I’ve been trying to ‘expand my horizons’ as a gamer lately.
I’ve been playing with a new console (Wii) and I’ve been playing genres that I normally don’t get into. I haven’t played any hard core platformers since the 8-bit days, and I’ve never played a Disgaea game.
Prinny is a platformer, and a spin-off from Disgaea… This is my review.
Apparently, in the Disgaea universe, you’ll run across these crazed penguins that you can pick up and throw at your enemies… they are called Prinnies, and they work for an even crazier Demon Lord named Etna. In this game, someone steals Etna’s dessert and she gets REAL upset.
In fact, she gets so upset that she charges her prinnies to get her the magical/mythical ‘Ultra Dessert’ within 24 hours, or she’ll kill them all.
Pleasant person, this Etna gal.
She gives you one red scarf, it makes the Prinnies more stable, and less likely to explode, and then sends you out into the world. What this means to you, the player, is you start with 1000 lives. I’ll type that again, so you’re sure it’s not a typo: YOU START WITH 1000 LIVES.
Every time you die, you’re essentially replaced with another Prinny, each one taking on the scarf and continuing the mission.
Thinking that maybe a 1000 lives is too much? Think again. This game isn’t just old-school Castlevania hard (it reminds me a lot of those games, though), it goes even further… it’s kick-you-in-the-groin-steal-your-lunch-money hard. You’re going to need all those lives.
While the controls are generally spot-on, there is one part of the game’s jumping mechanic that creates some of this difficulty: you can’t affect your jump while you’re in the air. You can do a ‘butt slam’ move that drops you straight down at high velocity (use it to stun enemies), but other than that, once you jump, you’re committed.
Don’t be surprised if you chew up 15-20 lives trying to make a single jump… that’s why they give you so many to start with.
Prinny is very traditional, harkening back to the old NES days. If you’ve played the original Castlevania you have a good idea of what to expect. Run and jump through the level, kill enemies along the way. At the end of the level, fight the boss using pattern recognition… because they have that ONE MOMENT of weakness, and you’ll need to know when to strike and when to dodge in their animation cycle.
It’s nothing new, but it does have something going for it: it’s probably the most gorgeous looking 2D platformer I’ve ever seen. The music is memorable as well, and fits the various levels nicely.
Voice acting is done well, even if it is WAY over the top. And if I have to hear another penguin say ‘Dood’, I may have to open a vein.
So what’s the final verdict?
I really can’t say anything BAD about the game, it’s just very difficult. If you have a love for old-school 2D platformers, or for the Disgaea series, you’ll want to pick it up. If you were intrigued enough to read this review, but get frustrated easily… you may want to rent it.
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