Prinny: Can I Really Be The Hero? Hands-On Preview

Even the stars themselves are surprised at Nippon Ichi Software’s new side-scrolling Disgaea series spin-off. Prinny: Can I Really Be The Hero takes the demented plushie slaves of the Netherworld — despicable human souls sewn into peg-legged demonic penguin skins that explode on impact — and sends them on an epic adventure even Odysseus himself would shy away from. That, or they’re out finding dessert.

Someone has pillaged the spoiled, iron-fisted, Prinny slave-driver Etna’s dessert stash, so she decides to send 1000 Prinnies (yes, players have 1000 "lives" in this game) on a mission to retrieve ingredients from all ends of the Netherworld to re-create the ultimate tasty treat. Think of it like a sugar-coated, edible Triforce that you have to risk your life to get and then give away to someone who physically and emotionally abuses you.


Prinny: Can I Really Be The Hero?


Lucky for the Prinnies, Etna crafts a magical scarf that makes them only slightly less volatile on the field of battle, so players will be able to withstand a total of four hits per Prinny (in standard mode; one on hard) as they traverse the game’s ten themed levels. Still, the game makes it surprisingly easy to die.

Equipped with blades, butt-stomps, and the occasional vagrant bomb, the detailed 2D Prinny sprites will make their way across impressive 3D stages, from forests to fortresses to volcanoes, collecting desserts and fending off a number of new and returning foes, including a boss encounter at the end of each area. Simple square-button slashing will get players through each stage, but the bosses require just a bit more strategy — namely, the temporarily stunning butt-stomps. It’s really a shame the Metal Slug-esque vehicles the Prinnies find along the way can’t come through the boss gates.


Prinny: Can I Really Be The Hero?


Despite the massive number of lives at the player’s disposal — and these Prinnies really do define the word disposable — this game is not easy. Like the great side-scrolling 16-bit action games of which it is so reminiscent, patience and precision are required to be successful during both the combat and platforming portions of Prinny: Can I Really Be The Hero.

From the build I had the chance to play, Prinny is shaping up to be a solid title, and with exceptional visuals, fun-yet-challenging gameplay, and plenty of comic relief, it’s definitely worth looking forward to. It ships to US retailers on February 17th, dood. (I couldn’t resist.)


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Author: Eddie Inzauto View all posts by
Eddie has been writing about games on the interwebz for over ten years. You can find him Editor-in-Chiefing around these parts, or talking nonsense on Twitter @eddieinzauto.

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