"The game takes place in the tongue-in-cheek universe of Gameindustri, which is watched over by four female Console Patron Units (CPUs) that operate like goddesses. Unfortunately a group of idols known as AKB48 have overthrown the CPUs by taking “shares” of love from people in Gameindustri."
Producing the CPUs is essentially the heart and soul of Neptunia: PP, but the game’s approach to handling production is thoughtless, even menial. There are five simulation modes that producers can usher the girls into: work, lessons, relaxing, moves, and concerts. Each of these modes change stats in certain ways and need to be managed in order for the CPU’s to successfully regain love shares. The whole goal is to keep stress conditions low by relaxing, while managing your other obligations. It’s not a difficult concept to understand, and it’s one that begins to drag on very quickly. There’s simply not enough challenge to the tasks at hand for it to be at all engaging, and after a while all the tasks, especially the concerts which allowed me to button mash my way to victory, become tedious.
"I enjoy sexuality as much as the next hot-blooded male, but Neptunia: PP had a way of pushing it to uncomfortable levels which at times came across voyeuristic, especially when in the game’s viewer mode."
The characters are overtly sexualized from the start, so much so that it was more than a little off-putting and a tad embarrassing to play when in public areas. Let me make it clear that I’m not speaking from any sort of feminist perspective. I enjoy sexuality as much as the next hot-blooded male, but Neptunia: PP had a way of pushing it to uncomfortable levels which at times came across voyeuristic, especially when in the game’s viewer mode. Viewer mode allows players to pull up a model of whichever CPU they want. The player then touches them to illicit a response. You can use both the front and back touchpad (you can probably guess what the back touchpad is used for) to stroke the CPU of your choice. It’s an interesting feature to include, I guess, but it doesn’t add anything aside from a cold and harassing cosmetic quality that had me feeling like I was almost victimizing these characters. I’ll put it this way: when a character introduces herself as the one with “the most voluptuous breasts in all of Gameindustri” I think it’s safe to say that taste is all but left by the wayside. But hey, that could be your cup of tea, I just prefer a bit more substance.
"It’s an incredibly dull and fruitless attempt to simulate a producer experience."
In Neptunia’s defense, the dialogue managed to have a few hints of wit. Neptunia: PP’s humorous game references managed to pull quite a few laughs from me and it’s sometimes allegorical nature was remarkably well delivered at times. Each gaming hardware giant is personified in one of the four girls, and their dynamics and quirks made them quite charming periodically. As a long time PlayStation fan Noire had me laughing the most. Her boastful attitude and insistence on superior hardware represented Sony’s marketing quite well and I got a good kick at some of her banter.
Ultimately, Hyperdimension Neptunia: Producing Perfection is producing anything but. It’s an incredibly dull and fruitless attempt to simulate a producer experience. The game sits on a surplus of satirical content with large scale possibilities, but ultimately ends up burdened by an uncomfortable sexual presentation that comes across as immature. Even that would be forgivable if the game had some sort of incentive other than sexuality to play, but it’s shallow in this wading pool. You’ll have to move along if you’re looking for something with more depth. With the assortment of other fine Japanese releases that have come along recently I think you might be better off avoiding this one.
Review by: Palmer Sturman | Reviewed on: Playstation Vita