For the most part, Superdimension Neptunia VS Sega Hard Girls isn’t that different from previous Hyperdimension Neptunia games. You’re following anthropomorphic versions of iconic consoles through their adventures to save a world inspired by the video game industry. All of your party members are inspired by famous systems. There are dungeons to explore, some of them looking rather similar to one another, turn-based battles, and visual novel segments offering exposition between each affair. There are some subtle adjustments and alterations though, to show this adventure is a little more active than the ones preceding it, which is fitting for a game starring an adventurer like IF.
From the moment IF sets foot in the Grand Library, we see the extra actions that show she’s willing to employ a little more elbow grease to reach new locations. The standard field actions we expect from every Neptunia game still appear. Characters can hop (Like a bunny!) or bust up certain in-field objects. Those are only the start of her, or whoever you’ve set as your party’s current leader’s, actions. If she happens upon a ladder, she will climb it. Granted, it’s with the most awkward ladder climbing animation ever, as no one in the history of ever climbs like that, but she finds her way up there. She’ll shimmy through small spaces in walls, with another animation only slightly more plausible than the one for ladders. She can sprint across distances and combine that with her jump for a longer leap. All of which allow you to access new areas in Superdimension Neptunia VS Sega Hard Girls’ dungeons. And, since you’ll be revisiting some of them quite a bit, you’ll have no problem memorizing the lay of the land.
This extends to battles. While there can occasionally be some lag during fights, especially once you have four people in your party and are facing more than three enemies, you have an opportunity to be a bit more active within the confines of the turn-based system. Gems can appear in the air above the field, giving the character a chance to recover health or SP, increase the Fever Gauge, or start Fever Time when you successfully jump and grab them. It gives you a chance to improve everyone’s odds in battle a bit, all without expending valuable actions you might otherwise you to eliminate opponents.
Superdimension Neptunia VS Sega Hard Girls’ Action Gauge also alludes to busier battles. Everything you make a character do in battle fills the gauge. Attacking, using items or skills, and moving all fill the gauge, allowing you to control the flow of battle. If a character remains in the green, her turn will come up quicker than it would if it goes into the red. Conversely, if you know you’re one good hit away from being done, you can time a Charge Attack to hopefully end things. Of course, using that will put that heroine completely in the red, thus making the wait for her next turn even longer if the battle’s still going.
This notion even, very slightly, extends to missions. Superdimension Neptunia VS Sega Hard Girls monitors the passage of time, in its way. Some missions are only available in the Grand Library for a limited amount of time. As you complete other quests, their viability will tick down until they possibly disappear. I never felt like there was a pressing time crunch, if it helped. Especially since there was one instance about three fourths of the way through the game where my party faltered and fell before a boss, I ended up back in the Grand Library, and there saw one unimportant quest that had disappeared available again. There is some urgency, but it’s never overbearing or makes the experience any less entertaining.
When you start playing Superdimension Neptunia VS Sega Hard Girls, it’s going to feel very familiar. Though the SeHa Girls are here, this is absolutely a Neptunia game. But, this entry is going to require you to do a little more than run through a map or select options in battle. You may have to scurry to new sections of dungeons, keep an eye on the time when it comes to missions, or more decisively monitor actions in-battle. IF is a nomadic adventurer always on the move, which means you have to be too.
Superdimension Neptunia VS Sega Hard Girls is immediately available on the PlayStation Vita in North America. It will come to Europe on October 21, 2016.