Hyperdevotion Noire: Goddess Black Heart has many problems, most of which come from the story. The general story is: Noire is tricked into using the Sharecite by a mysterious person. This causes the goddesses of game market to lose their powers and monsters to appear all over the nation. The four goddesses are forced to put aside their differences if they hope to restore game market to its former glory. While the premise isn’t bad, the execution is. Certain characters and plot devices feel rushed or poorly developed. While the characters do stay true to themselves they can sometimes break character in service of the plot which was disappointing.What I do enjoy from the story however, are the in-game jokes and puns that have been with the series since the first game. As always the best jokes are often from the character Neptune.
Moving onto gameplay, as I stated earlier this is a tactical RPG so it has many familiar gameplay mechanics you would expect to see. In battle you will have a few options for each of the available units that you command. You can move these units to sections that are available for use for you. These spots are determined by the blue grid which shows how far you can move. When you determine the spot for the unit you will have the option to attack, use a SP move, skill, an Item, transform using the HDD or lift. Transforming wont be available right away for some characters. After you have made your selection you will have the option to move your other units(if available ) then you will end your turn. The enemy units will then make their move(s). Each battle will have different win conditions, some will defeat all the enemy units while some can be finish the battle in less than x turns. My problem with the battle is the pacing. Sometimes the battles feel like they drag out. In games such as Fire emblem you can speed up the units making the battles much faster. While the battle system does work, I just feel like other games in this genera has executed it better. This is mainly due to the poor pacing the battles of this game have.
The graphics in this game are good but they are not mind-blowing by any means. The art style is different than most of the other games in the series. The art in this game, for battles at least, is a chibi art style which fits the style of gameplay. The battle animations are ok, In my opinion I have seen better animations from past titles in this series but they are good. The environments for the battles are also nicely detailed. When you are out of battle the graphics take on a more traditional anime style look for the cut scenes of the game. Like other games in the series the cut scenes are still images of the characters interacting with each other with voiced over dialog to move along the plot. This doesn’t bother me as I’ve come to expect it from this long running series.
The sound design is great as always, they have included familiar tunes from previous games and also a few new ones as well. The music isn’t the only part that is great though. The voice over work for the characters is also spot on. The theme they play for the cut scene’s is catchy and the battle theme is even better. Overall the music/sound design is one of the best parts of the game.
The replay value for this game unfortunately suffers. The reason for this is the slow-paced battle system will make you not want to come back to this game. There are a couple of endings to the game so you may want to see those. That is unlikely as the plot though is weak and not worth multiple play throughs but this game does offer new game plus if you’re interested.
Hyperdevotion Noire: Goddess Black Heart has its moments. The music and sound design are great, its nice to see the familiar faces of the series however, those characters were not properly developed in this game. The plot is a mess and the gameplay is uninspired and boring. While there are reasons to replay this game, the slow and poorly written plot will likely see to it that you don’t. If you are in the mood for a good tactical RPG check out Fire Emblem or Advance Wars. If you are looking for a game in the HyperDimension series check out Superdimension Neptune VS Sega Hard Girls. They are much better games. What ever you do though pass on Hyperdevotion, this game gets a 6/10.
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary PC code was provided to Brash Games for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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