Review: Hyperdimension Neptunia

If concept were king, then Hyperdimension Neptunia might be queen, but no matter how much glitter you put on a mess, it’s still just a mess, albeit a shiny one. I started Neptunia with the hopes that its breakdown of the console wars would create a compelling story or, if anything, a comedic comparison at the very least. What I received instead, was a wordy JRPG that made me feel like a perv. This overwhelming feeling wasn’t ever aided by entertaining gameplay in the slightest. I’m sorry to break the news to those who haven’t heard, but Hyperdimension Neptunia just isn’t the outlandish depiction of the console wars you were hoping for and there’s most certainly a reason that Sega wasn’t compelled to publish the game in the States.

Odds are, if you are reading this, you know the score of Neptunia’s plot. The general concept is that a couple of goddesses are fighting for control of GameIndustri. Each one represents a current console (except for Neptune, who is the goddess of a failed Dreamcast successor). I’m not even slightly an otaku, but the general concept surrounding Neptunia sucked me in. Unfortunately, once I had my hands on the game my outlook was crushed under the pointless dialogue and backstory, of which neither were aided by the jiggling breasts that constantly assaulted my senses. It’s a damn shame, because Neptunia’s barrage of real-world gaming references had captured my interest from the get go, but the end product quickly sent me in the opposite direction.

I fully realize that plenty of RPGs have created great deals of enjoyment even without a sensible plot, but Neptunia’s gameplay is far too archaic to find comfort let alone enjoyment. Most of the time, I find myself picking out what is wrong with gameplay in an RPG, but with Neptunia, I had a hard time finding what was “right” with the combat. I was initially turned off by the unbelievable depth that Neptunia “seemed” to display on the surface. Fortunately, beneath all the completed settings, Neptunia has some fairly simple combat that can be played out quickly. So Garrett, if combat is so simple, where’s the “but?” The “but” is a fairly large one, involving automatically executed character actions, such as healing. You say “Oh that’s great! The goddesses heal themselves,” and I say “butttttt..” The but is a fairly big one in this case. You are incapable of carrying out actions such as healing. As you level up your crew, they gain an increase of the odds of healing themselves or carrying out similar tasks, but you never have any direct control over these commands outside of attacking. Yep, you can’t ever heal your party, they have to choose to heal themselves. With mechanics such as this plaguing Neptunia, I don’t think “archaic” can even slightly sum it up, but the experience overall experience is diminished by hoping a character will heal herself before being sent to oblivion. Neptunia just isn’t ever any fun. Combat is carried out using “AP” which a character can use until it is depleted enough to the point where another action cannot be carried out. Trinity Universe, anyone? It doesn’t help that the combat can be extremely repetitious, often dragging as you crawl through lackluster dungeon after lackluster dungeon.

The one component that I desperately wanted Neptunia to deliver on, was the visuals, including the throwback Sega summons. While those deliver, and the sprites are animated almost too well, the world they populate is bland. The voice acting leaves a lot to be desired, as with most JRPGs, but the music is easy enough on the ears to keep you from stabbing your ear drums. If you’re looking for the best possible experience, playing Neptunia with the Japanese voiceovers is the most ideal setup.

I went into Hyperdimension Neptunia with a completely open mind. Every time I picked it up, I left feeling robbed. The only components that deliver are the sprites and even then, their oft sexually-charged encounters made the game a bigger turnoff. I quickly grew tired of underage-looking women in S&M type scenarios, which were a drawback to a concept that had so much promise. While you may think that throwbacks to old school Sega games may be a plus, it never is. Not matter how much I wanted to love Hyperdimension Neptunia, I was always shut down by some off-putting component.

While the news of Neptunia’s poor quality may be saddening, keep an eye out for my upcoming preview and review of Ar Tonelico Qoga, also published by NIS, is a game that does pervy “right.”

David Jaffe Hints At Twisted Metals Release Date

Co-Director of Eat Sleep Play, slimmed down the possible release dates for the new Twisted Metal on this Twitter.

Jaffe was very chatty on his Twitter, and constantly replied to fans and their questions. In one response, he said that the release date for his coming vehicle combat game Twisted Metal will be known soon. Further more, he also said that the two release windows of Spring and Fall of 2011 given by Sony sources are wrong. So either the game will land in the Summer or Winter of this year.

He also said that he doesnt know if the game will get a Collectors Edition, but he hopes that it does. Jaffe also doesnt want to scam people with his DLC. He doesnt plan to cut complete pieces of data on the disc and make it into pricey DLC.  For this game, what will come later will actually be developed and put out later. No day one pre-made DLC map packs.

Oh yes, and hes wearing a pair of flannel PJs and slippers and a navy t-shirt. Hes a very personal guy. Fans are welcome to throw suggestions over to him via Twitter, and possibly convince him to get out of his sleepwear.

[Source: David Jaffe’s via Twitter]

Cave Story 3D To Be Released For 3DS

Pixels Cave Story is a wonder on its own. Through word of mouth (and the greatness that is the internet), Cave Story has reached a level of gaming fame that Daisuke Amaya may have never even dreamed of. But after going from being free on the PC to being available on WiiWare and DSiWare, where else is there to go for Cave Story? Why, to the 3D realm, of course! And what would better suit 3D than the next big thing in 3D the 3DS. According to NIS America a fully reconstructed in 3D version of Cave Story is going to be made and released onto the 3DS.According to a GamesRadar interview with Amaya, he stated that the only difference between the original game and the 3D version will be the actual levels. Amaya stated The difference between the original Cave Story and Cave Story 3D is going to be the environments are going to be in full 3D, but we will keep the original style of the game, which is a 2D scrolling action game. Not changing the game at all is a great decision. As the old saying goes If it aint broken, dont fix it! Im glad to hear that Cave Story is getting more exposure, and for those of you who havent played this amazing game yet, this 3D version seems like perfect opportunity to jump in. Or you can always just play it right now. We will keep you updated on the latest news regarding Cave Story 3D!

2K Games Announces The Darkness II

In the wake of games like Marvel vs. Capcom 3 and Batman: Arkham City, 2K Games has announced its latest addition to the superhero line-up: the sequel to its 2007 title, The Darkness.

The Darkness II stars Jackie Estacado, host to the Darkness and all around mafia bad-ass. Fans of the supernatural comic book series were happy with the first game’s arrival, and gamers found the anxiously awaited gem nicked with few problems. Now Digital Extremes is taking over to adapt the popular Top Cow comic book for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC this fall.

Gamers can look forward to quad-wielding gameplay, a break from first-person shooter syndrome that allows players to slash, grab, fire two weapons at once, and throw objects and enemies with Jackie’s demon arms. The use of graphic noir will keep the game true to its comic book origins.

“The game takes a unique stance on fighting in the dark versus light,” said 2K president Christoph Hartmann.

Gamers can rest easy knowing that Paul Jenkins, who’s written a healthy number of The Darkness comics as well as various Marvel comics, is returning as lead writer. The story erupts with a full-blown mob war, instigated by an outside force. A botched attempt on Jackie’s life rekindles the power of the Darkness, and it wants out. The events of this game take place two years after those of its predecessor.

Are you excited for The Darkness II? Learn more about the game at

Super Smash Bros. Brawl Mod Plays Like Melee

Ever since the release of Super Smash Bros. Brawl, there has been a never-ending argument with people for and against the newcomer to the Super Smash Bros. series. For every person who enjoyed Brawl, there has been one who has despised it. For those Melee fans who are adamant about their hatred for Brawl, its time to turn a new leaf. Yesterday, a mod demo was released called Project M, which allows to relive their Melee experience on SSBB. Take a look below for some footage as well as how to get your hands on the Project M Demo!In the trailer below, Project M shows some footage of all the greatness they modded into SSBB. By adding all the technicalities we loved about Melee (including air dodging, teching, wave-dashing, and more), as well as messing around with the physics of the game, Project M seems to have made a damn-near flawless transition from Brawl to Melee.


While I haven’t had the pleasure of playing the mod myself, this definitely looks like something that is worth checking out for all of the Brawl and Melee lovers and haters. Could this be the mod to end the arguments? Unlikely, but for those who are interested on how to download the demo and get it working on your Wii, go to Project Ms website for all the details!

Dragon Age II Achievements Revealed

Its that time of the month again, all you achievement crazed folks (you know who you are). The big day has finally come, and BioWare has revealed all of the achievements for their latest epic adventure, Dragon Age II. There is a grand total of 50 achievements (surprise) that add up to a total of 1000 points. Listed below are all of the achievements, but beware, for spoilers await those who dare to continue reading! You have been warned.

Dragon Age II Achievements:

  • Master Craftsman (25): Crafted all of the items from a single crafting tree.
  • Mogul (25): Had 100 or more sovereigns in your purse.
  • Crowning Glory (25): Became the viscount of Kirkwall.
  • Dedicated (15): Reached Level 10.
  • A Friend in Need (5): Upgraded the armor of one of your party members.
  • Enchanter (5): Enchanted an item.
  • Immigrant (5): Became a resident of Kirkwall.
  • Delver of the Deep (10): Explored the Deep Roads.
  • Birthright (15): Kicked the slavers out of your ancestral mansion.
  • Specialized (25): Learned two class specializations.
  • I Got Your Back (25): Completely upgraded the armor of one of your party members.
  • Legendary (50): Reached Level 20.
  • Financier (10): Became a partner in a Deep Roads expedition.
  • Talented (5): Upgraded a spell or talent.
  • Tag Team (5): Used teamwork to perform a cross-class combo.
  • That Thing Has Legs (25): Found and killed a varterral.
  • Weapon Master (25): Mastered a weapon style.
  • Unstoppable (50): Completed a full year in Kirkwall without any party member being knocked unconscious.
  • Craftsman (5): Acquired your first crafting recipe.
  • Dragon Slayer (25): Found and killed a high dragon.
  • Exorcist (25): Found and killed the undying Xebenkeck.
  • Demon Slayer (25): Found and killed the ancient demon, Hybris.
  • Chantry Historian (25): Found all four chapters of The History of the Chantry, by Brother Genitivi.
  • A Worthy Rival (25): Earned the Arishoks respect.
  • Great Minds Think Alike (50): Earned the friendship or rivalry of four party members.
  • Friend (25): Earned the friendship of one of your party members.
  • Rival (25): Earned the rivalry of one of your party members.
  • Romantic (25): Completed a romance with one of your party members.
  • Epic (50): Completed Dragon Age II twice, or completed it once with a save imported from Dragon Age Origins.(3)
  • Champion of Kirkwall (20): Completed Dragon Age II.
  • Mercenary (10): Allied yourself with the mercenaries upon arriving in Kirkwall.
  • Nefarious (10): Allied yourself with the smugglers upon arriving in Kirkwall.
  • Flirtatious (5): Flirted with one of your party members to begin a romance.
  • Mass Exodus (25): Reached Kirkwall with each character class across multiple playthroughs.
  • Knowledgeable (25): Unlocked 100 codex entries.
  • Treasure Hunter (25): Opened 50 chests.
  • Darkness Falls (5): Toggled the map from day to night.
  • Explorer (5): Left Kirkwall to explore the outlying regions.
  • Spelunker (25): Visited 10 caves in Kirkwall and the surrounding area.
  • Full House (10): Recruited four party members.
  • Friends in High Places (15): Met Grand Cleric Elthina, Viscount Dumar, Knight-Commander Meredith, and First Enchanter Orsino.
  • Gift Giver (5): Gave a gift to one of your party members.
  • Supplier (25): Found every variety of crafting resources.
  • Archeologist (50): During each year in Kirkwall, discovered 3 secret messages from the Band of Three.
  • Tale Within A Tale (5): Listened to Varric begin his tale of the Champion of Kirkwall.

There you have it, folks. These, along with a few secret achievements, are what you will be hoarding for when Dragon Age II releases this Spring. Best of luck to you all!

[Source: Xbox360Achievements]

Homefront Resistance Trailer Prepares Us for Revolution

THQ has released a third trailer for their newest action game, Homefront. This seems to set the pace of what Homefront will be about the action. Titled Resistance, the trailer reveals that the Americans decide to start up a second American Revolution against Korea. Its clear that bullets will be shot, bombs will explode, and people will definitely be killed in THQs newest action-packed adventure, so get ready to kick some ass! Take a look below for the newest trailer of THQs Homefront.

While the first two trailers seemed to have a grim and dismal outlook of Koreas takeover of America, Resistance seems to have a different tone. The more chilling approach the predecessors of Resistance is replaced by an air of revolution, giving Homefront a more hopeful outlook. Along with that, THQ managed to show a lot more of the games action, as opposed to its storyline, which is always a nice change!


Be ready for the second revolution! We will keep you up to date on the latest news regarding THQs Homefront, which is set to release on March 15, 2011.

Dynasty Warriors 7 Adds Reworked Features And A Rampaging Lu Bu

If you’ve button mashed your way through the previous Dynasty Warriors games, you probably remember how much of a pain it was to fight the overpowered warrior known as Lu Bu. Good news: he’s making a return in the 7th edition, grabbing peons by the face and dragging behind him a slew of new and reworked features that’ll set this game apart from its predecessors.

Temco Koei is gunning to make this Dynasty Warriors feel and play drastically different, but while keeping some traditional elements. One of which, for better or worse, is the inclusion of Lu Bu. He comes with a face-grabbing attack, force-field blast moving, and ridiculously long side burns.

The changes to the gameplay system are somewhat new. Temco Koei is hoping to flesh out the elements they had in the radically different depart of the series called Strikeforce. You can casually walk through towns as previously reported, but now will include a places to buy weapons, a smithy to forge new ones, bachelor place to do what bachelors generally do (take quizzes to earn prizes), and a merchant area to buy mercenaries/bodyguards and support beast to assist players in combat. The number of support beast has been expanded, horses and elephants for running into droves of peons, tigers to maul the opposition, and pandas that’ll heal you with their cute and fuzzy looks.

Lastly, spiltscreen makes a return so you can combo your Musous with a pal beside you.

Two Worlds II Implements A Jarring Form Of DRM

Combating piracy is almost impossible, but developers can try to circumvent it as best as they can. Sometimes developers take it a few leaps too far, and the actual buyers get the brunt of it. SouthPeak Games has already gained the ire of gamers as an intrusive form of DRM rears its ugly head.

Two Worlds II is the sequel to a game that accumulated a lot of dislike. With poor voice acting, dull characters, simplistic combat, and more bugs than a Bethesda game, Two Worlds barely clawed its way to mediocrity. The company took notice, and even issued an apology for what they made. So with that supposed sincerity, gamers should expect a highly polished, carefully made adventure next time around, right?

While the jury is still out on the quality of the game itself until the 8th, SouthPeak Games has put in an anti-piracy measure thats simply inexcusable. Between the completion of chapters, players are required to place in their serial key again. If you dont have that anymore, even though you put it in the first time you installed the game, you will have to buy another. And most likely, your PC will have to be online for this to work.

While at the moment this is nothing more than a bitter annoyance, practices like this encroach further and further upon buyers experiences. Its jarring and unnecessary, and borderline insulting for those who actually bought the game. Lets hope this is the only thing wrong with Two Worlds II!

More Armored Core 5 Details Detail Online Play

From Software has been quiet on any information regarding Armored Core 5. Last information gamers had was a meager, bare-bones trailer and a few pieces of information. Recently, the company has finally saw fit to reveal something more substantial, and that theme is teaming up.

Armored Core 5 touts one of the most complex customization systems of mecha games, let alone games of other genres. It’s newest edition is looking to do more than just add a few new weapons or parts. Gamers will get to take their creations online to do battle, but with an added twist of teamwork and territory.

Pilots of the virtual mechs will get together to form teams of 5 against another team to see who’s robot is better at blowing up things. Additionally, each team gets a selected commander out of the group. The armchair general will issue orders to hopefully lead his team to victory and not into a hail of gunfire. To further teamwork, special weapons called Overed have been added. Some are hard to aim, while others take a while to load. Get a team member to lead them in the line of fire for maximum usage. It has even been rumored that some special types of mech will be available especially for team work. Co-op towering mechs? One can only hope.

Gamers that don’t have any friends that want to play, or those who are new to the scene shouldn’t fret: From Softwares got you covered. There’s a site for the singles: the Armored Core Official Partnership social site was started in November to play matchmaker.

The combat doesn’t stop when the player leaves his console. Rival clans can sucker-punch unattended lands. Luckily, you can throw up some cannons and defensive measures so those would-be invaders are driven away. No word on if there will be an option to be a mercenary not tied to a team yet, or if there will be any more offline features to compensate the online-heavy route this game it taking.

A solid release date hasn’t been announced, but Japan is getting it on the 360 and PS3 this year. Those elsewhere will have to import or wait for a proper localization in 2012 by Namco Bandai.