A new JRPG recently announced for the PlayStation 3 in North America has far from a conventional storyline.
Many Japanese RPGs tell the tale of a child, sometimes an amnesiac, that eventually builds up enough strength to save the world. Nippon Ichi Software America is changing things up with the announcement that it'll be bringing Hyperdimension Neptunia to North America and Europe, a JRPG that features the game industry protecting itself against piracy.
Hyperdimension Neptunia casts players as a CPU, the game's representation of actual videogame consoles and companies, in the quest to save the world of Gamindustri from the evil monsters unleashed by Arfoire. As you can tell by the names used, the game takes the form of an allegory for the fight against piracy (Arfoire refers to the well-known R4 Nintendo DS piracy card). Gamindustri is made up of various world divisions ruled by CPUs with names very close to Wii and PlayStation that battle each other for dominance.
Neptunia is a parody of sorts that turns these consoles and companies into female anime heroes like main character Neptune (referring to the Sega Saturn?) that can be customized with various kinds of armor and equipment. The game also allows for the customization of character appearances through the editing of images stored on the PS3, in addition to player summons.
Classic videogame characters are used as summons in the Neptunia's battle system, but players can also use their own uploaded images. Some of the summons shown in footage of the Japanese version include Shinobi and the guy from Space Harrier, though these characters haven't been confirmed for other regions. If you want to upload a picture of your creepy uncle, that'll work just as well. Players will also be able to create and name their own combo attacks, so the game should have a strong element of personalization.
Unlike other NISA titles, Hyperdimension Neptunia uses a 3D battle system rather than 2D sprite-based combat. Aside from Disgaea 3, NISA's PS3 offerings haven't fared too well critically, so hopefully Neptunia's original concept and a fun battle system will make it a worthy addition to the PS3's RPG library.