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Game Over: Hyperdevotion Noire: Goddess Black Heart

Game Over: Hyperdevotion Noire: Goddess Black Heart

The Neptunia games have a number of entries, and since I own all of them (except for Neptunia Shooter), I've been playing them in order. Hyperdevotion Noire: Goddess Black Heart is the fifth in the series, if you play them chronologically and play the Re;Birth games in lieu of the originals. It's a turn-based strategy RPG with a lot of visual novel-style cutscenes. Which is a shame, as the opening cinematic looks absolutely amazing, and I honestly wished that the chibi style was present through the whole game instead of just the battles.

The world of Gamarket is at peace, having been united under the titular Noire's leadership. But someone convinces her to do something, and everything changes. I'm not being vague, that's literally what occurs - through vague means, the world changes. Cut to you, walking into the city of Lastation (also you're male) and finding it deserted, apart from the person in charge - Noire. You agree to become her secretary, and she vows to once more unite Gamarket!

20200814110139 1

You've got your work cut out for you

I started playing Hyperdevotion Noire: Goddess Black Heart in September 2019, and it's now the end of August 2020 as I write this. I just wasn't enjoying it, since I'm not a big fan of turn-based strategy. My world is not set aflame by waiting whilst seven enemy units take their turns, then individually moving each of my seven units only to wait for the enemy over and over again... I only wanted to play it because it stars Noire, my favourite character in the Neptunia franchise. The only reason I've finally gotten around to finishing it is because I've spent two weeks without access to the internet! I played 24 hours worth of this game (for 36 hours total), all with the hope that I was almost finished and would get to play the next Neptunia game. Which is either MegaTagmension Blanc or Superdimension Neptune. I'd know if I could access the internet...

Ignoring the genre and insanely slow pace at which all strategy games move, the quality of Hyperdevotion isn't bad. There are a bunch of Generals that you have to convince to join your cause, each one with a unique design. They're unique because each one is based on a different game franchise - Yakuza, Metal Gear Solid, Street Fighter, Hatsune Miku, etc... They all look fantastic, and each one uses moves themed around their franchise. For example, Vio is based on Resident Evil, and her super move uses a rocket launcher to explode some barrels turning the enemies into blocks of tofu. Also she has a zombie on her shoulder which holds a red and white umbrella. As you progress through the game, the normal attack is less and less useful, especially as many abilities have area effects and fun animations to go along with them. Though, after the 30th time you've seen Noire pull off Lace Ribbons, you might be inclined to skip it. You can also use special attacks using Lily Points rather than SP, which usually do major damage.

20200826151105 1

Some attacks are better than others

Most of the fights you get into are side missions, which you have to complete to level up and earn money & items. These are ranked from E as the easiest to A as the most difficult, though if you've been doing them all it shouldn't pose too much hassle. I will admit that from Chapter 7 onwards I didn't do them, and struggled massively with the final boss. At least failing gives you the option to retry, or choose the option "Easier, please" to knock 20% off of the enemy stats. And yes, that stacks if you keep having trouble, and from what I can tell, will stack until the enemy has 1HP.

As I mentioned, the battles are all in a chibi, or "super deformed", style where each character has a massive head. Kinda like a Funko Pop. It really helps status effects stand out, so you don't have to keep moving the camera around or checking the status of each unit. It can also be quite funny, seeing a giant robot spinning on the spot because it was affected by Dizzy.

20200826151217 1

Freaking adorable

Hyperdevotion itself is a funny game. The Neptunia games always have an element of fun and some funny moments, but in Hyperdevotion the funny far outweighs the serious. Each General gets their own scene with Noire, and in roughly half of them she winds up in some state of undress, whether it's a bikini contest with Ai Masujima, or Lid on a sneaking mission to spy on her in the shower. There's also one where Generia G drugs & kidnaps Noire and tries to turn her into a giant robot, but is interrupted by someone turning the lights off and freeing her? That one was bonkers, and didn't get a resolution...

Of course, it's all titillation rather than outright nudity, something that is in all Compile Heart/Idea Factory games. Most of the breasts bounce during most cutscenes, upskirt shots occur during certain attacks, and the aforementioned CG images during cutscenes with Generals. Speaking of which, a number of the Generals have large bosoms, though I'd say that Lid's are the only ones that are ridiculous - which fits her character as she looks like a cross between Metal Gear Solid's Old Snake and Quiet, with an exclamation point on her right breast.

20200813190933 1

No, this isn't the shower scene with Lid, yes that means there are multiple shower scenes

You may be wondering why the game is called Hyperdevotion in the first place - that's easy enough to explain, and it's not just the name of the dimension like Hyperdimension is. During battles, if you group two or more units and use an ability, the surrounding units will kiss the attacking one on the cheek. The more this happens, the more their Lily Rank goes up and the more Lily Points you get. Out of battle, you (as Noire's secretary) get to interact with her by completing requests from citizens between missions. You can also buy her furniture and upgrade her room using Amazoo Points, which you earn by buying items & equipment. As the game progresses, it's obvious that Noire develops feelings for you, but as a tsundere she would never admit it. I would assume that the True Ending has her finally admit it, but to get that you need to have everyone's Lily Rank at maximum, and I am NOT grinding in this game. I got the Good Ending and I'm happy with that.

Hyperdevotion Noire: Goddess Black Heart is a fun game to play through, but I would urge you to only play it if you're a fan of the genre and want to spend over 40 hours playing it. I found it slow going, and stopped playing it for almost a year just because I dreaded the thought of going back to it. If the missions in Sniper Elite 4 didn't take an hour each I'd have played more of that instead, so at least Hyperdevotion missions only took 10-20 minutes. Except for the multi-part missions which send you into another battle right away, giving you no chance to restock on items... Those took ages...

Game Over
Andrew Duncan

Andrew Duncan

Editor

Guaranteed to know more about Transformers and Deadpool than any other staff member.

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