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PlayStation Vita  header logo

Hyperdimension Neptunia: Producing Perfection

For: PS Vita

Idol hands

Product: Hyperdimension Neptunia: Producing Perfection | Publisher: NIS America | Format: PS Vita | Genre: Music/ Rhythm, RPG, Simulation, Strategy | Players: 1 | Version: US
 
Hyperdimension Neptunia: Producing Perfection PS Vita, thumbnail 1
Hyperdimension Neptunia: Producing Perfection is, without a doubt, one of the most challenging games I've ever had to review.

At first glance it's a bright but shallow idol simulation game. Hidden beneath the glitz and glitter though is a deeply polarising experience.

It packs a respectable challenge, makes a few critical missteps, and still manages to be fun while redefining the term "niche appeal".

If you're not opposed to anthropomorphic last-gen consoles fighting it out on stage while you watch, you'll find a lot to like here.

If you're looking for a traditional RPG or rhythm game, however, you'll be deeply disappointed.

You're my idol

I came into Producing Perfection with only the most cursory understanding of the Hyperdimension Neptunia universe.

Basically, the games are about a quartet of coquettish anime ingénues who are actually goddesses charged with protecting a console.

Microsoft has Vert, the buxom guardian of Leanbox, while Sony's nimble Noire holds sway over Lastation.

Nintendo's white-and-red land of Lowee falls under Blanc's protection, while the lead - Neptune - protects the Sega-themed purple metropolis of Planeptune.

I was worried I wouldn't be able to keep up with Producing Perfection's story given my lack of exposure, but, happily, it's as accessible to newcomers as it is long-time Hyperdimension Neptunia fans.

It's also got a good amount of elbow-in-the-side jokes about modern J-pop culture, if that's your cup of tea.

The plot is a pitch-perfect commentary on the games industry - the youth who offer their prayers to the four Console Patron Units (CPUs) are no longer happy with video games, and are instead gravitating towards teen idol groups.

Eager to get their fans back, the four heroines decide to become idols and summon a producer from a far-off world (that's you) to help them kick-start their careers.

Idol? Master.


The focus of the game is on training your idol and making sure she doesn't have a nervous breakdown.

This might sound dull, but Producing Perfection really excels in its visual novel-style story progression. You need to juggle various pastimes and activities with your idol of choice to help them hone their skills.

If you focus only on increasing one of your idol's skills, you'll struggle to get above a "Standard" on any concert.

Balance your idol well - and allow them to relax from time to time - and you'll soon find it easier to hit "Excellent" on every performance.

That doesn't mean that perfecting a performance is simple though.

Every time you prepare for a concert you'll need to select the appropriate stage, outfit, song, and special effects to win the audience over.

Once the performance starts you'll have to time the effects while toggling through a variety of different camera angles to make sure your starlet's best side is always on show.

If you choose well and handle your camera angles intelligently you'll fill up the audience's Glee gauge by the time your idol's belting out the second chorus.

Choose poorly, however, and no amount of camera trickery or special effects will help you.

There's a tremendous amount of challenge hidden in this part of the game, so saving before a concert is essential.

False idols

Producing Perfection relies on genuine humour to move its story along, and the voice acting is really quite excellent.

It does wear thin after a while, however, especially when you encounter the same messages at the beginning of each day.

Neptune's "Mo-mo-mo-morning!", is super-cute the first time, but it loses its chipper charms quickly.

Producing Perfection isn't afraid to wander into the realm of jiggly fan service either, but it's done with tongue planted firmly in cheek and is more Senran Kagura than, say, Valhalla Knights 3.

But even this can’t change the fact that Producing Perfection feels a bit skimpy.

There are only five songs for you to perform, and you're pressured to choose the one that allows your idol to enter her Glee-boosting HDD mode.

This makes the concerts look and sound the same, which is a shame given how bright and cheery the game is.

Add to this gripe the relatively short playing time required to clear each idol's story and you might be left wanting more.

That is, ultimately, the mark of a good game, and when all is said and sung Producing Perfection is quite entertaining, if a little niche.
 
Hyperdimension Neptunia: Producing Perfection
Reviewer photo
Matthew Diener | 3 June 2014
Unexpectedly challenging and fun, Producing Perfection is an excellent idol simulator that's only held back by its limited amount of content and repetitious gameplay
 
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