Bonjour, mesdames et messieurs! David here for Idea Factory International. Why the French talk, you ask? Well, I’m just très excited because my favorite French-sounding Goddess, Noire, makes her debut as the main character in Hyperdevotion Noire: Goddess Black Heart today, exclusively on PS Vita! Let’s dive a little into the first strategy RPG in the Hyperdimension Neptunia world, shall we?
In this game, you’ll see the world through the eyes of a guy roped into being the Secretary for Noire — the leader and CPU of the Lastation nation. As her Secretary, your main task is to strategize battles and help her accomplish various quests — but like any assistant/secretary, you’re probably gonna also have to end up doing some interior decorating.
While working as the Secretary, you’ll meet a plethora of other characters. What’s a strategy RPG without a miniature army to select from? Each of the 26 unique characters has her own strengths and weaknesses, as well as character design that plays like an “I Spy” game of video game references. Strategize the perfect troop of characters to get through every battle grid, balancing out each of their skills and stats. Or just pick the ones whose over-the-top skills you like the most and hope for the best!
Did I mention that these girls need to get along? Performing a skill with one or more allies nearby boosts up those characters’ Lily Rank. As their Rank increases throughout the game, their skills also become more effective with each quick kiss of encouragement. Bumping up Lily Ranks and Lily Points also allow you to unlock extra-powerful skills and the Goddess forms for the main characters! It’s just like that one song says, there’s love on this battlefield. Oh wait, those aren’t the lyrics?
Anyway, you’ll really need all the help you can get to fight through maps laden with traps like moving platforms, live wires, and fiery pits of doom! Plus, there is a buttload of status effects you can experience, like becoming pixelated, which gives a boost to your movement range while significantly decreasing your defense, or becoming a zombie and mindlessly attacking your allies.
Sometimes after a long day of strategizing on the battlefield and avoiding zombie bites from friends, you just want to kick back on the couch at home. And you can do exactly that with the Sim Noire mini-game, in which you can furnish and upgrade Noire’s place, transforming it from “Is this where a Goddess really lives?” to “Ah my Goddess, I dig these digs!” Not only do you get to make the place look good, but this furniture can really dispense some pearls of wisdom. Plus, by upgrading the place, you’ll get to unlock extra events that help you get to know Noire better!
So are you ready to take on the role of the Secretary? It’s up to you to get your army of 26 characters through every isometric grid of battle, dropping enemies with Lily Boost-enhanced skills and avoiding the traps on the maps! And if you want to take a break from all the strategic battle action, you can upgrade Noire’s place, hearing the thoughts of every piece of furniture and unlocking extra scenes with Noire — because any Secretary worth their salt should get to know their boss as much as they can. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got some strategizing to do. Salut!