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Hyperdimension Neptunia: Producing Perfection (Vita) artwork

Hyperdimension Neptunia: Producing Perfection (Vita) review


"If you’re interested in idol management sims or you are a fan of the Hyperdimension Neptunia franchise in general, Producing Perfection is a solid diversion."



Since 2011, the Hyperdimension Neptunia series has been the poster child for mediocre but entertaining JRPGs. The titles parody the games industry while shoving moe-fueled anime tropes down players' throats to create a franchise that has somehow spawned three console installments, handheld remakes and even an anime. Now the franchise has set its sights on a genre that has only rarely been seen outside of Japan: the idol sim.

Hyperdimension Neptunia: Producing Perfection starts off with the CPUs (goddesses who represent the four big players in the game industry) suffering a loss of shares, known here as "faith." It turns out people have abandoned the goddesses in favor of idols. The concerned deities - Neptune, Noire, Vert and Blanc - hatch a plan to summon a producer from another world to help them become idols.

Hyperdimension Neptunia: Producing Perfection (Vita) image


The game begins with the player taking on the role of an otaku summoned from the human world to the realm of Gamindustri to help the goddesses achieve their goal. His only experience in being a producer comes from playing idol management sim games, but the goddesses don’t need to know that. He convinces them he’s a grade-A producer and the fun begins.

As this is an idol management sim, the main single-player component finds players managing the career of one of the four main characters from the prime franchise. Each day, the player can choose to host events to build a larger fan base, train to increase stats or relax to reduce stress. Over the course of 180 in-game days, the player has to manage their goddesses’ time wisely to ensure that she hits the tops of the charts.

When players aren’t honing the skills of a goddess, they can get closer to said goddess in sections that are more reminiscent of traditional visual novels. Building up affection is key, since it helps the goddess perform better during concerts. It also unlocks unique events where the player gets to live the dream of having a semi-romantic relationship with one of the four goddesses.

Hyperdimension Neptunia: Producing Perfection (Vita) image


As a visual novel, Producing Perfection shines because its script is hilarious. If you’ve played any of the previous Hyperdimension Neptunia titles, you know the games in the series often throw gag after gag at the player. This time around, the characters still lampoon the game industry and video game tropes while also targeting the idol industry.

Unfortunately, this is where the game might lose some players. The idol industry is a phenomenon that is typically only seen in Asian countries. While Western countries have pop idols, the idol industry of Japan is wholly unique to the region. If players aren’t familiar with how this unique industry works, a lot of the jokes may fly over their heads. Fortunately, the writing combines with a stellar dub to help bring out the humor in most events, regardless of how familiar a player is with how the idol industry functions.

Besides career management and visual novel elements, the game also lets players put on concerts every other week. Concerts are important for an idol goddess, but they are incredibly dull. There are only five songs to choose from, and players will be going through those same five selections multiple times as they progress through the game.

During the concert, there’s not much to do. Players can only change the camera angle and direct stage effects. Both elements are required in order to put on a show that whips the crowd into a frenzied state for more points, but the rewards don't prevent the available actions from growing boring after a while. I even found myself listening to my own music while playing the game because I got tired of hearing the same songs repeatedly.

Hyperdimension Neptunia: Producing Perfection (Vita) image


For the sake of argument, though, let’s say you like putting on those concerts. In that case, the game has you covered with its additional “Unlimited Concert” mode. The mode allows players to put on concerts with up to three of the goddesses while playing around with all the different stage effects and camera angles. It still doesn’t change the fact that there are only five songs in total, so it gets old fast.

Finally, the game lets players “carefully examine [their] idols” in the Viewer mode. The Vita is turned sideways and players can ogle a 3D model of the characters from the game. Since the game panders to otaku, there is a rather unsavory touch element to the game that allows players to touch the goddesses and watch them embarrassingly react to said touches. Both “Unlimited Concert” and “Viewer” modes are completely optional, though, and have nothing to do with the main game. The main “Producer Mode” is still a great game that provides plenty of replay value as players work to obtain all the endings with all four goddesses. Thanks to a New Game+ mode, players can even carry over the goddesses’ stats from the last play through to hurry along on the next one.

Hyperdimension Neptunia: Producing Perfection isn’t a complex game, and is rather easy overall. Those looking to experience something on the level of The Idolmaster aren’t going to find it here. Still, it’s a joy to experience thanks to an excellent script that is brought to life by a wonderful English language dub and sharp satire. If you’re interested in idol management sims or you are a fan of the Hyperdimension Neptunia franchise in general, Producing Perfection is a solid diversion.

Rating: 8/10

Phazonmasher's avatar
Freelance review by Zachary Walton (June 02, 2014)

Zach Walton likes JRPGs, visual novels, horror games and anything that gives him an excuse to drink.

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