Noire’s Vita Spinoff Turns Video Game Genres Into Characters

By Spencer . January 20, 2014 . 12:25am

The Hyperdimension Neptunia series has a parody of the console wars with CPUs to represent the three major hardware companies and a few game publishers as party members. Sting and Compile Heart are making a strategy RPG spinoff starring Noire, the CPU of Lastation, and this time they’re poking fun at game genres.


Take Sango who loves action games and dresses in old fashion clothes as an example. She’s a riff at Shin Sangoku Musou better known in the West as Dynasty Warriors. You probably know who the other character is unofficially representing.


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The site for Planet Destroyer Black Heart has a few more characters like the sporty Win who thinks about the team over herself. She’s probably Compile Heart’s joke about the Winning Eleven soccer series from Konami. Ain Ar is a stylish epic RPG character who might be a Final Fantasy joke and Lee Fey is clearly a Street Fighter gag.


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Saori is the protagonist in a girl’s romance game. She dreams of love, but has never experienced it before. I think she’s a Tokimeki Memorial joke since she looks an awful lot like Shiori Fujisaki also Compile Heart just switched one kana out for another to make her name. Compile Heart makes fun of their own games too. Lestra looks like a Record of Agarest War gag since she likes bananas and has a keen interest in ecchi things. Lady Black looks like a reference back to arcade games, perhaps Pac-Man, since she has cherries as an accessory. Lady Black likes eating tasty things and she’s older than the other girls in the game.


Planet Destroyer Black Heart comes out on May 29 for PlayStation Vita in Japan. The game hasn’t been announced for the West, but NIS America seems committed to bringing over the entire line of Neptunia games since Hyperdimension Neptunia PP Idol is slated for release next year.

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  • Warboss Aohd

    i really don’t care for this ultra clean art style that Artists in Japan have been using lately.

    i miss the grittiness……….and them all being less ‘cute’ for a lack of a better word.

    • Lumi

      The “moe” style? Yes it’s more common. You might want to try JoJo instead

      • Warboss Aohd

        heard good things, there an english dub of the anime?

        • Gael Summers

          Only the old OVA, not the 2012 anime tho

          • Warboss Aohd

            well crap

          • Lumi

            Passing on a awesome anime that’s exactly what you want because you only watch dubs?

          • Warboss Aohd

            i can’t get into it if it’s in Japanese, possibly because of autism.

          • Lumi

            Hmm, how about the manga? It did start as a manga.

    • Namuro

      Out of curiosity, what kind of style do you want to see in this game?

      • Warboss Aohd

        literally any other

        This particular style has kinda been spammed alot these last couple of years.

        • Namuro

          How about this?

          • Warboss Aohd

            that amuses me actually.

        • Kumiko Akimoto

          There are a lot of different art style in anime world you’d have to be more specific

    • icecoffemix

      When was the last time you see gritty Neptunia or Idea Factory’s game?

      I don’t like the game but I fully understand what kind of things are appealing for game aimed for this particular demography are.

      Don’t complain for the sake of complaining, do that the day Dark Souls III have cutesy art style and your complain will be a lot more justified.

      • Chrystofax

        A dark gritty Neptunia doesn’t sound half bad actually. It can be like that certain route in mk2 only darker heh

        • Landale

          Considering almost everyone hated that particular bit of the game, I’m going to have to go with the simplest response ever to that idea. No.

          • Kumiko Akimoto

            Did everyone hate it because it was tragic or just generally bad?

          • Omnicidal Neutral

            Almost entirely because “NO MY WAIFUS!”

            It’s not tragic enough to really justify the reaction compared to other legitimately tragic endings from other games.

          • Landale

            It doesn’t really have much to do with how tragic it was or wasn’t, but rather how pointless. It was dark pretty much for the sake of being dark, in a way that really did not make much sense, in a setting where making things dark just doesn’t really fit.

        • Namuro

          His complaint is with the art style, though, not the tone of the game.

      • Warboss Aohd

        Soul Nomad and the World Eaters

        Wait…..that’s Nippon Ichi.

        • Landale

          Even then that art style wasn’t exactly gritty. “Gritty” isn’t exactly a common art style. I honestly can’t think of much that would qualify, unless your definition for it is simply “Not Moe”, in which case it’s not that rare either.

      • CirnoTheStrongest

        A moe dark souls (as long as it retained the difficulty and stuff) would be amazing o_o

    • Attribule

      Anime/manga is purchased mostly by otaku now, thus the otaku control the industry in terms of what you keep seeing. Moe style is here to stay until Japan’s otaku suddenly drop dead.

      • AkuLord3

        Learn what Otaku means because you clearly don’t know at all with this sentence. Oh the stupid that people like to vomit out sometimes~

      • icecoffemix

        Keep using those buzzwords.

        • KnifeAndFork

          Well Otaku is a broad term but you know what he’s trying to say:

          The dudes that think 2D girls are better then real girls, live with their parents still after 30, and use the term waifs too often.

          Okay maybe there is a term for that: Hikikkomori

          • Omnicidal Neutral

            Hikikkomori are just folks who think that inside is much better than outside and take it to its most logical conclusion, they sometimes are Otaku and sometimes are not.

            “Otaku” fits exactly with your definition.

          • icecoffemix

            Keep at it people. It’s getting funny!

          • Omnicidal Neutral

            People who act like this about “buzzwords” tend to be pretty upset, you okay there?

          • icecoffemix

            Do you really think I’m acting? Well I just hope you never got into situation where you use that term IRL. It’s gonna be funny for others though. :P

    • Shippoyasha

      To be fair, the artists in Japan have a wide variety of styles and the ‘gritty’ or even fully 70’s, 80’s, or 90’s style retro styles are still there in full force. Stuff like Hajime no Ippo and JoJo styles are still as late 80’s/early 90’s style as ever. Many character designer don’t focus on a clean look but instead more abstract or gritty styles.

      Also, animating grittier styles is seriously hard work and drains a lot of budget. The clean styles are so prevalent because it’s easy to work with, even taking out the entire ‘moe’ element out of it. I thought shows featuring clean lines like Macross Frontier looked stunning.

    • Duo Maxwell

      You don’t care, but you came to the article about the game with exactly that kind of art style to complain about the art style?

      I guess you really want that attention.

      • Warboss Aohd

        naw, i just like complaining

    • Ladius

      This isn’t really a modern trend, Japanese art styles that could be identified with deformedgirlycutekawaiimoe (different things thar are often brought together by criticism) archetypes or aesthetic were there since the first videogame generations. It’s always surprising to see comments like this because I feel there’s a disconnect between the historical diversity of Japanese art styles and what some users perceived, maybe as a reflection of their own tastes, or of localization trends.

      Going back to the first hardware generations, lots of “cute” jrpgs weren’t localized, and often Japanese covers were changed with western artworks or CGs that were often wildly different from the original source material, even if that was difficult to spot in a world without internet sources and with tiny sprites that left most of the character design to the player’s imagination.

      If anything, I’m thankful the videogame industry is able to provide us with extremely different material, and I wouldn’t like a “gritty” art direction (whatever that even means) to be the only one just as much as I wouldn’t like moe to be the only trend. Diversity is one of the best traits of videogames, after all.

    • Alene Composta

      Yeah it’s too bad that otaku these days only care about cuteness. Bring back the ’90s.

      • Ladius

        Awesome screenshot, it should be posted in most of those discussions to make people realize how those art style clashes have been there since decades ago.

    • DyLaN

      Actually a lot of chinese/asian artist draw that way too (me included) so its more appropriate to call it asian style but w/e.

      Anyway, since most ppl have ady say wht I wanted to say so I will leave it at that. If you prefer “gritty” style I suggest you check out Huke’s drawing/works.

  • katamari damacy

    It boggles the mind how Neptunia games which are ultra niche as they come keep getting translated while games like Level 5’s Fantasy Life, Youkai Watch; Sega’s Yakuza 5/Restoration; Vanillaware’s Grand Knights History never see the light of day stateside…

    • I’ve never really understood how the world of localization works; sometimes the most bizarre of games get brought over, and sometimes games that seem ridiculously obvious to port never see the light of day. It feels pretty random sometimes.

      • AkuLord3

        Depends on the games and mostly the companies…REALLY JUST THEM

        • KnifeAndFork

          Which is usually really just a lack of connection/ out of touch with Western gaming community and fans due to either language barrier, cultural gap, or a bad Western marketing relations division.
          Many times Japanese developers have NO idea the size of their fan base in the West or even if there’s a demand for said game.
          Also, often the “Galapagos Syndrome” of keeping if safe by staying local wins them over since their analysts I’m sure jus look at potential Japanese sales projections and deem that enough to secure a profit.

          If a game with a small to mid size budget sells over a 100k copies, it’s usually deemed a success and can almost sometimes greenlight a sequel; no need for the financial “risk” of spending extra money to localize it only for it to bomb to a gaijin audience who they think probably wouldn’t appreciate their game due to different cultural tastes.
          Many ignore the fact that there are many foreigners who value Eastern games.
          It’s said that a coproducer of Yakuza was at a U.S. comic con promoting a different game and one guy in the audience asked about Yakuza 5 and he said he didn’t even know there was a desire for if overseas.

          Developers of Bravely Default were “deeply moved” when they discovered that there was an overwhelming response for their game to be localized, previously thinking that a game like that would not be wanted in the West.

    • Landale

      I can’t speak for the first bit, Sega’s been pretty bad about even bothering to bring games over lately, and Grand Knights History was going to, but a lack of resources in general kinda screwed that.
      Idea Factory on the other hand has been exceptionally persistent in finding people to localize their stuff.

      • Tyler Beale

        Sega has actually made Phantasy Star Japan-only, because pretty much no PS games are sold anymore here in the US.

        • KnifeAndFork

          That post makes no sense at all. How the hell can PS games sell in the West when they’re not even localized? Catch 22?

          • Tyler Beale

            Let me try and put this in perspective: All of the US servers are shut down (though I’m not sure about Portable 2, can someone confirm that?), so nobody can play online. That restricts the games to just the single-player modes.

            The other problem is, the old Phantasy Star games (not the Genesis/Master System ones, which are still sold in compilations and on Steam) are no longer in production, so while Phantasy Star Universe can still be bought used, it doesn’t make Sega money because it’s no longer relevant to them (even if it was still being sold as new). I have the digital copy of PSU on my Xbox, so I can still play it, but I’ve already finished the campaign, and since the majority of the game (including the entirety of its expansion as well as the continuation of the story) takes place online, there’s really no incentive for me to go back and play it.

            Another big blow is the fact that Sega pulled the PSP Phantasy Stars down from PSN, with no hopes of putting them back up (which is a shame, because Phantasy Star Portable 2 was my favorite of the bunch) for whatever reason. Yes, I know the PSP was filled with hacks and all, but rather than just shutting down the servers, they pulled down the whole game. I did buy the PSN version of Portable 2, but it no longer being on PSN means I can’t play it on my Vita (the PS3 checks the Store for PSP games, if I have a copy of a PSP game that isn’t on the Store, it can’t be transferred). Phantasy Star Portable 2 was essentially the last PS game to be sold here in the US (I hear EU players get to play it still), and its discontinuation essentially means that the series can no longer be fully enjoyed by non-Japanese players.

            And let’s not forget that the Japanese side of things got more exclusive games (Portable 2 Infinity for example), as well as tons of exclusive content for the games we were previously able to play.

            That ends my rant. Hoo boy, I’ve gone way off topic…

    • Shippoyasha

      It seems NISA and Compile Heart has embraced their role as niche game creators while Level 5 and Sega aspire to do great things once they make landfall or specifically for Sega, they are terrified of making a port that won’t give them their money back. Level 5 has been on the fence way too long for sure, with some ports taking an eternity to come out (if at all) while Sega likely needs a whole new management to stop the cowardly holding back of games (even for their Japanese audiences).

      I have said this many times before, but Compile Heart is one heroic company. Most developers and publishers shy away from making new games. But Compile Heart pushes on even for a world wide audience. Too bad the new Neptunia music game localization seems to be held back big time by music licensing issues, but otherwise, they do a great job localizing.

      • Tyler Beale

        What music licensing issues?

  • Shippoyasha

    I think having the girls be the avatars of their respective genre is ripe for comedic opportunities and it’s great to see the series go on strong.

    Looking at Saori’s picture in the website, it looks like she’s wearing shorts that looks like a school skirt. Very wild design, unexpectedly so for her.

    • Landale

      They’re not so much based on genre it seems to much as specific series, basically continuing on with what they started with Tekken. If the genre thing were the case, there’s already 3 RPG girls and still at least 9 characters left.

    • ChiffonCake

      Oh, I didn’t notice Saori’s shorts. That’s pretty nice.

  • hng qtr

    Ar looks kinda like Milla from Tales of Xillia.

    • neocatzon

      Agree, the choice for name is also interesting “Ar” for Ar no Tonelico or Ar no Surge? With that looks and name I can’t be sure which franchise she represents.

      • Pipe

        It’s mistranslated. Her name is Ain Al, which sounds like Final. She represents Final Fantasy.

  • Loving all the game characters. This game is going to be fun =^_^=

  • Sango’s outfit is based on Sun Shangxiang’s DW7 outfit. It’s a good one, but the Diva, Zhenji (her DW8 costume), would have been a better choice.

    Ain Ar has Cloud’s hair, with Lightning’s face.

  • Rayhan PromisedGallery

    most Dynasty Warriors female wear more revealing outfit…. fail

  • drproton

    I think it’s more “franchises” than “genres”.

    Also, Saori looks like a cross between Saki and Shiori in Tokimeki memorial, if you look at the character design.

    • pokeslob

      if you go to the website it explains all the genres per character, it looks like they’re themed off one or two games from that genere

      • CirnoTheStrongest

        They’re based off Franchises most certainly. Not genres.

  • Kevin Komic O’Shea

    You should also have mentioned that Lestra is a pink hair blue eye high elf like is constants in the Agarest series.

  • pokeslob

    I seriously just love everything about this! the puns are awful, but so good. and naturally the artist is amazing as always!

  • TrueDefault

    Noire finally has her own harem! I’m so happy for her!

  • TiamatNM

    I am hype for this. I never pass up a new Sting SRPG

  • Pinkemon

    “Ain Ar is a stylish epic RPG character who might be a Final Fantasy joke”

    If she is then they might do an obligatory joke about her wielding a sword as tall as her own body.

  • Daverost

    The FF character’s name is more likely Ain Al than Ain Ar, and it’s not Lady Black, it’s Lady Wakku (ワック), which I can only assume is a mock Pac-Man sound.

  • Tyler Beale

    Goddammit, Japan, slow it down on the releases!! I mean, we haven’t even gotten around to Producing Perfection (yes, that’s the game’s subtitle) yet…

    But at least Compile Heart isn’t keeping the Neptunia franchise all to Japan. Unlike a certain Phantasy Star (not to get off topic or anything)…

  • TheExile285

    Ain and Lee Fey are my favs ^_^

  • artemisthemp

    I sadly fear the West won’t see this game before 2015 (Considering that NISA still haven’t released Idol PP and haven’t announce anything regarding Rebirth yet)

  • Monterossa

    I bet the FF joke character will be a spoiled brat who’s unpleaseable and always complain about everything.

    • zazza345

      She’s actually a girl suffering from Eight grader syndrome (aka Chuunibyo) who loves to come up with compilcated names, likes “epic RPGs” and, as the original article in which she appeared says, her ultimate goal is “the final fantasy” (written in Japanese and not with the name of the franchise)

      • Landale

        I can see her getting along wonderfully with IF. And by that I mean embarrassing the hell out of her by reminding her of what she was like as a little kid.

  • Since when are Intellectual Property and Franchises the same as Genres? Lady Black is most obviously Pacman, her CG even shows her and noire with a bunch of Pac-Pellets and fruit. Ain Al is Final without an F and has a thing for crystals, which means she is more than obviously Final Fantasy.

    The others are so blatantly obvious; for example, one of the other characters is named Tsunemi her design and name both make it fairly obvious that she a representative for Project Diva as her name is LITERALLY a combination of Hatsune and Miku

    These characters are the exact same as Tekken-chan from Neptunia Victory and Rebirth1. They represent actual games and franchises, not the freaking genre.

  • I can even see Pac-Man on Lady Black’s ribbon!

  • Rentekabond I the only one to notice that Lee Fay and Saori are literally just shopped Noire and Nepgear clones?

  • AkiraScare

    (*_*) Drooling (*_*)

  • Kornelious

    You know, we can pretty much ensure that games like this will come over via NISA because we can use the “But were getting Hyperdimension PP Idol and Mugen Souls Z” excuse. lol

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