Mostly ADVs and Compile Heart RPGs.
There was a fiasco at Nippon-Ichi Software (NIS) a while back, where the Disgaea 4 director left the company for Compile Heart. He was also the director for The Guided Fate Paradox and Zettai Hero Project, the latter of which being one of my favorite NIS games. At Compile Heart he and his team developed Makaishin Trillion under the Makai Ichiban-kan label, which feels like a NIS title through and through.
The second game in Compile Heart’s Genkai Tokki series, following the card-battle game Monster Monpiece. This series has a particular focus on monster girls, with its defining aspect being the Mune Kyun Scratch mini-game where you hold the Vita sideways and touch or rub the screen to find the girls’ weak points. While the first game was a collectible card-battle game, Moero Chronicle shifts to the Dungeon RPG genre and boasts 50 playable characters.
I typed a longer review somewhere else and voiced my rants a post back, so let’s just keep this short. This is my first platinum because I’m not a completionist nor am I a trophy hunter (the first Neptunia would’ve been my first platinum instead if my beastiary wasn’t stuck at 98% due to some early missable one-time-only story dungeon enemies), and that says quite a lot. Alright, so the last 10-15 hours of my 75 hours spent on the game was endlessly grinding on easy coliseum enemies to get the Lily rank and level 99 trophies with a moege put on auto so that I don’t get bored to tears from the repetitiveness, but I made it through due to the power of the imoutos in maid outfits. I wouldn’t go through such a mindless grind again, especially with a huge backlog begging to be played, but I guess I now understand the feeling of getting a platinum. It tingles.
- Neptune is back as the (superior) protagonist
- You get all CPUs with good battle capabilities right off the bat (no untransformable makers who hold the party back)
- HDD mode fixed so it’s no longer infinitely spammable like the first game, nor useless like mk2
- Blanc is buffed up and more useful
- One playthrough is ~40 hours, compared to mk2’s ~17 hour length
- Higher difficulty spikes between bosses
- Good custom accessory system
- No preachy “piracy is bad” story
- Cutscenes use 2D portraits instead of mk2’s lame 3D models
- Scout system is a pain
- Quests are your usual tedious MMO-style fetch/hunting quests
- Bad drop rates (not as much of a problem later on with drop rate increasing chips)
- Grindy. Very much so if you preferred mk2’s lack of difficulty
- All makers are DLC
- Makers aside from IF and Compa have no role in the main story, and even those two are much less relevant than previous games
- Less amount of side scenes/events
- Platinum requires everyone to be at Lily rank 8 with everyone else. No Lily rank raising scenes, so all you can do is keep battling
I would say this is my favorite entry in the series so far, despite my complaints. The focus on the interactions between the main goddesses are what I’ve always wanted, and Compile Heart finally delivered. There’s also more yuri fanservice and game references, and the story follows the 1980’s-90’s game industry. The lack of makers is disappointing, because I liked them as much as the goddesses (I want my Nippon Ichi and Gust back!!). I’ll probably buy some of the maker DLC when they come out because I’m a sucker. The battle system builds upon mk2’s.
They introduce other annoying elements to counter their improvements. Yes, I’m talking about Hyperdimension Neptunia Victory’s scout system and item drop rates.
This game was a pleasant surprise. I’ve been with the Neptunia series since the first game, so the much higher difficulty in V caught me off guard several times. Each boss fight so far (I’m up to Chapter 3) pretty much ended up eating all my resources on hand and were won with a dead party member and the remaining at critical HP. Bosses also have tremendous HP and regen, so staying alive and remaining offensive is the only way to do things. I got my ass handed to during a particular fight after getting Blanc because It’s very easy to be underleveled for the next dungeon/boss since the dungeons are still small. Anyone expecting to breeze through things like in MK2 will get a nice wake-up call rather early on. Unfortunately this means “go grind.” Not that I mind since I like grinding here.
CPU mode is a nice balance between the first and second game. It eats up a set percentage of SP when you activate it and gives you a huge boost, but no longer drains SP per turn. Thus, it’s extremely useful for boss fights and strong enemies, but not broken so that you can spam it every turn. Combo system is similar to MK2’s.
Dialogue is as hilarious as ever, and they’ve ramped up the 4th wall-breaking, references, and innuendo. Plus Neptune is back as the superior main character, and Noire joins your party early and gets much time in the spotlight. Iris Heart is wonderful. Do-S characters bring out the best in everyone. All my party members have been CPUs thus far, so I’m excited to see the mascot characters. Especially Falcom-chan.
My major complaint so far is that monster drop rates suck. They are terrible. Even the risky enemies that only appear once or twice per dungeon have that shitty drop rate. Thus, fetch quests are frustrating as fuck.
I wasn’t going to buy any games before Tales of Graces because I known I’ll be hooked on that and any game I buy before then will just get chucked to the backlog, yet here I am, with a game for the same console as Graces, bought a week before it releases. I enjoyed Neptunia for them cute girls and game references despite its glaring gameplay flaws, but its sequel certainly wasn’t on my buy-within-first-week-of-release list. I was supposed to be attempting to clear some of my backlog before Graces, but those cute girls were just sitting on the shelf at GameStop, tempting me with their big eyes! And so I laid down the $50 bucks for the moe (there are plenty of humans who claim that moe character designs have no influence on their game-buying decisions because they’re not into little girls, but I am not one of them).
I’m 10 hours in, at Chapter 3, and my god this is such an improvement over the first Neptunia that I actually love getting into battles and fighting bosses! Importers weren’t kidding when they said MK2 was heaps better than the first game, in multiple departments.
Developer: Compile Heart
Localizer: NIS America
Year: 2011 (NA), 2010 (JP)
Being someone who frequents internet forums and such, I knew of the problems surrounding this game from all the bashing and passed on HDN when I saw it in stores. My friend got me this game for Christmas, and I decided to try it out, seeing that I had free time and the girls were hot.
I don’t regret spending time with Neptunia at all. It’s not a great game or anything, the gameplay is pretty mediocre and flawed to be honest, but Neptunia turned out very enjoyable in comparison to what gaming forums wanted me to believe. Maybe it’s because I’ve actually played a shitty RPG called Lunar Dragon Song and Neptunia is heaps better than that thing.