Set three years after the events of the first Hyperdimension Neptunia, the land of “Gameindustri” is in peril again! A new religious sect is taking over the minds and hearts of the people in the land (which pokes fun of video games), and they have evil intentions. What’s worse, the main Goddess heroines in the first game have been captured, so it’s up to the younger sisters of the heroes to step up to the task with a little help from characters old and new. Can their younger counterparts master the Goddess’ transformation skills and save the world once more?
Hyperdimension Neptunia MK2 is a sequel to last year’s anime-inspired turn-based RPG. A good majority of this year’s new installment is more of the same. So if you enjoyed the first game and want more, then you’ll love MK2. In fact, it’s recommended that you play the first one before the sequel; otherwise you might not be as familiar with the characters and settings. The game still pokes fun at video games and the industry, but not as much as in the first game. But a lot of the enemy characters do look like bad guys from other games, such as blue slimes, ghost monsters, and pixelated invaders…possibly from space.
Just as before, you buy items in shops, use materials to make new items, accept quests, and plot your next destination via menu screens. Although in the sequel, these menus feel a bit more interactive as there is a small world map with locations and dungeons you can jump right into. Plus, in towns you can view messages from people’s cell phones called ‘chirps’ (like tweets), and sometimes these conversations can trigger events and skits. These events may even strengthen friendships with the characters, which can help you make more items and fight better in battles.
Speaking of battles, when you’re ready to venture into the 3-D dungeons, that is where you’ll fight enemies to gain experience, levels, and move the story along. Battles in MK2 have changed the most from the first game. And it’s all for the better. Now your characters can move in a set area, and their weapons and spells have range. You must position your party members so you can attack the enemies more effectively. You also have more control over using spells and skills. Instead of just telling them beforehand the percentage of times to use a skill, you can use them any time you want here. So that takes care of one of the main problems I had with the first game. Also, editing combo attacks is more streamlined in MK2 as well. Otherwise, battles play just as they did in the first title.
MK2 isn’t without a few problems here and there, though. Some of the instructions, tutorials, and goals aren’t as clear as they could be. And a lot of the game is just more of the same, but you’ll still need to play the first one in order to know what’s going on. Plus, the difficulty spikes up pretty high soon into the second chapter, so you’ll have to level grind a bit to keep up. Even so, if you want a cute anime-inspired RPG for the PS3 and loved the first game, MK2 will be right up your alley.
Hyperdimension Neptunia MK2 is rated M for Mature with ESRB descriptors of Fantasy Violence, Language, and Sexual Themes. While you do fight monsters and people with weapons and swords, there is no blood and enemies just fall over and disappear when defeated. Characters do curse a bit in the text and with spoken voice, both in the story and in battles. The sexual themes come from not only the characters’ scantily clad outfits, but also their actions and affections toward one another in the story (which some parents might not be comfortable with).
However, it’s not all as bad as it sounds. Just like a lot of anime cartoons and comic books, most of these mature topics are presented in a campy sort of way. In fact, with how the game is set up in chapters, it’s like watching an interactive OVA anime series. I MIGHT be OK with an older, more mature teen who is accustomed to anime staples playing this game. But your mileage may vary. Really the best reason why MK2 is best for older gamers is the steep difficulty and high level of reading required.