For those who have spent a good chunk of time with the Hyperdimension Neptunia series will feel right at home with this one, as all of the controls and battle system are intact along with some added features and graphical updates to satisfy any fan of the series. As with any RPG, you’ll be spending most of your time exploring, collecting items, battling a wide array of monsters, and grinding your way through countless hours of entertaining gameplay. The Hyperdimension series debuted in Japan in 2010, then made its way stateside sometime after the initial release. Superdimension Neptune vs Sega Hard Girls is a spin-off of the original franchise, which retains a lot of the cast from other titles, and is a crossover with the Sega Hard Girls series.
What to expect
Superdimension Neptune vs Sega Hard Girls is an incredibly fun and wacky RPG that takes place in the world of Gamindustri, which is a pun of the term game industry, and generally, pokes fun at RPG titles in a humorous fashion. There’s a lot to explore in this crossover series as now two spectacular games have now been fused into one to create a new experience, which will have you playing for hours on end. As mentioned earlier, a lot of new battle mechanics have been thrown into the mix to provide players with a fresh new experience going in, but the way in which you fight in battle still remains the same overall.
If you enjoy a turn based type of combat with the freedom to move your character freely around the battlefield to create tactical positioning, then Superdimension Neptune vs Sega Hard Girls is sure to provide all the thrills you need. Dungeons in the game have seen a vast improvement over past titles, now allowing you to dash around freely to get to your designated location a lot faster, and ropes are now available which grant you new areas to discover and collect rare items. In addition, there’s the ability to wall climb, crawl through holes and spaces spread throughout all locations, and symbol attacks which grant you first strike in battle.
The world and Grand Library is where you’ll be spending a lot of your time in, as it acts as the hub from which you can travel to 4 past eras such as the Sega Saturn Era, Mega Drive Era, Game Gear Era, and Dreamcast Era. For any Sega fan, this game is right up your alley so look forward to seeing a lot of references dispersed throughout the game.
Something has gone terribly wrong at the Grand Library, which holds the history of the worlds within its shelves. Many legends have stated that anyone who is to tamper with these books, may have a major impact on the past and all may be rewritten. IF, the main protagonist, hears of this library and makes her way there to find out more. Yearning to understand just what’s happening, she encounters Histoire, a tiny librarian who tells her of the grim situation that’s transpiring. The many books of history have been disappearing off the shelves and no one is sure as to why it’s happening, so now IF has been given the responsibility to find out more details behind this mysterious occurrence, and to find out the truth. She must now team up with the Sega Hard Girls and CPU’s to uncover more details behind this unfortunate event and restore history before it’s too late.
Superdimension Neptune vs Sega Hard Girls is packed full of action and well-scripted dialogue to keep you on the edge of your seat for hours. As you start out in the Grand Library, Histoire goes through an incredibly detailed breakdown of all of the features that you’ll be using throughout the game, as well as various other options that you’ll get to explore more of once you pick up the game. We had a blast playing through Superdimension Neptune vs Hard Girls because there’s so much to collect and find, which oftentimes leads you toward really surprising rewards, and provide buffs for your character. Let’s take a closer look at some of the gameplay features that really stood out, and that will most surely help you along your journey.
Dungeons | Action Gauge
As aforementioned, dungeons have always played a role in the franchise but now you’re able to perform a variety of new actions which only add more excitement to your experience. When you access missions from Histoire in the Grand Library, you then take a time warp to a specific era where you’ll have to battle a variety of monsters which eventually will lead you to an event. An event marker is a diamond shaped symbol which is typically located at the end of a dungeon and acts as a completion of that particular story phase. In previous Hyperdimension titles, much of your movement was very restricted and didn’t really allow the player the freedom to move around in the environment. Now you’re gifted with wall climbing, traversing over gaps with ropes, dashing and crawling.
All of these really come in handy now since much of the dungeons feel a lot more expansive and not locked to a particular area. Of course, there are still the invisible walls, but they honestly don’t take away from the enriching experience you get from all of the wanderings you get to do.
The action gauge is going to play a major role as you make your way through various dungeons in the many eras, so we’ll dive deeper to give you a heads up. The action gauge consists of three colored areas, blue, green, and red. All of these are tied to certain actions you can perform in a battle sequence such as moving, attacking, utilizing skills, and using items. As these are performed your gauge increases in small increments which act as a reminder that your turn is ending, so paying close attention to the gauge is vital. The movement takes up a large chunk of the gauge so figuring out your positioning beforehand is essential, as well as planning your attacks carefully. Once your meter hits red, however, that’s a sign that you’ve overcommitted which can turn into a deadly counterattack by the enemy since your turns are delayed depending on how much of the red gauge you used. So our advice is to try and stay within the blue and green areas of the gauge to fully maximize your damage output, but also allow your characters to take their turns faster.
You can attack the opponent using the X button, acquire items with square, use skills with triangle, jump with circle, and defend with the R button. One thing to note is that once you’ve committed to using the defend option, it will max out your gauge and your turn will end so be sure to think ahead before doing so.
Missions | Gems | Fever Time | EXE Drive
Missions are what you’ll be focusing on a lot of in the game, which ties in with dungeons since that’s where most take place. These missions come with certain levels of effect rates known as ‘History Effect Rates’ which are indicated by stars on the bottom of the mission window. Once you’ve cleared a mission, a cleared stamp will appear next to the effect rates and your counter will start to decrease. The counter is indicated by a small number next to your mission, and so as you clear missions that number will decrease. Once it reaches one, a small eye symbol will appear next to the mission and if you fail to complete it in a timely manner, it will disappear. If you decide to retire a mission, it may also disappear, but the count of other missions will not be affected.
Gems play an integral role in battles since they provide some serious buffs to your character and can seriously turn the tide back in your favor in mere seconds. They appear randomly throughout the battlefield so you’re never sure which one you’ll get, and some require special abilities to reach them. There are six gems in total, all of which come with their respective buffs which we’ll go over: (See image below)
Fever Time is an amazing buff that grants the player a 10% increase in stats and prevents your enemies from having a turn. The rainbow gem is a game changer because there may be times when you find yourself surrounded by a horde of powerful enemies and your HP is slowly disappearing, but then the rainbow gem shows up and you clear the entire battlefield with ease. This truly adds an explosive comeback feature that not many other RPG’s have, which really makes those tense situations feel more satisfying once you’re lucky enough to grab one.
The EXE Drive is a character’s special attack which can be accessed in the skill menu and unleashes an incredibly powerful attack that is accompanied with impressive visuals. You’ll need to have the EXE Drive learned before being able to use it, but once you do have it you’ll deplete your entire fever gauge during fever time. So if you want to take down a big boss then be sure to utilize this feature, otherwise just use fever time to take out your enemies one by one.
Formations | Flame Awakening | Activating a Sega Hard Girl
Formations in RPG games aren’t too frequent since most actions take place in a pre-designed format. Superdimension Neptune has granted the player with that cool feature which actually provides certain buffs depending on what formation you decide to use. Formations are learned as you progress through the game’s funny story, which then can be swapped in and out of at any time. It’s great that the game allows you to be more versatile in your battle approach so that depending on where you are in the game, certain formations may benefit more than the other. One example is the gem formation which we loved a lot since that increases the likelihood of powerful gems to show up during battle and could potentially earn a comeback in dire times. We encourage you to come up with your own tactics when playing to create your own unique experience.
Flame Awakening is a feature that allows IF to transform into her awakening state, which can be performed by using 20% of your max SP. Her awakening stats are added to the basic stats which greatly buffs her attack power and special moves. Segami is your partner in crime in this game and she too comes with her own buff known as Sega Hard Girl Activation, where 20% of her max SP is used and allows her to take on the form of one of the Sega Girls. In this state, the Sega Hard Girl’s stats are added to Segami’s along with her skill set. Segami typically only comes with heal and other learned abilities in her default state, but she can access her EXE Drive while in her activated state. All of these great features honestly brought this game to life as we kept playing through trying to come up with ways to take down our opponents with different formations, lily assisting, optimizing charge attacks, and more.
Honey's Gameplay Consensus:
Superdimension Neptune vs Sega Hard Girls is like watching an anime series and getting to play through it all with action-packed battle cinematics, witty dialogue, and constantly discovering new items along the way. While the game allows for greater exploration and creativity, the open world experience gets shot down by all of the invisible walls that have plagued the series for years. Of course, we weren’t expecting to have an Elder Scrolls type of world, though that would’ve been simply amazing, but it would’ve been nice to create slightly bigger dungeons. Perhaps where things balance out is the actual era’s themselves, since various missions are scattered throughout each of the four locations, and there is a large chunk of missions to clear.
Some little small gripes that we had with the game was that when you go into the config settings, you have the option to change voiceovers which is splendid, but these settings are never actually saved so every time you reboot the game you have to go back and set them again. This was a little cumbersome since you want to hop right back into the game with your preferred settings, but can’t do that because everything needs to be reentered. The overlapping in music after your character has leveled up was overbearing because it gradually got louder which turned us off, so we had to once again go back to the settings to set everything straight. Despite these issues, there really isn’t much else that really stood out as unsatisfactory, because most of the time you’ll be so concentrated on beating up enemies and collecting rare items that you’ll forget about it all after several hours.
Incredibly detailed tutorial!
Fun and charming music to keep you entertained during your travels.
Lots of versatility and creativity pertaining to battles.
Very funny dialogue between characters, and uses a ton of game references.
Lots of exploration.
Clean graphics and great cinematics during battle scenes.
Having to always configure settings was a pain.
Overlapping music during level up screen was too loud.
Invisible Wall Syndrome.
Would’ve liked to have seen more expansive dungeons.
Honey's Final Verdict:
Overall, Superdimension Neptune vs Sega Hard Girls is a wonderful crossover title that’s sure to keep fans of the series pleased and entertain any newcomers to the franchise as well. With plenty of anime and game references to keep you chuckling, this title is always full of action packed battles and more. Whether you’re smashing boulders to grab rare weapons, or activating Fever Time to unleash fury on your enemies, this game will satisfy you for hours on end. If you’d like to see more exclusive game reviews from us, give us a shout in the comments section below. Let us know what other games you’d like to see played!
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Author: Rob "NualphaJPN" B.
A passionate fan of gaming, writing, journalism, anime, and philosophy. I've lived in Japan for many years and consider this place to be my permanent home. I love to travel around Japan and learn about the history and culture! Leave a comment if you enjoy my articles and watch me play on twitch.tv/honeysgaming ! Take care!