by RockLiao, reviewed on
The Life of a Prinny
It is likely that most people that looked at the title of this game were utterly confused. I can definitely understand this, so let me explain. Prinnys are penguin-esque creatures that embody the souls of humans that have done evil in their past life. As a punishment for their misdeeds they have been sewn into bird skins and are forced to do the bidding of their underworld leader Etna. If you are familiar with the Disgaea series, you will know that Prinnys are always getting the short end of the stick. Etna never ceases to abuse and punish them with whatever she feels like dishing out for that day. In this game, Prinnys no longer have a tiny role but get center stage instead.
In fact, you yourself will be playing the game as a Prinny. There is nothing glorious about it. No red carpet. No spotlight. No legend behind your name. You are the star of the game but not because you want to be. You are forced into it. Someone has stolen Etna’s dessert. Witnesses say it was a Prinny shaped figure but no one is certain. Etna wants compensation for her loss and since she cannot find the culprit, it is up to all of the Prinnys to find something better for her to indulge herself on.
So, you’re Etna’s little messenger and if it wasn’t bad enough to have to do her work, you are basically slapped around by every other monster in the game as well. You travel from level to level just trying to make it to the next checkpoint. At the end of each, there is a boss with an ingredient which will all be combined to form the Ultra Dessert, your ultimate goal.
Before I continue, I think it is best to address everyone’s concern right off the bat: this is a tough game. I am sure many of you will have read articles about the game or have heard reports from friends of how difficult Prinny is. They weren’t joking. Yet the game is not impossible and much of the difficulty comes from its steep learning curve. Besides the learning curve, Prinny can severely test your patience. The game throws so many things at you all at once that the only way to succeed is for you to fail and then learn from your mistakes. Inch by inch, you progress. But that is where the game truly shines.
Did I mention that you have a limited amount of lives in this game? Your job is to control the Prinnys as they recklessly bum rush into each mission, needlessly dying in the process. There are 1000 of you, so that is the number of lives that you have to complete the game. Each time one Prinny goes down, another is reluctantly volunteered to take its place. This unique twist to good old Lemmings is challenging, but also one of the drawbacks. You will have to try some parts of the game multiple times while listening to the same music and voice work of the Prinnys saying their catch phrase “dood!”. It kind of wears on you after a couple hundred times.
There are levels. They are difficult, but thankfully they are not too drawn out and they are limited in number. Their main purpose is to give you a break from the intense and exhausting boss battles. The bosses are the meat of the game and you should be prepared to expend most lives on defeating them. I absolutely loved the bosses but for other reasons than one might expect. Much like the boss battles of old-school games such as Mega Man and Castlevania, winning the battle is about learning the boss’ patterns while trying to dodge its attacks. Slowly figuring out how to defeat the boss and using your reflexes to react to whatever situation occurs is the way to success. The adrenaline surges through your veins at maximum speed when both you and your enemy are low on health, especially when one blow would kill either you or him.
The final boss is masterfully created. Even while the game’s ending is forgettable, the encounter just before was the crowning achievement of the game. It may take you several hours to finally see the boss’ pattern and know how to properly exploit it, but it will be worth every moment of frustration leading up to the final defeat.
Before starting to play Prinny, I was already aware of its difficulty. I knew about the jump mechanic and the one thousand lives limit for finishing the game. I started the game regardless. I love challenges and I love overcoming them even more. Each time I succeeded, it was only adding fuel to the fire, until my ego had grown uncontrollably to a point where the only next step was to conquer the game.
I finished the game in one sitting, needing nine hours and forty one minutes before the credits rolled. To me this speaks worlds of the actual gameplay and it shows that the game is not nearly as impossible as some have made it out to be. With my fingers cramping, I can wholeheartedly recommend this game to anyone with the determination to finish what they started. Time to have some fun dood!
No Pros and Cons at this time