Review: Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;Birth 2: Sisters Generation

Release Date
NA: 27th January 2015, EU: February 6th 2015
PlayStation Vita
Publisher / Developer
Idea Factory International / IDEA FACTORY, COMPILE HEART

Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;Birth 2: Sisters Generation is a remake of the 2011 PlayStation 3 title, Hyperdimension Neptunia MK2. Our favourite CPU goddesses have been captured by the evil ASIC, an organization that has used pirated games to secure shares and gain power over every land in Gamindustri. You take the role of Neptune’s little sister and CPU Candidate, Nepgear, who is supported by friends old and new, as they travel around the world in order to find each land’s mascot and use their power to save the goddesses. Re;Birth 2is darker and there is a lot more at stake during this battle against piracy, with more time focused on storytelling instead of everyone sitting around eating pudding.

When it comes to Neptunia games you know you’re in for a wacky adventure, but no matter how crazy things get it continues to work, largely due to the fact that the game keeps its tongue in its cheek at all times. There’s no doubt that this game, like it’s prequel will turn certain players off with it’s endless use of character troupes, constant breaking of the fourth wall and the fact it throws in as many otaku culture references as possible, including nods to singer/voice actress Mizuki Nana, Fullmetal Alchemist and Metal Gear Solid . The game does this incredibly well, however for those who don’t like cute characters doing bad-ass things, this title may not be that appealing.

You’ll be fighting slimy Dogoos, cute pixels and angry pipes during your journey for more power, shares and awesome abilities. The battle system featured in Re;Birth 2 remains unchanged from Re;Birth 1, it’s not only challenging, it’s incredibly addicting. Foes have two bars, one for HP and one for guard, breaking an enemy’s guard is crucial especially against the tougher opponents, so choosing which attack to use and forming a strategy is a must. Once again you have the freedom to edit your attack commands and switch between multiple characters during battle, meaning it’s a very diverse and overall satisfying system. You also have some visually attractive special attacks that can be used when you fill up the the EXE Drive Gauge. The gauge fills up by you attacking and receiving damage from enemies, giving you access to some really impressive EXE Drive Skills, it’s a very simple and rewarding way to access your stronger moves, sadly however the frame rate has trouble keeping up with the epicness on screen, but this is only a mild complaint.

Many of the enemies are reused in Re;Birth 2 but they are still wonderfully creative and a lot of fun, the Tetris blocks with odd faces are a personal favourite. The scenery is never that attractive and can be rather repetitive, but are the perfect design and length for a handheld title, none outstaying their welcome. There are no difficulty options to choose from, but players once again have access to the Remake System which allows you to change the strength of your foes, add new items and gear to the store and even change the enemies and items found in each dungeon. It adds a whole new layer of depth to the game, giving you the option to play in a way you can enjoy the most.

If you need a break from the story, players have access to a new real-time mini game called Stella’s Dungeon, where you send the cute Stella off exploring to find you some nice new items. It’s a welcome distraction from all the grinding that you’ll be doing, but it can get infuriating as you’ll be certain Stella’s gear will be good enough to help her accomplish the task, only for her to randomly fail and lose it all. Aside from this you also have access to a decent amount of side quests with each new dungeon you open up, they are your typical get these items, kill these monsters type of tasks, but when successfully completed the player gets money, items, and shares, which not only restore balance to Gamindustri, but helps towards unlocking the many endings available in the game, are there really are quite a few.

Re;Birth 2 offers you a wide range of characters to add to your party, each with a fun and unique personality. Whether you decide to play in English or Japanese, you can’t go wrong as both contain a talented cast. It would be ridiculous to end the review without mentioning the fact the game’s soundtrack is an absolute pleasure to listen to, filled with catchy tunes that will be stuck in your head hours after you put your Vita down.

The Hyperdimension Neptunia series constantly improves on its weak points and evolves the superb battle system, all while delivering a fun, silly and enjoyable story. Packed with a load of great content, wonderful characters and many laughs along the way, Re;Birth 2 is an absolute joy to play and is a welcome addition the PlayStation Vita's now strong library. Re;Birth 3 can't get here soon enough!