Prinny: Can I Really Be the Hero? Review

With its new Disgaea series spin-off, Nippon Ichi Software stirs up fond memories of a bygone era, when side-scrolling, 2D action/platformers were all the rage, and the simple joys of jumping around and slashing/pummeling everything in sight were enough to keep us happy for hours on end. Prinny: Can I Really Be the Hero? for the PSP delivers those simple pleasures, while at the same time punishing players for thinking they’re actually good at playing videogames.

In Prinny: Can I Really Be the Hero, the ever-enslaved, explosive, penguin-shaped vessels for loathsome human souls are sent by their spoiled master, Etna, to collect the ingredients for the Ultra Dessert, after she discovers that her pantry has been plundered. Unfortunately for the expendable Prinnys, these ingredients are scattered across the Netherworld among ten uniquely-themed levels, and guarded by numerous enemy creatures and powerful boss characters, both from the Disgaea series and unique to this title. Because each Prinny can only withstand four hits before croaking (and just a single blow on hard mode), conquering these foes is not a very easy task.

The frequency with which players die rarely pushes frustration to its limits, however, possibly because the 1000 Prinnys available before the dreaded “game over” create a sense of comfort somewhere deep in the backs of their minds. Amid all the slashing, butt-stomping, bomb-chucking, and vehicle manning, the biggest gripe comes from the sometimes rigid feel of the game’s controls. Rushing through the various stages is not really an option, as players employing that strategy will most likely only find the bottoms of many endless pits along the way. Care must be taken in order to successfully traverse the forests, fortresses, volcanoes, etc., and especially to defeat each area’s boss. Simply mashing the square button won’t work on these baddies; it will take timed butt-stomps to stun them, followed by short barages of the Prinnys’ regular and aerial attacks…and lots of dodging.

Throughout the journey, players will be treated to very pleasing visuals, with detailed 2D sprites moving across crisp and colorful 3D backgrounds. Character design is especially impressive, as each different type of enemy seems to convey its own personality simply by way of its appearance. Voice acting and sound effects also help to convey the silly nature of the characters, and the story in general. The game’s soundtrack is enjoyable, albeit somewhat forgettable.

Prinny: Can I Really Be the Hero? is certainly an enjoyable little game. It feels like a throwback to the SNES and Genesis days, which, along with its carefully rendered visuals and lighthearted audio, will put a smile on many gamers’ faces. Even so, the game doesn’t skimp on challenge, and I can guarantee that the “Hell’s Finest” difficulty setting will keep any gamer busy for quite some time. This one is definitely worth a try…



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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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