I have always enjoyed the whimsical storylines found in the Hyperdimension series. They are set in the world of Gamindustri where four goddesses called CPUs are engaged in a battle known as the War of the Guardians. Each one is attempting to gain supremacy over the others (in a reference to the console wars over the years). It is a silly, enjoyable premise that works well because of plentiful charm and humor but also solid gameplay mechanics.
Some of these updated mechanics include a new scenario and ending, an overhauled battle system (the same one found in the enjoyable Hyperdimension Neptunia Victory), and a customization or "Remake System" to alter the game itself.
Some of the emotions indicated in the cutscenes remind me of the expressions used in Mugen Souls, and the Scout System from the original game is gone (with the Remake System seemingly there to take its place).
My early impressions have been quite favorable as the characters are just as quirky and funny as ever. It is the sort of title that is not going to appeal to everyone. The Hyperdimension Neptunia series has always basked in its anime-styled, over-the-top characters, but I think that helps these titles to stand out a bit from the crowd. I also favor the new combat system. In the original game there was a more traditional line-up system that did not offer as much creativity as the free-moving one experienced in Hyper Dimension Neptunia Victory.
I have always felt that RPGs lend themselves really nicely to the handheld platform (as long as they provide ample opportunities to save data, which Hyperdimension Neptunia does), and Re;Birth1 feels right at home on the Vita. The visuals are crisp on the small screen and the style of play lends itself to bursts of activity - or bite-sized sessions that suit how many people use the Vita when not at home.
It has been a long time since I first went on Nep-Nep's original adventure, but the early returns are quite positive as new is mixed quite deftly with the old. It will be interesting to see what fundamental changes occur in the storyline and the game's ending as I have a chance to unlock more game mechanics and delve further into Gamindustri. We will have a day one review first thing in the morning on August 22nd, so check back then to see our final thoughts!
Preview by Nick