Ever since the days of the great classic gaming era of the late 80s/early 90s, I have always been a fan of the arcade beat-em-up games. A great deal of coins were committed to the cause as I slammed quarter after quarter into electronic obelisks. However, over the years, when I would play the same games on a home console it would seem that some of the magic was lost, as if it was some of the charm was left behind when the experience was removed from the arcade.
During those days, I was a young lad who could only pick a very small selection of games, and I made the mistake of passing on one of the greatest beat-em-ups ever made, Guardian Heroes. Fortunately, the portable world now has its own equivalent to that classic, and that game is Code of Princess.
The premise of Code of Princess offers simple concepts with some complex depth at the same time. The game takes place in a great kingdom that has been taken over by an evil darkness. The princess of the land, Solange Blanchefleur de Lux, takes up her sword, the DeLexcalibur, and with some help will save the day.
I feel that the best way to describe this game is beat-em-up/RPG, in that it combines both of those game types, making for a very enjoyable experience. As the princess traverses the land, she will meet many allies. Some of these include a thief, a silly elf dude, a necromancer and a nun. As you meet these party members, you will gain the option to play as them in the game, adding much replay value.
When you take on each stage, your character moves from left to right in a two-dimensional plane, however there are three tiers that you can jump among in the middle of battle. Moving between these is required in order to avoid enemy attacks and to get the jump on them as well. The rest of the stage battling consists of taking on both monster and man. The game unitizes attacks that can be strung together for combos, and when you press the X button, you will “burst,” which doubles your attacking power.
As you beat each bite-sized stage, you will gain experience points that you will use to increase the attributes for that selected character. You can increase your health, magic, defense and speed; but be careful that you don’t make a character that is without balance, or the later parts of the game will greatly challenge you. Only one character can be played at a time, so you can devote many hours to this game, and I think it’s a good thing.
The world of Code of Princess is engaging. I mean, come on. The main hero is a princess in a tiny metal bikini who uses a big sword to dish out punishment against her enemies. The rest of the cast of characters is just as awesome, such as the female necromancer who is always talking about how she is losing her body parts. This game would easily make a great anime series, due to the cool story scenes at the beginning of each stage. Speaking of anime, the graphics are filled with beautiful character animations, and many of the backgrounds are also a joy to look at. This game makes me want a 3DS XL so much so I could enjoy the graphics that much more.
I must say, the localization to this game is top-notch. The characters come to life via the charm that was put into the script and the great work of the voice actors. The music is also very good, as it harks back to the era of Eastern action games of the mid 90s.
Overall, I really enjoyed myself playing Code of Princess. The gurus at Atlas have once again graced us with a fantastic piece of gaming art. If you own a 3DS, then you owe it to yourself to try this great game.
Review copy of game provided by publisher.