REVIEW: Code of Princess

A couple weeks ago, I bought Code of Princess, a new game for the 3DS by one of my coveted campaniles, Atlus. I didn’t have a lot of time when I bought it to really play and formulate an opinion on it, but now I’ve had some time and have finally beaten it. So, let’s jump into this fun little beat-’em-up RPG!

Plot:

The plot is pretty subpar. You’re Sloange, the princess of DeLuxia, and are wielding the DeLuxcalibur, a legendary sword with unfathomable power. In this world, monsters and humans have coexisted, but suddenly the monsters have become violent, and it’s up to you to find out why. Along the way, you discover that some demon is trying to take over the world and defy the Gods. That’s pretty much it. But, while it is subpar, the characters advancing the plot more than make up for it.

Characters:

The characters are, simply put, fantastic. They all have unique personalities, but the best part is they play with their own stereotypes and game. The banter between Allegro and Ali about how Allegro’s level 99 and is ‘almost’ a Sage is hilarious. The game knows its story is there just to advance the plot and give some sort of substance to the game (besides the combat), and toys around with it, which is awesome.

Atmosphere (Music/Graphics):

The backgrounds and effects are nice, and the music is good, but nothing really stands out to me. It was all very subpar, which is disappointing because I was hoping for some awesome music. I haven’t listened to the included bonus CD, so my opinion might change once I hear that, but the in-game music never impressed me.

Gameplay:

The meat of this game comes from it’s AMAZING combat. Every character has their own specific combos, strings, and special skills, and learning what chains, what doesn’t, and combining combos and strings makes this combat a very deep experience. In Campaign, you can only choose 4 characters (Solange, Ali, Zozo, and Allegro), but in Free Play you can choose from more than 30 characters, which is awesome!

Another important part of combat is locking on and bursting. Locking on lets you see that specific enemy’s HP bar, and you do double damage. It’s a nice perk, but once you burst, you do double damage to all enemies, meaning that you have a built-in boss destroyer by doing quadruple the damage you would normally do. That’s huge, and the best part is, it’s doesn’t make the game any easier because of how quickly your MP drains while using it. And, you can be doing a combo, burst midway, and still continue it, giving strategic timing to when you should and shouldn’t burst.

There’s an equipment system, but these do nothing but increase some of your stats (which, by the way, you can increase in any order after leaving up), except for your weapon. If your character can, equipping a weapon can change some aspects of your burst (like doing damage to enemies and knocking them down, having unblock able attacks while bursting, etc…) Sometimes, a certain burst is much more useful than just stunning everyone. My favorite is the one that knocks enemies down. It’s saved me in the harder missions.

Oh, and let’s not forget that this has local co-op for up to 4 players, meaning you can string together some truly ridiculous combos on enemies, making the game that much more fun.

All in all, Code of Princess is a fun little game that offers you a surprisingly deep combat experience and an awesome multiplayer. I highly recommend!

Score:

Plot: 5/10

Characters: 9/10

Atmosphere: 5/10

Gameplay: 10/10

Final Score: 7/10

Old Woman is over-powered.

Just sayin’

Assorted Reviews and Initial Thoughts

After two weeks of mid-terms, I can finally write in my blog again! Unfortunately, because I’ve been working on schoolwork a bunch the past two weeks, I really haven’t had time to play anything. I did, however, purchase the DLC for New Super Mario Bros. 2 (NSMB2), Pokémon Black 2, and Code of Princess. I also started playing Minecraft (which is way more fun than I thought it would be). So, I’m just going to do little short reviews of the stuff I’ve played and my initial thoughts on Black 2 and Code of Princess.

Let’s jump in!

Minecraft:

Minecraft is, in a word, addicting. Last winter, I played Terraria with my friends for hours. Minecraft is basically a 3D Terraria, so I got hooked really quickly once I started building. I decided that, for my very first building project, I would construct a castle. It’s main body is 50×50 squares, and it’s got two living areas that are 50×15 squares that is 10 squares to the left and right of the castle. I’m not finished, yet, but once I am, I’ll be putting up a video. It’s nothing too impressive, but I thought I’d capture my very first Minecraft project once it’s done. I wish my friends hadn’t shown me it, though – it’s hard to stop once you get going. I do have to say, though, that it is much more difficult than Terraria, and I have found myself wanting to stop more than a few times because I died and was unable to retrieve all the stuff I had gotten and forgotten to put into chests. Learning the hard way sucks sometimes.

Either way, it’s really fun, especially with friends. Just don’t get it during school. Wait until you have some downtime.

New Super Mario Bros. 2 DLC:

The DLC for NSMB2 is actually really good. All three packs are awesome, although I haven’t tried setting any records for the first two. By the way, the “leader boards” are only the top 5 for the week, and they have no name next to them! I wish the leader boards were cumulative and showed their name – then I could see my record (which I don’t even know if the any of the top 5 are mine) up there. The nerve-rack pack is incredible, and is definitely my favorite of the three. Golden Mario and the paratroopa level is the best. The BEST!

Pokémon Black 2:

I gotta hand it to Game Freak, they’re doing the sequel right for now. I’ve only gotten 1 badge, but I’m liking all the connectivity with the Dream Radar (which I also bought), and the whole Memory Link is cool, although my character in Pokémon Black is named Kappy…and so is my character in Black 2, so now I’ve got two Kappy’s running around (LOL!). The achievement system is…cool, I guess. I can’t really formulate an opinion on that, yet.

And why is Cheren the first gym leader? I get that he’s the new one, but he literally has a Patrat and a Lillipup! I understand why he has to have those in order to be a new gym leader and so that the first gym isn’t impossible (because if he had his old team it would be). Still, I wish he could’ve been later so that he would’ve had stronger Pokémon.

Oh, and wild Riolu is mad swag, but in the whole day I spent last Wednesday looking for him, I only found 5. That’s insanely rare!

Code of Princess:

The first character (who is wearing way too little to be ready to battle against monsters) is broken. In the ten minutes I played the game last Tuesday, I found an infinite loop with her →→B. It’s hilarious. The gameplay is fun, the voice acting seems solid (so far. I’m impressed, Atlus), and the co-op is awesome.

The co-op is really the hook for me. Unfortunately, my friend and I had only a few quests unlocked last Thursday when we played multiplayer, but it was really fun. I have yet to try versus, though.

REVIEW: Devil Survivor 2

Ah, Spring is here, and that means my Spring Break is over. Yeah, that sucks, but I enjoy walking around Chicago during nice weather, so I can’t complain, especially since I have some new games to play and review! One such game is Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor 2.

I’ve always been a fan of Atlus. I love the challenge presented by their games, especially the Shin Megami Tensei series, and one particular series caught me since the first game: Devil Survivor. It is one of my favorite DS games to-date. I love the battle system, I love the characters, I love the story, and Devil Survivor 2 takes it and makes it better in more than a few ways, but it’s not without its small drawbacks.

Plot:

This is, actually, the one part I think is the worst part of this game (although it’s still a great plot). You are the 18-year-old Hero, and after signing into Nicaea, the dead-face delivery site, you view a death clip of yourself dying. As the scene plays itself out after an earthquake, a demon saves you, and you are born as a Demon Tamer. As you try to figure out what’s happening, you encounter JP’s, Japan’s supernatural special ops team designed specifically for crises such as this. You decide to help them figure out what’s going on, and as the week progresses you find a group against JP’s and that the world is being eaten by what’s called the “Void”. I won’t spoil anything, which is why the description is so vague, but compared to Devil Survivor the story is on a much grander scale, and while I enjoy the story, I liked that the setting was only Tokyo in Devil Survivor. I also liked the Heaven and Hell story more than the Void and supernatural beings that aren’t demons, but Devil Survivor 2 plays its story very well, and I still enjoyed it more than most games.

Characters:

Here Devil Survivor 2 does a fantastic job. It is definitely on par with Devil Survivor’s character, which is awesome because those characters were great. This time there are way more characters to use than in Devil Survivor, and they’re all great. I think the only characters I didn’t care too much for were Hinako and Keita, and that’s because they didn’t interest me more than the other characters.

There’s Io, too soft spoken and avoiding of conflict, Daichi, who is too immature and scared to really come to grips with reality, Makoto, the JP’s member who is too loyal to her group to think for herself, Jungo, the chef who dislikes fighting, and many, many more! They all have their own stories to tell, and some of them are really touching (especially Jungo’s. I almost shed a tear for his).

Atmosphere (Music/Graphics):

The graphics aren’t really anything new, although some of the cutscenes are very well done and surpass Devil Survivor’s. The music, however, has upgraded substantially for me. The battle music was good, but the theme for the Anguished One, the boss battles, and the mood music were great. All of it really captured most of the emotions of the scenes. Loved all of it! And the opening and ending themes were pretty awesome, too.

Gameplay:

Here it is, the big guy. Devil Survivor’s gameplay was fantastic. It brought a whole new way to summon demons through your cell phone with apps, and that gameplay is still here, and still great. In fact, some of the new skills (Like multi-hit/multi-strike), are really cool and give some characters (*coughDaichicough) a chance to shine where they normally wouldn’t. However, there are some little things I’d like to point out:

First is the fate system. When I first got this system, I said to myself, “Wow, really? This is dumb.”

Then amazing happened.

People had non-skill resistances, JOINT SKILL CRACKING, and SDTP. Resistances are self-explanatory. Skill cracking is how you gain new skills, and in Devil Survivor, many of the boss battles required you to really plan how you would tackle those skills because only the one who is set to crack a skill can crack it. Not this time. Now, if you get someone’s fate high enough, you’re allowed to have either of the two crack the skill. This makes cracking two skills on on character possible, where it wasn’t in Devil Survivor. This. Is. AWESOME.

I was able to crack 3 skills off one guy because I had two others with a high enough fate level. It’s incredible. INCREDIBLE!

SDTP is the ability to instantly send a demon to the Hero (and vice-versa). It’s not really that useful, but it saved me in a couple boss battles. It’s not as good as summoning a new demon, but it’s useful when you know it will be.

Next are some of the skills. Pierce and Assassinate are dumb. When you’ve got a nicely built team and you die because someone uses Assassinate and instantly kills you, it’s a little frustrating, especially when they go first because of the initiative bonus. Yeah, it’s great when you have it, but I still think it’s a dumb skill.

Pierce is next. Let me preface this by saying that there is absolutely no way around Null/Reflect/Drain Fire, Ice, Electric, Force, Curse. Yet, yet, there is something that completely dominates Null/Reflect/Drain Phys, and that would be Pierce. Now, this only applies to whoever holds the skill, but the very idea of being able to negate any Null/Reflect/Drain is ridiculous, especially when you can’t negate any of the magic resist skills. I used Pierce to completely wipe the floor with Daichi, and it required no strategic thinking or planning for demons because he literally went in with Multi-Strike/Pierce and killed everything that wasn’t a boss. It took away from some of the late-game planning because of that.

Those are but two skills, though. The rest of it is great. Auctioning, fusing, and the Demon Compendium are all still there, and they’re all still awesome. One new thing about fusing are add-ons, which are little boosts you can add to a fused demon. They vary from some of them give the demon access to all of your cracked skills of a certain element to increasing stats.

And that’s that. Overall, Devil Survivor 2 outclasses Devil Survivor, and I highly recommend it to any fan of the Shin Megami Tensei series!

Score:

Plot: 8/10

Characters: 10/10

Atmosphere: 7/10

Gameplay: 8/10

Overall: 8/10

Just sayin’.