Neptune has been sent to an alternate dimension by a mysterious force and the only way back home is to increase your shares! Can you do it, or will all the roadblocks on the way prevent you from doing so?
I want to preface this review by saying that I was unable to finish the game due to Vita issues. I was pretty devastated, but I don’t have the heart nor the time to go back and replay the 30+ hours of game time I lost. I did at least make it near the end of the game though.
Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;Birth3 is a remake of the third game in the series, and is my first full dive into a main storyline game. I had played some of the original first game though never made it too far. Unfortunately, as stated above, I still have yet to actually finish a main story title, but at least this time it was out of my control. The previous two remakes, Re;Birth1 and 2, had been based off of the original third game though, and yet from what I’ve gathered they still managed to pull off some new twists.
The game starts off with a weird scene that seems to make absolutely no sense once you actually get into the game. From what I’ve gathered it does actually make sense at the end, but well… Anyways, eventually Neptune gets pulled into an alternate dimension and begins one of the running jokes of the game – people falling onto Noire. You get introduced to Plutia as well, the CPU of Planeptune in that dimension.
When you begin in this dimension, you’re essentially back in a time when the only console out there was by Nintendo – or, in Hyperdimension’s terms, Lowee. In order for people to become CPUs in this dimension they need to find a CPU Memory. Unfortunately, not everyone is able to become one, and should someone be incompatible they become a monster.
Re;Birth3 continues the series’ humour and jabs at various video game things. I found myself laughing quite a lot at the humour that was used, and it really helps make the game quite enjoyable story-wise. Even when the story tries to be serious, someone always jumps in with something hilarious that just takes all the seriousness away.
The combat in Re;Birth3 is set in a turn-based free movement field. On your turn, you can move within your own circle and attack enemies that you can reach. What you can reach depends on your weapon, with particular weapons – not even just particular weapon types – having different attack shapes. Depending on how you aim your attack, you can hit multiple enemies at once which can help eliminate them faster.
The big part of all this comes down to skills and SP management. To gain SP, you need to hit enemies. SP gained is based off how many hits you land, with Rush attacks being fantastic for this. You also have Power and Beat attacks, with one being more for hard-hitting attacks and the other to help destroy an enemies guard. Once you have enough SP, you can pull off powerful skills that can just really destroy enemies, including bosses. Sure, some bosses you still need to be careful on, but with particular management you can just beat them down with skills.
Then there’s EXE Drive’s… I rarely actually used them. They also require parts of your SP gauge to be filled, and they also tend to require being paired up with the right people. I just never really found a use for them compared to just using SP skills. To transform into your HDD form – Hard Drive Divinity – you also need to have SP, and it’ll use some to transform too. HDD gives you a nice stat boost, and often times in bosses you’ll just automatically be transformed.
A lot of the songs I’d heard in Re;Birth3 I had heard in the spin off games. Hearing them in more of an “actual” context was nice, rather than how they felt just randomly put in places. With that said, some pieces still felt a bit odd but they did at least feel more in place. The voice acting was pretty good as well, though a good portion of the game wasn’t voiced. There’s also a lack of a proper cutscene skip which can be awkward should you die to a boss. Luckily, you can just use the Skip button which really just speeds it up by a lot.
Also available in Re;Birth3 is the Stella’s Dungeon. This is a gigantic tower in which you send an NPC named Stella in with a companion and she comes back with equipment for her and items for you. The dungeon is a rogue-like setting in that if she should die, your scout companion will become stranded on the floor she died on and you’ll lose the equipment she had equipped. This can be a nice way to pick up some extra items to turn in for quests, allowing you to get money to afford equipment upgrades.
Finally, you have access to Memory space and the ability to unlock more stuff through the Plans feature. These can be more equipment, more floors for Stella’s Dungeon, extra dungeons, and special bonuses for your characters. You’ll obtain more memory as you play through the game and items to unlock these can be found from enemies in dungeons or from Stella’s Dungeon. Oftentimes I would even forget about it and then go in and find I had a bunch of stuff I could get. Other times, I’d just constantly be checking and there’d be nothing new to unlock. While it was a nice feature, it sure would have been nice if you could get some indication of “Hey, you can get something in here” like they did with quest completion.
While I don’t think Re;Birth3 was perfect, it was definitely a fantastic experience that I’m pretty sad to have lost my save file for. The music did start to feel a bit repetitive and I did find myself just turning down my sound until a cutscene happened again. Stella’s Dungeon is a nice little feature you can do and then just leave your Vita to rest for awhile, since she goes off of real time instead of game time.
If you’re already a fan of the series then I highly suggest picking this up. If you aren’t? Well, never too late to start – with this game also coming to Steam later this year, you’ll be able to experience the full main series on Steam, and it’s already all on Vita. Sure, you’ve got the anime theme going on, but the gameplay and story more than make up for it.
Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;Birth3 V Generation Review Score
I would like to thank Idea Factory for providing me with a copy of the game for review.
Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;Birth3 V Generation is available now on Amazon.