By: Uma Smith
Hyperdimension Neptunia is no stranger in the world of video games with its RPG series making its appearance mainly in the PlayStation 3 scene. Now it has entered into the portable gaming “dimension” in the form of a rhythm-type game called Hyperdimension Neptunia: Producing Perfection. Will the Vita witness the “perfection produced” by this title or is its ambition too “hyper” for its own good?
Navigating the world within Hyperdimension Neptunia: Producing Perfection is pretty straightforward, but there are various menus to cycle throughout the game. The face buttons are essentially used as choices during conversations you engage in. When you are within a concert though, these control stage effects, which may take some time to wrap your mind around. It is a pity that the touch screen is only utilized during viewer mode when you are just spectating and poking around for a “response” from the characters.
Everything contained in the game looks mighty impressive with the bright and pastel colors populating the Vita screen. The characters’ artwork have a great degree of detail attached and are well designed. Additionally, the rendering of the 3D character models are both smooth and effective in showcasing the game’s crisp and vibrant graphics.
With the light-hearted music in Hyperdimension Neptunia: Producing Perfection, one can find enjoyment via the tunes playing in the background. There is a dual audio option so that you can choose between the dubbing or original language complete with subtitles. Voice acting may be over the top, but it’s got some charm at the very least.
In Hyperdimension Neptunia: Producing Perfection, you assume control of a young man who happens to be transported from the real world into Gamindustri. As a result, he will need to act as one of the CPU’s producers with only 180 days to prepare your idol and help reach for the top. Note that the game is pretty linear here so chances of failure are really minimal.
The majority of the game will be spent in Producer Mode where you have a limited set of activities you could get your CPU idol to perform. Basically, you’re just selecting the work to increase your fan base and give lessons to increase your stats. When your idol’s stress levels get too high, you will need to let her relax for the day. At this point, she’ll be either hanging out with the other members of the cast or just developing your relationship with her. Here, the gameplay simply consists of flicking through menus repeatedly, watching numerous cut scenes and hearing the same dialogue.
The repetition and monotony in gameplay are temporarily halted when putting your idol to work and taking lessons. As the producer, you get to choose the stage, pick the outfits for your idol and implement the special effects. But then comes the mindless button spamming throughout the concert sequences. When the concert begins, you simply move the camera around to different angles, which adds no involvement or strategy on the player’s part to the experience. You are just basically moving the view around and implementing the special effects to get as much love from the audience as possible.
Although you supposedly have 180 days to achieve your goal, Hyperdimension Neptunia: Producing Perfection takes a matter of a few hours to complete. At the end, the game leaves you unsatisfied as there’s no real challenge attached. The only possible enjoyment I can think of that one can get from this game is the dress-up aspect where you can choose outfits for your idol. There’s essentially no replay value even with the viewer mode allowing you to revisit your performance only to change your camera view once again.
Just like in a relationship, one must look beyond the superficial and instead seek the substance within. Hyperdimension Neptunia: Producing Perfection may look pretty and “perfect” from its graphics, but I cannot say anything else positive. The gameplay lacks challenge and could quickly lose your attention span. It appears that this Vita game is just another pretty face and nothing more.