A graphical leap but a hop elsewhere.

User Rating: 9 | Megadimension Neptunia VII (Limited Edition) PS4
It's almost scary seeing how fast the Neptunia series has grown in the mere course of 6 years! Now with the series debuting on ps4, I had to wonder if Idea Factory would take advantage of the new hardware and bring the Neptunia games into modern gaming in terms of design. Well.....they definitely improved the game visually as the graphics are the full 1080p resolution and the steady 60 frames per second is quite a site to behold! But I must say that I am a little disappointed that they decided to play it safe with game design. You know how the saying goes, "If it ain't broken don't fix it." That's the story here. We're on our 4th rpg adventure in the series and it's still mainly a dungeon crawler. I for one grew to enjoy this aspect of the rpg's but as I said, still was hoping they would add more for the current gen. Story wise, we got nothing to complain about here since the game still pops up its favorite satire and barrage of jokes that poke fun at the issues of modern gaming. This was a big part of the appeal to me and it helps when the main character Neptune is self aware of herself being inspired by anime tropes. And this time around, the story changes its tune to hit darker points which is definitely welcome in a usual story arc that nearly never takes itself seriously. This story is divided into 3 segments and as I write this, I'm still in the midst of my first playthrough. To anyone familiar with jrpg's, I must warn you that Megadimension Neptunia VII isn't for the faint of heart. It pulls no punches when you're thrown into battle so be sure to level grind as much as you possibly can! The battle system is an improved version of the makeover left by the newer Rebirth versions of the first 3 rpg's. It's more about strategic placement than choices made. Cluster your allies too much and your party can be wiped out in a single mighty blow if your opponent is strong enough. And same can be said with enemies. It's an interesting take on turn based combat and to an extent, it's almost like button mashing. I took as much advantage of this as possible in the Rebirth trilogy on the Vita and saw that I could spam the same power moves over and over until the combo ended. It worked well but at times it made combat a bit too easy. IF saw this flaw and corrected it for Megadimension VII. Now you can only assign a move once in the string combo so you'll never feel overpowered. Another addition to combat is the new Giant Boss Battles which take place in the sky across floating platforms. These boss battles are really cool but the same rules apply as far as the battles really go. The story is presented by three different perspectives. Visual novel, in game cutscene and special cgi-ish cutscenes. For anyone new to the series, this presentation would feel outdated but old fans should know this style all too well. It's biggest redeeming quality is the clever writing and very likeable set of charming characters so it kinda balances itself out. If you are lucky enough to know this series well like I do, you'll notice plenty of references to old games so that's another cool thing to be on the lookout for. And you also have your fan service moments but these are few and far in between. Now you might be thinking, "Hey, some of these flaws are too big for a score that's 9/10. This must be because you're some anime dork that's just obsessed!" Well yes and no. Yes, I am a big Otaku but that's not why I'm giving Megadimension Neptunia VII a 9. It's because of what it represents, what it does successfully execute and I really do appreciate the push to try to keep it relevant. Megadimension Neptunia VII might not have the conventional means in presentation that modern jrpg's have but what it does have, it does it well. And that's bringing you that wholesome, unique experience as you dive into a world that you can't find anywhere else. On the outside, it looks like a regular anime niche but in reality; Hyperdimension Neptunia is the unification of everything we as the general audience love and have always loved about anime as a whole. A game that might not be for everyone but truly can be enjoyed by anyone if they're willing to give it a chance.