Hyperdimension Neptunia Mk2 brings RPGs to a different direction with game consoles and internet meme references. Do note that Mk2 is not a sequel from the first game, it is set in an alternate timeline where the CPU's younger sisters will take the center stage. This is a low-budget title so don't expect high presentation scores like Final Fantasy. Sadly, this is the kind of game that is underrated towards western gamers. What the goodness! A review of this game must be done!
For those that are not familiar with the story structure of Hyperdimension Neptunia, it's a videogame world called Gameindustri that is divided into four different regions: Lastation, Lowee, Leanbox, and Planeptune. It revolves around the amount of shares each nations have and the evil Arfoire company is taking over a majority of the shares by making games free and encouraging illegal activities towards the population. Do you see how this can be related to the real world gaming industry?
The battle system from the first game had so many flaws that has been corrected on mk2. The combo system has been simplified where it's easier to manage and the battle animations are cut down where it gets straight to the point. You can still skip the animations by holding down the L2 button if needed. The complicated item usage is gone from the first game and you can freely use physical items to heal yourself so thank god for that.
At the early part of the game, be prepare to get pissed where you can barely hit your enemies at all. This is due to being a low level, but this will all change as you grow stronger later on. IF learns a skill early in the game that raises your TEC for better accuracy so make good use of that. As you progress, you may want to take full advantage of using AVD buffs to avoid getting a one-hit kill from a few bosses.
The character development does great to represent their personalities. I enjoyed watching the Nep sisters getting along, and how Neptune being spoiled by her younger sister Nepgear. This is one of the best highlights in the game with so many colorful characters.
Nation shares are back in full force, and it's the most important element in the game. In the first game, it wasn't explained much in depth and it lead to ponder its usefulness. Doing guild quests will tamper with the percentages from each shares that affects the outcome of the endings. Since the evil Arfoire has the majority of shares when you first begin, it would be better to do quests that will lower that first.
There are a couple of things that I wasn't quite pleased with in mk2. The English dubs during cutscenes has been severely cut down compared to the first game, but if you prefer the Japanese dubs, then that is obviously not been cut down at all. I do spot plenty of video game references in mk2, but I kind of feel that it's lacking a bit compared to the first game. I might have felt that the first game used large amounts of video game references that I was anticipating in mk2.
I do agree that the battle system has been revamped so much better than before, but I was also expecting very flashy visuals. The transformation scenes are suppose to look very epic like the first game did, but you won't be seeing that on mk2. Speaking of transformations, it's become very strict for the CPUs to transform in battles. You have to spend a large amount of SP and it will continue to drain while you are in that state. Most of the time, I feel that I can use that SP for better things and still get my actions across the same way.
I'm aware it's a low-budget title, but I just wanted to get the negatives out of the way. But did I forget to mention that it has both English and Japanese dubs? I prefer to use English since they've done a good job, and hearing a few corny voices of someone imitating the monsters gave me a good laugh, in a positive way.
Hyperdimension Neptunia mk2 can be classified for a relaxing and easy RPG experience. There are plenty of fanservices for male audiences and mk2 makes it even more lolified. Despite a few negatives, I still enjoyed my time with this game. It's a shame that a game like this will never get popular and I can tell based on the amount of viewers when I livestream this game.
If you are someone who never got into the series, I highly recommend playing the first game to get a general idea on how the game plays out. If I were to compare which of the two games is better, I could say that both games are close to equal. However, since the battle system is much more fast-paced compared to the first game, I can definitely say that mk2 is better. Goodness!
Uni + powerful skill = panty shot.
As you can tell, Chika is REALLY into Vert. (Green Heart)
How can you not know where this enemy is referenced from...
It's pretty rare to see a tsundere smile so peacefully like that. Enjoy it while it last.
Here's a good publicity to get the audience attention.
Blanc, you still act like a spoiled kid.
Moar fanservice. Then she back kicks the camera and brakes it.