Review: 'Hyperdimension Neptunia U: Action Unleashed' (PC)

Review: 'Hyperdimension Neptunia U: Action Unleashed' (PC) IDEA FACTORY

Back in May Hyperdimension Neptunia Action Unleashed came out on the PlayStation Vita.  While many Vita-first games tend to lose out on the conversion to the console and PC (such as smaller graphics now filling a big screen being stretched out or poorer graphics), Neptunia games have held onto that quality while bringing the same game. How does the PC version Hyperdimension Neptunia U Action Unleashed fare? Well...

The story continues on in Gameindustri, with the gentle satiric undercurrent of the game industry expanding into game journalism.  Journalists (veiled personifications of popular Japanese gaming magazines) report after the Console Wars, with the CPU's and Next Gen waiting to go at it.  Overall the story keeps up the satire, but is way more action-y as previous games.  This is post-war journalism with uneasy peace, not tons of battles with console sand-ins, but fighting is constant and even goes beyond what standard JRPG games do.  But it's still enjoyable, albeit in a more Rambo way than Wag the Dog way.

Controls work pretty well too, and for the series, are a little revolutionary.  Keyboard controls convert well from Vita controls. It also fits the “hacky-slashy” hype – the game is a breath of fresh air as I goes to a more straight fighting style.  Special moves and powers go are more weighted in favor of plain fighting – and it's glorious.  Still has JRPG elements, but with more controls and focus on fighting.  Goodbye turn-based, hello straight-fighting!  If every game tried it in this style it would get tiring after a few games, but every once in a while doing something like this is a good change.

While I often don't like the jarring still-manga-art, moving-blocky-graphics shift, U Action Unleashed starts to blur the line.  Characters in action scenes fit more graphically with a boost, while manga scenes are more cartoonish.  It's still not perfect, but it's a lot less noticeable and more natural in change.  Sword swings are natural (with the art of swings in neon blurs looking specifically beautiful against natural looking backgrounds), running is less jerky than other games and overall graphics are a giant improvement.

The music, as always, is that frentic late 90's Japanese game style mixed with more 80's styled songs that fit it so well.  For the music there's not much more to say besides how great it is.  Sounds, on the other hand, can be a tiny bit repetitive.  They work well and sound good, but when you kill the same creature with the same 'gong' sound ten times in a row, it can start to get a week bit noticeable.  But with strong dialogue and an amazing soundtrack, you would really need to listen for those exact same sounds for it to be noticeable.

A few times the spinning of the world can create a slight delay – the camera moves where the player goes and keeps the camera behind you, and when it swings, there's just so much to load, so there is a delay in the background as you yourself are on time.  Besides that the mechanics are A-1.  It's been fine tuned from the Vita version, with fighting, dialogue and other game parts synching up beautifully.

Hyperdimension Neptunia U Action Unleashed tries new things and pulls them all off.  The new fighting style, upgraded graphics and, as usual, perfect soundtrack, along with an entertaining story, pull together a great game.  While the style may not be for everyone, U Action Unleashed brings Neptune and friends into a new game that expands that is both a fresh take and a welcome return to the series

Final Score: 8.9 out of 10

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