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Hyperdevotion Noire is a strategy spin-off of the Hyperdimension Neptunia series, re-using many of the characters, music tracks, and assets from earlier games.
Video version of this review https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aUHInH4-6sg
Many of the previous characters from the Hyperdimension Neptunia series return, with Noire taking the lead instead of Neptune. As with the previous games there are several hours worth of visual novel style cutscenes in between missions. The fourth wall breaking and whacky comedy of the previous games returns. Going so far as to put the player directly in the game as a secretary to Noire.
Some of cutscenes are just plain badly written relying on dull jokes that take too long to tell and don’t go anywhere. But there are also some hilarious meta-references to games like Metal Gear Solid and Street fighter during the story sections. And the quality overall remains on par with previous instalments of series.
The user interfaces, and visual style of the cutscenes is virtually unchanged from the hyperdimension neptunia rebirth series so there is isn’t much I can say about it that I didn’t already cover in my last review.As for the game’s maps they tend to be a little on the small side which is strange given the power of the Vita.
Rather than having huge scope the maps utilise multiple height levels, environmental hazards such as bombs that must be destroyed or pits that your characters can fall into. You’ll also notice they switched from the standard anime style to a more chibi look, I’m not crazy about the transition but I can’t say it really bothers me.
Nearly all of the music and plenty of the sound effects are taken from previous games. I only counted four new tracks out of several dozen that play through every part of the game. Admittedly Hyperdevotion Noire’s original score is great but there simply isn’t enough of it. Die-hard fans of the franchise who have played every previous game are probably going to be sick of hearing the same old music they have heard in multiple games already. And frankly I think most of the people playing this game won’t be newcomers since its already a very niche’ series.
Voice acting is as good as its ever been for the series. Since I’ve heard the English voice actors in several of these games already I opted for the original Japanese audio track which I ended up slightly preferring.Regardless, either voice track is nearly flawless in its execution.
Each character can move a set number of tiles per turn and like Disgaea grouping your party to adjacent tiles allows for more powerful attacks.The crux of hyperdimension noire is it’s Lily Points system. Using a special attack with one to three other party members adjacent will greatly increase the amount of damage you do and raise your Lily points at the same time. Gone is the guard break system of the main series, weakening enemies is now about attacking them from the flank or from behind to deal the maximum damage. Once you have enough Lily points you can access Hard Drive Divinity. HDD form not only allows for a stronger character but also the ability to float over traps. These mechanics reward you playing aggressively but many battles can still go on for a solid 30 minutes or longer. Fortunately you have the option to turn off battle animations or skip individual ones in game.
Like the main series your characters can have different affinities such as fire and thunder. They give you a rock paper scissors style advantage over enemies who are weak to a particular affinity and they also allow you open chests that contain rare items. That is if you can remember to equip all of your characters with the relevant affinity before every single mission. Crafting is back so instead of hoarding around a tonne of vendor trash you can actually make new weapons, potions and armour. The whole process feels automatic and there isn’t any tedious micromanagement. In other words you don’t need to do tonnes of extra grinding in side missions in order to get the particular items you need to make a craft a more powerful axe of whatever. Buying items in shops nets you SIM points which you can then use to upgrade Noire’s apartment. This system has absolutely no bearing on anything but you’ll find yourself doing it anyway because its oddly rewarding.
Hyperdevotion Noire gives you plenty to do in between missions be it crafting or upgrading Noire’s apartment. Even the disc dev from previous games is back allowing you to customise your characters perks at any time. The gameplay strategy however is a little blander than it ought to be, and past the first few hours you’re going to find yourself repeating the same basic tactics again and again. Even as someone who isn’t adept at strategy Japanese Role Playing games I still found Hyperdevotion Noire to be too lacking in challenge.
Taken from my site http://extramana.com/
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