Reviewed by Thomas
- Developer: Nippon Ichi Software
- Publisher: NIS America
- Release Date: 26/03/2019
- Price: $39.99 / £35.99
- Review code provided by Nis America
When your last foe falls and your sword is stained red, life feels fragile. Fleeting even. Questions of what next swirl in the morose air. Somberly you look down at your cracked knuckles, caked in mud and grime. The frayed and weathered hilt of your trusted tool echoes your aching body. How many lives exchanged for the chips and dulling of your blade? The deftness at which you hack and slash? Does it have a purpose? All the soldiers trained and honed to be more cogs driving the endless machine of war. Instead of shaping the cogs, perhaps it’s time to mold a different future. Perhaps it’s time to direct the influencers and not the influenced. The lofty monarchs need a steady hand to point the way. It is time to become… The Princess Guide!
The Steel of the Dead
The late Bernard Shaw wrote, “He who can, does. He who cannot, teaches.” The Princess Guide challenges this maxim by putting you in control of a capable commander. The knowledge you impart is from first hand experience. This is clear from the onset as you tackle the tutorial. The beginning of the story is uniquely delivered in poetic fashion. As you march to battle the introduction is printed beneath your boots on the battlefield. Following a number of skirmishes you take on the role of an instructor. At the behest of a fellow comrade you decide to train leaders around the world to gather material for your next book. You enter into contract with four princesses. Each princess has her own personality and goal. Throughout the game you observe them learn and grow. Their dialogue is often humorous and enjoyable to read. As each story plays out you uncover more of each character’s desire and how they impact the world. Ultimately your actions determine which princess will see her goals attained.
When All Else Fails,
The tutorial was a bit of a mess. The main tutorial was delivered at a time when there was a lot of chaos going on. The overly complex button options made me forget some key instruction until later on. It took me a while to fully grasp the combat system. The Princess Guide plays like an action RPG with a slew of soldiers at your command. Successful command of your troops makes a huge difference in avoiding the failed mission screen. Since most battles are only a few minutes, defeat rarely sets you back to a depressing state. You can control your own avatar in battle or opt to directly guide your princess and her entourage. There is an option to hire additional commanders which was nice if you didn’t like a specific princesses moveset.
Use Your Fists!
During the first act of the game I had no idea what was going on in terms of what missions to accept and how to properly train your princess. During conversations you have the option to “Praise” or “Scold” the princess you’re currently working with. This in turn affects her happiness and can lead to learning new skills. You can also use the Praise and Scold options when she is in battle. Providing counsel to your princess in a fight yields benefits such as healing. You issue commands to the troops accompanying each commander. In the heat of battle, the command buttons were a little frustrating as you have to hold the left bumper while dodging attacks with the left analog stick and scrolling to an option with the d-pad, also on the left side. If you think that run-on sentence was long, try issuing commands while surrounded by frenzied zombies. The control scheme wasn’t always intuitive and resulted in death more often than it should have. There was certainly a learning curve and I died a lot more in the beginning than in the end. Traps placed around the field can be taken over and used against the enemy. The core combat was fun and addictive. Once you learn the intricacies of the command and trap systems you can cut down swaths of enemies and bosses within seconds.
Sparkly World, Forgotten!?
The art and music is well done in The Princess Guide. It’s voiced in Japanese and has really wiggly characters. When characters speak it looks like they ingested a jug of coffee. In some of the heavily infested battles it could be tough to keep an eye on your commander and troops. The Princess Guide presented well on the television but I enjoyed it most as a handheld title.
The Princess Guide has a memorable cast with a decent story. Though the gameplay has its faults it’s still enjoyable in short spurts. There’s also a fair amount of replayability to experience the different endings. Early confusion and a frustrating control scheme keep The Princess Guide from higher marks but it’s satisfying once you get the hang of it.
- Quirky Characters
- Challenging Combat
- Unique Leveling System
- Confusing Start
- Problematic Controls