The Princess Guide - Getting Royally Schooled (Nintendo Switch, PS4)
Who it Caters to
One beautiful thing about NIS titles is that they’re always charming and unique in some way or another. Whether it be the visuals, the music selection or simply the gameplay, their titles always deliver magic. The Princess Guide is their latest title and truly delivers in every area with its over-the-top animations, challenging yet exciting gameplay, and cool upbeat music to keep you entertained for hours. Anyone who’s a fan of strategic fast-paced battles that require patience and execution to be successful, then look no further than this one. The more you progress through the game, the more rewards and equipment you’ll receive, which can help you to tackle any horde of enemies in your path. Playtime’s over!
What to Expect
The Princess Guide really sells not just in the gameplay category but in the way it delivers with regards to its unique storytelling. There are four princesses from four different kingdoms, and you must guide the one you’ve chosen to victory before this new evil tears everything apart. You’ll need to teach her the art of war, gathering enough Materia to ensure enough knowledge is acquired to overcome any threats that stand in your way. There’s the vengeful Veronica, the gluttonous Liliartie, the chivalrous Monomaria, and our personal favorite, the dragon princess Alpana. All of them have their own unique characteristics which can help benefit you in battle, and it’s a plus since you can choose which one suits your overall playstyle. We’ll go more into the gameplay elements later on but for now, expect a lot of explosive action and comical narrative throughout your play time.
One thing we truly love about The Princess Guide is its very sharp and vivid visuals, which help to bring not only your surrounding environments to life but more importantly the characters themselves. During cutscenes as characters go through dialogue, they’re animated in such a quirky way that at first might seem odd to most, but it has its own charm which makes it stand out. Every bit of speech is then followed by a very bouncy animation of the body, giving it a very cartoonish appeal. The presentation of the game is outstanding since it does a great job of maintaining simplicity, but at the same time providing a very visually stimulating experience.
Character designs are remarkably detailed even down to their expressions, and everything is easy to read with the text box being big enough to accomodate the dialogue. When in battle, there’s a lot going on with swords slashing one way, and magic spells being dispelled in another, but not once do you ever experience a drop in frames. For some weird reason, we felt this Persona vibe just from the menus too, which is a very good thing!
As mentioned earlier, The Princess Guide does a stellar job of maintaining consistency all throughout, not just visually but in the sound and music department too. The music in the game, much like the characters you interact with, is quite animated and great to listen to even when not playing. You can just leave the game on and let the music play and have a great time just with that alone! The music is also complimented by the wonderful voice acting, which really assist in breathing life into each character you interact with. Whether it be your princess or the random enemies you speak to, they all have this charm to them which only makes the overall gameplay experience more gratifying.
On the gameplay side of things, there’s actually quite a lot to cover, but we’ll try to keep things as straight to the point as possible. The Princess Guide was designed by the same team who developed Penny Punching Princess, and so anyone who dabbled with that game will most likely have an understanding of the game’s pacing. Your goal is very simple: you take on missions alongside your princess and must defeat enemies within a certain time frame, depending on the objectives given. Before engaging in battle, you’re able to manage your squad and ensure that the right weapons are equipped, and that your squad has enough items to guarantee their survival. As you proceed through battles, your princess will grow in strength, and with your ability to either “Praise” or “Scold” her, this can help to enhance her abilities even further.
In the case of Alpana, when she’s praised she can heal the entire team on the battlefield, making it easier to carry on your strategic plans without worrying too much about losing a great deal of health. When you scold her, she can deal an incredible amount of damage in a short period of time. Everything is controlled by mana, which means that you’ll need to be very mindful when using your Praise or Scold abilities because that can directly affect your squad during very intense situations. Your squad has its own attack properties too, which you’ll need to pay attention to since they help a lot in taking down large groups of enemies and protect you from taking unnecessary damage. When you clear missions, you’ll obtain Materia which can then be used to acquire more knowledge for your princess, which in turn allows you to accumulate skill points. With these skill points you’re able to enhance your soldier in terms of attack power, defense, and other unique traits that can really help to turn the tide in your favor.
There’s going to be a lot of button mashing in The Princess Guide, but making sure you’re constantly organized and upgrading your equipment is imperative to your success.
Honey's Gameplay Consensus:
To be honest, things were a bit confusing at first with regards to dispatching and managing your squad, but with the game having a pretty robust tutorial guide it really helped us to regain our footing down the road. There’s a lot to swallow in the beginning portion of the game, especially if you’re not too familiar with things, but as you keep playing the game does become easier to understand. The gameplay itself however doesn’t get any easier because the enemies continue to grow larger in terms of their numbers and their powerful abilities as well, so making sure to take advantage of the unique traps that are set throughout every level will be the quintessential factor in how your missions will turn out. In the end, we had a blast with The Princess Guide and we hope you do too!
Some of the best visual presentation we’ve seen so far in a game. Very clean and attractive.
Challenging gameplay that’s complemented by great narrative and fun character diversity.
The soundtrack for the game is impressive and didn’t disappoint at all.
The tutorial guide really helped to make things easier, and it allowed us to focus intently on the more important things.
Quite a lengthy game, which is great since every mission is different and keeps you engaged.
Perhaps better explaining the dispatching and withdrawing features would’ve been better, since it was a bit vague.
Honey's Final Verdict:
The Princess Guide is one of the better isometric brawlers out there and to be honest, we actually enjoyed it a lot more than Penny Punching Princess. While both certainly share similarities in terms of gameplay and visual aesthetics, The Princess Guide feels more polished and delivers a lot more in the content area, creating a more richer experience. If you had fun with Penny Punching Princess then this should be an absolute no-brainer buy, because you’re getting a lot more for your money this time around!
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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!