Gameindustri is under the attack of an evil crime syndicate named ASIC. In order to prevent their evil from spreading, the four CPUs (which are considered goddesses by the people of Gameindustri) are sent into the Gameindustri Graveyard to vanquish evil. They are defeated, and forced to wait in the graveyard for three years until a rescue attempt is made, which allowed a lowly CPU candidate named Nepgear to escape. Since all of the nations CPUs are trapped in the graveyard, Nepgear must rally the nation, and get the help of the other CPU candidates to not only save their dear sisters, but vanquish ASIC once and for all. The story is pretty well laid out, regardless of the fact that it has a pretty common plot. With that out of the way, let’s get into the actual gameplay.
The battle style in Hyperdimension Neptunia mk2 is easy to learn and is actually pretty fun to use. It’s turn based, and has you choosing attacks, making combos, and kicking butt while the opponent makes moves opposite yours. It actually flows pretty well together, and the only real “flaws” I can see lie in the progression (along with the fact that the characters get annoying; they scream the same battle cry every time they attack). When the game first starts, battles are challenging and require some strategy. However, after about an hour or so of gameplay, I never lost, and usually killed opponents very easily. I would find myself playing through the game, and when I unlocked the next area, I wouldn’t even have to fight opponents (if you are high enough leveled above the opponent, you can kill them without initiating a battle). And It’s not like I was grinding for hours to get to this point. I pretty much went from story mission to story mission, and I still was never really challenged. While the gameplay was engaging and fun, the progression and difficulty really ruined it for me. That being said, it still is addicting, and I can’t seem to put the controller down. I think it has to do more with the fact that college life has made me more accepting of mediocrity.
It’s kinda sad, but outside of the gameplay being fun, Hyperdimension Neptunia mk2 falls short in every other way. Most of the game is just full of cardboard cutouts of previous things. There are maybe 10-15 different monster sprites, and besides that the only thing that changes is color. This really made things boring when I would walk into a new area expecting something new, but I was given more of the stuff I already experienced. Things were the same for the maps. The layouts of levels were reused multiple times with the only thing that changed being a small new piece, and different colored monsters. While I realize games like Final Fantasy utilize strategies like this (I mean really, games can’t have multiple hundred different monster sprites in it), it didn’t work with this game. I was left unsatisfied, and bored half the time.
The last major flaw I can find in Hyperdimension Neptunia mk2 lies with the games dialogue. To be blunt; it sucks. While I was playing, I decided to do what most people don’t do, and I listened/read every bit of dialogue that the game has to offer. Now, it wasn’t even that things were boring, or that things were out of place, but everything kinda just made me sit there and go “Oh really? That was so smart and creative. Can I hear more of this?” (Obvious sarcastic tone). It was all just very childish. They dumbed everything down, and it really ruined everything. Not to mention that at one point in the game, a certain enemy literally said he was going to “Taste the innocence of the pure maiden”, which I am pretty sure had some very dirty intentions to it (considering this character was a pretty blatant pedophile). While I get that this is how Japanese games sometimes work, it was just annoying, and really turned me off throughout the game.
Other than that, there were just some pretty minor issues. Sometimes the character talking would be called another character, and just minor annoyances such as a lack of a diverse soundtrack. I got really excited when I found out that after you beat the game, you can continue your save file, but then I realized that the story missions still have the same level enemies, so it is even more boring than the first time you played through the game. I mean seriously, would it have been that hard to just raise the enemies levels in the continued play through?
Overall, this is how I feel about Hyperdimension Neptunia mk2. Every single critic bone in my body just wants to flame the crap out of it, and call it mediocre in every way, but the gamer in me can’t. When it comes down to it, I enjoyed the game. It’s as plain and simple as that. While yes, the game does have it’s obvious flaws, it was definitely playable, and ended up being fun. It’s one of those games that when you start off you just bitch and moan about playing it, but about 50% of the way through the game, you realize that you are having fun, and don’t want to put it down. Hyperdimension Neptunia mk2 is, by no means, a new Final Fantasy, but if you enjoy RPGs, you could definitely have fun playing it.