Now, here is a surprise. I didn't expect to get into this game but, well, I did -- and totally addicted to it lately. The first time I came across this "Neptune" character was when I was playing the Monster Monpiece card game (released by the same game company, Compile Heart) and I thought the anime art was pretty cool (well, yes!) Then I saw some reviews of this game (turn-based JRPG) and thought I'd give it a go. This is nothing like the Sen No Kiseki I & II series (which is v dark and serious). Quite the contrary, HNRB1 is totally goofy/hilarious and doesn't take itself too seriously.
The gameplay, though, is kinda hard to get into. At first it was a little tedious to be honest... there was the usual levelling (started with just one character, then, two, then three), unlocking new skills, finding new weapons and accessories etc. There were also all sorts of monster drops that unlock new dungeons, enemies, items and special bonuses that make the game harder/easier... I, of course, made the game easier! Then I realised there were DLCs so I bought one character (Plutia), which really helped me get through some of the tougher battles.
So you can see the more things you unlock, the higher level the characters are and the more abilities unfold, things to get interesting and... addictive. By the time when I have more than half a dozen characters to play around with, there was no stopping there....
So basically the story revolves around four "game goddesses" - Neptune, Noire, Vert and Blanc - who are at loggerheads in this "console war" (well, each goddess supposed to represent a game console...) and when the other three decide to gang against Neptune, the "Purple Heart Goddess" loses and falls onto Earth as a result, losing all her memory. Here she meets Compa a young nurse and an intelligence agent (?) called IF. They soon become BFFs and their mission, of course, is to re-discover Nep-Nep's memory. Lurking in the background are some evil forces who want to destroy all the four goddesses...
To cut a long story short and fast forward to Chapter 8 (where I am at now), I have unlocked half a dozen supporting characters and one part of this game that I find most fun is to pair them up for battles. Six characters can take part in them, but only three actually do the fighting at any given time. So, logically (and being anally thematic), I have all four protagonists in the team and to leverage on the bonuses, here is my pairing: Neptune + (sister) Nepgear; Blanc + (sister) Rom; Vert + Noire. Just for fun, other pairings include Compa + IF and magic combo Plutia + MAGES.
I don't think I will finish the game -- even I'm totally over-levelled now for the final boss (a bit like my Final Fantasy X2 game, which I stopped playing in the final chapter) -- cos I don't want to do NG+ (gawd, farming items - which is such a grind - can be v tedious) so will see how far I will go with the Colosseum (which has enemies up to level 999... at the moment my team is only level 70+ so you can imagine there is still a Long way to go).
In the meantime, I really love this battle music (esp the violin part):