Prinny: Can I Really be the hero? PSP Review

Disgaea spinoff, Prinny: Can I Really Be The Hero? is proof that you should never judge a book by its cover way of thought. Its penguin-like stars and cartoon exterior perhaps suggest that this is going to be great for kids, possessing a gentle difficulty curve for their still developing attention spans, but think again.

Disgaea itself has the cartoon looks, but as people who’ve played it well know, it has too much in the way of complexities to be considered as a kids game, as well as a level of zaniness that could potentially have funny effects on a still developing mind.

Prinny: Can I Really Be The Hero? shares its relations offbeat sense of humour but not its strategic mind. The game is not of the strategy genre but is instead a platformer, which is different territory altogether for Nippon Ichi.

For those not in the know Prinnies look like Penguins, but actually contain the souls of people who were previously evil in a past life and, as a result, are punished with a life of slavery. They also have a penchant for saying “Dood” a lot and have all the requirements for mascot status, which also makes them perfect stars for their own adventure.

The story of the game is typical insane fare for Nippon Ichi, which will please the diehard fans, even if the platforming side of things fails to impress. It stars Prinny, who is attempting to gather together ingredients for the ultra dessert for Disgaea favourite, Etna. The developers quirky sense of humour is very much intact and, more often than not, falls into the so ridiculous that you can’t fail to laugh category.

The stages of Prinny: Can I Really Be the Hero? can be tackled in whatever order you wish and what’s more is that after every play through of a level, night will get closer. When it does arrive, you’re able to replay previously completed levels, albeit much more difficult variations of them.

Prinny: Can I Really Be The Hero? is a fairly standard platformer, which comes as a bit of a shock after the directions Nippon Ichi pulled the strategy genre in. Obviously Prinny can jump, but is also able to hip pound to stun his enemies and slash away at them with his sword, he can also slide, which makes him temporarily invincible. The most unique aspect is the fact that you get a staggering 1000 lives, which is in agreement with the mainline series’ liking for sky high numbers.

This doesn’t make the game easy though, far from it in fact. Prinny: Can I really Be the Hero? is an unforgiving game and the average gamer is going to quickly see their 1000 lives decreasing. There are two difficulties: standard allows you to take three hits from enemies before you die, but does little to ease the problem for those with a tendency to plummet to their death from high places. Hells finest is as evil as it sounds, only allowing one hit from enemies for you to die.

Games with high difficulties are fine just as long as they’re fair, but Prinny: Can I Really Be The Hero? doesn’t always feel like it’s playing nice. It starts off relatively easy, but later jumping across gaps is often made even harder by the heavy presence of enemies, a problem that‘s exacerbated by the fact that when you die you‘re sent to the nearest activated revive point, being forced to play small but often difficult chunks again . Occasionally it can also feel a bit trial and error, but with the more than generous lives available to you, it isn’t half as much of an issue as it could have been.

The game’s boss battles fare better, they’re challenging but largely not cheap. These lot have a high resistance to attacks, but their defence can be weakened by utilizing the hip pound attack at the right moments, the key is finding when these moments are. They’re easily the highlight of the game, both for their personalities and the solid challenge they offer.

With Prinny: Can I Really Be The Hero? Nippon Ichi haven’t managed to match their strategy games in terms of the level of quality. Its unfairly pitched difficulty is its primary downfall as elsewhere all the pieces were in place to put together a great, old fashioned platformer, complete with the developers quirky style. But in the end, it’s nothing more than a solid game that few people are going to be able to stomach, basically, unless you have godly skills or are God himself, this could very well break you.

Actually, on second thought, I think even God Almighty himself would pull his beard out with frustration whilst playing this game.