The Hyperdimension Neptunia series has seen titular character Neptune and other goddesses running around in Gamindustri for over a decade now, and the 2010 original saw a remake for the Vita in 2013. That remake has itself been remade, this time for the PlayStation 5. But has this remasterception improved on the original in meaningful ways, or are you not really missing out by skipping this entry? Find out in our Neptunia ReVerse PS5 review.
Neptunia ReVerse PS5 Review – Welcome to the Nep of Tomorrow
Neptunia ReVerse serves as the first ever PS5 effort from developers Idea Factory and Compile Heart. The result is an upscaled version of the Vita remake Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;Birth 1, which runs at a locked 60 frames per second in 4K resolution. This isn’t a showcase-worthy title, but it has nice and bright colors with a good-enough environment direction that won’t offend sensibilities. The PS5’s blazing fast SSD means there are no loading screens to speak of, as the crowning achievement of this next-gen system continues to shine. Outside of that, though the PS5’s other new features aren’t really utilized. The DualSense’s haptics are used for standard vibrations, and the adaptive triggers are used for a new fishing minigame. This provides for a few extra minutes of entertainment and is used as a way to grab some nifty unlocks, but otherwise the controller gets out of your way and lets you experience Neptune’s first adventure all over again.
Indeed, if you have played the Vita remake, then you’ll know what to expect here. Neptune is the goddess of the nation Planeptune, the personification of the CPU of a Sega console. Other goddesses also represent consoles, such as Vert who defends the nation of Leanbox (Xbox), Noire who protects Lastation (take a wild guess), and Blanc who defends Lowee (Wii). It’s all very tongue-in-cheek and self-aware, as the franchise constantly pokes fun of gamer and otaku culture at large. At this point, though, the original’s 2010 release is certainly showing its age with some of its dated references. Blanc’s color scheme of the Wii-like console is the most glaring, because at this point, she should be red-tinted to evoke the Switch. But then, it wouldn’t feel the same!
Neptunia ReVerse PS5 Review – We’ve Seen This Before
Speaking of sameness, Neptunia ReVerse plays the same way as before. The majority of the story is told through graphic novel-like panels featuring slightly animated characters and text, which are fully subtitled in English with a Japanese audio track. Some cutscenes feature English voice work as well, but most do not. These kinds of games are typically played with Japanese audio, so while it may disappoint some that the whole game wasn’t given the English audio treatment, most people will never miss it. Battles are turn-based and consist of characters moving around a circular area of the battlefield, and attacking, using an SP move, defending, or performing special EXE moves which are only available once an EXE meter has been filled. It’s a standard setup as far as JRPGs go, one that can reward a little bit of attack planning with extra damage on the enemy, but there’s not a ton of challenge to be found here.
Between fights and cutscenes, the player can move freely in an overworld map, which contains points of interest including a shop, random dungeons, and the aforementioned fishing minigame. Accessing the menu reveals a “Plans” entry, which allows players to load up plans that they find from fights or receive from characters or missions. These plans cost a certain number of various ingredients to craft, and they each have a memory cost from 1 to dozens of MBs (that’s Megabytes for the youngest of you who’ve grown up only knowing GBs of RAM on your smartphones and consoles). Each plan can alter the game’s behavior in some way, whether that’s starting a dungeon with healing items, increasing jump height, changing drop rates from enemies, or even unlocking entirely new dungeons (these are more expensive, memory-wise). It’s a cool mechanic that harkens back to the days of GameSharks and Genies, minus the whole hacking or entering hexadecimal codes business.
Neptunia ReVerse PS5 Review – Level Up! Level Up! Level Up…
When starting a new game, players can opt to run in a new Arrange Mode. This unlocks all 27 characters from the start of the game, which makes no sense from a story perspective (and, indeed, the story does remain the same as in the Vita release), but allows for more interesting combinations for those who have completed the game before. One side effect of this is that when one character levels up, most of the rest also level up at the same time, and it can quickly get annoying have to press the cross button dozens of times to get through all the level up screens.
Neptunia ReVerse improves a few things from the Vita version, but it ultimately feels like a test of things to come. The fishing minigame is the only real use of the DualSense’s triggers, and while the game’s loading times have been basically erased, that is likely due to the PS5’s SSD speed and little else. It helps when the game’s assets aren’t all that graphically intense to begin with, after all. Neptunia ReVerse plays it safe with a standard JRPG setup for this long-running series, and while it’s something fans of the series will have some fun with, it’s not necessarily a standout title. Neptune has seen better treatment, but she has also seen worse. Thus, fans could hardly go wrong in picking this re-remake up in the near future.
Neptunia ReVerse review code provided by the publisher. Version 1.000 reviewed on a PS5. For more information on scoring, please read our Review Policy.
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