It’s another Neptunia game! I played it, of course, so I’m going to write about it! Has Hell frozen over? Have pigs took wing? Idea Factory and Compile Heart own my soul, as always, so I can’t help but talk about everything they produce. Try and contain your amazement as we talk about Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;birth 2.
Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;birth 2, sequel to the original Re;birth and remake of Hyperdimension Neptunia Mk. 2, stars a new heroine: the CPU Candidate Nepgear, essentially representing the ill-fated Game Gear handheld system. She teams up with other CPU Candidates to rescue the series’ main heroines, who’ve been captured by the villainous ASIC. Most of the cast returns, though the available party members are switched up a bit; fan favorites like IF and Compa are back, so you won’t be disappointed there. The plot is the usual, though (much like Hyperdevotion Noire) your mileage is going to vary a bit based on how well you can deal with a different main character. Other sources say Nepgear wasn’t especially well-liked, but I didn’t mind her all that much.
How does it play? Well…it’s Neptunia! Again! God, I hope they never stop cranking these out. The jump from Re;birth 1 to 2 is…uh, there’s not really much of one. It’s a pretty direct sequel, they run on the same engine and most of the mechanics are the same. It’s largely one of the easier games in the series, much as it was in its previous rendition as Hyperdimension Neptunia Mk2, and your arsenal of attacks is larger as well.
Like Re;birth 1, this runs on the same combat engine as Hyperdimension Neptunia Victory, meaning it’s much more palatable than previous titles in the series. Other nice additions are a roguelike mode called Stella’s Dungeon and a really great feature where you can instakill weaker enemies on the field a la Earthbound. That second bit is absolutely fantastic and more JRPGs could use it. Graphically and audibly there’s nothing to complain about. The art is gorgeous as ever, the fanservice is…present, as ever, and the voice acting is tolerable as ever.
In the end, Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;Birth2: Sisters Generation feels more like an expansion more than a full-fledged sequel. That’s usually used as a disparagement when it comes to a sequel that doesn’t make enough progress over the previous title, but here it’s completely fine! Re;Birth 1 worked well, 2 does the same, everyone is happy. Fans of the series are good to go, of course. Meanwhile, anyone who hasn’t played a Neptunia game yet should probably start with Re;birth 1 instead and people who aren’t into anime titles should move on to browner, grittier pastures.