Prinny, you know them, you love them and there is a lot of them. Re-releasing on the Nintendo Switch these two hidden gems are hoping to steal your time and steal your hair with this title. Is it “Da Bomb”? Read on to find out.
Prinny: Can I Really Be The Hero? & Prinny 2: Dawn of Operation Panties, Dood!, originally released on the PSP have been bundled together in one explodingly good package.
The first thing I would like to point out is that these are bare-bones basic ports of the PSP versions, no additions. If you already own them the incentive lies purely if you need them on that shiny Switch of yours or not. If you haven’t played them or owned them before then please read on.
The Prinny games are 2D platformers, seemingly inspired by the crippling difficulty and charm of the NES/SNES games. Each game sets up a charming narrative as to why 1000 Prinny are sent on a mission, 1 has you looking for desert ingredients and 2 has you on the hunt for a stolen pair of Etnas panties.
You’ll need 1000 Prinny for the adventures, as any Disgaea fan knows, Prinny are quite delicate and prone to explode. Should you take damage, your Prinny will explode sending their scarf over to the next one acting as the game’s stock of lives, lower difficulties allow for a bit more damage before the boom but will still happily put you through your paces.
The Prinny main form of attack is the two knives it carries around, hammering the attack buttons sees it flail them around, should you jump and do this it sends a ranged attack at a downwards angle. Other tricks involve the genre standard butt stomp for dizzying foes and opening bosses up and the Prinny spin. While Prinny is spinning around they are invulnerable from attacks but the payoff is they wildly dash after it, useful in places but if you dash too much they fall over dizzy and leave you wide open to a trip to a boomtown.
Naturally being a game of the platforming genre you’ll be jumping, a lot!. One of the main sticking point with this game is aside from the double jump which allows a change of direction, your stuck mid-air going the direction you chose, you gotta commit to them jumps, I affectionately refer to this as the Castlevania jump system, referring to the old ones of course!.
While this may cause great frustration in the opening hour or so, you’ll get used to it, learn to manipulate that double jump, and your golden, the level design compliments this factor and it’s done in a way to challenge and put you through absolute hell as you watch that Prinny meter drop but it never feels totally unfair.
The games only feature a handful of stages initially, these are given a difficulty rank in the form of stars. How this expands is there is a day and night system, this changes the stages and bosses. This means despite playing the same levels a few times they feel wildly different and allow a lot of replayability as you can tackle them in any order.
The bosses that inhabit the stages are some of the best parts of the game. Rely on old school pattern memorization and require you to butt stomp them a few times before you can mash attack and whittle their health down. They are all familiar faces from the series and should raise a laugh or two from series fans and newcomers alike.
Talking of raising a laugh, as crippling hard as these games are, you can’t be mad because they have been written so well!. Disgaea has always had light-hearted comedy beating away inside its chest and Prinny usually fueled it, here it’s loud and proud and knee slappingly cheeky at points, just like a good Prinny should be!.
The games do have a tonne of unlockables ranging from Gallery stuff to a mode featuring NIS icon Asagi. All of these unlocks involve hunting down Lucky Dolls, you find these in stages and have to kill them. The caveat with these are you have no idea where they are, you have to butt stomp the ground everywhere to have them appear unless you follow a guide or find the handy unlockable later in Prinny 2 to assist on this mammoth task
The games are nearly identical in the way they play and you can easily jump between the two with no adjustment and all that really changes are the levels, enemies, and story. The only major change is that 2 has a much harsher level design, often to its detriment. Where 1 often feels nuanced with its difficulty and archaic design choices, 2 feels downright unfair at times with jumps and enemy placement. 2 does have the much stronger 2nd unlockable mode though which is worth noting. It’s worth noting that both games can be purchased separately digitally or both in 1 package either digitally or the awesome looking physical package which comes with a plethora of collectibles
Prinny® 1•2: Exploded and Reloaded is a brilliant package for Disgaea and platformer fans alike. It has a challenging old school appeal about it, draped in that classic Disgaea charm that is unrivaled. Much like when they originally released this is still a niche within a niche but they shine just as bright as they did back then, only this time there is a whole legion of fans who should experience these underrated classics.
A fantastic but barebones rerelease of titles everyone a fan of the old school should experience dood!