Noire is a consistently popular member of the Neptunia cast, and for a variety of reasons.
For one, she personifies the range of consoles that have, to date at the time of writing, played exclusive host to the games in the series: Sony’s PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4, with her younger sister Uni representing Sony handhelds the PSP and Vita. As such, it’s natural for people to feel drawn to her — though quite a fun little twist in the fact that she’s not the franchise’s main character.
For another, she embodies the enduringly popular character trope of the tsundere; that hard-shelled, soft-centred sort of person who puts up an abrasive, sometimes aggressive front but actually just wants to be liked or even loved.
Continue reading Waifu Wednesday: Noire
A month of coverage for a Neptunia game is as good a reason as any to celebrate my favourite series waifu and indeed joint-favourite waifu of all time (alongside Amane from Grisaia).
Yes, it’s Nepgear, the long-suffering sister of series protagonist, reluctant and self-conscious protagonist of her own games (Hyperdimension Neptunia mk2 and its subsequent remake Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;Birth 2: Sisters Generation) and all-round bucket of pure nerdy adorability. That’s totally a word, I don’t care what my spellchecker says.
I’ve mentioned Nepgear a few times over the years, most notably in last year’s Valentine’s Day piece, but it’s high time she got her own article. So here it is, by goodness!
Continue reading Waifu Wednesday: Nepgear
Everyone has a favourite in the Neptunia cast, but even if she’s not top of your list, it’s hard to dislike Vert.
The blonde-haired, big-breasted goddess of Leanbox personifies Microsoft’s Xbox platform as well as embodying the anime trope of “beautiful foreigner” thanks to her physical characteristics.
And as with the rest of the Neptunia cast, there’s a lot more to her than first appears, too, making her a delight to get to know and spend some time with.
Continue reading Waifu Wednesday: Vert
In this week’s GameCast, Midori, Yumi and I continue our exploration of the Garden of Memories, and I share some further recollections that are important to me.
Original music, as ever, is the work of MusMus, and the awesome retro font is by Style64. Other music in this episode remains the copyright of its respective owners; you’ll also hear a piece from former Cover Game Megadimension Neptunia V-II as part of this episode.
If you’re having trouble running the browser version, take a look at the TyranoBuilder FAQ, which explains how to run browser games locally — though be aware there can be some security risks involved, so only follow its recommendations when you want to run a browser-based episode of the GameCast.
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If you’re new to the GameCast, start from the beginning to find out more about the characters and what this is all about!
One of the most appealing elements of the Neptunia series for fans is its consistent and instantly recognisable aesthetic.
This is largely the work of artist Tsunako. In fact, the Neptunia series at least partly came about as a result of developers Idea Factory and Compile Heart wanting to give her artwork a more prominent role after her previous contributions to games such as Cross Edge and Trinity Universe.
We shouldn’t understate the other aspects of Neptunia’s aesthetic, though; it’s not just about visuals. It’s also about how the games sound, and between the soundtrack, voice acting and even sound effects, it’s clear that the team behind the series has thought about this just as much as the art style.
Continue reading Megadimension Neptunia V-II: Sights and Sounds
While dismissed by many mainstream critics as lightweight, disposable moe fluff, the Neptunia series actually has some of the sharpest, most on-point writing in the business.
Both strongly allegorical and satirical, the series as a whole has evolved its treatment of its narrative themes and characters from installment to installment, roughly in keeping with trends in the gaming business and longstanding concerns in the industry as a whole. Not only that, but it acknowledges and satirises trends in other aspects of popular media, too, particularly anime.
Part of this is down to the snappiness of the original Japanese writing and the characterisation therein — much of which you can pick up through the Japanese voice acting, even if you don’t speak much (or indeed any) Japanese — but a lot of credit must also be laid at the feet of the various localisation teams who have tackled the series over the years.
Continue reading Megadimension Neptunia V-II: Narrative, Themes and Characterisation
Since its original appearance in 2010, the Neptunia series has grown from a niche-interest RPG into one of developer Compile Heart’s biggest success stories.
This is a particularly remarkable achievement, given that the first installment in the series didn’t have a strong critical reception at all — while review score aggregation isn’t an exact science by any means, the fact that the first Hyperdimension Neptunia game sits at a not-so-proud score of 45 on Metacritic should make it fairly clear that this is not a game that the mainstream press liked. At all.
And yet here we are, six years later at the time of writing, celebrating the release of the seventh (or fourth, depending on how you want to look at it) installment in the mainline, canonical Neptunia series, and the tenth overall release to carry the Neptunia name in the West.
How did this happen? How did a series that started with a game almost universally panned by professional critics become one of the most recognisable Japanese franchises on the worldwide market?
Continue reading Megadimension Neptunia V-II: Introduction