Hyperdimension Neptunia PP: The first American idol

June 3, 2014


Hyperdimension Neptunia: Producing Perfection puts the characters of Hyperdimension Neptunia franchise into the roles of pop idols, competing for “shares” of the popularity in the world of Gamindustri. This spinoff places the series into the long-running Japanese genre of idol-raising simulators, in which players guide the lives and careers of pop stars on their way to success. It also manages to be the first such game to see Western release, meaning it stands without the context and general appreciation of its general concepts.

As you might expect from a spin-off title, it features the same characters from the three RPG entries. The same references and characterizations are there, so fans of the series will find familiar faces. The beginning of the game has the four CPUs of Gamindustri lose their “shares” of the people’s hearts, as the populace of Gamindustri has instead become enamored with idols. To reclaim their shares, the four CPUs “summon” a seemingly normal person about to begin a summer vacation to act as producer for their idol careers. The gender or name of this person isn’t mentioned, but from the writing, you can tell it is implied to be a heterosexual male.


The game is split into a few different modes, though the main game is in Producer Mode, which lets you control the day-to-day activities of your chosen idol. That’s either Neptunia, the Sega-inspired protagonist of the franchise, or one of the three CPUs who represent Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft in the game’s approximation of the console wars. Each day, you choose what your idol spends her time doing: work, which increases your fan base; lessons, which increase your stats; and resting, which reduces stress. Balancing these activities to maximize fanbase and stats, or trading one off for the other, forms the key part of the idol management experience.

By building up your stats and fan base this way, you can then hold concerts to earn shares. Concerts are probably the most active parts of this mode. You customize the costumes, placement and camera angles as your idol performs, trying to put on the best show possible. However, many of the options don’t generally translate into many points, and eventually I figured out that the best way to earn points with camera angles, just mashing my way through that each time since there was no real reward for doing it any other way. With a few more mechanics or a more robust points system, this could be made a lot more engaging.

Which comes to the all encompassing issue with this Hyperdimension Neptunia: PP: fanservice. It’s covering every aspect of the game, and it’s laid on thick enough that it really isn’t worth trying to get through. From interacting with the idols in Producer Mode with a plethora of rather sexist remarks and comments to poking and prodding them in Viewer Mode, it’s enough to make most thoroughly uncomfortable.  Fanservice is to be expected, especially in an idol game, but this one takes it past the point at which it can be ignored.


Hyperdimension Neptunia: Producing Perfection is an interesting concept, but it relies far too much on fanservice and not nearly enough on making the gameplay challenging or varied. With better mechanics, more rhythm game elements and a scaling back of the exploitative elements, a game about managing and producing for a pop idol could be interesting and marketable to a Western audience. Unfortunately, this one isn’t reaching out to anyone further than the franchise’s already-devoted base.

Pros: Interesting concept, localization in long-Japan-only genre
Cons: Overbearing fanservice, monotonous gameplay

Score: 2/5

Questions? Check out our review guide.