One of the interesting things about the Neptunia series as a whole is that it doesn’t really have an overarching “big plot” as such, but nonetheless sees each of its characters getting plenty of development.
Cyberdimension Neptunia: 4 Goddesses Online is an especially intriguing case in that, although it is a spinoff title from the main series, previous examples of which have been regarded as non-canonical, it feels like one of the most significant instances of each member of its main cast “advancing” in their overall development and growth.
In fact, in many ways, the fact Cyberdimension Neptunia does not feature a prominent note that it is a non-canonical installment can lead us to believe that it is a quasi-sequel to Megadimension Neptunia V-II and its predecessor Hyperdimension Neptunia Victory/Re;Birth3, particularly given the presence of characters who were introduced in those games, such as Plutia and Peashy (Victory/Re;Birth3) and Uzume (V-II). And in that context it’s actually a very significant installment in the series from a narrative perspective.
Continue reading Cyberdimension Neptunia: Narrative, Themes and Characterisation
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
The Neptunia series is not only one of the most remarkable success stories in Japanese gaming, it’s also one of the most interesting, diverse franchises out there.
From its humble beginnings as a low-budget RPG with an atrocious critical reception to its current, widely recognised status inextricably associated with Sony platforms, even the most hardened cynic has to admit by now that there’s probably something to this series.
A big part of what has kept Neptunia fresh and interesting over the years is the fact that it’s not afraid to step outside of its traditional RPG comfort zone and experiment with gameplay styles. And, since we already explored the history of the mainline series when we dove deep into Megadimension Neptunia V-II back in 2016, it’s these spinoff games we’ll be looking in more detail today.
Continue reading Cyberdimension Neptunia: Introduction and History
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
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