Friday, August 19, 2011

Hyperdimension Neptunia Mk2 Released in Japan

Neptune and her little sister Nepgear
(a reference to the Game Gear handheld console)
The sequel to Hyperdimension Neptunia has been released in Japan, Hyperdimension Neptunia Mk2. It is the sequel to the game that no one thought would ever be released in the USA, yet we got a release. Hyperdimension Neptunia fascinated many people because it was an interesting take on the console war by having each of the major game companies represented by a female character and because of its great character designs. I had the pleasure of buying the game during Anime Expo 2011, and I am one of the rare reviewers who thoroughly enjoyed the game. The game sold fairly well in Japan and a sequel was announced on April 12, 2011. As a person who enjoyed the experience of Hyperdimension Neptunia, I was intrigued by the announcement of the sequel.

Ram and Rom, twin younger sisters
of Blanc (Nintendo Wii)
Due to me not actually having the game right now, I will have an extended preview of what I know so far about the sequel to Hyperdimension Neptunia. I am planning on importing the game in the near future since the odds are slim that we may get a USA release. The fact that the first game was released and continues to sell for an extremely high price may bodes well for us actually seeing Hyperdimension Neptunia Mk2 in the states. Considering that some of my favorite games have not been released in the states due to companies refusing to localize them (I am looking at you Valkyria Chronicles 3 and Ace Attorney Investigations 2) I am just tempering expectations so I don't get disappointed like I have been lately. Since Hyperdimension Neptunia was released and NIS America has mentioned that they were pleased with sales, there is a slim chance we might get a release.

Unfortunately Noire does not
have a strong role in Mk2
Hyperdimension Neptunia Mk2 focuses on the little sisters of the four goddesses, which means that this game is about the handheld console game wars. Due to Arfoire (the main villain from the first game) defeating and capturing the four goddesses of Gameindustri; the game focuses on the little sisters of the female leads of Hyperdimension Neptunia. You have Nepgear, the female lead of Hyperdimension Neptunia Mk2. Nepgear's design is almost identical to Neptune, but she has longer hair and her goddess form is more modestly endowed compared to her sister. Representing the Nintendo DS are Blanc's little sisters Ram and Rom. Representing the Sony PSP is Noire's little sister Umi. Since Microsoft does not have a handheld console, nor have they had one in the past, Vert has no little sister. Due to the larger budget of Hyperdimension Neptunia Mk2, the game has two legendary female voice actresses. Yui Horie does the voice of Nepgear, she is known for her role as Naru from Love Hina, Eri Sawachika from School Rumble and Millhi from Dog Days. The voice of Umi is none other than Eri Kitamura who is known for Yui from Angel Beats, Saya from High School of the Dead, and Ami from Toradora. The game alone is worth it hearing Yui Horie and Eri Kitamura try roles in the Hyperdimension Neptunia universe.

Hyperdimension Neptunia Mk2 comes with a huge list of improvements to make the game experience much better. The first main improvement is the graphical overhaul of the game engine that is far better than the previous game. The screenshot does not do the game justice, it looks far superior compared to the original game. Hyperdimension Neptunia Mk2 fixes one of my major complaints with the original game, it removes the random battles from the game. Parties consist of four people, as opposed to the three in the original game. This is due to the larger cast of characters. Hyperdimension Neptunia also replaces the static visual novel style of storytelling with more dynamic cutscenes to tell the story. The game's whole host of improvements means that the gaming experience for Mk2 should be quite a treat for fans of the original game.

Odds are slim that we will see this game get a USA release, I will be pleasantly surprised if it does and I will not hesitate to buy a copy of the game. As I mentioned in my review of the original game, I was won over with the charming cast of characters, the great sense of humor, and the incredible battle system. Hyperdimension Neptunia Mk2 improves my criticism in regards to music, graphics, and the cheap production values, so it should be a better experience than the first one.

Representing the gaming company Cave is the new girl,
I have to say that I love her design.

Japanese official website
American Website for Hyperdimension Neptunia
Standard Edition from Play Asia
Special Edition from Play Asia (damn you US dollar, why is your value so horrible right now?)

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