I love a good mashup in video games be it Fire Emblem and Persona on the Wii U or as in this instance, between Hyperdimension Neptunia and the Sega Hard Girls. Sega Hard Girls are moe characters that have been visualised from the Sega consoles of yesterday into really kawaii girls. Sounds weird but it works really well as in this case, Superdimension Neptune Vs. Sega Hard Girls from Compile Heart.
The plot of the game revolves around the two main protagonists of the story IF and Hatsumi Sega, the latter of which is a newly created character for this game. In the game, the characters are introduced to the grand library, a library that literally contains all the history in the world. There are supposed to ancient books that have the ability to rewrite history and change the course of events. Something has been occurring lately that changing past events and making history disappear as if it never happened. This begins to affect the world as parts of the world itself also begin to vanish as if they never existed.
And so kicks off a grand adventure where you’ll explore countess dungeons and lands with names of past Sega consoles. The Sega Saturn Era, Mega Drive Era, Game Gear Era and the Dreamcast Era. While you’re in the library, you can visit any of these Eras as you unlock them and can also change the game settings, buy items in the shop to help you in the game and other assorted options.
Let’s talk about the visuals which I have to say are simply some of the best I’ve ever seen on the Vita. From the colourful worlds and beautiful character designs to the lush cutscenes, this is the type of game the PS Vita was made for. It looks amazing and really draws you in and makes it extremely hard to put down. The backgrounds are rendered just as beautifully and the game has an impressive draw distance. You can see quite a long ways into the level you’re on without having to run there to make it appear.
Another new system that I was introduced to with this title was the battle system. As you traverse the terrain, you’ll see enemies which you can choose to encounter and enter a battle with or simply run away from. Upon choosing to fight, if you make first contact with your weapon, then you have the first attack in the battle. You have an action gauge in the bottom left of your screen which begins to fill with each attack you do. When the meter hits the red zone, your attack is over and it switches to another member of your party. However, you have the option to end your turn before the gauge enters the red zone by hitting the “R” button. What this also does is control how long you have to wait before it’s your turn to attack again after the enemies’ turn is over. This brings an element of strategy into the mix as it’s really unwise to just keep button mashing, taking all your characters into the red zone as you then have to stand there taking hit after hit from your foes.
As you battle, you have another percentage gauge slowly filling up to 100%. Once it reaches capacity, you can choose to enter Fever Mode just for that battle where your hits to the enemy cause more damage while at the same time, the damage you face decreases as well. Each of the members in your party have their own individual meters as well which slowly increase with each battle. These can be used to call powerful skills when you battle. From powerful fireballs which damage multiple foes to calling upon the ability to transform into a different form of your character which then unleashes even more damage with each hit. This probably sounds really confusing and I was a bit overwhelmed when I first started playing but it really does get easier with each battle, very fast. Each new section or ability you unlock in the game comes with its own mini tutorial from Histoire, the character who maintains and looks after the Grand Library.
The only thing I can say about battles is that they can appear a bit samey and repetitive but it’s fun knowing that you’ll soon have charge built up to unleash powerful abilities so the tradeoff is worthwhile. The music is pretty solid throughout as well, so much so that there’s also an option to play back the music which can be found in the Options. So if video game music is your jam, then give them a listen, it’s totally worth it!
I’ve only been playing for about 5 or so hours and have two characters in my party but I’ve noticed that there’s an additional two slots which I can only take to mean that more characters will be joining me at some point as the game progresses and becomes harder. I’m really liking this game, so much so that I had to buy the Limited Edition which came with some really cool stuff. If you want to see what that came with, watch out for the unboxing video I did which I’ll post very soon! And I’m also a fan for the Sega Hard Girls, I don’t know much about them but I do like that there are minds which have taken some of the best and iconic consoles and reimagined them as kawaii girls.
Final score: 8/10