Siliconera’s Hyperdimension Neptunia Fan-Powered Q&A – Part 2

By Ishaan . January 20, 2011 . 1:30pm

In case you missed Part 1 of our fan-powered Hyperdimension Neptunia Q&A, you can catch up with it here. In Part 2, we cover the localization process, pre-order bonuses, and cultural differences between games like Neptunia and more mainstream titles. A big thanks to NIS America script editor, Nick Doerr, for taking the time to answer!


Neptunia is being published relatively quickly, compared to Atelier Rorona, which took much longer. Could you give us some insight as to why there was such a large difference between the time it took to localize both games? How many working hours does it take to localize a game like Neptunia?


There are good reasons for this discrepancy. When we work together with any developer, their schedule for programming availability needs to be taken into account as well. With Rorona, Gust was really busy overhauling their engine for Atelier Totori in Japan. With Hyperdimension Neptunia, Idea Factory happened to have an opening as soon as we were done with the edit on our end. That’s the gist of it.


Working hours to localize…? Good question, since there’s a lot of waiting between steps. I think 6 months is a decent estimate for most titles, from start to finish.


Do the original publishers ever go back and forth with you while you’re trying to settle on character personalities and wording during localization?


Yes, we have almost daily communication with the Japanese developers to go over anything and everything we can think of. For Neptunia, we had to ask for a list of references they used which we couldn’t quite pick up on because of the unique twisting of kanji. So no worries; they are all intact and I challenge everyone to find them all!


Could you tell us about the different versions available at different stores? Will the pre-order bonus be a NIS Shop exclusive or will it be available at Gamestop like Atelier Rorona, where Gamestop had the box with the art book and game, and the NIS Shop had the same but with an added soundtrack? There are also a lot of people that do their video game shopping on Amazon…


Oh-ho, ho, ho, ho! No matter where you get it, the initial shipment of Hyperdimension Neptunia will be the premium edition with the art book for the US. Therefore, it’s very limited, so if you want it, you better pre-order it from wherever you prefer shopping! BUT! Keep in mind we have a special bonus only available to those who order from the NISA Online Store.


That bonus is… a Hyperdimension Neptunia set of playing cards! Imagine whipping out this deck at your next Texas Hold ‘Em. Each suit of card has been customized to match each of the four CPUs! The face cards are replaced with the beautiful goddesses themselves. I say this not as an employee but as a NISA fan, they are really cool and an amazing bonus.


[Editor’s note: Neptunia pre-orders are now up at the NIS Shop. The store now offers free shipping within the U.S.]


Will the pre-order bonuses be exclusive to the U.S.? What about territories like Europe or Singapore?


They will be exclusive to the US, much to our chagrin.


Is the European version of the game going to be a joint NIS Europe and Koei release, or did NISE simply give Koei the full rights to publish the game by themselves?


Koei is one of our distributors in PAL territories, but the game itself was handled by us. I’m not quite sure I get the question, but they’re distributing our game in the UK. They didn’t do anything to the game itself.


Are there any plans to bring over all the DLC that has been and is still being released for this Neptunia? (Characters, items, costumes, etc.)


You bet. Stay tuned as I’m sure that’ll be revealed in due time.


Is it possible to have 3-player co-op battles instead of having to pass the controller around? If not, do you think it could be patched in via a downloadable update?


I can understand the appeal for this, but I don’t think that’s a feasible idea at this time. If something like that were implemented, it’d probably be an update, yeah.


Will Neptunia include a mandatory or optional HDD install to help with loading times?


Nah, no install necessary. The game comes pre-patched with the last few Japanese updates which allow for animations to be skipped, reduce loading times, and 5pb’s Hi-Five Radio, mentioned previously.


I enjoy Idea Factory/Compile Heart games, and I’ve been looking forward to Neptunia, but I’m curious as to the level of male fanservice. I mean, you’re basically playing as magical girls wearing no clothes and it seems like much of the point is to sexualize consoles. I suppose my real question here is: Do they actually have any personality? What are their conflicts? I know they’re trying to save their world from R4/piracy, but I want to know more about the characters themselves and their motivations. Is it like Agarest where the actual amount of fanservice is much smaller in the final game?


They’re all wearing clothes! But I know what you mean; skintight suits leave little to the imagination and I never understood why Neptune didn’t agree with the idea of pants. That said, they do have personality! Lots of it! See the answer to the first question. Their main conflict has to do with their ongoing war with one another. There is intense hatred between some of the goddesses and throughout the game this hatred needs to be assuaged.


They also have a grudge against Neptune, because they all believe she was the strongest goddess of all before they teamed up and took her down. They mainly just want to be left alone to govern their landmasses in peace, but they believe one another are plotting to take over all of Gamindustri. It’s all very political, if you think about it! I hope that answers your question… they have personality and there is a central conflict driving their actions. The fanservice is primarily through industry jokes and game references.


I think back to the recent review of Atelier Rorona on IGN that ripped it for having JRPG tropes that fans either don’t mind or even see as plusses. When the title of a review accuses the game of having child molestation jokes, you know you’re not getting a fair shake. Now, we all know that Neptunia has off-color humor, anime girls, etc. I guess that nobody can really control who their game gets given to for review, so how do you react when major review sites give your games to reviewers who don’t "get" your games?


Everyone has and is entitled to their opinion. Reviews are opinions meant to explain to the masses what the game is like and how they felt about it. Therapeutic, really. It doesn’t mean the review will properly cover every aspect of the game, and of course personal emotions or prejudices may weigh into how a game is perceived. I would advise everyone to always leave the final judgment for themselves. You are the only one who knows what you like the best, after all!


Do you feel like you heavily rely on good scores from these big sites like IGN and Gamespot to drive sales of your games or do you feel you can rely to some extent on existing NISA fans, grass-roots coverage on sites like Siliconera, word of mouth, etc.? I’m not baiting for criticisms of any particular bad reviews/reviewers/sites or anything, but if NISA has a take on any of this that won’t get them in hot water with anyone I’d be interested to hear.


I think the games speak for themselves and reviews are a medium to make a game’s voice heard. But just like the Telephone game, sometimes the words can get jumbled or change context entirely. Coverage of our titles is always flattering and word-of-mouth is very powerful — just look at what happened with Carpe Fulgur and Recettear based primarily on word-of-mouth and some grassroot coverage. All companies live and die by their fans, and we appreciate every one of them, be they customer or website.


Happy New Year from the Siliconera community!


Happy New Year from the NISA family!

Read more stories about & & & & on Siliconera.

  • Got my pre order from the NISA store. Cards look nice. Shipping to Canada wasn’t too bad. Only $9. It can’t release soon enough :)

    • The funny thing is, that’s how much shipping I USED to have to pay, and I don’t live too far away from the location either!

  • On the review questions:

    Games NISA bring over tend to be very, very niche. 90% of the time they’re not going to be enjoyed by “mainstream” reviewers. They’re definitely not “bad” games, but they’re enjoyment relies solely on aspects you’re not going to see positively reviewed on a “mainstream” site like IGN.

    • Disgaea seems to always be positively reviewed.

      • shy_mel

        IGN gave Disgaea 3 a 6.7 out of 10, which to most isn’t positive, but opinions are opinions.

        • Reviews these days are stupid, most of them (not all, but most), all they try to do is be funny, so they can get more people to read, that is why i now dislike most of the review sites, all i belive are in videos and in what i see

          • Darkrise

            X Play today. They really suck now. Especially ever since Blair Hurter or w/e his name is, came into the show. IGN particularily does bad reviews for just about anything other than stuff that isn’t mainstream and fps.

          • X-Play is awesome, fast quick video reviews that tell the most important things and and an easy to grasp scoring system. Ive never seen anything they say not have any truth in the game when I buy it.

          • X Play, to me, are everything that’s wrong with videogame reviews, all wrapped up into one incredibly annoying show.

          • Yui

            I feel like I should recommend RPGFan for good reviews that actually tell you what you want to know. It’s a shameless plug for them, but I love ’em. =D

          • Yeah, RPGfan is one of the not so many sites i frequent, there are some reviews that i didn’t like though, but most of them, they try to put their personal feelings aside, and look at it with a more global point of view

          • epy

            Agreed. RPGfan makes great reviews, some I don’t agree with but I trust them way more than say, IGN.

          • Some of their reviews just well dont tell what is important for me and are so few.

          • I tend to not like their reviews either. Plus, whenever they do their yearly top 10 lists, most of their lists are Western RPG’s, which, to me, indicates that we don’t share the same tastes.

        • Exkaiser

          That ought to be a good score, but the way review numbers are skewed is outright stupid. A 5 means “awful” instead of “average,” typically.

          • M’iau M’iaut

            It’s kind of funny/interesting to see how game reviews are allowed to keep to a 7 to 10 range (i.e 3 and 4 stars) while such is not the case with movies or books. All such does is show that game media needs major overhaul.

            A 2 or 2.5 movie is not always a disaster, it may in fact be a targeted audience product who would score it a full point higher. That is lost on a games media that once did allow 55-70 as a ‘for genre fans’ score point. Of course its a result of an industry that still pays for reviews in one way or another and does not have the integrity to change.

            If we wish to be taken seriously, things need to change.

    • silver_baron

      It’s far from impossible for mainstream review sites to match games with reviewers who have at least a basic level of knowledge of the conventions, common thematic tropes, etc. of the genre the game is from, no matter how niche. It’s their constant refusal to do so that’s annoying and backwards.

      Ideally, reviewers should actually like the genre of the game they’re reviewing, as the review’s praise and criticisms will be much more relevant to the people most disposed to liking and purchasing that genre’s games in the first place. Rather, many reviews are based on the premise of “will you like this if you are Joe Gamer who normally only touches AAA dudebro titles” with zero consideration for who is actually reading reviews.

      I chalk it up to apathy, as a review for a game that is very niche and will likely only sell 10k copies is going to attract fewer readers (and therefore less ad revenue) than a popular game that is likely to sell 1m copies and will attract a high amount of site traffic. Smaller, more specialized review sites are so incredibly important for this reason because reviewers are more likely to be enthusiasts of whatever they’re playing and aren’t as corporate in nature.

  • I’m absolutely not man enough for this game, and I can accept that.

    • Ren

      Then become a woman.

      • Be woman enough to play a game……I don’t know how that works. lol

        • Ren

          Hey, if people can be man enough to do something, wouldn’t that mean people can also be woman enough to do other things? If you’re not man enough to do something then become a woman and do it. If gaying yourself doesn’t work on you and a sex change is too risk, remember, there’s always drag. If Bridget can do it you also can, just do not show people the result’s, unless you are very androgynous or asian or both. And I completely lost where I was going with this, like usual…

          • The logic makes my head spin. D:

          • I object to the “or Asian” part. They have to be very androgynous as well or else… *flashback* GAH! My eyes! *flashback ends* … Do you get it?

          • Hey, maybe Ren likes non-androgynous dudes in drag as long as they’re Asian. Everyone’s got their own special kinks~

          • Wow Ren is into that stuff?

          • Ren

            I said that because I think it’s easier to find asian androgynous people compared to other races, both because of more media coverage and the fact that even in real life the asians I know are more androgynous than the non-asians(even if most of them aren’t really). Besides, asian traps are cuter(cue to link, and don’t kill me for it), not that I’m really in that kind of thing. I like my men manly and my women womenly, not the other way around. And I’m not bi, just weird and indifferent.


          • lol. Bridget. You are hilarious.

    • Hold on, let me get some scissors and help you.

  • Ladius

    People at NiSA are so sweet :D Gonna day-one this game.

    Also, I feel what Siliconera probably meant to convey by mentioning the IGN Rorona review – that was probably one of the most biased, scornful, uninformed pieces I have had the displeasure of reading on any gaming site, mainly because it demolished not the game itself, but the niche to which it catered.

    No one would make an FPS-hater review a CoDHaloKillzoneetc entry accepting unpolite comments and bias directed more or less openly at the genre’s userbase, but sadly it seems that it is fine to do that with less popular genres.

    • Thank you =) Our fans are sweet too, so I guess it’s a mutual sweetness.

      • Kai2591

        Hey Nick~

        Got questions: Is the artbook in Japanese? I’m assuming that it is…. I’ve never bought an artbook before so i don’t know

        And what is ‘5pb’s Hi-Five Radio’? Is it a LIVE in-game online radio program.etc?

        • Ereek

          As someone who has bought all other NISA special edition artbooks in the past they’ve sold on their store, I’m going to go with “no.” It’s likely not in Japanese as the rest they’ve released with their Rosenqueen/NISA Store SEs have been in English.

          • Kai2591

            S-seriously?! They’re in ENGLISH!? And they’ve always been in English?! Oh my god what have I been missing…..

            Thanks Ereek!

        • As Ereek said, they’re always in English (though some of the rough sketches have some Japanese on them; artist’s notes or something).

          And 5pb’s radio is just an in-game radio show where the character reads off letters she gets from fans (usually at the completion of a quest). It’s nothing live, I’m afraid!

          • Kai2591

            Ah, I see..that’s good to know! And the radio sounds fun.

            Thanks Nick. Now I don’t have to hesitate buying anymore~
            Also, thanks for bringing all the DLCs. I love DLCs!

    • HarryHodd

      Totally agreed. I was furious with that awful review. It was very amateur and biased. Made fun of and put down fans of these types of games and misrepresented the game completely.

    • Kai2591

      Heh. This is why I don’t visit Gamespot or IGN anymore (or any other sites for that matter).

      I only read Siliconera’s nowadays..Thank God Siliconera and NISA exists~

  • “They will be exclusive to the US, much to our chagrin.”

    So no Canadian Gamestops will have this?…

    Nice job though, can’t wait till AT3!

  • I have a question nick! does the NISA shop give tracking number with the new free shipping system? That is all!

    WildArms, out!

    • Ive never seen USPS packages not have tracking numbers

      • I don’t see the answer to my question in what you said, consider that not everyone has seen what you have seen and not everyone has seen what i’ve seen, so i can’t just know what you talking about if you put it that way.

        For example, since i never have brought in NISA store, i barely know if they work with USPS or with it and other companies or w/e. And, ive brought some stuff in Amazon and people send it with USPS, and never give me the tracking number.

        • Oh if you go on the NISA store and select the free shipping it says its through USPS. You must buy from shady people if they cant give you a tracking number (its only like 50 cents or so at the post office anyway, lol). Last time I ordered from them I got the tracking number, you could always email them as they do get back to you same day.

    • PersonaBull

      I’m assuming they’ll send the tracking number with the e-mail letting you know the product shipped. This is my first time buying directly from NISA, myself, so I can’t give any definitive answer, but as the free shipping is with USPS, a tracking number should be included.

      • Thanks!, i guess i might try NISA store this time

    • We do. There’s delivery confirmation for everything we ship, but based on your branches they may or may not scan it every single step of the way. Hope that helps!

      • Cool, as long as it says when it is delivered im ok with it :D

      • NeoTechni

        I ordered at it said I’m getting the playing cards. Is that true or just a generic message for all orders even if they dont get it?

        I hope it doesnt take too long, I hate buying games online but since Canada is getting screwed on the collectors stuff I had little choice…

    • Code

      Wildarms, I think free-shipping is only for within the US opo; So might not help us so much, rar, although if your buying for someone in the US it is helpful >w<'

      • Haha, but i’ve been using lately a pretty good company, i brought 3 games already with them, they give you a US adress where you send the stuff, and they bring it here (they constantly e-mailing me updates), of course, i have to pay the delivery from US to my country, but its pretty cheap because i can pay with my currency, as for buying the game, i can buy it online with my credit card and send it directly there, only problem is that it takes like 2 weeks to reach my house, but is always a requirement for the buyer to give a tracking number, so that is why im so concerned with it.

        So no paying for shipping helps a lot >8D

        • Code

          Ohh nice deal — hell I buy most anything online and it takes 2 weeks plus to get to my house. I wonder if I can find a similar service for in Canada >w<' the money I'd save just through being able to buy from alone would be worth it xpx;

  • PersonaBull

    You guys~ Talk about a direct hit with the playing cards. I’m a complete sucker for themed playing cards, and add that to free USPS shipping?! I pre-ordered this game immediately. <3 I was originally going to wait for a price drop, but you definitely marketed yourselves impressively to me~

    Here's hoping you don't hit my wallet too hard with the mounds of extra DLC content out in Japan. <3

    • Edit: Sorry, read the message wrongly. Gomen ;____;

  • What game had child molestation jokes?

    • Darkrise

      Atelier Rorona. Although there weren’t really any children, IGN decided to go all out and deem Rorona to be a child and such.

      • Wow I must have missed it in the review. I think for that game I just looked at their overall concluding things and decided against the game since the scores were low. For games Im not “zohmg day 1 baby’ about the review scores from IGN/Gamespot/Gametrailers really matter to me(especially since on day 1, there are no player reviews).

        • Darkrise

          Well I don’t really trust IGN anymore when it comes to rating jrpg games, they seem to always hire someone who doesn’t like rpgs or jrpgs for that matter, to do a review which always turns into a disaster . It’s best to just look up the gameplay and anything about the game on youtube or anywhere and just judge the content for yourself whether you would like it or not. But that’s just me.

          • Zero_Destiny

            Agreed, I remember the review for Arc Rise Fantasia on IGN. The reviewer said out loud in the first paragraph or so that he has never once played an RPG and didn’t know why people liked them. At least he didn’t hate on it too much, was gave a pretty fair review but I sat there in awe wondering why? Why pick someone like this to review this kind of game.

        • HarryHodd

          The game is charming, addictive and in depth. That is all you need to know. One of my favorite games last year. It’s also one of the few ‘happy rpgs’ this gen.

    • Ren

      Can’t say for sure, but read again this part of the question:

      “I think back to the recent review of Atelier Rorona on IGN that ripped it for having JRPG tropes that fans either don’t mind or even see as plusses. When the title of a review accuses the game of having child molestation jokes, you know you’re not getting a fair shake.”

    • HarryHodd

      I never actually encountered any child molestation jokes and have never seen an example. The characters are over 18 except for one of them.

  • Darkrise

    Nothing for Canada. =( Oh well I’ll just have order from NISA store… Just a little word but I don’t think any of us can expect anything good said about Neptunia from IGN.

  • cj_iwakura

    Remember kids.

    Friends don’t let friends play Idea Hacktory RPGs.

    Their involvement is enough to sour me on this.

    • You can enjoy not playing them, and I’ll enjoy buying them first day. Thank you.

    • Troll harder; I feed upon arrogance.

      edit: Not trying to be mean, but would you really enjoy someone stomping into where you work and telling you how awful you are? There’s no need to come in here with negativity.

      • Don’t worry too much about it Nick, it just looks like an idiot that didn’t had the brain to beat a game got mad and started to write bad about it just because it was too hard for his brain.

        All he talk about is how hard was for him to get the capture skill (when i remember i easily got it from a random or maybe boss battle), and about capturing monsters… Wich is not really as necesary as he said it is, you can easily beat the game without that.

      • cj_iwakura

        I don’t mean to be negative, I’m just sharing a fact I’ve seen proven many times over: Idea Factory excel at mediocrity. If a company has a bad pedigree, people deserve to be forewarned.

        • Your definition of warning is pretty messed up…

          Oh, and, if Square Enix (or any other company) made i game i didn’t like, i wont buy any game from them?, good

        • That isn’t a fact it’s an opinion – a good portion of my recent game purchases have been !F games and I’ve loved everyone and for me each has by far out classed the “critically acclaimed” FFXII.

          But hey I can accept that people have a difference of opinion and understand that not everyone appreciates the nuances of the more in-depth and original battle systems that these games offer.

          • Please don’t be so offended that somebody has a different opinion. While the initial post is pure flamebait i do agree with the opinion that IF makes a lot of mediocre and downright bad games. This goes even more for gust, which mostly makes games with dull and infantile plot, overly complicated skill/stat systems and featuring tons of boobs.

            FF13 fits into this drawer too, the strony is boring and unoriginal, the characters are stereotypical (with personalities ranging from just unlikable to irritating, with the exception of lightning who doesn’t talk much – which makes her ) and the dialogues are juvenile. The only difference is the budget – square put lots of money into it and it shows. The graphics and cgi are amazing, the music is beautiful, and the combat system is well balanced, tho a bit on the easy side.

            Still if i were to chose between two mediocre games – i’d choose ff13 because i can finish it without opening gamefaqs to check what the hell am i doing wrong, or where to go grinding for the next 3 hours just so i can advance through the plot a bit more.

            Don’t get me wrong, I love jrpgs but most of the stuff from IF/gust is mediocre at best, and square has been mostly a disappointment lately too. Still, i’ll be definitely giving neptunia a chance, tho propably as a rental.

          • @Lajcik
            I wasn’t offended, I’m all for people expressing their opinion which is why I was expressing my own. Whilst technically they’re nothing outstanding (with the exception of artwork and character design – which is fantastic IMO, though they could do with toning down the fan service) I throughly enjoy the !F games. The battle system in Cross Edge remains one of my favourite systems released over the past couple of years – a system that I feel a lot of people reject and bad mouth just because they couldn’t be bothered to learn and experiment with it.

            You bring up another issue people always seem to mention with !F games, and that’s grinding. Not once whilst playing through the main story of these game have I had to grind and I’m not a particularly good/hard core gamer.

            It just seems so many people are willing to overlook these games without a second thought just because they’re !F games – a reputation spread due to people spouting opinion as fact.
            You’ve only got to see the comments section for any article concerning their releases, it’s the same comments again and again, almost word for word – and I wonder to myself how many of you have actually played these games and how many of you are just posting this because its seems the fashionable thing to say at the moment.

            Personally I feel they deserve a bit more consideration than they actually get and I’m happy to see you at least are willing to give Neptunia the benefit of the doubt.

            (P.S. I’m yet to play an FF game that I’ve actually enjoyed, so add the fact I enjoy !F games I’m obviously in a very, very small minority)

          • Well I’m not here to tell you what to like and not like – glad those games appeal to you :) Looks like we are indeed on two different sides of the coin. I actually picked up cross edge because i liked the idea and was interested in the different-than-usual combat system, regardless of the rather poor reviews on the internet. Unfortunately it just didn’t click for the reasons mentioned earlier. See you in the next neptunia thread ;)

    • Can’t believe i don’t see any Hit Maker game in that site

    • Pretty easy to know why ive never heard of that kind of crappy page

    • This is the EXACT same thing I keep seeing. Boiled down their complaint is simply “It’s too complex, it’s too hard” and I have no problem with anyone deciding it’s not for them. But anyone who says it’s an awful game because it doesnt appeal to THEM is just being lame.

      I for one love my RPGs very complex and dont enjoy basic ones where you mash attack or summons or whatever the win button is in the game but I’m not going to say they’re awful games just because they arent designed to my skill level.

      • cj_iwakura

        My problem with Idea Factory is another I’m seeing proven with Hyperdimension Neptunia. Fanservice first, gameplay second, story third.

        • Yeah because agarest wars had soooo much fan service (sarcasm) That was one of the most heaviest srpg games ive played, and i barely even saw fanservice in there.
          I thought Agarest would be full of fan service, and i was proven wrong after playing it with my both hands, this just prove we shouldnt be misguided by ads or for what it seems to be.

          Did you even played the game?

        • “Fanservice first, gameplay second, story third.”

          Let me guess you never played any of their Spectral series, or even better have you played their latest localized game, Blazing Souls?

          • cj_iwakura

            No, but I’ve heard nothing but bad things. Much like every Idea Factory game ever.

          • Then please, don’t go badmouthing something you barely know…

            I dont mean to offend you, i don’t blame you for being you, but this kind of thing, in that kind of way, really put some bad taste in people’s mouth, if you didn’t like something, i respect it, but is way better if you talk about it from first hand, rather than what somebody else said.

          • …I’ll just ignore the fact that you never played any of those games and only read reviews.

            If you read the reviews then you should know that none of those games focused on fanservices, so my conclusion is either you read a false review or just trolling IF.

          • Maybe you should actually try playing one of Idea Factory’s games? When I received my PSP as a gift, I looked at Aedis Eclipse: Generations of Chaos w/my boyfriend at the time and he convinced me not to buy it because he’d “heard bad things” about Idea Factory games. Two months later, I saw a copy cheap at Half Price Books, bought it and really enjoyed it.

            Since then, I’ve enjoyed a lot of Idea Factory games. I’ve noticed many them are really difficult and require players to think and invest a lot of time/effort – which I think puts some people off. I’ve most recently really enjoyed Blazing Souls Accelate, Wand of Fortune Portable and Trinity Universe.

            The only one I’ve played recently that I didn’t really care for was Cross Edge.

            Worst case scenario – you rent or buy one really cheap and dislike it. At least then when you badmouth the company’s games, you can say you tried it and list the specific things that irked you.

          • Darkrise

            Yeah you’ve heard. From reviews of other peoples opinions.T.T If you find them mediocre, it’s because they don’t have the proper or more budget to spend into these games and they aren’t “mediocre”… They’re decent and pretty good once you’ve played them and just labelling a game as horrible because of what you’ve read and that you hate(?) fanservice doesn’t really mean you can just go spewing off with your mouth about how “shitty” and “horrible” a game from Idea Factory is… You’ve only heard nothing but bad things because of the reviewers, if you’ve been ANYWHERE that properly treats an jrpg game, then you’ll see that they gave an rpg like Agarest a good 7/10 that touch upon the good and the bad. It’s also because there are alot ppl that like to be hypocrites and complain about 2D fanservice and go about acting like they’re true peacelovers and defenders of society BS that they go to great lengths to badmouth a game like this.

        • Ladius

          Your problem is that you don’t know what you’re talking about, the whole “fanservice is the core of IFCH games!” mean that you haven’t probably played anything by them. GoC, SS and SF games are completely devoid of fanservice and Agarest used some ecchi CGs to garner attention while in the actual game they are 30-seconds optional (and often hard to find) breaks between hours upon hours of battles and dialogues.

          You’re a fellow Growlanser fan, right? How would you feel if someone said that G is a worthless series simply because Urushihara is an hentai artist and the games involve some kind of dating sim elements? I bet you would write a wall of text to show how uninformed the guy is with this kind of assumptions. Sadly, you are doing exactly the same here.

          • cj_iwakura

            I love Growlanser to death, but I’ve never seen anything as deliberately cheesecakey in those games as I’ve seen in the typical IF game.

          • Ladius

            Again, the typical IF games has practically no fanservice to speak of aside from the usual anime-style games flair (SS, SF, GoC and the likes). You are extending Agarest’s (small and sporadic, albeit widely marketed) fanservice moments and Neptunia’s jokes to all their titles, which is simply wrong and false.

            Please, try to know what you are criticizing, taking the “I will make general assumptions based on single cases” route doesn’t help your points in any way.

      • The same thing can be said about you. Just because the game appeals to you doesn’t mean its good.

        There’s a big difference between an overly complicated skill/stat/battle system and a difficult game. The same thing applies to complexity, theres a huge gap between just dumping three dozens of variables for the player to juggle and devising a complex and variable system for your game that’s easy-to-understand-hard-to-master. IF tends to do the former (hi cross edge!)

        Also, a game has to be very well balanced to pull of “hard” well, otherwise its just a grindfest, where you need to put x hours of grind to get to point y.

        A great recent example of how to do it good is demon’s souls. It’s the type of hard that punishes you heavily at first but becomes easier once you start to pay more attention to the game. It’s perfectly balanced, with no ‘best’ strategy/equipment/character – with everything having a rock-paper-scissors counterpart, weak and tough spots. All that with little to no grind! Try it if you haven’t. It’s an example more games should follow.

        • No the same cant be said, you’re engaged in a non sequitur. I never said it’s good because it’s complex, I said you can’t use that as an argument for it being bad. What level of complexity appeals to you is a personal issue.

          You never need to grind in cross edge unless you’re awful at the game, if you play well you can get multiple levels, even dozens of levels from a single battle.

          Demons souls isnt at all comparable and it’s utterly bizarre to bring up an action RPG where you generally kill or be killed in 1 hit vs a turn based RPG where you build up thousand hit combos. Personally I didnt find Demon Souls at all challenging, again, not saying there’s anything wrong with that, but for my personal taste it was lacking in strategy and more trial and error.

          • I didn’t bring up demon’s souls to compare gameplay – it’s obviously a different fish. I brought it up as an example of a game where the mechanics are quite complex but very well balanced which allowed the developer the to create a level of difficulty for single player experience that is both hard and rewarding.

            Cross edge is a perfect example of convoluted and unclear mechanics in which case it can very wall be used as an argument for it being a bad game. It’s filled with unnecessary numbers and the player is thrown right into it with little explanation of what is what. There are too many screens of stats to make any sense of it without opening gamefaqs. I have to say i didn’t get anywhere far enough to be able to argue with you on the point of grinding, but it doesn’t really matter in this case. The game is just not appealing. The story (dialogs/characters) is just plain bad, the mechanics are convoluted and the item synthesis/upgrade system is a mess. Prinny and Etna (or insert your favorite character) are not enough to make this game work ;)

            It’s not really about the level of complexity, but about the way it is handled – cross edge has you looking at huge spreadsheets and charts. If you’re into that kind of thing – good for you:)

          • “The story (dialogs/characters) is just plain bad”
            Are you saying the characters are bad? My mind is blown if you’re seriously arguing it has a bad cast of characters.

            It’s not a fault of the game if you cant understand it, chess doesnt become a bad game just because you dont know what a zugzwang is. You can certainly DISLIKE the game because of it, but you also need to draw a distinction between personal likes/dislikes and good/bad.

            All that aside, yes Trinity Universe and Neptunia are much more accessible in any case

          • @sieghardt not the characters themselves of course, don’t be daft on purpose. The characters themselves are the main selling point of crossover games in general. I meant their dialogs and the script as a whole. It’s juvenile, sad and just plain uninteresting. I know it’s not supposed to be taken seriously, but it’s written as if all that’s happening is SERIOUS BUSINESS. Kind of like a bad fanfic :) Take disgaea as an example of a well written, self-aware script, full of self-conscious jokes. There’s a huge gap between those two.

            On the other subject – chess is not complex in the same way cross edge is complex. Chess has a small but clear set of rules and a single objective. The complexity comes from the amount of choices a player can make and strategies a player can use to reach that objective.

            Cross edge is the exact opposite – many unclear and obfuscated rules which makes it hard to chose what to focus on. It’s a pretty chaotic place.

            I haven’t tried trinity universe yet, i’ll probably trade for it when i get the chance tho. Etna and prinny have that effect on me ;)

          • @sieghardt not the characters themselves of course, don’t be daft on purpose. The characters themselves are the main selling point of crossover games in general. I meant their dialogs and the script as a whole. It’s juvenile, sad and just plain uninteresting. I know it’s not supposed to be taken seriously, but it’s written as if all that’s happening is SERIOUS BUSINESS. Kind of like a bad fanfic :) Take disgaea as an example of a well written, self-aware script, full of self-conscious jokes. There’s a huge gap between those two.

            On the other subject – chess is not complex in the same way cross edge is complex. Chess has a small but clear set of rules and a single objective. The complexity comes from the amount of choices a player can make and strategies a player can use to reach that objective.

            Cross edge is the exact opposite – many unclear and obfuscated rules which makes it hard to chose what to focus on. It’s a pretty chaotic place.

            I haven’t tried trinity universe yet, i’ll probably trade for it when i get the chance tho. Etna and prinny have that effect on me ;)

          • …Correct me if I’m wrong, but are you’re saying that the optimal strategy for the game is gaining dozens of levels per battle?

            This implies that the game has put a greater emphasis on impressive numbers than good balancing. Wouldn’t it be better if the game made you find an enemy’s weak point, or their attack pattern forced you to think up some strategy that might not have come naturally…instead of just leveling for improved stats?

            I’ve never played Cross Edge, so I guess the above is OT anyway. Forget it. But I watched some of the Neptunia playtest, and much to my disappointment, what I saw was a high encounter rate and HP sponge enemies with rapidly regenerating shields that had to be burned through time and time again. IIRC, the characters were level 99 and the enemies weren’t doing all that much damage, but each random battle still took ages because the HP and defenses just had to be chewed through. That isn’t complex; it’s artificial difficulty. Even Melinda began finding it a drain.

            In other words, please don’t try to misrepresent all of the complaints as “It’s too complex, it’s too hard”. If anything, what that HG101 article (…and Lajcik, actually) are saying seems closer to “It’s seriously unbalanced and trying to disguise that with convolutedness.”
            …Though Neptunia looks pretty simple.

          • You are indeed wrong and interpreting exactly the opposite of the point I was making XD By using strategy you can win with lower levels against higher levelled enemies and by doing so you can get EXP multipliers at the end of the battle which will bring up your level to the appropriate level without ever making you overlevelled (if you overlevel the game gives you exp penalties instead) so you never need to grind levels if you play strategically and it’s designed with penalties to stop you grinding even so saying it’s an unbalanced grind-to-win game is completely untrue.

          • Wow, there went the neighborhood – I was just doing my own thing during my sick leave, and, yeah, wow. Didn’t expect to be quoted by anyone.

            The good news there wasn’t any regenerating shields (That was the break bar you probably saw regen.) although if you want to do significant amounts of damage, you want to do it in a hurry while the bar’s regenerating. You don’t have to of course…

            Of course, I did play most of the game on hard, but that only (from memory) affects enemy damage. Easy makes the game trivial though.

            And I ran the characters to level 99 by accident trying to figure out something else – something I STILL don’t really get, even now (Namely how to get the hearts). Maybe when I get the English version I’ll give it another go.

            Something to consider though – the level cap isn’t 99 – via DLC and some game events enemies can clear that. I’m fairly sure players can too, but I haven’t checked in a while.

            I think it’s safe to say that Hyper Dimension Neptune (Yes, I’m using the game as identified by my PS3) isn’t going to be for everyone, because it has some good points, as well as some very BAD points. For some, the writing and the world itself will probably override any issues they have. Others will find the game will degenerate into a lot more repetition and grinding than they’d appreciate.

            It’s really up to players to decide if they’re willing to take on some of the draining aspects to get the fun out of he game.

    • majorhavok

      First let me say that I enjoyed the HG101 site and have been following it for some time. I can even agree on Agarest being quite flawed with it being grindy, unintuitive, and having significant game play elements which are detrimental.

      That said, I hate that you just pretty much posted a valueless flame and a link to a review that seems to be pretty much written to “call out” a game company without that much base in of itself. I know you have your own opinion and maybe feel strongly about it but I really feel this is childish and given another context I would have trouble distinguishing this kind of post from a shill for page hits or some random person with an Internet vendetta.

    • mirumu

      I do have friends who feel the way you do about Idea Factory. It’s actually made me reluctant to buy some of their games in the past. The ones I have bought though I’ve enjoyed, and Hyperdimension Neptunia is looking really good to me. I can see elements in these games some people may not like, but I could say that with almost any game.

      I guess in a way your thoughts on Idea Factory seem to me a bit like my dislike of Square Enix. Pretty much every game they’ve released in the last few years I just can’t stand, but that isn’t going to stop plenty of people from buying and loving them. To each their own I guess.

    • Ladius

      It’s so annoying to see in every thread IFCH haters who have absolutely no idea of the global lineup of those companies and judge all their games on the PSP ports’ loading times, poor graphic and internet biases created and nurtured by similarly clueless people.

      Also, I’m surprised to read such a crappy article on hg101, a site I highly respect. Agarest can be criticized in many ways, but that piece manages to find all the wrong ones and put them together.

    • SeventhEvening

      Wow, the horrifying thing is that review totally just sold me on Agarest. It sounds like hours upon hours of tedious administrative red tape.

      Now, I know to most people that sounds horrible, but I like Nobunaga’s Ambition. And it is pretty rare to get something that complicated these days, especially in English.

      • Agarest War is an amazing game and I bought it on day 1 because it was just epic. The game is fun, I dont know how anyone could dislike it!

      • I will say that I hated Agarest’s gameplay (although I really liked the story), but so far, it’s the only Idea Factory game I haven’t liked. I even liked Cross Edge a lot. I’ll still give the Agarest prequel a potential shot, since the first one was a fairly old game and their other games have been tons better, so maybe they improved on the prequel too.

  • Idea Factory and Compile Heart apparently see the funny side of the console wars. So much so they produced this number. God bless you guys. Still not sure if want.

  • Yui

    I will be picking up the game when it reaches European shores, but I’d be even more inclined to do so if we got the playing cards. Great games and great bonuses should go hand in hand. :(

  • raymk

    I’m just ready for the game to come out lol. Im ready to play =D.

  • krokounleashed

    I don’t get it. Why doesn’t Europe get the LE? I know some american will crawl out and say ” You get all the other LE’s”. Is NISA shipping to Europe? I guess not …

    • NISA ships to most places around the world – I regularly run games from there to Australia. NISA has a store, where you can register if you REALLY want to pick up the said bonus.

      Catch is of course, you have to pay for the postage, and be able to pay the US price.

  • JustaGenericUser

    Excellente’ Q&A, dudes!

  • PrinceHeir

    i just wanna ask, is the game NISA exclusive? since i can’t find it on any stores such as amazon.

    oh and awesome Q&A we definitely need more of this :D

    • Of all places that would be taking pre-orders…

      Don’t mind the boxart and the RP rating. They do have the right release date. Don’t like Walmart? Then…

      And if you don’t like Gamestop either…

      Here’s the results from searching in Google Shopping. FYI, I did add Amazon in the search bar but nothing showed up.

      • PrinceHeir

        the walmart one has not been found, and i don’t like my gamestop here. so i guess i’ll just have to go with NISA Store or even Barnes and Nobles ^^

        thanks though.

        *ohh my mistake, it seems you have to click it from google shopping instead of the link that you gave me.

        does this mean that every copy ships with the artbook and only the Cards are exclusive to the NISA store?

        • Yeah, the cards are NISA store exclusive.

        • This article states (3rd Question) that every initial copy ships with the artbook. Buying videogames from Barnes and Noble, well they use gamestop to fulfill the order, why not just get it from gamestop online? Though why would one not get it from the NISA Store (and the article states (3rd question) that the cards are exclusive to the NISA store…)

        • Amazon actually just posted the listing for Hyperdimension Neptunia. It’s not at the top of the list so you’ll need to scroll down a bit.

          Right now the posting looks incomplete. No pictures and all. Still says it’s being sold by so it’s not like somebody hijacked the pre-order page.

        • PrinceHeir

          i just saw the amazon one. thanks but few weeks back it wasn’t there, well i’ll probably order here since i already have an account and all, but i don’t want to miss those cards :(

  • Schwer_Muta

    I refuse to get burned by another Idea Factory game, but I still respect NIS and all they’ve done/are doing. They’ll just have to wait until Ar Tonelico/Disgaea 4 to get my money.

  • Siliconera all the way. I’m happy to know that I can get a fair point of view of something on this amazing site and I’m even happier I can show my friends the posts here so they don’t end up reading reviews from people who don’t even give a game a chance.

  • Heeeey, a shoutout~

    Barfless, do you have an email address I could reach you at easily? There are THINGS we must discuss. Exciting THINGS.

    I have to admit, though, that one image in this article is… controversial. Yes, that’s a good term. :x As much as I respect what NISA does, I can understand people being turned off by such things.

    • And the sad part is, from memory, that’s as bad as it gets. It’s mostly context (basically, an overaggressively medically focused Compa trying to fix her up after being smashed in and it occurs within the first few scenes of the game) although it’s supposed to be comedic than anything.

      For most part, it’s easy to consider things in isolation, particularly when you couple them with blanket statements, preconceptions or assumptions. Not surprising though, since not everyone’s going to sit down to examine the circumstances around it.

    • Since you’re using my NISA Forum handle with the Barfless mention, you can shoot me a PM on there… I can give you an e-mail then. Though I love everyone on here, I’m still hesitant to publicly type an e-mail address ^_^”>

    • M’iau M’iaut

      “I have to admit, though, that one image in this article is… controversial. Yes, that’s a good term. :x As much as I respect what NISA does, I can understand people being turned off by such things.”

      Come now SpaceDrake, someone wearing a dog collar like 5pb-chan up there ain’t that unusual. It’s a goth thing.

  • MarkMario

    They’re going to have the DLC too!!!!
    Now I’m decided if I should get LBP2 or wait till this is out ._____.

  • Kai2591

    “They will be exclusive to the US, much to our chagrin.”

    So…that means that I, who live in SE Asia, will not be able to pre-order this then ? —>>>

    Am I understanding this correctly?


    • Why not try to setup the order from the site and see if they ship it too you, they do ship internationally…

      • Kai2591

        Yeah, planning to do that. Thanks.

  • Well I did pre order the game from the Nis america site though I am a little unsure how I will like the game…The still face thing reminds me of the old school games but with updated graphics durring gameplay…..It kinda makes my mind a mite boggled but I thought the premise was fun and I like pretty things so I decided to try this game out.

  • Hmmm im not sure,if this appears in a US version, If i’d buy it….honestly im not much of a fan for still faced charecters

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