Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;Birth 3: V Generation Retro Review – Ultimate Nep

Today’s review actually comes as a request from a reader who took the time to message me. I’m always happy to listen to requests, and whilst I can’t always accommodate every single one, there are certainly times where I can, especially if it helps readers make an informed decision about where to start with a complex, long-running franchise, and, of course, makes for a fun playthrough for me.

I originally wrote this review as a short companion piece to my earlier Hyperdimension Neptunia Victory review, since Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;Birth 3: V Generation is a mild remake of Victory, but I changed my mind, wanting to give such a special experience the in-depth coverage it deserves. The plot and gameplay details remain almost entirely the same, but V Generation has tasty bonus content to sweeten the deal.


Before we get to the main event, I’m going to give you a summary of the Neptunia Re;Birth games rather than write full reviews for each, largely because the content for this collection of mild remakes has been covered in other reviews and so it isn’t really worth retreading old ground.

Starting with Re;Birth 1, which sadly isn’t compatible with the PSTV system, we have a full remake and reimagining of the original game, loosely following the original story while integrating the world, combat engine and gameplay from the other games in the series. It’s a game that’s since been remade again as Neptunia ReVerse on PS5, so we’ll be seeing more of it in future reviews.

Moving on to Re;Birth 2, we’ve got a remaster of Neptunia mk2. Listening to fan-feedback, the game strips out the low-resolution 3D character models from cutscenes and replaces them with the high definition 2D models which are normally associated with the franchise. Whilst this makes for a usually more visually pleasing game, it comes at the cost of a sadly sluggish frame-rate, so choose whichever you find the most visually pleasing.

That brings us to the main event, Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;Birth 3: V Generation. There’s a reason I wanted to shine the spotlight on this one particular port of Neptunia Victory, and that’s simply because this is the most comprehensive and definitive Neptunia experience you can get.

As we’ve discussed in the Hyperdimension Neptunia Victory review, it was an incredible game with one significant design flaw which stopped it from earning that perfect ten. That flaw was essentially content hidden behind paywalls, such as characters and weapons which made for a significantly more difficult adventure without them.

Re;Birth 3: V Generation is the solution to this. To the untrained eye, you might think it’s just a like-for-like port of Victory with a modified treasure-scouting mini-game, but there’s more to it than that. V Generation is all about providing a complete game experience and giving back to the fans with superb value for money.


Much like in my Final Fantasy VII review, we’re essentially retreading the same ground as another game and so the story here is pretty much identical to Hyperdimension Neptunia Victory, but I’ll be generous and paraphrase a little since like-for-like copy-pasting tends to be frowned upon, and I’m sure my editor would rather get his money’s worth.

In the world of Gamindustri (a fantasy world based on the real gaming industry) the goddess-like rulers of each nation (known as CPUs) have taken to a life of laziness during peacetime and spend their days playing games together, much to the frustration of Histoire, the oracle of the nation of Planeptune (Sega). The agitated Histoire sends sibling CPUs Neptune and Nepgear to better themselves and their nation by punishing an anti-CPU activist named Rei Ryghts.

Rei unknowingly acquires a mysterious power and uses it to send Neptune to the alternate Ultra Dimension, where our heroine finds herself back in the 80s at the beginning of ‘the Console War’, though things are quite different in this reality since Neptune is not Planeptune’s CPU here. Instead, Neptune befriends the alternate Planeptune’s CPU, Plutia, a friendly girl like herself, albeit with a sadistic side, as well as up-and-coming-CPU Noire (who personifies the Sony PlayStation series).

Together, the three work to defeat, befriend, and recruit other new CPUs while uncovering the truth about Rei Ryghts’ power and a shadow organisation known as the Seven Sages. A new bonus post-game chapter will see your entire expanded roster of heroes reunite to tackle the threat of pay-to-play mobile gaming.


The game uses a four-member turn-based battle system. Characters are free to move around the battlefield within their movement range during their turn. Depending on the equipped weapon and skill being used, the character’s attack range may change so it pays to take a moment to position your characters advantageously.

Combat encounters aren’t random and can be avoided in the field if you wish, though you’ll miss out on precious experience and the opportunity to charge your characters’ EXE Gauges, which can then be used to unleash devastating special attacks which are ideal for lengthier boss battles. You’ve also got a set of standard special attacks which can inflict handy buffs or de-buffs and the option to ‘Transform’ your CPU girls into the series’ iconic sexy goddess modes for an increase in stats and a decrease in clothing.

Another important element of battles is the Guard Break. In addition to a HP gauge, all enemies also have a guard gauge. Once this gauge is depleted, a guard break is inflicted and the enemy’s defence is lowered, granting you a brief window to unleash attacks without resistance. This is an essential element to most boss battles since they usually have huge HP pools and a handful can even regenerate a percentage of health each turn which often keeps you from simply brute forcing them to death.

Dungeons are pleasantly short but plentiful compared to most other JRPGs. The enemies are easy enough to avoid so you can usually run past them if you’re just trying to collect items or simply don’t need the EXP. You can also get a pre-emptive strike by attacking them from behind which is easy to do; The game gives you the option to instantly kill weak enemies with these attacks, but they are automatically turned off because you get no experience for doing so.

Stella’s Dungeon also returns in this remake, in which Stella searches Neptral Tower. Once the area and floor to explore have been chosen, confirm Stella’s equipment and her Scout friend, and then she is off to explore. The progress of Stella’s dungeon search occurs in real time. Once the search time has expired, Stella will return. With successful adventuring, you will receive useful items.

From the world map, you have access to several functions: Shop, Guild, Disc Development, and the Museum. By selecting a dungeon, you are able to enter and explore that area. You can also view the amount of shares each nation has on the world map. On the Plan Screen, you can check useful information, such as the location of particular monsters, the location of items, and how to obtain them (found or dropped by a monster).

Re;Birth’s Remake System returns in this game, allowing you to actually alter the game’s difficulty and parameters. By clearing each System File’s requirements, you can incorporate that system into your playthrough. Each System File has a capacity setting, and you can set as many as you want within limits. For example, if you ‘Add Enemies’ to a dungeon, a special icon will appear signifying its presence. By defeating these new, stronger monsters, you can acquire special rare items.

Rounding out each chapter of the game’s story is Nepstation, a TV program presented by Neptune and her selected co-stars. The program is a brief summary of the previous chapter, but it also grants you an opportunity to snag some extra items from its shopping and quiz segments. These are usually well worth your time.


The game makes a superb jump to PS Vita, and a pleasing conversion on PSTV, looking great on both. Special attacks flow beautifully and colourfully, which is vital given their increased importance. Character models are smooth, unpixelated, colourful and bright in both their 3D cel-shaded and 2D cutscene versions.

As always, the music in the game is great; It’s catchy and memorable, providing the right mood and ambiance where necessary, but even this plays second fiddle to the stellar voice acting, which thanks to the inclusion of all DLC side-episodes, has a bit more presence than in Victory, which is another plus.


There’s an element of intricate crafting for experienced Atelier fans included which is entirely optional. You can craft additional top-tier weapons, armour, and items, however with the Disc Burning system, you can create Game Discs by burning Idea Chips into Blank Discs. Game Discs can offer additional stats or abilities when equipped. Depending on the specific combination of Idea Chips used, the disc may be a Godly Game, which conveys an additional stat bonus, or a Sucky Game, which gives negative effects.

Re;Birth 3 will keep you busy for quite some time with its additional content. There’s also the New Game + feature, arena boss fights and additional bonus battles to keep you coming back for more. Alternative endings, ‘Lily Rank’ relationship building, and treasure hunting could also bring the hardcore enthusiasts back again, all of which have hard-earned trophies attached, but as is usually the case with the series, only the most dedicated of trophy hunters need apply.


Even before the new additions, this is a fantastic story that will keep you entertained from start to finish. It’s a far more extensive take on the Console War when compared to the events of the first game in the series. The story spans almost three decades, and cleverly shows the successes and failures of each nation, representing these aspects of real game consoles and their manufacturers transformed into cleverly-written chapters of revolutionary politics.

The game also isn’t afraid to keep things interesting by frequently mixing up the tone with dramatic changes. The flirty, girly banter is often there, along with a bit of Neptune’s gaming-themed brand of humour and some harmless bits of fan-service, but you’ll also find some daring exploration of darker themes from time to time, such as child-abduction, indoctrination, voyeurism, BDSM, and a grey-area response to criticism of sexualisation of younger characters in the form of a shape-shifting character who is quite literally a child, teen and adult simultaneously. It’s far deeper than the uninitiated may think.

Victory’s gameplay difficulty and resulting strategy was entirely dependent on whether or not you invested in the DLC. It could be a particularly challenging game, pushing the player to rely on power-levelling, weapon upgrading and charging up EXE Drive special attacks to get you through the frustrating boss fights, however, if you invested in the ultimate weapons available from the PSN Store, you could essentially one-hit kill common enemies and pummel the vast majority of bosses with little to no effort. V Generation gives you a better option.

Simply booting up the game unlocks all characters and story-related DLC at no extra cost. You can activate any and all of these whenever you wish, potentially spoiling the canon in places if you’re keen to play around with them but also giving you early access to immensely powerful characters right from the start, allowing you to breeze through the game at your leisure if you wish. This is one hell of a package.

This is why V Generation is the definitive Neptunia experience, since completing a few extra DLC side-missions rewards you with a character roster which has now tripled in size. From returning favourites like Compa, IF and 5pb to newer characters like Tekken, Marvy and a now playable Histoire, everyone gets their time to shine. Oh, and they’re all voiced too. With 28 playable characters, this game has the largest playable roster in a Neptunia game thus far.

The result of this is an epic army of girls and Goddesses which make for a harem-genre fan’s dream as you get to choose which four waifus make the cut and join your main battle party. It’s so customisable too, with the majority of girls receiving multiple weapons and outfits to choose from right at the start, with even more unlocking in the in-game shop as you play. My only ask for future Neptunia games is to let us play as the gorgeous Rei Ryghts; Now that would be a whole new level of awesome.


  • Fantastic Story
  • Huge roster of great, fleshed out characters
  • Wonderfully vibrant world


  • I could nitpick, but honestly, they absolutely nailed it this time

Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;Birth 3: V Generation


They fixed the only significant issue with Hyperdimension Neptunia Victory to create V Generation, which is nothing less than the perfect Neptunia experience.

Gary Green
PS Vita/PSTV version reviewed