|System: DS||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Climax Entertainment||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Atlus||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: May 19, 2009||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Everyone 10+||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
by Amanda L. Kondolojy
January 23, 2009 - When you think of princesses in the world of video games, you probably think of pretty girls in dresses like Princesses Peach and Zelda. Although both of these princesses have had their day in battle, neither of them was particularly evil. However, the main character of Steal Princess, Anise, definitely has a tarnished record and is not your run-of-the-mill princess.
Anise, Steal Princesss main character starts off as a mundane thief with a specialization in stealing treasure. However, after one of her treasure chests malfunctions, she ends up in Albion Kingdom prison with an enormous debt to the state. However, a great evil has appeared and her captors believe that she is a hero capable of saving the entire world. Leading this belief is a mischievous fairy named Kukri who accompanied another hero on a journey to destroy evil nearly 1,000 years prior. While the newfound heroine initially protests this decision, the townsfolk give her an ultimatum: save them or die!
Despite its somewhat humorous premise, Steal Princess will definitely have some challenging gameplay. There are more than 150 levels to beat, and each will feature a dungeon-like construction that will require you to solve puzzles and fight monsters to get a key, which will unlock the next level. The battle system in Steal Princess will be very complex and involve using a vast array of weapons including swords, arrows, bombs, as well as ogre-style magic. The main character will also have several evolving abilities that will be unlocked as she pays back her debt to society with gems.
In order to succeed in battle, you will have to collect and use different affinities (Nature, Fire, Lightning, Water, and Stone) against enemies of the same type. For example, if an enemy has a water affinity, than a fire-based attack will not work. You will need a weapon or skill that involves water in order to defeat the creature. This can be any one of the aforementioned weapons with a special matching affinity attached, or it can be a special magic attack.
One of the most intriguing aspects of this title will be the creation function, which will allow you to import elements you have unlocked through regular play in order to make your own levels. Although the creation tool is definitely not as powerful as the creative powerhouse LittleBigPlanet, it takes an approach similar to last years Bangai-O Spirits, which allowed you to use a floating toolbar to drag elements onto the screen. The creation element will allow you to add weapons and switch functionality to your levels, and it will also give you a fair amount of freedom over the look of the level. The game will also include several template levels that will help users ease into the system. After you have finished creating levels, you can share them with friends via either local wireless or the Nintendo WFC.
One thing that Steal Princess will definitely have in common with other Atlus RPGs will be its style. The different characters all sport an over-the-top anime look, complete with outrageous hair colors and amazing facial accessories. The different dungeons are vibrant and whimsical-looking, and even though the game is all about a great evil, the color palette still manages to be very light and colorful.
Although Atlus is famous for RPGs, particularly those from the Persona and Luminous Arc series, it seems like they are looking to expand their horizons with Steal Princess. This title is sure to please Atlus fans with its kooky style, and it looks like it will reach out to a new audience with its platform-style gameplay and creation options. So, if you are looking to steal a copy for yourself, you can look for this one on the Nintendo DS this spring!
Amanda L. Kondolojy
CCC Staff Contributor