Code of Princess EX (Review) Nintendo Switch

Code of Princess EX (Review) Nintendo Switch
Review Score:

Essentially a remake of the 3DS title of the same name (which originally had an October 2012 release), Code of Princess for Nintendo Switch is a 2D side-scrolling hack ‘n slasher that shares a lot of similarities with Treasure’s critically-acclaimed hack ‘n slasher, Guardian Heroes, which saw a release on the Sega Saturn and then later the Gameboy Advance.

The story sees the player in the role of Princess Solange Blanchefleur de Lux, a scantly-clad, female warrior of royal descent who flees after her family is blamed for a recent monster attack on their kingdom. Leading the ‘witch hunt’ against Solange and her family is the Distron Army; a group of well-trained fighters who are determined to eliminate the princess and her allies, regardless of the cost. The future definitely looks bleak for the game’s protagonist.

Like its 3DS counterpart, the Nintendo Switch version of Code of Princess presents its gameplay in bite-sized ‘chapters’ that unlock as the player progresses. The first chapter, Prologue, explores the game’s story and introduces the player to the game mechanics. Once the tutorial is finished, the player is sent to the next available chapter in Campaign Mode, where they are introduced to their first party member, Ali — a female warrior who has a bad attitude. As the beginning chapters unfold, the player is also introduced to ZoZo (a witch whose body is comprised of rotting body parts) and Allegro (an enthusiastic Bard who is working on becoming a ‘Sage’). While these characters are the foundation of Princess Solange’s party, others will eventually join depending on the ‘chapter’ being played. This helps to add some variety to the game.

Before embarking on a mission, the player is sent to the ‘Character’ screen to select a fighter from Princess Solange’s party. From there, the player can equip any items that were obtained from prior ‘chapters’, including armor and weapons. After unlocking the Empurrium Shop later in the game, it will become available to the player via the ‘Character’ screen before each mission. This shop can be used to purchase improved armor; better trinkets; and more powerful weapons. The player uses the gold collected during the game to purchase from this shop.

Gameplay is identical to its 3DS counterpart. Every chapter starts with a brief, in-game intermission before transitioning into a highly polished hack ‘n slasher. Those who played Guardian Heroes will recall how the game’s levels were divided into three, independent lanes. This feature is also present in the Code of Princess. The player can swap between lanes by pressing and holding the Right Shoulder button, and then tapping up or down on the left Analog stick. Moreover, the player can use these environments to their benefit, especially when they are overwhelmed by enemies. For example: when the player is surrounded, they can retreat to another lane; run to the opposite side, adjacent to the enemy; and then slip in from behind to deal tremendous amounts of damage. This tactic works best when it’s used against large enemy mobs.

The game’s combo system is very easy to learn. Even though each character possesses their own unique fighting style, the game’s combo system provides a basic foundation in which gamers of all skill levels can easily pull of combos. For example: after targeting an enemy with Y button, the player can then rapidly tap B button to perform a 3-4 hit combo. If the player presses the A button at the end of one of these combos, they will launch their foe(s) into the air for a quick ‘setup’. This will provide the player with just enough time to finish the combo with either a spell or special move. (This is especially true when playing as Princess Solange.)

The Code of Princess uses a basic leveling system that rewards all its characters. This means that every character in the player’s party will level, regardless of the fighter being used. This helps to maintain a balance throughout the game, and it keeps XP grinding to a minimum. It also helps the game maintain a steady pace throughout.

As a game, Code of Princess has all the right elements to make it an instant classic. In fact, fans of the hack ‘n slash genre will feel right at home with the game’s combat system, elaborate story and instantly likable characters. Developer Nicalis deserves praise for a job well done. It’s not often that a game of this caliber comes along. And when it does, it should be supported; period.

Mike Pittaro
Platform: Nintendo Switch
Developer: Nicalis
Publisher: Nicalis
ESRB: T (Teen)
Price: $39.99

Code of Princess EX Official Website:
https://www.nicalis.com/games/code-of-princess-ex

Review Score
Graphics
Gorgeous 2.5D sprites and backgrounds.
Sound
Great voice acting and a memorable soundtrack.
Gameplay
Gameplay is identical to its 3DS counterpart.
Overall
Code of Princess has all the right elements to make it an instant classic.
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