|Dev: Agatsuma Entertainment/Bones|
|Release: October 9, 2012|
|Screen Resolution: N/A||Fantasy Violence, Partial Nudity|
The story, too, falls flat in comparison. Guardian Heroes was a game of branching paths and multiple endings. While Code of Princess does have multiple endings, they’re accessible via a single choice one doesn’t make until the end of the (incredibly short) game. Prior to that, the only branching is when the four lead characters get separate. Who you choose to play the next level with changes what that level is, but everyone’s back together by the level after that, so it’s fairly moot.
The writing, however, is enjoyable, with a kooky sense of humor. It’s very self-aware and refuses to take itself overly seriously. It has a proclivity for puns, too, which serves it quite well. The writing, in fact, may be the best aspect of the game.
It certainly isn’t the multiplayer, though. Versus mode is a wash, falling prey to the same problems the game has with regular combat, rounds generally going to whoever gets the first hit. Given that a locked-on ranged character can hit you across tracks, though, it’s pretty obvious which characters the versus mode favors. Co-op, meanwhile, suffers worse slowdown than the main campaign. I also couldn’t tell whether I was getting hit by friendly fire or if I was just woefully unlucky most of the time. It’s too slow for its hectic multiplayer to be engaging; it just comes across as frustrating. Also, you will not find anyone to play with online; you’d need to play locally, which means knowing someone else who purchased this game. The multiplayer isn’t worth that, I’m sorry to say.
Code of Princess frustrates and antagonizes me. I was so excited for it, counting down the days to its release. I talked it up to my friends, hit the store as soon as I could on release day, brought my 3DS with me so I could pop it in as soon as I had the case open. It comes with a soundtrack CD, you know. I’ve always been a sucker for those. I haven’t bothered to listen to it, though. The game was just that painfully disappointing. It’s its own fault, though. It was touted by its team as a spiritual successor to Guardian Heroes, one of the best Saturn games of all time and a great side-scrolling beat ‘em up in any context. The comparison, though, only holds up at the shallowest level of the surface, falling apart as soon as one scratches that away.
Date: November 6, 2012