Thursday, April 19, 2012

Hyperdimension Neptunia V (PS3) Announced

When Hyperdimension Neptunia was announced, it fascinated people with its cute characters and unique premise. The game was subsequently released in Japan, Europe, and North America and sold fairly well for a niche game. Neptunia developer Compile Heart knew that they had a new and interesting franchise, so they released Hyperdimension Neptunia Mk2. The game had the subtitle Mk2 since the main focus of the game was on the successors to the lead characters in the original game. Neptunia Mk2 was also an interesting game since it was not a direct sequel to the original game, but more of a parallel universe or a reboot of the franchise. The game itself was a huge improvement over the original game graphically and gameplay-wise. With the Neptunia franchise doing reasonably well, the question is which direction the franchise would go? Rumors circulated that Compile Heart was considering making a game starring the steampunk Sony goddess Noire due to her complete domination in the popularity polls. Compile Heart answered all the questions and speculations when it announced the third iteration of the Neptune franchise, Neptune V.

Noire is back, and she got a new outfit
The third iteration of the franchise marks the return of the familiar cast in a new game. The "V" doesn't mean that the company jumped straight into the fifth game, the "V" title in Neptune V is "Victory". Each game has a strong gaming industry related theme, the first one focused on the console wars, and the second one focused on the impact of piracy in gaming. The "V" for victory will likely have a strong impact on the main theme of the storyline. The game also moved its setting to the 1980's, so the humor will likely focus on lots of classic gaming humor. As evidenced in the screenshots, the graphics of the game have jumped over the previous two releases, with the character modeling getting closer and closer to the art of the game. The environmental graphics are also light years better. We are only starting to get a glimpse of the third game, and it looks to be a huge improvement over the previous two releases.

This leads me to my big question, why are all four companies represented? For the uninitiated Noire is Sony (girl in the black twintails), Neptune is Sega (purple hair), Vert is Microsoft (all green), and Blanc is Nintnedo (sporting the famicom red and white outfit). In the 1980's Nintendo did have the Famicom on the market, and Sega did have the Sega Master system, but Microsoft and Sony did not have consoles at the time. Microsoft in the 1980's were making the Windows operating system and consolidating their market share in the PC market. Sony was manufacturing the Walkman and they introduced the CD medium to the market. In other words, Microsoft (Vert) and Sony (Noire) should not be in this game, but they clearly are represented in the screenshots as party members. It will be interesting to see where they are and how they are represented in the world of Neptunia V.

The game will be released in Japan in Summer 2012. Will the game be released in the States? Odds are very high that Nippon Ichi America will pick up the game since it appears that the franchise has been financially successful in America and Europe. My guess is if the game is released in the states that NIS America will likely release it in Winter or Spring of 2013, since I can't image them turning around the game so fast. I could be wrong, since I have been wrong about NIS America in the past.

Update: Story updates have been updated in Hyperdimension Neptunia V. The story takes place after Neptunia Mk 2 when the ASIC has been defeated. Neptune, the eponymous lead character gets sucked into a portal and travels to the 80's. In this past time, the Goddess of Planeptune is a girl named Pururut who transforms into Iris Heart. She is based off of the Sega Master system that was released in that time period. In the console wars, the main rival to Pururut is none other than Blanc who wears the famicom colors. Vert and Noire are not goddesses at the time period.

Neptune V Japanese Website
Hyperdimension Neptunia Review
Hyperdimension Neptunia Mk2 Review
Hyperdimension Neptunia + Mk2 Artbook Review

Neptune is back, and her outfit is as racy as ever,
yet it is also a little more modest.
Noire's new outfit

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