Dengeki Interview: Celebrating 5 Years of Neptunia, a Talk With Series’ Creators

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The following is a translation of an interview that appears in Dengeki Playstation Magazine (Vol.596 8/12/2015) and on their website, with some of the development team behind the Hyperdimension Neptunia series.


 

Neptunia Team Profile

Executive Producer: Norihisa Kochiwa
Producer: Naoko Mizuno
Director: Shingo Onodera
Character Designer: Tsunako
Character Designer: Minamitsu

Congratulations on Neptunia’s 5th anniversary! Is there anything you think you’d like to look back on?

Naoko: I’ve just now realized that so much time has passed. We’ve released 10 games in 5 years which is 2 games a year, that’s quite the pace (laughs). Thank you to everyone for sticking with us!

Norihisa: On a technical level I like to think that Compile Heart has grown up along with the Neptunia series. Not just from an art or game system standpoint but it’s had quite a big effect on other Compile Heart games as well. Just looking at screenshots of the original Hypderdimension Neptunia gets me all nostalgic and I can really see how we’ve progressed since then, I get pretty emotional. I think that’s one way you could put it.

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Tell us about how the Neptunia series got started.

Tsunako: The project officially became “Neptunia” towards the end of 2009, right after Trinity Universe finished development.

Norihisa: Before that, up until fall of 2009 we conceptualized a new RPG using Tsunako’s character designs but were running into complications. We were thinking that if the collaboration with another company we were diong went well then we could continue in that direction but in the end it didn’t so Neptunia was born out of that. Had that collaboration been realized then Neptunia would have never been born.

Naoko: Then with that going on we started to solidify the concept for Neptunia towards the end of 2009 and had Tsunako modify existing character designs to better fit it.

Tsunako: Basically deciding on each character’s color scheme then changing them to better fit within the world’s setting and story.

Shingo: For example, Noire used to be colored red and Blanc was blue but we changed them to their respective black and white as they are now. I’m sure hardcore fans already know this but the game was originally supposed to be about 3 princess sisters and a main character. I came in right around when that project was halted and turned into Neptunia.

Tsunako: Had it not been for that collaboration that’s probably what we would’ve ended up with. In fact the dragon-looking processor unit was a leftover from that game’s original setting.

Minamitsu: I had no idea all that went on, I didn’t join them team until Victory so all this is new to me.

Minamitsu, what kind of titles did you work on before Neptunia?

Minamitsu: Around the same time as Victory I was working on a side-project otome game but really Victory was my first. I got a real baptism in game development at that time (laughs).

Tsunako: Minamitsu has been such a huge help since she joined the team!

Do you have any memories from when you were developing the original Hyperdimension Neptunia?

Norihisa: While working on the game I had this constant unease I just couldn’t seem to shake but once seeing Purple Heart’s design I said to myself, “This is it! This is how it should be!” and became really confident. I think the reason why the series has has lasted so long and is loved so much is due to the characters.

Shingo: I remember when we finished the scenario I thought the 3 goddesses were lacking something in their personalities that would make each of them stand out so we made Noire a cosplayer, Blanc an avid reader, and Vert a hardcore online gamer.

Nowadays everybody knows Noire as the lonely character with no friends but in the original it really was Blanc, wasn’t it. I didn’t think something as simple as Noire saying to herself that she didn’t have any friends to form a band with would forever paint her as the “friendless character.” (laughs)

You’ve released 10 Neptunia titles, which one do you think was the turning point for the series?

Tsunako: Personally I think it was Victory. I think that was when we took the parts of mk2 that were a bit weak and were able to improve them to the point where it became the base to expand the series. Victory was also where I feel we took the sisters from mk2 and really solidified their relationships with their sisters in the series. Well, I guess I can also see the anime as being being a turning point for the series as a whole as well.

Naoko: The anime really had a big effect on the series. We didn’t realize while it was still in production but when we finally saw it being broadcast on air we all got really excited.

Tsunako: Seeing my works animated like that was a really strange feeling but the animators did a great job so as a designer I feel like I was able to learn from them as well.

How about you, Shingo?

Shingo: I would say the first turning point is mk2. We replaced many components of the game, even the engine, plus we redid the battle system and dungeons from scratch. I think that was a real turning point for the gameplay sections.
The second would have to be the anime and Re;Birth series. Being able to observe and learn how people from a different industry handled things like direction, script-writing, building tension, plus visualizing characters and their personalities helped me to see what was lacking in the original Neptunia. That experience is how the Re;Birth series came about.

Norihisa: I think mk2 really left a big impression on me too. Not only due to all the gameplay elements we changed but also it was after that we started to do collaborations with various creators and businesses. Collaborating with others on the Neptunia series was just the start, but we eventually were able to work with others for other titles as well. For that reason I think that was a big merit of mk2.

Minamitsu: I came in during Victory so it’s pretty awe-inspiring to talk about the series’ turning point. Working on Victory presented me with a lot of new challenges so it was pretty chaotic. I was able to go all out from the get-go so working on the bug creatures, child characters and processor parts left a really big impression on me.

Naoko: As for me I think there were several turning points in the Neptunia series. While I’m still learning, working on the original Hyperdimension Neptunia taught me how to make charming characters. During mk2 I tried to do too much which was too hard on the staff. I think it was because of those experiences put together that are tied into where I am now. Also having the chance to collaborate with others on the Neptunia series was a very important experience for me.

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Has working together for the past 5 years strengthened the team’s sense of unity?

Norihisa: I think so. Particularly when we start working on a new title, all of the principal staff gather almost every morning for meetings.

Each Neptunia title is packed full of various references, is that a collaborative effort done by the entire staff?

Norihisa: When we start working on new title we put out an idea box so that everyone can submit their ideas or game references.

Shingo: By the way, the original theme for mk2 was “the birth of goddesses’ sisters” and for Victory it was “a return to origin.” With Victory-II such concepts as “Golden Third,” Steamax,” and “Affimojas” were all from ideas and references submitted by staff.

Norihisa: Some interesting references submitted to the idea box even came from people of various positions you wouldn’t even expect and then somehow found their way into the development (laughs). The dogoo was one such reference.

Shingo: That was one I quietly discussed with the 3D modelling staff and had them make for me. Then afterwards Baku Mikage, artist for the official “Hello New World” manga, drew something similar in the manga, I think he did it out of sympathy (laughs).

How long has the idea box been around?

Norihisa: Since mk2. It doesn’t matter what position you hold, anyone can submit an idea or desire for a new title. It doesn’t matter if it’s something we can do or not, we take a wide variety of ideas even for concrete game elements.

Shingo: Of course we can’t grant everyone’s wish but we do select ideas from what is submitted.

So there must also be rejected ideas.

Tsunako: Thinking of something more recently I would say our original idea of “Little Miss Fortune” (as in ‘misfortune’) as the last boss for Victory-II.

Shingo: Yeah yeah! We had finished the rough design and she was a really cute character contrary to what her name implied. We had settled on her being a character that wanted to make lots of friends but always kept her distance out of fear due to her predisposition to misfortune. But the business side improved as development advanced so we had to say goodbye to our Little Miss Fortune (laughs).

But it’s not just references from games, anime and manga but also current day events as well.

Norihisa: Basically Shingo likes to pack in a lot of references so we all have to stop it from escalating too much.

Shingo: As for those references, I’m making decisions about putting them in even at the very last possible second.

The maker characters are a big feature of the Neptunia series but is that something initiated by Compile Heart?

Norihisa: Yes, myself and Naoko came together to ask the companies. In the beginning we asked companies with which we already had strong relations and thankfully now we’ve been able to collaborate with many others.

Shingo: Personally I think the maker character we negotiated the hardest on was Victory’s Tekken-chan. Not even her character traits, I’m happy we were able to try something new by making a character based on a specific game rather than a company. Million Arthur-chan and God Eater-chan appearing in Victory-II was possible thanks to the precedent set by Tekken-chan.

Things have just begun for our Nep-Nep!

Next I wanted to inquire about the titles currently in development but first, how are the DLC characters for Victory-II coming along?

Naoko: We’re working diligently on them. Million Arthur-chan should be out sometime in Summer, and I aim to have God Eater-chan and Nitroplus-chan ready in the Fall.

Norihisa: While they are DLC characters we strive to make them of the same quality one would expect of a mainline character so I hope you like them.

Shingo: Making these characters as if they popped out of the game they’re based off of is a key factor so of course we obsess over not just their appearance but their weapon and skills too.

Uzume, Plutia and Peashy are set to appear in Extreme Dimension Tag Blanc, are there any highlights to these characters in the game?

Norihisa: Uzume will use her megaphone and martial arts as she did in Victory-II. The sound waves from the megaphone will have a wide area of effect, and I think comparatively she’ll be an easy to use up-close fighter. Plutia will her plushie around as she did in Victory with it changing depending on the skill she uses. When she transforms into Iris Heart she’ll be able to use her snake-like sword’s reach to attack from further back.

Both Neptune and Noire use swords but it seems like each will have their own playstyle.

Norihisa: I want you to pay special attention to that, no matter which character you choose you’ll be able to enjoy a variety of different playstyles. And as for Peashy, she steps small but hits big. When using Yellow Heart, you’ll really have a lot of fun and see quite an exciting battle unfold.

You recently announced Tamsoft-chan as a new character but what will she be like?

Norihisa: She joins in when she hears that Blanc and Neptune are making a zombie movie. We designed her to reflect Tamsoft’s corporate culture and the fact they’re located in Asakusa, Tokyo so her design will express a love of festivals. In battle she carries a large sword on her back and two smaller swords so her attacks will be more technical in nature.

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And our very own Dengekiko will be in as well!

Norihisa: She’ll be working for the newspaper in Extreme Blanc and of course sparks will be flying between her and Famitsu-chan (laughs). This time around it’s a school setting so everyone will be younger and more passionate so the rivalry between the two will be even stronger than it was in Neptunia U.

Moving on to Neptunia vs Sega Hard Girls, I feel like characters from both camps will be playing a strong role.

Norihisa: There will be five characters in all, the 4 Sega Hard Girls (Saturn, Dreamcast, Megadrive, and Game Gear) plus Neptune. This time we not only have to please Neptunia fans but also Sega and Sega console fans as well so there’s quite a bit of pressure.

In the story it was revealed that Neptune is turned into a motorcycle…how did this happen?

Norihisa: It happens in the opening chapter of Neptunia vs Sega Hard Girls. To explain it roughly, IF-chan travels to the past when Saturn and Neptune are at war with each other when history changes suddenly. Saturn and Neptune are just barely able to save IF and Segami but when they return to the present, IF finds that her motorcycle has been somehow possessed by Neptune. So IF sets out to find what caused history to change and how to return Neptune back to her original self.

Tell us about the dungeon exploration, it looks like you’ve added more exploration elements allowing for more options.

Norihisa: When we teamed up with Felistella previously we both had the idea of being able to do more in the dungeons besides walk and jump around so we’ve added features like ropes, crawling and climbing walls.

How’s development on Neptunia vs Sega Hard Girls coming along?

Norihisa: The scenario is mostly been solidified and we’re steadily progressing towards completion. We plan to release it after Extreme Blanc but don’t want to keep you waiting for too long!

What wishes for the series do you have that you would like to see come to fruition?

Naoko: I want to make a game with pixel graphics and a retro style soundtrack just like you see during the ending!

Minamitsu: A lot of people on the team want to do a Neptunia game with pixel graphics. Personally I’d like to see some more variety in Nep and the gang’s outfits.

Tsunako: I want to make 4 Goddesses Online. Otherwise, I’ve always wished to make a strategy game like Nobunaga’s Ambition or Civilization since I started working here and have been petitioning Idea Factory vigorously. I really want to bring back fantasy style strategy games.

Shingo: I want a 2nd season for the Neptunia anime! I’d really like to see Victory-II’s Uzume, Umio and other new characters being animated.

Norihisa: I’d like to make use of Sony’s Morpheus VR headset and try making something involving Neptune. I’m sure there’s a lot you could try with it.

Finally, any words for the fans?

Tsunako: I started on Hyperdimension Neptunia during my second year at Compile Heart and have continued working in earnest with Neptune since. Thank you to everyone for your support and next I aim to be here for the 10th anniversary.

Manamitsu: As long as the Neptunia series continues I’ll continue to work with all my ability. Thank you everyone.

Shingo: Extreme Blanc will be the first multiplayer game in the series and Neptunia vs Sega Hard Girls represents a crossover between fictional and real consoles. Both are taking a new approach to the series so we hope you are looking forward to them. Neptune will never die.

Naoko: It’s thanks to all of those who have supported us that we are here to celebrate the 5th anniversary. We hope you enjoy the two titles we recently announced plus future ones as well!

Norihisa: With each new title new connections are born, we grow and learn new things and our fans love for the characters continues to grow. Looking back I think it’s been a good 5 years. And in the future any time there’s drama in the game industry, Neptune will be there to save it.

Katie Ujihisa

About

Gaming since the 80's. Freelance Japanese to English translator, VR enthusiast and coffee bender. Love JPRGs, Nep-Neps.



  • Brimfyre

    I’ve warmed up to the series over the years, but that first game was such a steaming pile of garbage, I can’t help but feel the popularity of the series is more of a forced success than an actual one.

    Like a bad song single from a popular artist that gets played over and over again on the radio until you convince yourself you like the song, and then their next song is actually good.

    None of the games so far are great, and they still have a lot of the same problems they have always had, but they are getting better at least. Instead of making a bunch of spin-off titles however, I wish they would just work on improving the quality of the main series.

    And make Neptune stop breaking the damn forth wall so much, or at least in the third act.

  • dsadsada

    The spinoffs are made by other developers so they’re not really taking time away from the main team. Plus for people who aren’t fond of the main series or are just tired of them, the spinoffs provide a fresh experience. I’ve seen people who didn’t like the main series say they enjoyed the spinoffs, particularly Noire and NepU.

    But yeah. I feel much of the series’ success can be attributed to how much they persevered. And I for one am happy that they did since I never played the PS3 games but became a fan when I tried out the Vita entries.

  • Brimfyre

    It’s more just the over saturation, not that they are being worked on by different people. Like I said, it seems like they are forcing it too much, and it does damage to the overall brand which already has a problem finding it’s own identity.

  • dsadsada

    A Nep-Nep’s Ambition game would be pretty interesting. Conquer the industry and spread your console out across the world. Gain allegiances with various makers and franchises to increase your power to expand on the market. Manage your resources to develop console units to meet demands while retaining enough resources to develop first party titles and create deals or collaboration with third parties. Schedule releases to coincide with important dates to increase your market share, even if it may mean reduced profits. Likewise for promos, especially when a rival company plans to release something on the same day. And of course compete directly with the other consoles in the major events like E3.

  • dsadsada

    Given 10 games in 5 years, I can see what you mean with over-saturation. I don’t think identity is a problem though. It knows that its main selling point is its characters and reference jokes and its fans are generally happy as long as those are kept consistent.

    I think Mario is a fair point of comparison. The franchise has been involved in several genres from platformers, racing games, party games and whatever Sunshine is supposed to be and I don’t think it’s having an identity crisis since it knows that its selling points are its charming and familiar characters.

    Or maybe I’m misunderstanding what you mean by identity.

  • I just wish they stop using the same dungeon layout and models with just a different name lol

  • Derek

    Five years of encouraging a brony type fandom to spitebuy Neptunia games and discourage big compaanies from localizing and instead focus on the devil plattforms of mobile and pachinko. Thanks Neptunia for being part of the unholy trifecta that is moe anime, jidols and kusoge as the poison that is killing the exportation of Japanese culture.

  • Derek

    Xoesnt just damage the brand. It damages the industry as a whole

  • dsadsada

    Haven’t we already clarified that Square Enix and SEGA not localizing Dragon Quest and PSO2 respectively has in no way anything to do with Idea Factory and Compile Hearts? Seriously, in what logical way does one small and incredibly niche company have over big names like those? Your anger is misplaced and entirely illogical.

  • deadeye

    10 games in 5 years. That’s worse than CoD or Madden. But it’s fine because it’s from Japan, I guess.

    I tried the Vita version of the first game, and boy was it the most nothing JRPG I’ve played in awhile. I’m glad I only spent six bucks on it. Although the popularity of the series baffles me. Literally all the game has going for it are cute girls. And the sequels look exactly the same with just some new characters.

    It’s just unbelievably lazy to me. If they spent all that time on maybe 2 or 3 games, one of them would have probably been decent.

    But what makes me angrier are the people that eat it up and support this kind of thing. They’re just as bad or probably worse than the people that buy Madden, CoD, or AssCreed every year.

  • Mea K

    The difference is franchises like Call of Duty and Assassin’s Creed use increasingly ridiculous budgets to hide how utterly soulless they’ve become, which in turn makes them more and more soulless because they’re forced to appeal to the lowest common denominator to stand a chance at making a profit.

    On the other hand, Neptunia games are made on the cheap but as a result can afford to have a lot of heart. This is easily my preferred option.

    Also,
    >Literally all the game has going for it are cute girls.
    is not really true, but would easily be good enough for a glowing endorsement.

  • deadeye

    I’m sorry, but that made me laugh. Neptunia games have a lot of heart? Please. They may be able to make them with low budgets, but that’s only because they re-use assets. And they churn them out at such a rate, there’s no time to put any creativity or innovation at all. They’re just as soulless as AAA garbage. Only they have absolutely nothing to hide it. It’s completely shameless.

    There’s nothing these games do as far as mechanics go that hasn’t been done a hundred times before.

    The characters and story are nowhere near interesting enough to warrant slogging through the incredibly mediocre gameplay. They are little more than walking cliches, tropes, and archetypes that have been done time and time again.

    If you think cute girls is all it takes to have a good game, you’re just as bad as the people that play CoD every year. Maybe even worse, if you’re the sort of person that buys overpriced limited editions, figures, and whatnot.

  • OverlordZetta

    Do you actually believe even half of that? It sounds like you’ve just made this into a convenient scapegoat to blame the companies you want content from for not making it.

  • OverlordZetta

    They have been working on the quality of the main games. The newest one took two years, and while “ten games in five years” sounds like a lot, two of them are technically spiced up ports, one is a remake, and you have four or five developers here all in all.

    The success of the series is that CH is happy with what they get. Compare with SKEV doing much better than Neptunia VII, but apparently Marvelous’ higher ups considered it a failure or something – same with SK2.

  • OverlordZetta

    Fun read! The ideas they have for future stuff all sound really cool too. Tsunako’s got the right idea.

    One thing, though – is it me, or is the origin story they’re telling here a completely different one from the one Tsunako told in the HDN/MK2 artbook they published recently?

  • OverlordZetta

    The identity is pretty clear by this point. Not sure what you’re on about.

    If people don’t have self control to not burn themselves out, that’s not CH’s fault.

  • OverlordZetta

    No, companies like Square Enix that don’t localize games damage the industry as a whole.

    Compile Heart providing their niche their product as they improve with each release should just show that you don’t need to spend millions to make people happy.

  • Derek

    Companies depend on the goodwill of journalists to survive. If they are led to believe the Journalists hate their games they will see it as an attack on their industry as a whole and find it more convinient to support a market that doesn’t go around attacking them for every little transgression.

  • Derek

    And listen to crappy idol music where purity is more important than Talent.

  • Mea K

    Yes, they have a lot of heart. Spirit. Attitude. Soul. Whichever you prefer. You can’t measure this in production values. Keep laughing, I guess?

    I don’t want weird innovative game mechanics in my old school JRPGs. This is not a negative.

    Completely subjective paragraph that I will just politely disagree with.

    Cute girls don’t necessarily make games good, but they certainly make them better. Why do you care what people spend their money on? Figure collectors are “worse” than CoD players on your personal scale of awfulness? Interesting. o/

  • deadeye

    No, I can measure “heart” based on how fun and how interesting the mechanics are. Budget and production value doesn’t matter.

    If you don’t bother to make your game mechanics, fun, interesting, unique and engaging, give it its own unique style that sets it apart from everything else, then you clearly don’t care about your product. Thus, you will not put any “heart” in it.

    I don’t need “weird innovative game mechanics”, but I would like mechanics that are sufficiently improved from JRPGs that came out two decades ago. Or hell, I would just settle for “good”. “Old school” is a complete cop out. It doesn’t work for half assed faux-retro indie games, and it doesn’t work for weeb pandering JRPGs.

    I care what people spend money on, because it sends messages to the developers that they don’t have to make a good game to make money. Have some scantily clad cute girls, sell some figures, rake in the dough from weebs that have no self-control.

  • OverlordZetta

    First off, the games do have more to them than cute girls. If you’re choosing to ignore it (as it’s clear from this response and further ones you are), that’s your prerogative, but they even talk about it all in this very interview.

    Second, a lot of the games were collaborations with other developers. The most recent main title took two years, and of the main games, there are actually only four of those. Likewise, two of the others were ports.

    The fact is, when you actually look at it based on the developers, the individual games all have had a fair development time. You’re also ignoring the scale of these games compared to what you’re comparing them to.

    Lastly, these games aren’t actually “eaten up.” Popular within their niche, sure, but that niche is not as huge as you seem to think. Not even in Japan.

  • GonzoLewd

    Maybe you should play a Neptunia game other than 1, which is considered the worst even by fans.

  • OverlordZetta

    If you think cute girls is all it takes to warrant ten games in such time, you’re sorely mistaken. With how much stuff with cute girls there is in Japan, it wouldn’t catch on with ANY audience if it didn’t have something going for it.

    They may not be up to your standards, but to suggest that the games aren’t creative really just isn’t true. Maybe they’re not creative in the way you’d like, but they are certainly creative. Likewise, while taking one entry on its own might not impress you, comparing the series from one entry to the next shows undeniable growth, especially if one takes Fairy Fencer F into account, even if that did have a lot of outside help.

  • Kiryu

    Sega and SE have been fucking up on a regular basis they deserve every flak they get,they are no victims.

  • OverlordZetta

    Again, people actually aren’t spending a lot on Neptunia. The series isn’t as popular as you seem to think – it averages 20K – 40K release sales (usually low 30s), and doesn’t go much higher.

    Keep in mind this is a country where an expanded MH or a third version of a Yokai Watch can sell millions in days.

    They’re improving too, and they’re growing beyond Neptunia with all the games with former NIS staff too.

  • This was an extremely fun read. Especially since the Neptune series is one of my favorites. Hearing and getting to know the development teams thoughts and feelings was really nice.

    I hadn’t even realized 5 years had passed since the first game came out, but I’m sure happy it did. I’ve been supporting Neptune and the other goddesses for all these years, and will do so for as long as I live lol. I look forward to the games that will come out in the future, and as Tsunako said, I also look forward to a 10 year anniversary as well.

    P.S. I would love to see a 4 Goddesses Online game as well as a Neptunia x Date A Live crossover =^_^=

  • Thanatos2k

    There are two RPGs that I have purchased for $60 in my lifetime that I have wholeheartedly regretted. The first was Aidyn Chronicles: The First Mage. The second was Hyperdimension Neptunia.

    I don’t get it. Compile Heart has churned out nothing but pure garbage for the past 7 years and people give them a pass because scantily clad teenager girls and lolis. I am not so forgiving of garbage gameplay and LAZY asset reuse.

  • Thanatos2k

    The gameplay is pure garbage, game after game. If you want anime porn, it’s out there. And it’s cheaper than these terrible games.

  • Raziel Barkrai

    Hyperdimension Neptunia is the only game that almost made me fall asleep while playing. Battles felt way longer than they were and occasional framerate drops made them even more of a drag. The second game was ok but it wasn’t anything special. I haven’t gotten around to play the third game, but I’m assuming it must be the best in the series if the remakes have their systems based around it.

  • WB1c_Marathon

    Yeah, the PS3 games are terrible in that regard. The Vita and PC releases fix a lot of that. Same thing with Fairy Fencer F. I have both versions and the ps3 version gives me a headache. I won’t say they’re the best games but I just enjoy them for a lighthearted distraction.

  • Tsunako wants to make 4 Goddesses Online, and I should be the main character in it, of course!

  • Nonscpo

    Great read, and I agree, it’s crazy to think that this franchise is only 5 years old.

  • buddyluv324

    Hard to believe that the series survived for 5 years given how rough the earlier games were up until the 3rd installment.

  • OverlordZetta

    The PS3 version of FFF is exactly the same as the PC one, though.

  • OverlordZetta

    To be fair, Sega’s supposedly learning from Atlus at least. Can’t say SE, Konami, or even Capcom and Bamco have had that.

  • dsadsada

    Except that companies like IF/CH and companies like SEGA and SE serve VERY different audiences and anyone remotely familiar with JRPGs are already aware of that.

    Even if that fact alone isn’t taken into account and only journalistic feedback is, one needs only look at sites like metacritic to get a quick overview of what reviewers in general think about your product. Even games like HDN can average at 7/10 which is a far cry from hate.

    And more important than what a handful of reviewers say are whether the games are turning in a profit or not. In which case looking at sales numbers speaks far greater volumes.

    Again, your anger is misplaced. The only ones at fault are the companies you like for not localizing the games you want. I’ll repeat what I said in the open forum: Just say that people who like things you don’t like getting their games of choice localized makes you jealous because that’s all your problem is.

  • WB1c_Marathon

    Really? Every time I play the PS3 version after the pc it just lags and doesn’t look near as good.

  • Haze

    What an interesting fun read!

    the suggestion box sounds like such a good idea and explains a lot of the goofyness of the franchise, it’s a cool thing

    and they still have a lot of brainstormed ideas to look forward, I love Tsunako and hope her idea of a fantasy strategy game comes to life because that’s something I would love to see, and she should check out the steam workshop there has to be a civ mod with neptunia already

    besides that they are already thinking of VR integration, so yeah VR nep nep waifus incoming

    nep nep possessed bike, that’s just crazy, but I’m all in for talking vehicles

    overall it sure looks like they have fun doing their games and hope they keep it up

  • Haze

    half of those are remakes that are justified because the originals had low budgets, the studio has grown a lot with its success and they want to go back and improve old games

    other games are spinoffs that try new things for the franchise

    only a few games are true sequels

    they are milking it but not in a bad way

  • Mike Nieto

    I read part of the thing saying “Damn, this is something Katie from Twitter would like”. *checks the author*

    Hi Kat, nice to see you here.

  • SirTapTap

    Maybe actually read the article instead of whining and realize there are major turning points in the series. That seems “LAZY” no?

  • Uh, hello? He said Vita version. Since when was that the worst even by fans? IMO, Victory is the wor.. no PP is the worst.

  • GonzoLewd

    >Victory
    >Worst
    Wut?

    PP does not count since it was just a dumb spin off.

  • Thanatos2k

    Just because they say there are doesn’t mean there actually are. Every single Neptunia game has bad review scores for a reason.

  • Theob Vious Choice

    Some of the posts in this comment section are absolutely ridiculous and off-base. Specifically those from deadeye and Derek, two people who shouldn’t even be posting here because they are far removed from the intended audience and attack the franchise from an angle that is irrelevant.

    Neptunia is a niche series, the fact that it exists does not effect any other franchise outside of that niche short of crossovers. These are the kind of people who would rather be bitter than find games they actually enjoy. Do these people really think that a game in a niche demographic doing well is going to cause the primary devs like Square Enix, Bamco, Tri-Ace, Nintendo, Sony or any of the other headers to decide to push games which are similar? You are delusional, you’re only attacking these games and their fans because it’s easy for you. Just like you make baseless assumptions that harem and mo~e “weeb garbage” is killing the anime industry.

    Hold on to your pretentious butts, because this is going to be a long one followed by a TL;DR since I know you don’t want to read anything over a paragraph, and even then your reading comprehension skills and inability to see anything outside of what you already know as valid will prevent you from getting anything from it, whatever.

    I’ve been into Neptune since the first game, the “crappy one”, it was largely a mediocre dungeon crawler with challenge missions. I’ll admit, I like mo~e, however I wouldn’t mind it at all if the characters were less scantily-clad and had normal armor, I wouldn’t mind it if they removed all of the panty shots from the game and all of the service scenes. In fact, I don’t care what they do with any of that because to me, it’s general aesthetic, it doesn’t bother me and it doesn’t arouse me.

    A bit of background, I was a fan of the webseries Homestar Runner from 2001, I LOVE metahumor and subtle references. I’ve watched every cartoon, every DVD special, and every strong bad email. I know meta, meta is my thing; and the Neptunia series knows metahumor and references, and that’s a big reason why I like it so much. Sometimes, you don’t even know entirely what they’re referencing because it’s a weird obscure concept, but you get it. You GET it, other people might not, but you do, and a fair number of other people do too. The sense of humor a lot of the time isn’t just “LOOK, MARIO. LOL” but more subtle, stuff TVTropes would have a field day analyzing.

    I also like Neptune, she’s basically female Goku, perpetually idiotic, hyper and a big eater. Says things frequently that cause her friends to facepalm, but when she gets serious, she is more than capable of pulling her own weight. The environments in the levels and characters get subtly nostalgic, and admittedly a lot of the solid dialogue is lost in the NISA dub/script-rewrite. I can understand a lot more of the bashing this series gets when considering how it was handled for a long time by the localization team. However, that doesn’t justify how much hate it gets by randoms who assume it’s just a T&A fest for creepy weebs.

    Beyond that, I could understand the hate it got in 2011, because damn last generation was AWFUL for JRPGs. Tales and Final Fantasy went the themed hallway-fetch quest route, and high-quality legitimate JRPGs were very few and far between, the only ones getting any real respect were like Dark Souls which while they are DEFINITELY worthy of praise, they are more like WRPGs. Hell, when comparing mainstream, high-budget JRPGs to niche stuff like Neptune you can only go so far before you hit the “This is pointless and I’m just being a prick for the sake of it.” part. These days, there is ZERO reason to lambaste this series or the company that makes it, they fulfill their niche extremely well and do zero harm to the rest of the industry.

    We’ve got the FF7 remake, FFXIV, Star Ocean 5, throwback games like Bravely Default, Dark Souls III, Bloodborne, Ni-Oh, indie and funded games like Edge of Eternity, the Vita basically being a JRPG portable, Gust releasing Atelier Sophie and Yoru no Nai Kuni to keep a solid balance, Tales of Zestiria, Tales of Berseria, Dragon Quest Builder, Dragon Quest 11, Final Fantasy Legend, World of Final Fantasy, SaGa, and countless others including new entries to the industry. You can’t possibly say that the JRPG is suffering, and look, Bloodborne is pretty much the most popular and well-received JRPG of this generation, it shares nothing with Neptune short of the mislabeled genre tag.

    As for the anime industry, yeah, there are plenty of mo~e anime, and plenty of anime with fanservice. What is the most popular anime currently? Shingeki no Kyojin, an anime with pretty much no fanservice or mo~e connotation that actually dodges archetypes frequently and appeals more to the fujoshi/yaoi crowd due to their ravenous imaginations rather than the content/character interactions themselves.

    As for anime without fanservice/blatant mo~e or ones that do it tastefully, we’ve had plenty lately and plenty coming up. Kekkai Sensen, Dragon Ball Super, DRRR. Gangsta, Aquarion Logos, Charlotte, Gatchaman Crowds, God Eater, Rokka no Yuusha, Ushio to Tora, Parasyte, Working!!! (SOL fun minus the service), Arslan Senki, Fate/stay night, Gunslinger Stratos, GiTS revival, Owari no Seraph, Knights of Sidonia, Oregairu, and many, many more.

    If you’re creeped out by the loli stuff, then you’re probably a hypocrite. You live in a culture that glorifies and detests sexuality, and I find it hard to believe that you forgot about Toddlers in Tiaras. Americans aren’t saints, we market our horrible stuff to children and pretend we’re pure or doing the right thing. Yeah, the loli stuff is creepy; but some people simply find them cute, if actual creepers got into it, they’re distracted and thankfully less of an actual threat in that case, I’d prefer that because no one is getting hurt and the evidence suggests that it helps, rather than harms the situation. It scares you, and in a lot of cases, it creeps me out too, but as long as no one is hurting actual children, I am fine with whatever someone wants to be into on their own time.

    You just have to look a little, just because you don’t like a genre or two that have prominence in the medium doesn’t mean the medium is dead. I’m not a huge fan of what American TV has become, but I still really love shows like Fargo, Better Call Saul, Louie, Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Maron, Jim Gaffigan Show, and while I’m not a huge fan of cartoons like Adventure Time, Spongebob, Family Guy or modern Simpsons, I still enjoy Steven Universe and South Park and there are several promising pilots that look great like Lakewood Plaza Turbo.

    As far as music goes, yeah, you’ve got mediocre chumps like Lil Wayne, Bieber, and brilliant businesswomen like Taylor Swift who are simply good at writing hooks and pandering to a crowd, but you’ve got rappers like Billy Woods and Kendrick Lamar churning out great stuff, and guys like Lil B who do their own thing. As well as bands like Alter Bridge, Animals as Leaders, Foo Fighters, Opeth, Enslaved, Gorod, as well as brilliant acoustic musicians and quirky electronic musicians like Tobacco, Seven Fields of Aphelion and Dreamend which genuinely make you think.

    TL;DR:
    Just because something appears to be dead on the surface doesn’t mean it is, a lot of the time complaining about things like this doesn’t show that things like these are bad, but that you’re just too lazy and jaded to find something you actually enjoy.

    P.S.
    The main reason I posted this is because I am bored, and because you’re taking this way more seriously than it has to be, therefore a reply like this is suitable. Relax and play a game you actually like, I promise those games will still exist in the future, and if they don’t, that just means there wasn’t any audience for them.

  • There are good reviews of the Neptunia games even the first game. Metacritic doesn’t have every single review listed.

  • TannMann64

    Someone gave Megadimension Neptunia V2 a 10/10 on gamestop.

    Dude, every game in the world is bound to have bad reviews. But if it at least excites people and get’s even one good review, then it’s worth it.

    I know that the 1st game had bigger defects in it than the later games, but cut compile heart some slack! That WAS the first game of a series. But I beat the story of that game 3 times anyway.

    Don’t let the problems of the first game make you not get the later ones that are even more awesome.

    Lucky for you, you don’t have to play the first game to understand the story, because MK2 is a reboot and the rest (Victory, V2 and so on) are canon to each other. If you want to know the story, get ReBirth 1 for PSVita.

    Some of the characters actually wear shorts. IF, Peashy/P-Ko and Uzume Tennouboshi are examples.

  • Martin Kollarovic

    Yay so I wasn’t the only one who noticed HdNel and DAL are similar.
    And we also Hyper-need a Nep anime season 2

  • Martin Kollarovic

    Or a console war game. Maybe work with Creative Assembly and make Total War: Neptunia or something like that.

  • Martin Kollarovic

    Actually, Neptunia games have 4 hearts, some even up to six, or eight.

  • Martin Kollarovic

    HdNep is mre of a visual novel than an RPG, so gameplay is barely relevant. And these games are like the best combination of Ecchi and Moe genres ever