When I first saw the game, I thought that it was going to be just another HD remake that seems to be so popular with games these days. The game stays mostly the same, just graphically redone. Sometimes the update works well, other times it doesn’t. I was a bit worried about this one at first, thinking of how the original played out. But even after only a few minutes of starting this game up, I realized Felistella and Compile Heart took the game’s name to heart and gave the game its own rebirth. Here’s a look at Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;Birth1.
For those who haven’t played the original version on PS3, the game takes place in GameIndustri: a land made up by the continents of Lastation, Lowee, LeanBox, and Planeptune. The four continents are each ruled by their own Goddess. After years of conflict between the goddesses known as the console wars, the tide changes when three of the goddesses decide to exile one to the continent itself. The Goddess Neptune is forced into a 3 on 1 fight, and her defeat sends her down to the continents. Neptune wakes up in the house of Compa, a nurse in training. Neptune can’t remember anything from her past; Compa believes that she is suffering from amnesia. Compa explains how monsters are starting to roam the area and are a danger to the people of Planeptune, and Neptune takes it upon herself to go fight the monsters and help keep the people safe.
The game continues with a bit of a faster pace than the original release. The entire game seems to have been redone from the ground up. The story is similar to the original, but it does have enough alterations to make it feel like a new story. The combat system is completely redone from the original. While the combat remains turn based, the style is closer to the latest PS3 installment of Hyperdimension Neptunia: Victory. Combat is turn based, but the characters get to move in a defined area instead of just clumped in a line like a traditional turn based RPG. The fighting is also more fluid and fast paced. While players still get to take as long as they need with character position and decide what they will do, it’s much faster than the original. Weapon choices will affect how many enemies can be attacked at once, along with the spacing of the enemies themselves.
Some of the characters from the previous game have been removed, and replaced with characters from previous games. For example, the CPU candidates from the continents like Nepgear and Uni are now playable characters. One of my favorite updates to this particular version of the game is the Remake System. Players can alter the game difficulty and game mechanics itself. Some of the remakes are stronger enemies, jumping higher, obtaining more experience and credits, and more. It allows for each player to make the game a unique experience to others who play it.
The entire game has gotten a graphic overhaul. The game looks beautiful in HD graphics. Along with that, the style of the art has changed as well. The worlds are organized more like Victory, open landscape and the ability to see the monsters players can fight instead of random encounters. The framerate has dramatically increased from the PS3 original to the new game on the Vita. The models are smoother, rendered better, and move more fluidly. The update is also apparent in the visual novel cutscenes. Instead of just still frames of characters, they now move and feel like they’re talking.
The game’s audio has been updated as well. The characters have gotten new voice actors, and the musical score has been redone. Many tracks from the game have been the same ones that are characteristic of the game itself, but they’ve been redone for this new game. The audio update is nice for the game, but I also enjoyed the previous voice actors. The update isn’t bad or worse for the game.
Re;Birth1 feels like a new game instead of just a remake. There are so many new features that come with this version of the game and the plot changes from the original keep the experience fresh. The move to the Vita was a nice touch as well. This is a great game to take with you and play in your free time. New players can enjoy the original game, and old veterans of the series can enjoy the new take and the new features the game has to offer.
Developer: Felistella, Compile Heart Publisher: Idea Factory
Release Date: August 26, 2014 US, August 27, 2014 EU
Platforms: Ps Vita(US: Retail or PSN, EU: PSN only)
Price: $39.99 US Rating: ESRB:T Pegi: 12