Sunday, August 30, 2015

Early Thoughts - Hyperdevotion Noire: Goddess Black Heart

Hello again everyone! Joeker here again, this time debuting what I hope to become something of a new series on this blog. It was supposed to happen a lot earlier then this but due to life I've had to put it off until now; but this time we'll actually be getting it! In this series I'd like to give my thoughts on Games I play, series I watch, etc, while it's still early on. For example, I've put about 20  hours into this game and bring you my thoughts based on them. It's not a full review, since I simply haven't had the time for that sort of thing, so I hope this series will help to make up for that a bit! First up is: Hyperdevotion Noire: Goddess Black Heart.

This game was released earlier this year and unlike the other Neptune games isn't a typical JRPG, but instead an SRPG, featuring Noire, Neptune's love interest close friend.
The plot of the game seems simple enough: Noire has finally come close to taking over Gamarket, yet is tricked by a "mysterious lady" (Neptune fans will already know who this is), which leads to the Goddesses powers being taken from them and Noire's military generals all leaving her, cue you, the protagonist, complete with your own self insert for Noire to love, become Noire's secretary in order to help her win back her generals, solve the mystery of what is happening in Gamarket and reconquering the world. And this brings me to one of my first problems.

It's not the story; you don't play a Nep game expecting a particularly good story and the same goes for a Noire game. It's the self insert. Now in a game like PP, an Idol Simulator, it makes at least some sense to have a self insert character as you are playing as the Idol's manager. Here I think it's just stupid and unnecessary and is just a way so you can self insert with Noire as your "waifu" or something. It's silly. To make up for it however, as an SRPG the game has many characters, many more then then your regular Nep game. Each of Noire's generals seem to be playable and all of them are based off of video game characters/series.

Just where have I seen this fighting China-Girl before?
The game is very similar to a Nep game, the main differences are obviously the game-play, being SRPG and a new mode called "Sim Noire". Sim Noire has you helping Noire answer questions asked by her citizens, earning you bonus scenes and allowing you up to furnish and upgrade Noire's room. So far it's fun, but the answers are all either too obvious or too vague in my experiences so far.

Onto the gameplay itself; it's very simple, yet fun. It's what you'd expect. I like how the maps are decently sized for a game like this (It's no Fire Emblem or Disgaea, mind you.) but it is made up for with having obstacles or other effects on the stages. For example, in the one pictures above you need to use the train-thing to get from one side to the other, but it can only transport 3 characters a time, which can vary up gameplay nicely.

Then there's this game's take on Lily Ranks, the Lily System. When you have characters positioned next to eachother before executing a special attack, it'll cause them to kiss each other on the cheek to reduce SP cost, increase your Lily Gauge (used for HDD or Ultimate attacks) and increases the power of the attack. It was cute at first but it's gotten annoying quickly, having to sit through the kissing animations every time. I'm still not sure if there is a way to skip it.

Otherwise, there isn't much to say about the game so far. It's as you'd expect loaded with fanservice, the "lesbian" undertones are sort of undermined by having a self insert for the girls to lust over and the gameplay is simple, yet not so simple you'll get bored of it quickly. Overall I've had a fun 20 hours so far and hope to continue on with the game sometime, if I do I might do a full review and go into proper detail, but for now, I'll see you guys later.

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