Neptunia ReVerse is a PlayStation 5 remake of the original PS3 Hyperdimension Neptunia game to coincide with the series 10th anniversary. Nep has been good to us over the years, so does she get the pudding she deserves for this milestone release? Let’s find out
The four Goddesses of Gamindustri vie for domination of the planet, locked in a never ending console war, until an unknown foe known as Arfoire intervenes and Neptune is cast down by the other 3 working together. Stripped of her power and memories, Now Neptune must fight to restore her place amongst the goddesses, but could this Arfoire have an ulterior motive and threaten the very world the Goddesses have sworn to protect?
Always enjoyed the Neptunia series myself, it’s play on the console wars is amusing and there’s plenty of nods to various aspects and events in the industry (even though now some may seem outdated given the age of the original) and of course Nep is (self-proclaimed) gaming’s greatest protagonist – all that 4th wall breaking goodness is still unmatched. The story is taken from the expanded ReBirth release, so there are some additions to the story and reworked events over the PS3 original, but that’s about it as not much else was added for ReVerse outside of a mini-game. It’s a decent distraction for getting gear & items, but nothing more.
Having seen reviews etc that mention little more than ReBirth running at 4K, I was a little surprised when loading the game up. There’s obviously more work gone into it than just porting a Vita game, but then its also not a Demon Souls level remaster either to be fair. Jumping into the first dungeon shows improvements off the bat. Extra foliage lines the pathways, a low mist glides across the screen and there’s just a bit more detail to everything. A nice touch is the reflective bodies of water littered around, not raytraced but not SSR either, as they seem high quality and reflect pretty much everything – this also applies to enemies like the doogoo as they can be reflective too. All this runs at a snappy 60fps backed up with full 4K resolution to make the most of the improvements.
It’s not all good though as you can still find the odd weak texture, plus there hasn’t been much improvement to the in-game character models outside of a retexture, and the dialogue sections seem to be using sprites that are upscaled & filtered as opposed to redrawn. The audio adds to this too, and while not as compressed as on Vita, doesn’t seem to have a quality boost over even the PS3 original. ReVerse doesn’t really make much use of the PS5 unique features really, outside of a fishing mini-game, with the near instant loading times and performance being the only giveaway that you are actually playing a PS5 game.
ReVerse plays exactly like ReBirth, which means plenty of visual novel style dialogue and dungeon crawling. The dungeons themselves vary and can have some extensive pathways for you to explore, you are able to jump etc to reach other areas, and there’s always a lot of enemies to face for grinding those levels to get past the usual difficulty spikes. Luckily the turns based combat of the series is still great. One of the best aspects of how Neptunia handles its combat for me is that you can easily dish out the damage with good positioning. As you can somewhat move around the area, the AOE of your weapon is displayed and you can line it up to encompass multiple foes. This also applies to spells and abilities, both attack & support, and really comes in helpful during the early game and the grind for dispatching groups of enemies as quickly as possible. If all else fails you can always transform into HDD mode as a goddess
Most of the game is like this as it draws most of how things play out from ReBirth. There are some additions, such as characters from other games in the series joining in, with the most highlighted being the fishing mini-game. Yes, Fishing. I suppose the good thing to that is that you can actually score some rare gear, or items to use with item creation, if you put enough time into it. It’s also the only area of the game that actually makes use of the adaptive triggers & haptic feedback of the Dualsense, everywhere else its just like a regular controller.
To be honest Neptunia ReVerse ended up being exactly as I expected, with only some aspects of the graphics surprising me. Touted as a 10th anniversary remake for the PS3 original, it basically amounts to a graphically upgraded remaster of the reworked ReBirth release. Granted, ReBirth already fixed a lot of the issues with the original game, but there was still more that could have been added outside of a fishing mini-game. It’s no doubt great for newcomers or those away for a while, and is the best way to enjoy come classic Nep for veterans, just make sure those expectations are kept in check.
Best way to play the first entry in the series, but could’ve been so much more for a 10th anniversary release.