A Decade Later, Hyperdimension Neptunia lives on
Neptunia reVerse’s release in 2021 marks the tenth anniversary of a franchise that began as a tongue-in-cheek anime JRPG detailing the console war and the trials & tribulations of the gaming industry. The Neptunia series blossomed into its own universe complete with sequels, spinoffs, sequels to said spinoffs, alternate universes, genre-breaking titles, remakes, and now, with the release of Neptunia reVerse, remakes of remakes.
The shenanigans began before I even inserted the disc in the console as unboxing the game I discovered a reversible insert. The reversible insert showed the uncensored art in comparison to the retail art in all of its cleavage, underboob, and sideboob glory. Perhaps the art was censored for retail purposes as Sony has been very particular on keeping an “anti-perverted” image as I briefly touched upon with my Kandagawa Jet Girls review, but the inclusion of the optional intended cover is a thoughtful nod and a precursor for what’s to come in reVerse.
The Adorable Nep-Nep Makes Her Way To The PS5
Graphically, it’s hard to believe that Hyperdimension Neptunia was originally released 11 years ago, especially with its anime-esque art style, as Neptunia reVerse looks on par with other games of its ilk released a year or so ago. Colors are vivid and character details are at their most defined running on 4K, however, compared to the remastered release a few years prior, it starts to show its age. It’s like taking an older car with an all-new paint job and adding a splash of primer over the paint. Its looks aren’t completely “day and night” compared to Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;Birth but there are improvements nonetheless.
Neptunia reVerse -- A Remaster Of A Remaster Of A Remaster Of A...
Neptunia reVerse is the remastered version of Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;Birth 1, which, in turn, is a remastered version of the original, Hyperdimension Neptunia released in 2011. Compared to the prior remaster, the game runs in native 4K at a locked 60fps with no loading screens whatsoever. This meant accessing dungeons and cutscenes in-between dungeons went faster than ever before. I was finished with the first dungeon in nearly a fraction of the time as I had on the Re;Birth version yet there was another reason why this was the case.
Exclusive to the reVerse version is the inclusion of an “Arranged” mode alongside the “Original” mode, in which Neptune’s voice-over will recommend newer players to try the “Original” mode first as the former will “rebalance” the game, in a matter of speaking. In short, if you ever wanted a cheat mode, this is the mode for you.
Neptunia reVerse Shakes Things Up With Arranged Mode
Arrange mode completely overhauls the game and rebalances it to make it modernized and faster-paced than the original which I recall being “grindy.” Not only are battles faster as a result of the adjustments on skills and the speed of combat, but players begin the game with bonus characters including the characters players come across by playing the story naturally.
In the beginning, you have access to Neptune and Compa in the game’s first dungeon which serves as an introduction to Neptune’s transformation skills and as a tutorial for the combat system. In Arranged mode, however, you have access to over twenty characters, including cut characters from previous versions.
I counted a total of twenty-seven characters to have at any given point in your party, automatically defaulting the party size to eight as each party member has a companion they can switch out with at any time. Being as this is twenty-five more characters than you are supposed to start with, the first dungeon becomes so laughably easy that it may as well be a story cutscene.
Arranged Mode Is For The Neptunia reVerse Fans Who Want To Play ‘God’
To put things further in perspective, the scene where Neptune transforms into Purple Heart against the first boss serves as a tutorial to manage the player’s resources while also handling their newfound power. In Arranged mode, every character who could transform was already transformed and I defeated the first boss in a single turn, dealing 9999 damage in one special attack.
One can only imagine that the later fights will be adjusted to reflect on the insane roster that players have access to, but in the first few fights, it was absurdly hilarious. RPGs rarely reach this number, unless if it’s the likes of Fire Emblem, but even FE has a reason for this as you’re required to place units on a map. In reVerse, it’s a traditional 3D RPG game, not a tactical one like FE.
Neptunia reVerse Is Also Compatible With DualSense
The game supports the Dual Sense vibration functions though as of now it’s basic enough where it registers upon attacking the enemy. Later on, in the game, there may be some easter eggs or mini-games that may require the Dual Sense’s capabilities, but the fact that a remaster of a remaster of an 11-year-old game supports new features like the haptic feedback is pretty awesome.
Hyperdimension reVerse seems to be the definitive version of Hyperdimension Neptunia although I say this while knocking on wood. Idea Factory and Compile Heart have proven that they are not against remastering their older titles, milking the Nep-Nep cow as much as possible, so expect to see a reVerse 2 or something in the future. I’d bet on it.
Neptunia reVerse is now available on the PS5.