Sorry Noire, but it's time we go our separate ways.
Hyperdevotion Noire gets a lot of things right, but falters when it crosses the line from comedic hijinks into creepy territory. Regardless, it’s a solid SRPG, and sure to provide Neptunia fans with many hours of content and entertainment.
As the series' first shot at an SRPG, Hyperdevotion Noire: Goddess Black Heart is a solid attempt. With many of its characters well formed, unique combat mechanics, and terrain features to spice up the action, it's a shame that it lets itself down with heavy repetition. Fans of the franchise will love the change of pace, as well as getting up close and personal with Noire and the other generals. Everyone else, however, may not be wooed quite so easily.
A decent first step into the TRPG pond. While it lacks the serious tone and depth required for a diehard RPG lover, fans of the series and those looking for a laid-back comedy story will have lots of fun.
At the end of the day, I can say with confidence that Hyperdevotion Noire: Goddess Black Heart is easily the best game in the series, and certainly worth the time of any JRPG fan.
Even though much of Hyperdevotion Noire is indeed unoriginal, with its countless caricatures of trendy gaming icons, there's enough novelty and variety in its strategic battles to keep players, especially fans of the mainline series, interested for quite a while.
What Hyperdevotion Noire lacks in inherent innovation, it makes up for in character (and tsundere).
While this strategy RPG does nothing innovative, its the characters and the story that makes it all worth it.
Hyperdevotion Noire: Goddess Blackheart is a rather challenging game. The story is run of the mill, but the game has fun little moments that make it truly feel like a return to the Neptunia universe and it translates the RPG genre to turn-based tactics well. If you like TBT’s and love the Neptunia franchise then this is a must play game.
All in all, Hyperdevotion Noire is a decent sidetrack from the standard Neptunia games, but it could have used a bit more streamlining and quality-of-life mechanics to bring it up to current SRPG titles. [OpenCritic note: Jorge S Fernandez separately reviewed the PC (6) and Vita (7) versions. Their scores have been averaged.]
If you’ve got a Vita and you’re jonesing for a Final Fantasy Tactics clone that is not too deep, and incredibly silly, this is the game for you.
Hyperdevotion Noire: Goddess Black Heart offers great gameplay with the unfortunate caveat that you’ll need to waste more time than expected waiting on enemies to enjoy it.
And yet, as you do come to the end of Hyperdevotion Noire it’s difficult not to think that it’s taken a slight step ahead of the Neptunias. While there still feels as though there are a few too many characters, at least this time around they all seem to be fully fleshed out, and supporting combat mechanics mean there’s a good chance that you’ll find an excuse to actually take them into battle and use them. Noire provides a different, perhaps more traditional leading lady to the game, and helps balance some of the randomness that the other characters demonstrate. It’s a fun enough ride, and franchise fans will lap it all up, but maybe it needed to go even further to demonstrate some wider appeal.
Hyperdevotion Noire: Goddess Black Heart is a fan’s game. You get to have fun with the Hyperdimension Neptunia cast, and with the lovely tsundere Noire as the leading lady. It’s an entertaining ride, similar to the flagship titles. But the game itself just doesn’t measure up. There’s nothing of note that makes it worth playing, and that is what hurts this title: it’s just a too-simplistic strategy RPG that does nothing to make you want to play more.
Hyperdevotion Noire: Goddess Black Heart is definitely a title worth picking up, for a number of reasons. The concept is interesting, the audio-visual presentation is great, the gameplay is solid and it's one of those Japanese RPG's that are wacky, but not wacky to the point of being unplayable for a typical western gamer. If you've never played a JRPG or SRPG of this kind, this is a good game to start with. If you have, all the better, you'll feel right at home with Noire and her CPU friends.
In the end, the genre change doesn't hurt Hyperdevotion Noire: Goddess Black Heart. The story may be straightforward, but the characters and their personalities make things enjoyable. The gameplay may not bog you down with too many systems and minutiae, but it remains fun. The simple nature of the strategy and some slow elements, like enemy movement, may irk genre veterans, but for fans of the series and those who are starting to get interested in strategy RPGs, Hyperdevotion Noire is worth a shot, especially if the developer patches up that crash.
Hopefully the next game will have a story that can match the gameplay.
Hyperdevotion Noire: Goddess Black Heart is a surprisingly competent strategy RPG with solid mechanics, great stylised visuals, plenty of content and well-observed videogame parody humour. Not to mention an extraordinary amount of risqué fanservice for those who love Hyperdimension Neptunia. Though pacing issues and other concerns hold it back from being truly great, what's here is still very impressive and well worth considering for fans of the genre or franchise -- and essential if you're a fan of both.
So it is not a perfect game and as you come to grips with its systems it stops being difficult even on the highest difficulty levels, but Hyperdevotion Noire is a deliberately silly, irreverent game that is hugely entertaining and technically competent. As someone who can't get enough of the tactics JRPG genre, this is one I couldn't put down.
Hyperdevotion Noire is a great little side-game that was clearly put together with some skill, and the solid character writing more than holds it together. Those looking for a great strategy RPG may want to look elsewhere, but Neptune fans fond of the previous entries will be more than pleased to find Goddess Black Heart is a very well made game.