take with you. You assign a leader which gives you certain bonuses depending on which character you choose. You can have up to 5 members in your party. During your turn, you can move your characters and have them either attack, use a skill or use an item, and move.  If you have enough Lily points, you can transform the CPUs into their HDD forms.  One all your actions are used you finish your turn and the enemies them move. The battles end when you complete your objective (usually defeat all enemies of a boss character) or all of you characters die. Some levels however have special rules, such as defusing all bombs within 15 turns or using a switch to access the rest of the area.

Move your units on the battlefield
Move your units on the battlefield
Some areas  have tricks to them, like this train and swtich.
Some areas have tricks to them, like this train and switch.

Like games such as Final Fantasy Tactics, you have to equip your characters and upgrade their weapons Giving you characters better weapons and equipment will increase their attack and defence. Characters will also gain experience and level up in battle. At the end of the battle all characters not K.O.’d , even if they did not participate.

Lily Boost can give you an advantage.
Lily Boost can give you an advantage.

Strategy is also important as you progress through the game. There is a system called Lily Boost in which you can reduce the number of skill points used by having other characters right next to them. when you use a skill or special attack, the characters next to you give you a kiss for good luck. the more characters next to you, the less the action cost. There is a short scene with the girls pecking the attacker on the cheek and the character says a quick line (Neptune sometimes goes, “Wow! Feeling kinda funky!” OF course having al you characters so close leave then open for an area attack, \but you have to decide if it is worth the risk.  You can use the points gained by this to transform the CPUS into their HDD form.

It is so nice to see the girls get along.
It is so nice to see the girls get along.
The more girls the better.
The more girls the better.

The game is well done with the story told in a similar style as the main Neptunia games. The English voice acting cast is back, so the CPUs sound like you expect them to. The graphics are good, with the characters taking on a 3D chibi (big head, small body) look which suite the tone of the game. The cinematics have the characters looking like they do in the main games. There is a lot of fan service too, with scenes of Noire and others in bikinis or in the shower (with strategically placed soap bubbles). These can be viewed at the CPU hotel n the main Lastation hub.

The story is told like in the other Neptunia games.
The story is told like in the other Neptunia games.
Gotta have some fan service!
Gotta have some fan service!

Also in this hub is the mission HQ, where you choose your mission, a store to buy items and equipment, the Basilicomm, where Noire lives and items and disc development where you develop new items or discs to give your characters new bonuses. There are also “locals” you can talk to that may or may not have anything interesting to say.

Lid can be a bit...intrusive.  Noire will sort her out.
Lid can be a bit…intrusive. Noire will sort her out.

I had only started playing Neptunia games recently but this is one of my favorite. I liked Final Fantasy Tactics for the PS1/PSP and, while this one is more tongue-in-cheek, it is as enthralling. The cast of characters are interesting and it is nice to see the focus on one of the other CPU instead of Neptune. Noire, with the rough way she treats her allies is different from Neptune’s easy going yet lazy personality. It is interesting to see Noire try to be a better friend and leader to her teammates.

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Hyperdevotion Noire is a great game for fans of Tactical RPGs and the Neptunia series. It is available as a physical copy or digital download. It is rated T for Teen. Check stores and online for price and availability.

4.5/5

Obvious nod to MGS in Lid's special attack
Obvious nod to MGS in Lid’s special attack
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Compa (pictured) and IF are in the game, but as paid DLC.

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PS Vita Review- HyperDimension Neptunia; ReBirth1

 

NOTE:  THIS REVIEW IS MY OPINION ONLY.  ALL IMAGES TAKE FROM THE GAME WITH MY PS VITA.

HyperDimension Neptunia

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.

The Console Wars involved anime chicks fighting each other, apparently.
The Console Wars involved anime chicks fighting each other, apparently.

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?

Neptune in her normal form. !
Neptune in her normal form.

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.

Left to Right:  Compa, Neptune and IF
Left to Right: Compa, Neptune and IF

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.

Battles are turn-based.
Battles are turn-based.

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.

Neptune transformed into PurpleHeart
Neptune transformed into PurpleHeart

 

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.

 

Compa is your party's healer, but she tends to go a bit overboard with the bandages.
Compa is your party’s healer, but she tends to go a bit overboard with the bandages.

4/5