Game: Prinny 1-2: Exploded and Reloaded
Release Date: October 13, 2020 (NA)
System: Nintendo Switch
Genre: Action, Platformer
Engine Software, Nippon Ichi Software
Published by: NIS America
Review Code: Yes
Reviewed by: Priscilla W.
Prinny 1-2: Exploded and Reloaded developed by both Engine Software and Nippon Ichi Software and published by NIS America is a compilation of both Prinny games – Prinny: Can I Really Be the Hero? and Prinny 2: Dawn of Operation Panties, Dood! These games -originally released on Sony PSP- see the light again on Nintendo Switch.
I would like to preface with the fact that even though I easily recognised Prinny as a character and knew that these games existed – this was my first experience with both titles. It was definitely a trial by fire as until I started the first game, I had no idea that they were incredibly difficult. Just like the life of a Prinny, dood.
Both games follow a similar concept; Prinny are the lowest of the low in the demon world and are treated as disposable workhorses by Etna. Etna has fiery temper and forces the Prinny to carry out tasks for her. In the first game, finding her desert that ‘someone’ had eaten and in the second game retrieving her missing panties. Prinny are renowned for being weak and exploding at a single touch and so these tasks are quite difficult, dood! These tasks take you through a range of levels that you can -for the most part- play in any order that you desire. The later you do the levels – the more difficult that they become and so depending on your strategy of choice you can play the harder levels first or play them in chronological order for more of a challenge.
The levels themselves are general platforming fare. Depending on your difficulty level of choice; Prinny can survive a single hit or multiple hits from enemies. The environments vary significantly and the enemies feel fresh in each level. The levels do have frequent checkpoints which make traversing each level somewhat easier. At the end of every level, there is a boss fight which changes depending on chosen level order.
The attacks and combat are really straight forward. Prinny will spend most of their time ground pounding enemies to stun them and slashing them into smithereens. There is one glaring downside to how Prinny controls however and that is when it comes to jumping. It is just so incredibly awkward as you are unable to move once you have jumped. Prinny jumps straight into the air. Double jump helps slightly but a lot of unneccessary exploded Prinny’s will be the result of this rigid jump. It is something that you do get used to over time but the first time you jump and expect to be able to move is a bit of a shock!
Whilst this continues into Prinny 2, there are a few other changes that make the game slightly better to play. The original game has a combo meter awwarded bonus points when completed and in the sequel that was adapted into providing Prinny with a range of powered-up moves which is a lot more beneficial. This provided more of a sense of urgency regarding the collection of items that give you points. This aside, it Prinny 2 feels incredibly similar to the first game to the extent that it almost feels like a direct continuation of the same game.
Whilst gameplay is the focus of both games; there are enough small bursts of character interaction that feel rewarding after multiple attempts to get to that point. The story is light, and as expected, some of the dialogue is eyebrow raising but overall I got a few chuckles out of it. Even though Prinny are taken from the Disgaea universe – the games are self-contained and can still be enjoyed without knowledge of said universe. There may be little nods here and there that could be missed but the plot itself is both welcoming to new players and veterans of the series combined – which is very nice!
Overall, I found that both games were an enjoyable entrance to the Disgaea universe. The games are more-or-less a straight port of the originals and do not bring anything new; but do they need to when the original releases could confidently be called niche? A release on the Nintendo Switch provides a much broader audience than the original Sony PSP release and a chance for the series to be loved by many more people. Whilst there were some issues with the way Prinny controls and that the difficulty often seemed needlessly punishing; the way that the levels altered depending on which order you played in adds a replay factor to the game if you are someone that can stand the grueling challenge, dood.