Review – Hyperdimension Neptunia: Producing Perfection

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Platform: PlayStation®Vita

Genre: Simulation

Player(s): Single

Audio: Japanese/English

Age Rating: Teen, PEGI 12

Publisher: NIS America, Inc.

Developer: IDEA FACTORY / COMPILE HEART / TAMSOFT

Release date: NA: June 3, 2014 | EU: June 6, 2014


Hyperdimension Neptunia: Producing Perfection is a spin-off to the Neptunia series, bringing us back to the franchise in a very different way. It provides an alternative gameplay experience to that of the JRPG mechanics found in the main series. We return to theworld of Gamindustri and meet the four CPU goddesses; each a cutepersonification of different consoles. There’s the sweet and innocentNeptune who represents Sega, Noire: the Sony tsundere, Vert: thebig breasted Microsoft and Blanc: the quiet one with an awful temper,Nintendo. The gaming girls are losing their fans due to the idolgroup, MOB48 (inspired by the popular and similarly named idol group AKB48). In order towin back their followers they decide to become idols themselves and summon anamazing producer from another world, which just happens to be you.

Thisis an idol management game, not a rhythm game. You won’t behitting buttons while your idol of choice dances around and sings fortheir adoring fans. Before concerts you’ll be dressing them and during you’ll be controlling the camera, deciding the angles, using lighting andvisual effects to help your little star look the best they can on stage.Understanding Japan’s love of idols and how the system works is quiteimportant for the game’s satire to work, and that’s one of the reasons why NIS America releasing this in the west is such a nice surprise.Sadly however, there are only five tracks in the game, so it’s clearthat most of your time won’t be spent on concerts.

Thereisn’t a great deal of substance found in Producing Perfection. You’llbe spending time with your idol in a cute, light novel environment.  Thestory isn’t canon, it doesn’t run deep and even at the start of thegame it tells you to enjoy it and not to think too hard. It simply allows you to spend more time with the CPU girls. Their personalitiesaren’t particularly unique, but they are all charming enough and have theirown quirks. The dialogue and localization is great, with many witty comments thrown in which will make fans of Japanese culture smile.

Eachday, you’ll need to decide which course of action to take in order for your idol to reach the top and gain fans. This sectionof the game shows you just how whimsical the entertainment businesscan be. Your idol can go out to meet fans at events,appear on TV or record a radio interview, all these things are designed to help you gain a greater following. However, you can’t neglect practice,otherwise your concerts won’t go down as well. So your idol needs tostudy, practice their vocals and dance routines in order to raise their stats, finding the right balance is key to your idol’s success.

Naturallyif you work your idol too hard she will become stressed. If you don’tlet her have time to rest, either by relaxing with you or giving her a few days off to go on vacation, then the stress bar will reach 100% and you’ll findyourself viewing the game’s bad end. Each character has threeendings, a good, bad and true ending, which adds to the game’slongevity. There are issues however, the game can lose its pace at times and feel a bit repetitive, if you don’t enjoy idle chat (haha), thenthis game is not for you. Expect conversations about food, howgreat little sisters are and how Vert has voluptuous breasts (yes,the game actually uses the term ‘voluptuous’).

Lateron in the game you’ll be able to form an idol group with the otherCPU’s and perform concerts together. Outside of the game’s mainProducer mode, you’ll find an Unlimited Concert Mode, which as the name implies, is where you produce as many concerts as you like, which is something that can get tedious very quickly. You’ll also have access to the Viewer, where you can view 3Dmodels of the characters, allowing you to dress up and erm, interactwith them….

+Entertaining cast                                                       -Concerts feel boring
+Great localization and witty dialogue           -Only five songs

Verdict

70%
70%
Awesome

HyperdimensionNeptunia: Producing Perfection is not perfect, it isn't trying to be,it makes you well aware that it's all just pointless fun. The fact it isn't a rhythm game  and does nothing to progress thefranchise's story further. This may be an issue or simply disappointing tosome, who will find the game  boring and pointless. For others it'll be an addicting experience, where you'll want to max out your stats and see 100% of your favourite character's events. Overall it's an enjoyable, colourful, niche game. It has most certainly made me want to play the other games in the Neptunia series. If you're a fan of cute anime girls or idols, then this is for you.

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Fraser is the co-founder of Japan Curiosity alongside Nick, he currently works for Animatsu/Manga Entertainment bringing us some of the best anime titles and sometimes stops by J-Curi when he fancies.