Do you like platforming in your games? Do you like incredible difficulty? How about ridiculous game titles and premises? If you said yes to one or more of these, then I have the game for you. It’s called Prinny 2: Dawn of Operation Panties, Dood! Yeah…for real, that’s the name of the game.
You play as Prinny, a little penguin looking guy who lives in hell with other demons and monsters. Prinny is charged with getting a pair of his boss’ panties back that were stolen by a master thief that collects rare items. The game takes place in the Disgaea universe. I will be honest; I have never played a Disgaea game before so the entire story and characters make almost no sense to me. Still, you can enjoy the story with an open mind.
The game features a hand drawn art style much like an anime. It’s very colorful and looks rather nice. The presentation and soundtrack is entertaining and does a good job of creating a “self-aware” feel. Nippon Ichi does a good job of making a game that knows it’s a game and breaks the fourth wall. It’s actually really entertaining.
The game is a 2D platformer that can expand to 3D in some situations. Prinny has many abilities to use that will “help” you progress through the level. He can double jump, use sword attacks, ground pound onto enemies’ heads, air attack with projectiles, and dash. I say “help” because even with your arsenal, this game will beat the ever loving crap out of you.
The game gives you 1000 lives to complete the game. I’ll just say, you’ll use up almost all of them by the time you reach the end. The game also features a time system where you have 8 hours to complete the game. Each hour is basically when you go to a stage. So, if you decide to go back to the base before finishing the level, you used up an hour.
If playing on normal, you can take only three hits before you die. There are checkpoints in each level to help you out, but sometimes you’ll use up 20 or 30 lives just getting to the next checkpoint. There are a ton of enemies each with a unique way of attacking so you always have to stay on your toes. There’s always some pit you’ll fall in, some enemy that will kill you, or some boss that will decimate you. The game is brutal. There is no nice way to putting it. Luckily, you can change the difficulty whenever you are at the base, and it doesn’t affect the ending.
I finally realized about three hours into the game why exactly it is so difficult. It’s the jumping mechanic. You see, when you jump, you jump straight up into the air. If you want to jump to the left or right, you have to be moving in that direction before you jump, otherwise, you’ll just jump straight up. There is no controlling the direction or distance of your jumps. If you jump right, you going to jump completely right until you fall back down or until you hit something.
Think of it like this, did you ever play the old Castlevania games on the NES? You remember how Simon Belmont controlled and jumped? It’s like that. Also, if you get hit, you are knocked back. So, if you get hit on the right side and you’re standing next to a ledge on the left, you get knocked back into the pit and die. Yeah, it’s that kind of old school platforming.
The boss fights are rather unique and entertaining. Granted, they are extremely difficult, but luckily, there is a checkpoint right before the fights so you can just automatically go right back to the right if you die. They off up a good challenge and give you a break from all the difficult platforming.
The voice acting is exceptionally well done and there is a lot of it in the cut scenes. The dialog is just as crazy as the title, but it will keep you somewhat entertained and amused. There were actually a couple of times where I laughed at the crazy situations and dialogs.
There were times where I had to turn off the game due to me getting frustrated. The game is just so brutal and unforgiving. Sometimes, you’ll look at the next platforming area and say to yourself, “How am I supposed to do that?!” but somehow, you will be able to finally do it. That’s what makes the game so charming. You actually learn the levels and have to pay attention to the enemies’ movements and patterns. The game really does remind me of some of the old school Castlevania and Mega Man games where you have to almost memorize the level in order to progress.
I can still say there is a lot of fun to be had in Prinny 2. Just be prepared to die…a lot. There’s just something about finally beating a boss or level after an hour of playing and countless lives lost. The PSP has yet another game that will satisfy you need for platforming punishment. Disgaea fans will probably get more enjoyment out of the story than I did. I’m sure there are a ton of references I didn’t get, but even non-fans will still get a few laughs out of the dialog. If you own a PSP and are looking for one hell of a challenge, look no further.
Review copy provided by publisher.