Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;Birth2: Sisters Generation is the latest in the long line of JRPGs to land on Steam, a port of a Vita remake of what was originally Hyperdimension Neptunia MK2 on the PS3. As with the Vita release, it does little to sway anyone who wasn’t already a fan of the series, but it does make some pretty big improvements over the PS3 original.
Re;Birth2 returns to the world of Gameindustri, which has been taken over by a group called ASIC, which represents software piracy and releases low-quality games. You play as “CPU Candidates,” sisters to the CPUs of the first game, who have been imprisoned by ASIC. Aided by the personifications of many Japanese developers, you must combat ASIC by winning back “shares” for the CPUs. Winning shares returns strength to the CPUs and will help free them from ASIC’s control, the ultimate goal of the game.
Combat is pretty standard fare for turn-based RPGs, though that’s a strength in the current market, because that set-up has largely fallen to the wayside. The remakes vastly improve the system, making it faster and less reliant on random events, which were an issue largely in the first entry on PS3. Tactical aspects are mixed in, allowing you to gang up on enemies or protect weaker party members.
Hyperdimension Neptunia has always relied on humor. As a niche title, it’s been largely effective, especially since the mix between anime fans and fans of the series mix quite well. While many people tire of referential humour, the varied characters and the mix between anime tropes and game references have helped keep it fresh as time goes on.
When Re;Birth1 appeared on Steam, it was struck with quite a few problems which had to be fixed with a string of patches in the following months. For Re;Birth2, Idea Factory rolled out a limited closed beta in the months leading up to release, a move that seems to have fixed many of those issues.
The game runs at a full 1080p and 60 frames per second, though though the animated sequences remain at the Vita’s native resolution. The game will not scale above 1080p, though that is likely a concern for a fairly small number of people. It’s worth noting that the game assets remain unchanged, and there can be some slight stretching at high resolution as a result. Character portraits have been upscaled to fit the higher resolution. Any animated sequences are running at their original Vita resolution as well, which makes them a bit blurry. If remaking these scenes wasn’t an option, I would’ve preferred they be letterboxed to run at their original resolution, or at least a little smaller to minimize the issue. However, these cutscenes are few and far between, so it’s a minor problem.
The game has some issues with screen tearing, and though keyboard and mouse control is present, I would highly suggest using a controller. The UI is still very much a console UI, and I found that it was much easier to get into.
Despite some improvements, there is no hiding the fact that this is still a PC port of a Vita game. Still, Re;Birth2 is a big improvement over the PS3 title and a great option for those without a Vita.
Pros: HD resolution, good controller support
Cons: Lacks needed video settings, stretched cutscenes