Welcome to our very first Hands-On article!  Recently, we were lucky enough to establish relations with Idea Factory International, the developers that are bringing Hyperdimension Neptunia Rebirth 1 to the West.  With those relations, we have gotten early access to that game, and have been asked to provide you, our readers, with our impressions of the game before we dive into a large review.  Here are out thoughts of Hyperdimension Neptunia Rebirth 1!

Booting up the game, we noticed that the game’s story is thrown at you pretty heavily from the get-go.  You have Gamindustri, a huge world that consists of four nations and each is governed and protected by a CPU Goddess.  We begin seeing the four CPU Goddess that govern the nations turning on Neptune, whom falls to the world below, her memory gone.  After meeting with a Nursing Student named Compa, she journeys to recover her lost memory.

One thing to note about the story is that it is full of comedy.  The characters aren’t incredibly serious, but it has more of a happy-go-lucky feel to it, with dialogue going from sneaking off from adventuring to eat pudding to speaking to the developers about the fact that this game is a remake.

neptune 1

When you get access to the game, you have a 2D World Map with points to explore, be it cities with Guilds for Missions and Shops for equipment, or dungeons to explore.  There are also random NPCs that pop up to give you things, like Plans for the Remake System, which I’ll go into later in this preview.

Dungeons are simple 3D dungeons for you to explore to take down enemies, find items, and activate Story Events and Boss Fights.  As you explore the dungeons, you will find enemies, but cannot fight them right away.  Like many RPGs, battles take place on another plane, interacting with enemies being what starts a battle.

How battles will begin will depend on whether you attack the enemies in the field first or not.  If you attack first, it’s a Symbol Attack where you can move first.  If they strike you, it’s the opposite.  The combat system, itself, is unique in that it’s turn-based, but on your turn, you have free roam around the battlefield until you get an enemy in your attack range and start attacking them, be it with combos, skills, or morphing into your powerful HDD form.  When battles end, you get experience and can level up, as well as getting money (Credits) and items.  Sometimes, fighting and looking in dungeons can net you better equipment than the Shop allows for.

neptune 2

Difficulty spikes were apparent in the few hours we played of the game as well.  When you first hit the dungeons, the battles are pretty easy as you learn the mechanics.  Once you find the second Land of Gamindustri, the battles get a good bit harder.  It’s not a huge gap, but it’s enough that we can tell there will be times where we’ll need to stop and grind for levels and equipment.

The last aspect we were able to dig into was the “Remake” system.  This system lets you use materials to enable Plans that you make, that can do anything from changing items and enemies in specific dungeons or even creating new dungeons for you to explore.

To wrap up this Preview, we should note on the presentation.  The developers did a great job at bringing PS3-level graphics to the PS Vita with this game.  In comparison, the models are smoother and clearer than even the character models of the PS3 game, Hyperdimension Neptunia MkII.  While there are a few sections where the frames drop, the game is a visual spectacle and has low Load Times to go along with it.

This is the limit of what we can say for now.  Stay tuned and we will have our full review of the game out on the 22nd!