The first PlayStation 4 entry in Idea Factory's girls as game consoles role-playing game is out in North America today, and coming to Australia later this month. I'm betting it will take less than an hour of playing to decide if Megadimension Neptunia VII is for you, so here's an hour of playing. Mind the NSFW screen at the end. The Hyperdimension Neptunia series centres around the adventures of a group of anime CPUs, basically the physical embodiment of video game consoles. Each lives in their own city populated by their fanbase, whose devotion grants them the power to transform into super-powered versions of themselves.
The main protagonist of the series is generally Neptune, the embodiment of the Sega Saturn (of all things). Joined by Noire (PlayStation), Vert (Xbox) and Blanc (Wii), they go on turn-based RPG adventures packed with video game references, meta humour, fourth wall breaking and the odd risqué fan service scene.
Hyperdimension MK II for the PlayStation 3 introduced four new characters. The CPU Candidates are the handhelds to the CPUs' consoles. Nepgear represents the Game Gear, Uni represents the PSP and twin sisters Ram and Rom are the Nintendo DS.
That's all you really need to know as Megadimension Neptunia opens.
I realise a full hour of commentary-free gameplay might be too much for some, so here are some timestamped highlights.
00:00: New Game Start — The game opens with a dramatic call for help.
01:23: New Game Start Again — The game is presented as a trilogy of adventures, each with their own name. This is the first.
04:10: It's Thinking — In which a Sega Saturn discovers a Sega Dreamcast.
08:10: Swallowed — The Dreamcast creates a vortex, sucking the sisters into a strange dimension.
13:50: Fourth Wall Shattered — Neptune knows what's up.
17:00: Tutorial Battle — A massive monster appears! Also a massive pushover.
24:38: Mad Skills — Showing off a couple of the game's flashy starter abilities.
31:45: Meet Uzume Tennohboshi — She's the Dreamcast CPU, a new character.
38:23: The Big Bad Arrives — She destroys worlds.
43:33: Wicked Cool Base — All three girls agree, home base is pretty cool.
52:03: Dreamcast Transform — Uzume reveals her true power. It's adorable.
Megadimension Neptunia is a very pretty, very Japanese role-playing game with a very specific set of fans. The series definitely isn't for everyone.
Just in case you've never touched the series but are intrigued by what you've seen in the first hour, I grabbed a shot from a half hour further in that will likely make or break the deal.
NSFW FINAL WARNING
Just some personified game consoles, taking a bath. You know how it is.
Megadimension Neptunia VII will be available PlayStation 4 on February 12.