My PS Vita has become a Hyperdimension Neptunia machine of late with publishers Idea Factory releasing a new game in the series every few months. Hyperdimension Neptunia U: Action Unleashed is a spinoff from the mainline Neptunia games and is made by a new developer – Tamsoft of Senren Kagura fame. Action Unleashed strays away from the turn based combat of the mainline series in favor of a Dynasty Warriors-esque hack and slash. Is this drastic change in direction any good? Find out in our review below.
The Hyper-series of games for those not aware are centered around parodying the games industry. Hyperdimension Neptunia U: Action Unleashed takes this concept a step ahead with the game’s story which is about two of Japan’s mammoth gaming magazines, Famitsu and Dengekiko, battling it out to see who comes up with a better stories about the game’s main characters. Unlike other games in the series there’s not much of a trailing story here so gamers new to the series can play Action Unleashed without losing out on the references.
The refreshing humor that Neptunia games are known for is still present. Players will continue to see jokes about other games like Mario, developers of the game and even the people who play the game during the 15-20 hour campaign.
The battles are a mix of Dynasty Warriors and the Neptunia series. Each character has their own playstyle fighting at close, medium or long ranges. The battle system is pretty simple as players can choose between weak and heavy attack along with the special attacks usable through the SP gauge. The series staple HDD transformations are also present which allow players to transform into a stronger version of their character and use the devastating EXE attacks.
What I don’t like about the battles are that the stages are way too small for a Dynasty Warrior style game. This mean that there will be only a handful of enemies on the screen at a time which doesn’t suit the style of the game. Stages are however quick to clear which I liked due to simple victory conditions like beating 200 enemies or killing the stage boss. The game isn’t very hard so novice players will feel right at home.
There’s also this needless cloth-tearing mechanic in the game which is becoming sort of a staple with all the new niche Japanese games being released internationally. Your character’s clothes will tear off as you take damage. This function can be disabled by equipping indestructible clothing which becomes available in the later stages of the game. You can also equip certain equipment that will tear off even quicker than normal… if you’re into that sort of thing.
Hyperdimension Neptunia U: Action Unleashed is a fun deviation from the series’ turn based formula. The game is a really polished experience ranging from the UI, cutscenes, Art and soundtrack.
Hyperdimension Neptunia U: Action Unleashed Review (PSV)
Action Unleashed is one of the better games in the series and should be in your to-buy list if you're a fan of the series.