…A new RPG franchise has arrived, and on the Vita!
Chances are good like me, you probably mistook Hyper Dimension Neptunia PP: Producing Perfection for this game around this time last year. The aformentioned game is a Rhythm-based game. Rebirth1 is a full-blown RPG. It’s highly reccommended you at least play Rebirth1 before you play the other games in the series. So anyway, I bought Rebirth1 sometime in September. Then Pokemon OmegaRuby and AlpaSapphire came out and I played my 3DS consoles for almost a month straight. Then I got Tales of Hearts R and Samurai Warriors 3.
After finally making a little bit of progress in FFX HD, I bought Hyperdevotion Noire and Rebirth2 three weeks ago. That’s when I realized I never finished Rebirth1. Since I like to play a series in order, I finished it this morning. Before I continue, I feel inclined to warn folks if you played Rebirth 1 or HDN:PP and didn’t like it, don’t bother playing the other games in the series.
That said, HDN:R1 is a game that pushes character development into overdrive. The Plan mechanics allow you to modify the game as you’re playing it in a variety of ways. The Game’s Four Goddesses–Purple Heart Neptune, Black Heart Noire, Green Heart Vert and White Heart Blanc–put aside their centuries-long feud to take on a common enemy. As the title suggests, Neptune is the main character. During the fight between the four Goddesses, also called CPUs (short for Compassionate Processor Unit) Neptune is knocked out of the sky, loses her memories. Joined by Compa and IF (clever anagrams for Compassionate Heart and Idea Factory, the co-developers), the three set off on a fantastic journey to the four lands of Gamindustri. Oh and yes, the game is rife with Tropes, Memes and References to established franchises.
The game’s premise for much of the storyline is collecting the Key Fragments to get Neptune’s memories back. Business really starts to pick up as soon as the other three CPUs join the party. If you thought just one in HDD Mode (short for Hard Drive Divinity) is boss, try all four. The game’s Lily Mechanics allow you to pair up to 6 party members. The Partner provides support bonuses depending on the pairing plus they can be swapped during battle with the active party member ala Fire Emblem Awakening.
The battle mechanics are a hybridization of Strategy (Fire Emblem), Action (Tales of) and Retro (Final Fantasy). The learning curve is forgiving but as you progress through the game, you will find some encounters will require a buffed CPU in HDD Mode to get off several EXE Attacks (Think Mystic Artes from the Tales of series) to emerge victorious.
There are a jaw-dropping 16 playable characters, 4 of them being the main characters in the game’s sequel Rebirth2. The four are each the younger sister of the CPUs and yes, they can use HDD (WOOT!). So far I’ve unlocked Nui though I assume unlocking the other three is the same. Once your shares with one of the four lands reaches a certain value, you’ll get the plan to unlock a CPU Candidate. Complete the conditions needed to complete the Plan to unlock ’em.
Overall I give Rebirth1 a 10/10.
I’ll be honest: The game is hit or miss. You’ll either like it or you won’t. I like it obviously. By the way, I have the other three Hyperdimension games as well. I started playing Rebirth2 as soon as I got home. It improves on alot of things from the first game and so far strikes a balance between those who may have played Rebirth1 and those who might not have.