Megadimension Neptunia VII (PS4/PC): The Dream Generation (Detailed Review)

Megadimension Neptunia VII | Art

Before I get started on this review, I would like to clarify that this review is covering the 2015 released of the game and is NOT a review of Megadimension Neptunia VIIR, which has been stated to be an entirely different game gameplay wise. As a result, I do not know how much of this review will apply to that version of the game. I also am unlikely to check that version out for a while since I spent over 120 hours on this game and beat it only a few months ago. I’m not quite ready to play through another version of the same game, especially when I have 7 other games in the series that are currently out to play (and an amazing looking Switch title that is in development).

As for Megadimension Neptunia VII itself, well I don’t know how else to put this other than HOLY FUCK THEY ACTUALLY DID IT!!! They created a true sequel to Victory that is an improvement in almost every area. I fucking LOVE this game. While my review of Re;birth1 was a bit on the optimistic side, I honestly felt it was a bit of a let down. While it is a better game than the original Hyperdimension Neptunia was, that only means so much when it’s so vastly different from the original yet has so much copy-pasted from Victory. In the end I’d rather play either the original game OR Victory than Re;birth1 because the original is more unique and Victory does everything Re;birth1 does better. Read more

Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;Birth1 (Vita/PS4/PC): Satisfactory but Samey (Detailed Review)

Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;birth1 | logo

I’ve always felt quite strongly about the Hyperdimension Neptunia series. I always felt there was something to it that a lot of its detractor ship just didn’t get; or rather chose not to get. If people wish to believe that there is nothing to this series but a bunch of moe girls doing cute things and getting into sexy shenanigans with no depth or intelligence, they are going to do so. Of course I have always said from the beginning that this is not the case with this series.

The reason why is not because the previous description is untrue, but because it IS true, and the series plays to that strength. Most games nowadays are very pretentious and take themselves overly seriously and present themselves as if they are these cinematic masterpieces, while the Neptunia series is just trying to be fun in whatever way it can be, which is what games SHOULD aim for. Read more

Hyperdimension Neptunia PP (Vita): Producing Far From Perfection (Detailed Review)

Hyperdimension Neptunia PP | cover

To say that I am a fan of the Hyperdimension Neptunia series would be an understatement. My very first review was of Hyperdimension Neptunia Victory, and in that review, I stated that it was one of the greatest JRPGs released this generation despite it possessing only a fraction of the budget of most of its competition. Since then the only regret I have is that I have not praised it enough. Otherwise I still stand by every word of that review and I probably will until my dying breath. So to alleviate anyone’s concerns, I am not one in the same boat as the various critics who slammed the previous games based solely on the fact that they were low budget, had scantily clad female characters, and were JRPGs that did not have Final Fantasy in the title. In fact, it should come as no surprise that I despise most of the “professional” reviewers so much that one of my key reasons to start writing reviews was to put my money where my mouth is and review things the way I think they should be done. Read more

Hyperdimension Neptunia Victory (PS3): Sweet Victory (Detailed Review)

Hyperdimension Neptunia Victory | logo

Note: This was the first review I ever wrote and was put up on GameFAQs on March 21st 2013. It has been edited and enhanced in presentation.

TW: Mentions of sexual assault.

Hyperdimension Neptunia Victory does not have nearly as high of a budget as most of the best JRPGs of this generation, nor does it have the best design. It does not have the best presentation or universal appeal of such games. Yet despite this, I found myself enjoying this game just as much as said games, and in some ways even more.

I did play and enjoy the first two games in the series. The first game, Hyperdimension Neptunia, was a game that had some really unique ideas going for it, and established what the series would become known for. Unfortunately it was executed in a way that has only a very specific appeal, and suffered from a story that was poorly paced and saved only by its hilarious script. Hyperdimension Neptunia Mk2 was a lot more accessible than the first game. It had the distinction of being one of the few console JRPGs to focus on simple mechanics, as opposed to nearly every other console JRPG that tried to be as complex as possible. That same simplicity was also its disadvantage as it made the game a bit too easy, and pretty much every non boss battle in the game could be beaten in seconds. Also the plot, while much better told than the first, suffered from pacing issues of its own. Read more

Hyperdimension Neptunia (PS3): Not the Best, Not the Worst, but Definitely One of the Most Interesting (Detailed Review)

Hyperdimension Neptunia | Limited Edition Box Art

The first Hyperdimension Neptunia was definitely an interesting game. Technically the entire series is an interesting subject when it comes to games but the first game is especially so. Despite receiving mostly poor reviews from critics and a lot of gamers themselves, its unique premise and ideas helped it put Idea Factory on the map. Shortly after its release, demand was so high that prices for a new copy of the game that it went for up to $120 new on Amazon. I remember when I first found out about this game, I was incredibly fascinated by it due to its premise alone. I have looked up as much as I could about the game and was almost decided to get the game used for $80 despite it looking far from a well designed game. There were easily a lot of noticeable issues with gameplay and presentation, but its personality was so intriguing that I wanted to play it anyway. In fact, I was so interested in the game that It was what prompted me to get a PS3.

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Amazing VGM: Fate (Megadimension Neptunia VII)

Megadimension Neptunia VII | Affimojas Fight

So, I am very close to completing Megadimension Neptunia VII, and when I say “completing” I mean platinum-ing it and doing nearly everything I can. It is a fantastic game and I’m honestly surprised Compile Heart felt that they needed to remake it in the first place. Of course, given that I have spent close to 130 hours thus far, I’m probably going to hold off on Megadimension Neptunia VIIR for a while, especially since I want to sink my teeth into Super Mario Odyssey at long last when I am done. Read more

A Measured Response to Harry Brewis (hbomberguy): Objectification and Power Fantasy in Video Games

Senran Kagura Cast

TW: Mentions of misogyny, lesbophobia, biphobia, and transphobia.

I have been meaning to touch upon the subject of objectification for a very long time. I have mentioned it in a lot of my work and I have made it known that it is a very personal subject to me, and it has often served as somewhat of a berserk button of mine. By far the most viewed article of mine was a response to then Destructoid writer Jed Whitaker’s own article about Valkyrie Drive: Bhikkuni, that claimed it was “Dynasty Warriors for pedophiles.” To say that I was not happy with it is like saying that the Holocaust was a bit of a bummer. That article of mine is perhaps the angriest piece I have ever written (and that I ever will).

What  particularly enraged me was how patronizing and condescending that Jed was to his own target audience and how little respect he had, in addition to hideously homophobic and sexist implications present throughout, despite the fact that he was clearly trying to be a feminist ally. Due to not wanting to be lumped in with the gamer bro AIW crowd, I tried to make my piece sound as feministy as possible and tried to address precisely WHY Jed Whitaker’s views were as harmful as they are. It seemed to have the opposite effect as it actually became very well received among anti-feminist GamerGate supporters, enough so that it was even retweeted by Ian Miles Cheong (which is probably how it got over 1300 total views when most of my pieces don’t even break 100).

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Amazing VGM: Voltage (Megadimension Neptunia VII)

Megadimension Neptunia VII | Robots

Holy shit, how the fuck did I stay away from this series for as long as I have? I actually don’t know if I have even written about Neptunia for this blog yet, although I have mentioned it plenty of times. I absolutely adore this series, and seeing someone bashing it for being nothing but fanservice is an instant trip to my shit list. That’s not even a joke, seeing someone bash a series like Neptunia or Senran Kagura as being nothing other than fanservice just because it HAS fanservice tells a lot about their personality; mainly that they are misogynists who think women are “degrading themselves” if they ever show skin and that they project their own sexism onto anyone who has a sex drive, and I can only assume you’re a shitty person if you are this shallow minded. It is because of this that I got so pissed at Jed Whitaker and why I despise Jim Sterling.

The truth is that the Hyperdimension Neptunia series is one of the most pro feminist video game series of all time (ignoring the shitty harem spinoffs that is). To have such a strongly developed cast of female characters in an age where AAA developers need to virtue signal their inclusion of a single female protagonist as a key advertising point is incredible. This is something that I could go on and on about for hours, but it is not the point. Among the many incredible aspects of this series is its music.

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JRPG Update: 5/21/2017 – 5/27/2017

JRPG Update logo

Well, we have got quite a bit lined up for this week in regards to JRPGs and JRPG influenced games. Then again, there is always a sizable about of new stuff available. And to think some say that JRPGs are dead.

Anyway, within the last week, we have seen the release of Utawarerumono: Mask of Deception (PS4/Vita), Star Ocean: Till the End of Time (PS4), Acaratus (Steam), and Disgaea 5 Complete (Switch). So today is looking especially good for SRPG releases.

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