Review: Code of Princess (Nintendo 3DS)
Code of Princess is a game designed by an expert team of famous developers with the goal to bring a “hardcore” title to Agatsuma Entertainment’s growing library.
The series started in an unlikely place: before it was a game, it was a collectable statue available in Japan. The statue so happened to be designed by famous Street Fighter character artist, Kinu Nishimura who actually designed an entire world around the statue and was just waiting to unleash her ideas into the world.
The development team also includes designers of the well-loved Sega Saturn title, Guardian Heroes.
Backed up by so much raw talent, does Code of Princess live up to its prestige?
On the surface, Code of Princess appears to be a pretty generic RPG, wrapped in plenty of near-naked female characters. However, when you peel back the layers and actually boot up the game, you find an extremely rich, well polished experience.
With a little eye candy mixed in for good measure.
Code of Princess tells the pretty straight forward story of Princess Solange Blanchefleur de Lux who gets embroiled in an epic fight to save her kingdom, DeLuxia, from the clutches of an evil witch.
The ditzy princess wields a massive weapon, DeLuxcalibur, and eventually assembles a team of would-be warriors to help her in her cause.
The game is chock full of great humour and puns; you’ll constantly be reminded in a very funny way that you’re playing through a pretty run-of-the-mill fantasy plot. The constant references to the word “Deluxe” is a play on the fact Code of Princess, and Princess Solange, began as a collectable statue created by famous Street Fighter artist, Kinu Nishimura.
Unravelling the story in this bite-sized, humour-laced way is a stroke of genius because the story is super simple to follow and doesn’t take up a lot of time, both perfect fits for handheld a game.
During Campaign Mode, you will need to master the hack-and-slash battlefield. While button mashing will get you through most fights, coming to grips with the combos afforded to you via button combinations similar to most fighting games will ensure you get there in style.
The battlefield takes place over three “planes” and is a perfect fit for the Nintendo 3DS’ 3D display. Think of it as playing a classic, 16-bit fighting game like Mortal Kombat where you can switch between fighting in the background, mid-ground, and foreground. Fans of Guardian Heroes will understand how this works. In solo modes, this feature is great to help even the score, but in Multiplayer you’ll need to use the playing field to your advantage.
Code of Princess has a quest system. During Campaign Mode, you will have a set objective in each mission to complete, usually within a certain timeframe. The campaign is certainly well worth a play through, but those wanting even more can try their luck with Bonus Mission Mode which throws various, bite-sized missions at you. Code of Princess is an RPG at heart, so you’ll need to be prepared for some level grinding, especially in the later stages. Thankfully, you are able to go back and re-play any completed mission to build up experience points.
Multiplayer is a fantastic addition to an already quality title. Ranked Matches allow you to choose from over 50 characters, collected through the campaign mode, however you will not be able to use customised characters. This is what Ultimate Mode is for, and winning a match will reward you with items and experience points. Code of Princess also offers a co-operative multiplayer mode, allowing players to go through certain missions together.
Code of Princess is positively dripping in good design from the responsive feel of battling, to the wonderfully produced cut scenes, to the overall visual look of the game; this is one that is presented very well. The best part about the presentation is the fact that the game is just so easy to pick up and play, yet has that depth required of a more demanding title aimed at hardcore players.
Code of Princess is the jewel of the Nintendo 3DS eShop. Agatsuma Entertainment’s first foray into titles aimed at older gamers has delivered an instant classic worthy of every gamer’s collection, regardless of their skill level.