***NOTE: Hyperdeimension Neptunia U: Action Unleashed was given to Dashing Nerds by Idea Factory as a pre-release review copy for the PC through Steam. I would like to thank them for this opportunity to play this wonderful game. This was my first time playing a Neptunia game and I enjoyed every minute of it.***
Welcome to Hyperdimension Neptunia U: Attack Unleashed! In this world called Gamindustri, the Console Patron Units(CPUs) and CPU candidates are the characters and your guide through this adventure. The game is very quest based, but does offer a lot of quests for the player to take. There are ones for just knocking out a total number of enemies near a boss, taking out a certain boss, killing a certain number of enemies, and then special red quests. These red quests can range from many different conditions to complete them.Makes it more of a challenge not knowing beforehand. Progressing through the quests also progresses the story, since so many quests are available it appears that storyline cut scenes appear after a certain number of them have been completed.
Wall Breaking Beauty!
The maps in the game vary from being in a cave, to being in a computer. There is a good amount of area to cover in each of the maps depending on the mission. Some take place in a small space while others take up the whole map. Each one is wonderful to see because of them being different, they have their own unique styles to enjoy. The characters also stay to a very anime style as well from the cut scenes to the gameplay. The remarks that they make while in combat can make you laugh since they know they are in a game and do make some references to the real world. Neptune loves to make these references throughout the game and so does the other characters as well; Neptune likes to say she is a kangaroo when she jumps in game. They sometimes make comments about the scenes they are or are not in with each other and then ask the other characters about it. There are even some references of other games through their speech and what they do if you pay close attention, but I won’t reveal those since they are pretty cool to find.
Each character represents a different console and you can see that in the costume designs. Neptune is the Sega Neptune, Noire represents the PlayStation 3, Vert embodies the Xbox 360, and Blanc is the Wii. The CPU Candidates also represent different consoles as well, but more towards the portable kind. Nepgear is the Sega Game Gear, Uni is the PlayStation Portable, and the twins Ram and Rom are the Nintendo DS.
Ready and… Fight!!!
It has a fun combat style that is simple to learn and use, along with the ability to change into a stronger form as enemies are defeated to fill the exe bar. The player has a basic strong and weak attack that can be used, and there are also weak and strong skills that are available. These skills all have different skill point (SP) quota that tell how many points are needed before it can be used. These can be changed in the set up menu of the main menu. The really interesting and different concept that is in the game is what happens to the character when too many strong attacks are used or when too much damage was taken. The characters clothes rip and tear and eventually come off! This however can be avoided through using the basic attack skills instead of the strong attack and strong skills. The character may be clad in almost nothing, but there is a boost given after the clothes rip where the exe gauge fills. Depending on which fighting style is preferred, you can change your character’s clothes; some clothes give your character a helpful boost such as adding an attack crit. When the second exe bar is filled, a special technique in the HDD mode is unleashed that does a massive amount of damage, but this empties the bars and the character is returned to their original form.
There is a “party” that is available, but only 2 characters can be used in a quest, or if the player so chooses, they can go solo with taking only one character into a quest. The equipment and skills cannot be changed while in the quest, but can be viewed from the pause menu to check the stats. There is also a viewer option in the pause menu during quests that allows the player to look at the character that is being used and what’s around them, and if they so desire then they can use this to take screenshots.
Fun Little Scenes With Friends!
Going look through the main menu there is also a section called City Watch which is where a lot of extra story cutscenes play. You can visit the four worlds of Gamindustri Neptune, Lastation, Lowee, and Leanbox when scenes become available as the story progresses. Some are cute, humorous, or even serious depending on the characters involved. There is a place called Game News that has handouts for completing the hidden requirements while fighting through the quests.
There is more to the set up section than just equipping. One of the available options is the Command List. Through this list you actually see the combo list of the attacks that the player can use in combat with each CPU and CPU Candidate. The Lily Rank is a fun little section where you hear conversations between the characters. This rank goes up the more the characters are used together in the quests. For example: if you take Neptune and Noire to a few quests together, the Lily Rank goes up and the conversation will change and become more of a friend conversation rather than an acquaintance one. Then there is the wonderful Medal Collection! This is a very useful section that is in the game and they can boost the characters. Through each medal you collect in the quest, they go here. As you accrue medals, stat boosts become available to be unlocked. The cool part is this is also where you unlock the accessories that can be equipped to the characters as well as the weapons that they use. The closer you get to maxing out the medals, the closer to the stronger weapons and accessories. There is a sound section that can play or change the music that is heard while in the main menu. They also make all the tutorials available from the main menu so that they can be reviewed at any time which is convenient if the beginning was rushed through or when a new game is started after they have been seen. the settings for controls, music, voices, and anything else can be changed through the Configuration menu in the main menu.
Enemies, Enemies everywhere!
There are several different kinds of enemies that you fight throughout the game and they have a medal associated to them. They all have a quirky style to them to make them funny or really cool. You will fight from little 8-bit monsters to giant mechs with wings and swords, and from little water droplet bear heads to giant whales! They have some heavy hitters and some that just seem like ankle bitters that you just swat around. They change the colors of them to represent higher strength and different types of attack to keep up the challenge of the large numbers they throw at the player in a map. This can change from like 50 enemies to 3 mini bosses with little minions running around after you.
There are something’s that might prove to be a bit of a challenge/difficulty with using the keyboard controls. The default controls are all keyboard based as far as the combat goes, which did make it hard to control the character. There is the WASD controls for moving, but to move the camera, the default is using the number pad, but luckily this can be changed. Personally, the gamepad and its controls were preferred while playing through since being used to console controls. That’s a plus with it being on computer now.
Overall it’s a very enjoyable game to play. It’s entertaining while having its own challenges to play through. This went from a handheld game to a computer game, so not having much for exploration is understandable. My main issue was using the keyboard controls, but it was a lot better with a controller.