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Hyperdimension Neptunia U: Action Unleashed (PC) review

On April 13, 2016 by Aaron Meehan

Hyperdimension Neptunia U: Action Unleashed is the latest Neptunia spin-off title that Idea Factory International has brought to Windows PC, and like all previous Neptunia spin-offs Hyperdimension Neptunia U has its own unique selling point. In Hyperdimension Neptunia U the selling point is the fact that the game is now a brawler, with the game replacing the franchise’s traditional JRPG battle system with a more fast paced hack n slash system.

The combat in Hyperdimension Neptunia U: Action Unleashed is the main draw of the game with Idea Factory deciding to make it the main point of the game along with the fact that when your character takes damage their clothes begin to rip and fall apart. The focus on the combat and strip teasing means that other elements of the game suffer, this is best seen with the game’s story, which while retaining the Neptunia humour is rather boring.

The game’s story revolves around two Gamindustri reporters called Dengekiko and Famitsu (based off Japanese gaming outlets Dengeki Magazine and Famitsu) wanting to interview and write articles about the CPUs and CPU candidates. The best way to this, of course, is by having them perform quests and watch them fight. The story is essentially a wave after wave of quests that involve you beating up between 150 – 500 monsters, at first the idea of fighting large groups of monsters in a brawler sounds fun, but it gets boring quickly. When the story eventually gets going and throws in the main villain it doesn’t hang around long enough to be interesting.

Neptunia U review shots (2)

Thankfully, the characters are interesting with the CPUs and CPU Candidates all retaining their trademark personalities, the two new characters Dengekiko and Famitsu have their moments, but in many ways, it felt like they were playing the voice of reason especially when all the other characters decided to mess about. So, if the humour of the franchise is important to you then you will be happy to know it is still around in this game.

Now, I didn’t go too in-depth regarding the new battle system and quests, so let’s do that now. The brawler uses a dual system this means that you can selection two out of ten characters to fight with. The fighting itself isn’t difficult to learn as the game gives you a light and heavy attack, character specific SP moves, HDD transformations, and an EXE Drive attack. The fluidity of combat can be hit and miss as characters such as Neptune work well with the battle system as she uses a sword, which she swings around with ease, but on the other hand, Blanc feels sluggish as her hammer feels to slow. Combat is also hurt by the fact that you have to fight too many monsters to complete a quest.

Neptunia U review shots (1)

However while the combat has some severe drawbacks the dual system is good as you don’t need to worry about your HP too much as KO’d characters are replaced by your secondary character until the KO’d character is revived and ready for use again. The dual system also encourages the switching of characters as the reserve character gains EXE power when not in use, this means that when you swap characters the reserve is automatically useful as the EXE gauge allows the character to transform and perform powerful attacks.

For those who enjoy a bit of fan service than costume breaking should peak your interest because if a character takes too much damage their clothes begin to rip and fall apart. If the costume breaking isn’t for you, you can unlock clothes that don’t rip when damaged.

Moving away from the combat we have the quests, the backbone of the main story. In all honesty, the quests range from adequate to boring. The quests never seem to stand out as they are all basically kill missions. An attempt is made to liven up the quests by having quests locked to certain characters, but this just means you have to level all the characters to complete the game. Finally, the last attempt to spice up the questing is with “Irregular quests”, these are quests where the win condition is unknown and you must find it in order to complete the quest, these quests are gimmicky and aren’t as challenging as the game makes them out to be.

Neptunia U review shots (3)

Once you have dispensed with all the quests and completed the story the game does offers some additional content. This additional content comes in the form of a fighting tournament and a tower consisting of powerful enemies.

Regarding any technical issues with Hyperdimension Neptunia U: Action Unleashed there is no major issue, although on one occasion the game did crash when I attempted to change the game from windowed to borderless mode, although after numerous attempts I couldn’t repeat the crash. Regarding what input device to use, I used the Xbox 360 controller as the keyboard control scheme is rather poor.

In terms of graphics the game looks beautiful and runs at a crisp 60 frames per second although the game does dip when the combat gets hectic. Regarding the audio, the English dub is still solid, but for those who prefer to listen to the Japanese dub you will be happy to know that the option is available.

Conclusion

Hyperdimension Neptunia U: Action Unleashed is a rather boring brawler title. While the game retains the franchise’s humour the combat gets boring quickly and the story isn’t that interesting.

Score: 6/10

Pros Cons
 + Post story content  – Repetitive quests
 + Humorous characters  – Boring story
 + Dual system  – Combat gets dull quickly
 – Character stripping
Developer Publisher Genre Rating Platform Release date
Tamsoft Idea Factory International hack n slash  12+ PS Vita, PC May 22, 2015 (PSV), March 21, 2016 (PC)

content of the below trailer is from the PS Vita version of the game.
*A review code was provided by the game’s publisher.*

For more information on Hyperdimension Neptunia U: Action Unleashed, visit http://ideafintl.com/neptunia-u/

Author: Aaron Meehan

Hi, I’m the creator of SG Gaming Info. When I’m not working on my writing or creating content for this site’s YouTube channel, I like to relax and enjoy character driven story games.


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