Monday, February 22, 2016

Megadimension Neptunia VII - Heart Dimension Neptunia H

Coming around full circle "Heart Dimension Neptunia H" ties in everything from Uzume's initial introduction to the goings on in regards to the failed attempt at securing Uzume's console in the second part of the unfolding tale. At the heart of this current story arch you'll find that the CPU candidates, and the four Gold third members are the main role-players in a quest that has finally pitted them against the real culprit behind the scheme at hand. After the ruling CPU's evolved into their next form during the final battle against Affimax's leader in chapter two they succumb shortly afterwards to the tricks of a doppleganger known as Kurome, and are forced against their will into the Heart Dimension. Kurome, as it turns out is the main villain of this latest Neptunia tale, and she is intent on seeing things through to the end. Until now it wasn't made clear what Kurome's agenda was, but as things come into the light through character interactions it is made known that she is intent on merging both Zero Dimension, and Hyper Dimension so that the Hyper Dimension falls in a similar manner as Uzume's world did. Along with Arfoire and Croire, Kurome continues to lead the CPU candidates on a chase in hopes that she can possess the console that she sought out from the start. The only thing standing between her and that end goal now is the CPU sister candidates, and the Gold Third who had become allies through circumstance.

Since my last review I have taken note of a few new additions to gameplay that were not readily available during said review. In "Heart Dimension Neptunia H" everything you unlocked (mechanics-wise) from 'Zero Dimension Neptunia Z' forward rolls over into this continued adventure along with the new features that become a staple of the new gameplay. As with the second chapter all previous events, and features coincide with the events of this latest telling, but in a conclusive, and expansive sort of way. New to the mix are two different mini-game dungeons including "Neplunker", and "The Colosseum". In the "Neplunker" dungeon, which was made available in chapter two you'll essentially find in place a 3-Dimensional version of the 'Spelunker HD' game. It comes complete with all of Spelunker's mechanics (lives, the need of oxygen, falls to the death ...), but is done up in a fashion that is similar to the Neptunia dungeon setup. It includes ghosts from Spelunker, and also rewards for making it to the end without losing all of your lives.

In the new feature that is the 'Colosseum' you'll find a listing of alphabetically ranked arena battles that will pit the CPU candidates, and the accompanying Gold Third against formidable monster opponents. Each battle has a recommended experience level, and will definitely test your mettle as a Neptunia player. Should you win a battle you'll be rewarded handsomely with experience points, credits (in-game currency), and special prizes. Since the launch of "Megadimension Neptunia VII" there has been some free DLC given to those who bought the game including some 'Colosseum' upgrades. These DLC upgrades will become active once downloaded just like the Japanese voice-over DLC, and the other free DLC items.

Another new feature available only in "Heart Dimension Neptunia H" includes the option to warp between dimensions. If you have any unfinished business in the Hyper Dimension, or Zero Dimension now is the time to do it. All you have to do to traverse the dimensions is to travel to the warp portals in either of the three dimensions via their accessible locations on the map. Just know that by the time that you make it to this part of the game that the "Investments" feature will no longer be available, and that anything you didn't do before in regards to it will be forfeit until you reach the 'New Game+ (If there is one?)'.

As far as other features go everything else remains fairly much the same except for the new enemy types you'll happen upon, and the several boss battles you'll encounter along the way. Be sure to be prepared in both level, and equipment as the fights ahead are no joke, and in comparison to the battles before them these are truly challenging. Grind if you need to, but know that by this point in the trilogy you shouldn't have to spend too much time farming for items to sell, or battling for experience because the 'scouts' you earned along the way will aid you in scoring credits as well as in leveling up. Also be sure to use the "Coupling' party feature wisely as the space in your party is limited, and in some chases certain characters are more beneficial to have around than others. You can't go wrong with a well equipped, and leveled up "ROM" in your main party!

Now the Verdict ...

Over these past few weeks I've grown rather fond of "Megadimension Neptunia VII". It sets a new high standard to the series, and was super fun to play through. I felt as if I got to know the entire cast of characters even more, and that their worlds were opened up much more than ever before. The game is leaps, and bounds better than any of the previous installments. It's graphically gorgeous, and action packed. The story, though all-consuming is so alluring, and attention grabbing that it's hard for anyone who is interested in our real world gaming industry to not stop, and hear how the developers interpret our current events. There's a lot of reading between the lines to do, as well as plenty of Neptunia fantasy to get lost in. I truly loved every moment I spent with this game, and am glad for seeing it through to the end. I hope that you too will give it a chance. Just know that the game rehashes events from the previous games earlier on to keep you in the know. As such it's definitely a good entry point for anyone looking to see what the world of Neptunia is all about! Do not miss out!

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