Heavenly Pudding

How dare you taint pudding time.

I’ll preface this post by saying that I understand very little of the history behind Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;Birth1 and whether it came before or after Fairy Fencer F. I do know that the Re;Birth series is a remake of the original series. But that’s about it. I went into this one completely blind and I can’t say I’m disappointed. It’s a really enjoyable JRPG with surprisingly deep combat, actually requiring the use of various characters and abilities to easily dispatch your foes.

I realise that seems like a silly thing to be surprised about.

But it’s actually quite rare to find a party based JRPG where each character can either help or hinder the party. Especially when you consider that some characters (like Neptune or Vert) can increase their power via the HDD system, which you would assume is the answer to several problems, but it actually isn’t, as sometimes you need something else to tip the balance.

The party mechanics are really well done, too. You’ve got a partner system that allows you to pair up characters to combine their traits, to allow them to use special partner abilities, and to allow you to switch between them in combat. It’s a really nice touch. It’s incredibly useful to have a character like IF in the front dealing damage being able to switch to Compa for healing. It allows for so much more flexibility when building a party, as you don’t necessarily need to have a healer in the default line up. Or at all. If you’ve got the right combination of other benefits. It’s also really neat that they have different types of basic attacks, giving you freedom to focus on breaking down guard or dealing an exceptional amount of damage with power attacks.

Given that you’ll be doing a lot of fighting (and grinding) in JRPGs, it’s nice that they’ve taken the time to create systems which are enjoyable and complex enough for you to remain interested in them as your characters level up. Of course, there’s always going to be that break point where you’re too strong for everything and so it becomes trivial in the end- but that’s forty hours away. Or less. If you like grinding. Which I kind of sort of do and ended up being incredibly confused in the early game.

I didn’t know they unlocked those abilities later.

In a year that has been strangely riddled with nostalgia, Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;Birth1 comes in as something that I’ve really enjoyed and I think was well worth the price of admission. It reminds me of the JRPGs of old- but newer- with updated systems to reflect modern concepts. It also has some of the best/most hilarious dialogue known to man.

I’ll be looking forward to experiencing the rest of the series after this. I don’t know how they will differ from the first, but I’ve got high expectations of being able to explore and do as much as I’ve done in this title. There were so many dungeons, quests, plans, and other things to discover. Then there was the grinding. So much grinding. Not just me, either- IF and Vert were doing some. That was a weird afternoon. But I can’t say I didn’t enjoy it. I’m slowly having my interest in JRPGs thoroughly revitalised, which is pretty awesome as I have a PS Vita full of them and I do need to get around to finishing some of those as well. Like Final Fantasy VII. That I started several months ago.

Have a nice weekend, all!


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