The Hyperdimension series has come a long way from the original’s release on the PS3 within Japan back in 2010. While the original had a lot of technical issues, which is to be expected when attempting a project of this scope for the first time after the collaboration with NIS and Gust on Trinity Universe, Hyperdimension had a charm to it that made it unique and something of its own. Thankfully, as I’ve quite enjoyed Neptune’s journey from the get go, not giving up on the world of Gamindustri we’ve seen sequels and remakes in which one thing is clear: Compile Hearts and Idea Factory have never stopped improving and regardless of being a sequel or a remake/remaster, there is always something new and improved to be experienced and enjoyed.
Hyperdimension Neptunia Rebirth:2 follows the story of Neptune’s younger sister Nepgear on her quest to save the four nations CPUs after an obliterating defeat 3 years prior. Being rescued by their friends IF and Compa, they set out to find a way to gain enough power to hopefully restore the world from the clutches of ASIC (Arfoire Syndicate of International Crime). Following in the steps of Rebirth:1, Rebirth:2 takes Hyperdimension Neptunia MK2 and updates it to the Victory system and not without a series of changes making it even greater all of its own.
After the release of Rebirth:1 I have been looking forward to the next step in the series. I’ll be honest in saying that I found MK2 to be the weakest of the current three. It changed the battle style from Trinity Universe’s to something new which ended up being a bit frustrating in the approach they took as to do anything players essentially had to skip their first turn. The story felt rushed and always felt like it was missing just that little something. Rebirth:2 I am ecstatic to say, fixes all of these. With the introduction to new characters that partake in the story alongside the Victory engine, I have done nothing less than enjoy my time so far.
To not overly spoil new additions prior to full release, there was one in particular that I am quite enjoying. While the Scout system was a good idea when it was introduced, the sheer luck needed to be able to find what you wanted within the various environments was quite substantial. This was especially the case if you happened to be me who even with loaded dice during a Dungeons and Dragons session would still fail to do anything when it mattered.
Rebirth:1 removed the Scout system and instead placed dialog events to acquire new locations and plans for item changing and tougher monsters. While this was now progression based, the Scouts could find and bring back materials that could be quite useful at times. Along side the newer system that was introduced for acquiring plans for regions, Rebirth:2 introduces us to a new hero named Stella who is a dungeon crawling heroine that explores the various environments of the world’s dungeons.
While Nepgear and her party will only ever seen one or two floors, Stella’s exploration limits are much more vast. Working on a timer system in which each dungeon requires its own amount of time to explore, Stella works her way down defeating monsters and exploring in order to bring you back materials that can not only be used for upgrades, but also be handed in for quests. The best part? She can explore these dungeons even if you are not currently playing making it worthwhile to send her off before shutting down for the day.
With Rebirth:2 using the current system for battles and exploration, everything runs quite smoothly and load-times are almost non-existent. Everything has been rather optimized for the Vita’s much smaller screen, however, playing through a PS TV is just as enjoyable as everything still runs extremely smooth and looks great. Between these various upgrades to the original version on top of adding new characters which enhance the story and provide different combat possibilities, Hyperdimension Neptunia Rebirth:2 is looking pretty good for its release on January 23!
Preview by Pierre-Yves