Review: Hyperdimension Neptunia U: Action Unleashed

PlayStation Vita

If I were to compare Hyperdimension Neptunia U: Action Unleashed on the PlayStation Vita to any other game in my collection I would probably say it bears a striking resemblance to the 3DS version of Hyrule Warriors. Well, gameplay wise anyway. I don’t recall the likes of Link and Princess Zelda going into battle wearing the skimpiest of skimpy bondage gear that ‘just so happened to fall off at every opportunity.’

That appears to be the main gimmick that this particular game offers on top of the familiar button mashing gameplay. And you’ll be doing a hell of a lot of button mashing, believe me. Whether it’s hammering the square button during one of the many repetitive battles or repeatedly pressing the cross button to skip through the lengthily and mostly tedious dialogue during the cut scenes. Yes there is a plot and story to this game but in all honesty it’s so ridiculous that most players won’t have the required level of patience in order to keep up with it.

The gameplay of Hyperdimension Neptunia U is reminiscent of Hyrule Warriors.

The core gameplay revolves around sending one or two of the female characters into a series of quests. Each quest is basically a dungeon that’s filled with enemies that you need to disperse, which you achieve through the aforementioned button mashing. You have a number of largely ineffective special moves that you can access via the right shoulder button as well as the option to transform into a slightly more powerful alter-ego once you’ve filled up your power meter. However you approach the levels presented here you’ll still just be hitting the same couple of buttons over and over and over again. There really is no variety what-so-ever. It’s very much a rinse and repeat formula that gets dull incredibly quickly.

If you happen to lose too much of your characters health bar the game will trigger something called a Costume Break. When this occurs you’ll be treated to a brief cut scene of one of the girls losing most of their clothes for no apparent reason. Clearly the team behind this mediocre title spent more time making sure the boob physics were accurate than they did ensuring the game play was engaging.

Costume Breaks. An embarrassing addition that adds nothing to the game.

Another issue I have with Hyperdimension Neptunia U: Action Unleashed is the diabolical camera. For some reason the camera won’t automatically follow you during play. Instead, you have to keep manually adjusting the viewing angle using the right analogue stick or by tapping the left shoulder button in order to re-focus it behind you. This is incredibly annoying when you’re surrounded by a crowd of uninspired monsters, (Tetris blocks, mushrooms, penguins, etc..) and you can’t see what on earth you’re attacking or what happens to be attacking you. The actual graphics in general are decidedly lacking overall to be fair and wouldn’t look out of place on the lesser powered 3DS as opposed to the technically superior Vita.

The repetitive nature of this game also extends to the sound. If you’re the sort of gamer that enjoys hearing the same couple of voice samples repeated over and over and over again then you’ll be in your element here. Thankfully the programmers did include the option to change the voice track over to Japanese which makes things slightly more bearable. Honestly, you’ll want to do this as soon as possible to save your sanity.

Despite all it’s shortcomings though, I don’t completely hate Hyperdimension Neptunia U: Action Unleashed. If you skip through the pointless story and take the game for what it is then it’s an okay way to mindlessly kill half an hour here and there. Just don’t expect anything more than a simple button masher.

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