Compile Heart’s been coming up with some strange ideas lately about trying to reinvent the Hyperdimension Neptunia series. As part of a surprise runaway hit, the series started off as a number of simple turn-based roleplaying games. Later entries focused more on action-style games, still somewhat in line with the original genre. Now, the Hyperdimension Neptunia series has come around with a new entry that no one was expecting: pop idol simulator. Hyperdimension Neptunia: Producing Perfection for the Playstation Vita thrusts the player into the role of managing one of the CPUs, or resident main characters, and grooming them into a pop sensation. Does Hyperdimension Neptunia: Producing Perfection have what it takes to make it big, or will it simply be known as a one-hit wonder?
The story opens up with the CPUs backed into a corner. The evil MOB48 (taking its influence from the popular AKB48 type groups in Japan) idol group has been stealing market share and becoming rapidly more popular than any of the lead ladies can try to surpass, at least by normal means. Through a stroke of genius and a bit of magic, the ladies of Gamindustri decide to summon in a young man (that’s you) from Earth to act as a manager of one of the four ladies and turn them into a singing and dancing star. Everything in Gamindustri rides on your ability to make whichever CPU you choose into the number one pop sensation (hence the title of Producing Perfection) and drive out the evil MOB48 group.
Hyperdimension Neptunia: Producing Perfection lets you choose from one of the four primary CPU of Gamindustri to choose as your trainee. Fans of the series will instantly recognize those of your choosing. Neptunia, the lead main character and based off of the scrapped Sega Neptune. Noire, the tsundere-esque leader of Lastation. Vert, the well-endowed (because of her amount of RAM) leader of Leanbox. Lastly, the outspoken leader of Lowee, Blanc. Choosing one of these ladies dictates the flow of the story although the premise is always the same: train the CPU to become a hit idol and drive down MOB48’s shares.
The story of Producing Perfection takes place over the course of 180 days. During this time, you’ll have to work hard to train up your given idol to be the best. While serviceable to keep the game going and set up a premise, most of the story is wholly forgettable and uninteresting. One-off gags and skits help to fill the void left behind by the lack of an ongoing story. Beyond the initial setup, there really is very little keeping the player interested in the goings on of Gamindustri beyond the idol rankings.
Hyperdimension Neptunia: Producing Perfection also features dual audio for those that have a preference between the English or Japanese voices. Most pieces of dialogue are voiced, so the dub is a nice touch. However, the idol songs are only available in Japanese. Whether or not that bothers you, they’re still fairly catchy and somewhat memorable even after putting the Vita down.