Hyperdimension Neptunia Producing Perfect is a non-canon spin off to Hyperdimension Neptunia, a video game series where video game playing goddesses rule the world. Early in the game, you are placed into the shoes of a young male who is sucked into the world of Gamindustri to become the manager of an idol, who just so happens to be one of the goddesses from the main series. These four girls have turned to the idol industry, because the four provinces of the world are worshipping the idols more than the goddesses themselves. Understandably, this is not something they desire, so they summon the main character to help them win back the masses by singing, dancing and letting themselves become household names.
The game uses a basic calendar system, with only days instead of months or years. As you progress through Producing Perfection, you will need to choose certain actions to improve the vital stats of your goddess, such as her singing ability, knowledge, her trust towards you and her sense of rhythm. Her stress levels will also increase with particular activities, which will limit the interactions you can perform, and if it reaches one hundred percent, be prepared to face a very upset goddess, followed by a game over.
To reduce the stress, you can give them a restful activity in between training days, but in order to reach the top of the popularity charts that they are released on regular occasions, you will need to prudent in your approach to work and relaxation. While the training system feels solid enough, there are several flaws which prove to be a distraction. For one thing, a fairly simple activity such as a singing lesson takes the entire day, whereas it might have been more practical to allow two or three shorter tasks to be undertaken, instead of a larger task that needlessly wastes valuable game time.
After you feel that you have trained your goddess to a reasonable level, you may book a concert for her, so she can gain exposure to her audience while she sings a song. Different songs give certain bonuses to particular idols, so it is wise to choose carefully to ensure that you receive the best possible performance boosters. As the concert goes on, you can change the camera angle using the physical buttons on the Vita, to catch the best possible angles and improve your ratings. So while it may be tempting to focus on a particular camera angle or a certain part of your client’s physique, it is more likely that you will need to use some variety to claim the top spot. While this kind of concert filming may be interesting first time round, it will be the true fans of the idol genre that will gain the most enjoyment out of this activity.
Graphically speaking, the game uses the same animé style that the developers, Compile Heart, have got down to a fine art. If you get bored with the look of your goddess, you can alter her costume with parts that you have won by gaining popularity and reaching certain goals. Some of them prove to be fairly fashionable, but as could be expected, some of them cater for those who prefer their idols to be scantily clad. None of the clothes improve your statistics, so any changes you make will be purely aesthetic.
Just as you would expect, a Japanese-themed game receives a J-Pop soundtrack to fit in with the animé surroundings, for both the concert tunes and the incidental background music. For the most part, both types feel well composed, which when you’re performing the same activities time and again can be slightly refreshing, but once every so often, you come across a piece that will grate because of its similar or repetitive nature. This isn’t uncommon in visual novels, but it would have been nice to see a little variety in what you hear. Each of the goddesses also retain the same voice acting that they use in the main Hyperdimension series, so anyone who has encountered the characters will feel very much at home. With a few exceptions, the voice work feels as if they are in tune with their characters, instead of reading lines off a script.
Overall, Hyperdimension Neptunia Producing Perfect may not have the gameplay that fans of the series may expect, but it is a unique experience that has been relatively ignored in the western gaming world so far. The pace, themes and limited amount of interactivity may not be to everything’s taste, but in a market filled with the same old genres, it’s nice to see something new, even if it isn’t perfect.