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Code of Princess EX - Nintendo Switch Review

Code-of-Princess-EX-Logo-500x281 Code of Princess EX - Nintendo Switch Review

Restore peace to the kingdom! Work alongside Solange and put an end to the tyranny before it’s too late!

Game Info

  • System: Nintendo Switch
  • Publisher: Nicalis
  • Developer: Studio Saisenzen Co. LTD.
  • Release Date: July 31, 2018

Code of Princess EX Nintendo Switch Announcement Trailer

Who it Caters to

Code-of-Princess-EX-Logo-500x281 Code of Princess EX - Nintendo Switch Review
If it hasn’t been made very clear to you by now, perhaps playing Code of Princess EX will. Anime games are becoming more and more popular in mainstream gaming, with a plethora of them actually taking the spotlight over a lot of other more notable AAA titles. Whether this is a sign of a major shift in the perception of gamers in the scene is still a mystery to us, but one thing is for certain: anime is the way!

Code of Princess EX is an Action RPG title from the folks at Nicalis, the same team who brought us the very entertaining Cave Story as well as The Binding of Isaac. Anyone who loves a fast paced role-playing title with elements of humor, fighting game mechanics and a very challenging campaign will certainly have a blast with Code of Princess EX. The title actually made its debut on the Nintendo 3DS back in 2012 and now the Nintendo Switch version boasts even more content than ever before, with Guardian Heroes’ director and character designer Tetsuhiko Kikuchi and lead programmer Masaki Ukyo working on the title!

You’re Solange Blanchefleur de Lux, the exiled princess from the kingdom of DeLuxia after it had been attacked by monsters, with the royal family being the one to blame for all the madness. Now it’s up to you to reclaim the throne and uncover the mystery of why these monsters have suddenly appeared, and restore harmony back to the kingdom before it’s too late.

Code-of-Princess-EX-Logo-500x281 Code of Princess EX - Nintendo Switch Review

What to Expect

Code-of-Princess-EX-Logo-500x281 Code of Princess EX - Nintendo Switch Review
Much like any other Action RPG on the market, you’re in for a lot of hacking and slashing your way through hordes of enemies, while cruising about collecting as many items as you can to level up your party. Code of Princess EX allows you to play with over 50 characters throughout various modes within the game, such as Campaign, Free Play and Bonus Quests.

You’ll do most of the unlocking through playing Campaign and from there, all of the characters that you unlock will be available to use in Free Play. Every main character in the Campaign can equip various weapons and accessories that you get from successfully completing quests, or by simply purchasing them at the shop once it becomes available to you. If you’re in need of some assistance, Code of Princess EX grants you the opportunity to play both locally and online in cooperative play; if you’re feeling competitive there are modes that allow you to score high on the leaderboards, or track what’s known in game as “Princess Points”.

Those of you familiar with Capcom may also recognize some of the artwork in the game, which was created by the legendary Kinu Nishimura, the talented artist known for her amazing character art for Street Fighter II, Capcom vs SNK 2, Street Fighter IV, among other notable titles. With all of that in mind, anyone looking for an action RPG title with some solid artwork and gameplay will certainly have a field day with Code of Princess EX.

Code-of-Princess-EX-Logo-500x281 Code of Princess EX - Nintendo Switch Review


Gameplay

Visuals

Code-of-Princess-EX-Logo-500x281 Code of Princess EX - Nintendo Switch Review
Since we just touched base on how godly Kinu Nishimura’s artwork is, it’s safe to say that visually you will not be shortchanged in any way. The character designs are crisp and full of detail, while the worlds themselves look incredible both in handheld and TV mode for the Switch. The 2.5D sprites may look weird at first, but once you actually see their movement during the gameplay it all looks very smooth and well executed.

The main menu screen is clean and void of any extra fluff —which a lot of titles tend to do nowadays— so it’s nice to see Code of Princess EX maintaining a simple approach. The in game UI is also very clean and doesn’t detract you from the actual gameplay itself, allowing you to focus primarily on everything happening on the screen.

Code-of-Princess-EX-Logo-500x281 Code of Princess EX - Nintendo Switch Review

Sound, Music

Code-of-Princess-EX-Logo-500x281 Code of Princess EX - Nintendo Switch Review
While the artwork, main screen music and anime OP really provide a lot of kick to the game, the overall music selection in Code of Princess EX is somewhat lacking. It’s certainly not terrible by any means, but it makes us beg the question of why they hired such an amazing artist, alongside a great director, but not put in the same efforts for making a powerful soundtrack. This game would be leaps and bounds better if the overall OST was more polished and had a little more diversity in its selection.

The battle music can get a bit repetitive at times while the sound effects sometimes don’t seem to sync correctly with certain moves. Maybe we’re being a bit nitpicky in this area but we feel that sound plays a major role in RPGs, and ensuring that music and effects line up well with what’s happening is imperative. The voice acting is solid and that’s a plus in our book, especially since it comes equipped with Japanese voice-overs. You’re not going to find any option to change it to English voice-overs sadly, so if you happen to favor English voice acting over the Japanese one you may be out of luck. In spite of it all, Code of Princess EX is still quite fun and we’ll touch base on that in the next section.

Gameplay

Code-of-Princess-EX-Logo-500x281 Code of Princess EX - Nintendo Switch Review
Code of Princess EX boasts quite a number of things to do, notably in its Campaign and Online Modes. The Campaign is quite long and each quest gets increasingly more difficult as you progress, adding more replay value to the game. Enemies will start to team-up on you more frequently while boss battles will certainly give you a run for your money if you’re not fully prepared. We suggest playing with every member of the cast just so that you can get a feel for each of their fighting styles, and see which one matches your approach.

We stuck with Ali most of the game just because of her overall agility and that her bomb combos can lead to some heavy damage if set up correctly. That of course is where things get a little rigid because, while Code of Princess EX is certainly entertaining, it does suffer from a lack of explanation with regards to pulling off such combos in game.

It does provide a quick in-game tutorial on what each button does but doesn’t really dive deep into how to fully optimize your damage output, making it somewhat of a challenge early on the game. You’re sort of thrown into the pit and need to use trial and error to determine the best approach, which we found to be a little irritating a times, especially since the animations felt quite rigid during combo sequences. We weren’t sure if mashing buttons was the way to go or if things required more of a rhythm to fully generate big hitting combos, but over time we realized it was a bit of both.

Just the fact that things weren’t properly explained made the first several quests quite overwhelming since we just kept mashing our way through, but nothing effective came from it. We’re saying this because there will definitely be those out there who may not understand fighting game mechanics very well, and may simply think mashing away will be of great reward. Sadly, that’s not the case and so we encourage you to take the time to learn as you go, play with your favorite character and adapt on the fly. That’s perhaps the main flaw about Code of Princess EX’s gameplay, in that while things do get better down the road in terms of story and character development, it’s slowed down by the laggy animations during battles, and the lack of instruction may be a turn-off for those unfamiliar.

Code-of-Princess-EX-Logo-500x281 Code of Princess EX - Nintendo Switch Review


Honey's Gameplay Consensus:

Code-of-Princess-EX-Logo-500x281 Code of Princess EX - Nintendo Switch Review
Code of Princess EX takes a lot of practice to fully master, but it will take you some time to get there. We enjoyed the humorous plot along with the plethora of characters you encounter throughout the story, but the soundtrack along with the gameplay could definitely use some fine tuning.

You’ll most likely find all of the fun taking place both cooperatively and online once you’ve unlocked everything, since you can aim for high scores on the leaderboards and gain those precious Princess Points. Other than that, it’s a decent title where its pros weigh equally with its cons and so, it really will depend on the individual playing and their overall perception. We definitely recommend the title but just don’t go in with very high expectations. Have fun with it and enjoy the ride while it lasts!

Code-of-Princess-EX-Logo-500x281 Code of Princess EX - Nintendo Switch Review

Honey's Pros:

  • Artwork done by the legendary Capcom artist Kinu Nishimura!
  • Gameplay is fun once you get the hang of it.
  • Clean UI.
  • Online/Local co-op play is always a plus for games like this.

Honey's Cons:

  • Battle sequences can feel laggy/stiff at times.
  • The tutorial system could use a little more depth to explain things better.

Honey's Final Verdict:

We hope that our review provide some insight on Code of Princess EX and help you better decide your purchase. We try not to steer ourselves in a negative direction too much but no game is ever perfect and will come with its flaws, which we stated clearly above. Hopefully that won’t deter you from trying Code of Princess EX as it still is quite fun with a friend, and online leaderboards are always a treat after a long grind in Campaign.

Be sure to follow us on Twitter to stay up to date on all the latest gaming news, along with Twitch to catch us playing all of our most recently reviewed titles live! As always, for all things sweet, with news straight from Japan, be sure to keep it locked here on Honey’s Anime.

Code-of-Princess-EX-Logo-500x281 Code of Princess EX - Nintendo Switch Review

Editor/Writer

Author: Rob "NualphaJPN" B.

A passionate fan of gaming, writing, journalism, anime, and philosophy. I've lived in Japan for many years and consider this place to be my permanent home. I love to travel around Japan and learn about the history and culture! Leave a comment if you enjoy my articles and watch me play on twitch.tv/honeysgaming ! Take care!

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