• Editor’s Note: This review was updated on April 5, 2016 to reflect our views on the PC version.

    It seems that every three months a new Neptunia spin-off is announced, with several months later it’s localization is then made. Not content with just making merchandise, or dabbling in idol mini-games and Strategy RPGs, Neptunia has set its sights on the action brawler genre. Developer Tamsoft from Senran Kagura fame takes its style and tries applying it to the Neptunia franchise. The result is actually pretty good. Provided you don’t mind the type fanservice that comes from the Senran series.

    The game’s plot, or rather it’s set-up, is about how the CPU’s are doing quests to serve Gameindustri as usual. Although their motivation to do so is waning, Dengekiko is reporting on their efforts, and convinces them to keep on fulfilling quests, as this would do wonders for their shares. Meanwhile Famitsu does the same with the CPU candidates. However, they soon learn that the volume of quests is increasing rapidly for unknown reasons. So they set out to learn who is behind this, and for what purpose. The only real problem is, they pretty much don’t actually find out, let alone posses any sense of urgency. Honestly in the end, the girls do this out of sheer boredom. Any semblance of story is thrown out of the window, and the game is all about the new style of gameplay.

    Nepunia U’s gameplay borrows a bit from Dynasty Warriors, placing the CPU’s in environments from the series, with hordes of enemies to defeat. There are some missions where the goal has players do something specific, but most of them boil down to ‘kill x enemy’, or ‘kill enough enemies until target appears’. But unlike Dynasty Warriors multiple forces and multiple goals, the game is made simpler with only one goal, and up to two selectable characters to go in with. In fact, the large maps in the game are often made smaller, locking out access to areas. This makes the game feel more like a brawler like Senran Kagura or Oneechanbara. And just like that game, the clothing battle damage mechanic returns. As you take damage, your characters’ clothes will wear down, eventually leading to a costume break. However, this fanservice laden visual flair doesn’t actually seem to make the girls less effective in battle, almost as if it were encouraging it. Thankfully for the most part the challenge level is such that the game will be easy, leading to unlocking events that grant players with costumes that do not break. Conversely, constant ripping gives players even easier to rip outfits. Yeah. If you find the game too hard or too easy, you can swap out gear or use medals to gain better equipment or stat boosts or handicaps. And a new hard mode unlocks after completing the main game, giving the players an actual degree of challenge.

    Outside of combat, the game might lack a story worth talking about. But the character interactions are always an amusing thing to experience. There’s also a handful of modes to check out, and a high number of quests to go on. So the game has a large chunk of replayability, that can make the 10-hour experience jump to about 30. But the tedium involved might make players want to play the game in short bursts, and thankfully the Vita has a sleep mode that makes this easy to do. The PC release of this game lacks such a feature, but it’s still good to do smaller sessions in. The game however benefits greatly by running at 60 frames in 1080p. Character models and distant hoards of enemies are much easier to make out. I can’t see too many newcomers coming to this game though, despite the lack of story making it easier to get into. This game mainly exists for those who are already familiar and comfortable with the series and their hallmarks. But for those people, it’s pretty solid.

    Hyperdimension Neptunia U: Action Unleashed - Review
    A fun action game with plenty of replay value, provided you are willing to put up with the tedium that goes with it.
    Our Score8
    • Gameplay is fun and has a high replay value, good for quick bursts of play.
    • Sprawling maps have many areas blocked off, making the game more arena focused rather than a true Dynasty Warriors experience.
    • Story is pretty much non-existent.
    8Overall Score
    Reader Rating: (0 Votes)