Wednesday, 7 October 2015

Hyperdimension Neptunia: Producing Perfection review

Lets nep-nep

Jason here. The poor Vita. If you ask most Vita owners if they like their little handheld, the answer will be yes, but if you ask them if they'd recommend one to other people, the answer would likely be no. The handheld is a great piece of kit, but has been poorly supported. The one thing it does have going for it is a variety of very Japanese games that seem to fit the little console very well. But these games often get very little attention and remain un-reviewed. So I'm going to start trying to change that, right here on geekmash buy reviewing various quirky and under appreciated Vita games, starting with hyperdimension neptunia: producing perfection.



So a quick bit of background on the hyperdimension series. The series is an RPG with a rather interesting idea. It's set in a world that's divided into four kingdoms...that each represent a different console in the console wars. Yep that's right, this game series is a silly but fun take on the console wars. Each of the four nations are run by a goddess who's job is to gain as many 'shares' as possible (shares kind of means fanboys/girls). The goddess's include Neptune who rules over Planeptune, who represents Sega as the Neptune was originally a console that Sega were going to release after the Saturn and she has a sister called Nepgear, a nod to the Gamegear. Next we have Noire the head of Lastation which represents Playstation and who has a sister called Uni, aka the PSP. Blanc is the leader of Lowee and represents Nintendo, she has two sisters called Rom and Ram who collectively represent the DS and finally Vert, aka the Xbox, who doesn't have any sisters cause Microsoft haven't made a handheld.


Generally the game is series is pretty light hearted at making jokes about the various console makers with little Jokes like Blanc occasionally losing her cool and getting very sweary (Nintendo being the most kid friendly of the console makers) and Vert being the most 'Mature', because Microsoft make the most adult games.


So whats producing perfection about? It is of course a spin off in which the 4 Goddess's are losing shares due to the popularity of a major new pop group. They decide to counter this by being Idol's, but they need a producer, one from another dimension...specifically you. So you get called to their world, choose which of the 4 you want to work with and start them on their path to Idol stardom.

The game essentially has two parts. The main chunk of gameplay involves deciding what your chosen goddess should do each day. These choices are separated into work, which increases your fans, train, which increases stats and relax which reduces stress, you can also choose to move to a different country or put on a concert. Each of the first 3 options then give you several other more specific choices. Training for example gives you the option to train vocals, dancing, knowledge or choose practise which improves stats randomly but to a lesser degree than the other options. Every seven days you can choose study which improves all stats. This structure of options extends to work and relax and numerous events can be seen depending on what you do and when you do it.


The second form of gameplay occurs when you put on a concert. The player starts by choosing a stage, a song and 3 stage effects that can be activated during the concert. Other than the effects the choices don't have much impact, song wise you'll just want to stick with your goddess's own song as this is the only song they can access their HDD mode in. You can then make some aesthetic changes such as costume and the position the goddess is standing in, but these have no impact. Then the concert starts and you can do two things, activate the effects when the crowd cheers and change the camera angle using the D-pad. Your aim is to get the meter in the bottom right as high as possible. The only issue is that you've never told a very important bit of information, that the analogue sticks move the camera and that this is the most useful thing you can do. Simply move the sticks constantly, change the angle from time to time, and activate the effects when the crowd cheers and you'll usually max the meter out. The game ends when 180 days pass or the stress meter is maxed out. To win you must have the highest shares.


So, should you consider buying producing perfection? For a majority of people the answer is no. The game is very action light, and for the most part all you're doing is making limited choices, the concerts themselves are pretty limited and have hardly any challenge. However there are very few games like this available in the UK. It's essentially a visual novel game with an added gimmick and if you're a far of visual novels you'll find enjoyment here. Fans of the Hyperdimension Neptunia series will also find enjoyment here especially if you're fond of the characters.


6.8/10

So that's it for this review, if you want to follow me on twitter click here.

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Look out for more Game reviews, especially Vita ones, in the future.

 

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