Prinny's first outing as a hero was a rather interesting one. Granted, they are the lowest peons of the Netherworld and explode upon impact, but the game's difficulty is so notorious that it can be rather... difficult to appreciate. Simply put, the game is a side-scrolling hack-and-slasher for the Sony PSP developed by Nippon Ichi Software and the sequel is no different.
Prinny returns in Prinny 2: Dawn of Operation Panties, Dood! Unfortunately for Prinny, Etna's panties have been stolen and it's up to him to catch the thief. The plot is a hilarious farce to give players an excuse to slash their way through each level and duke it out with a boss - if they can even make it that far. Like the first game, you get to play as Prinny and although he explodes on impact, dear Master Etna has endowed him with a special scarf that gives him two chances before he explodes into a glorious and painful fireball. In order to catch the thief, Prinny comes up with a brilliant plan of stealing rare items in order to lure him into a trap! And so begins the quest to grab whatever items Prinny can get his grubby little flippers on.
As an added testament to the game's notorious difficulty, players are given, literally, a thousand Prinnies that act as your life. Hit zero and it's likely to be game over. The game plays over 10 in-game hours (not real Earth hours!) and the clock ticks down after every mission. Many iconic Disgaea characters return, including Flonne and a whole slew of enemy types. Some of the bosses have rather outrageous names like Bok Choy and a trio named Chili, Pow and Der. After defeating each boss, players will be rewarded with what is supposedly a rare item.
Prinny isn't entirely defenceless in his quest. Armed with his daggers, players can perform ground and mid-air slashes, aka the Prinny Barrage, to inflict damage on enemies. There's also the hip pound that stuns enemies and bosses, giving you that opportune moment to mash the attack button like your life depended on it. Attacking builds up a gauge and once the limit is hit, Prinny enters Break Mode, multiplying the damage he deals and giving him access to special attacks, which are new to the sequel. Prinny has three special attacks, the Prinnykaze, Prinny Cyclone and a souped up hip pound. These are especially useful against larger enemies as well as bosses. Separately, these moves don't seem like a lot, especially when everything in the game is designed to make Prinny explode in some form or another; however, combining them is an entirely different story.
The gameplay is incredibly straight forward, get through a level and beat the boss to get a rare item - most of which are just outright ordinary items. There's no hidden secrets or power techniques to it, simply make your way through each level unscathed. Like Super Mario, if you will. What isn't straight forward is the difficulty. As the in-game clock winds down and day turns to night, levels and bosses become exponentially harder to beat. You'll get the choice to start with any level and that usually results in various different outcomes, but the one thing that remains true is that this game will test your patience to the extreme limits.
The game is so hard it's not even funny after a certain amount of game time. It's not so much about the hacking and slashing. Timing, speed and placement is the name of the game. Don't be surprised if you have to play through segments of each stage multiple times through before you get it right and let's not even talk about the boss fights. Timing and placement is so important to the point that memorizing enemy patterns becomes key to victory.
With that being said, the amount of satisfaction you get from actually defeating one of the bosses is outstanding. It's as though you've achieved something of such great magnitude that the entire world has to know through some form of social networking app. Players are essentially rewarded for their patience. On the other hand, be prepared to let out a lot of pent up rage playing this game and not in a good way seeing as playing the game itself creates the rage that you'll inevitably unleash.
Thankfully, Nippon Ichi has made the game a lot more accessible to the general gaming populace by introducing a casual mode called Baby Mode. Yea, it's a tad insulting, but think of it this way: it's what would be called Normal mode in any other game and you'll actually be able to complete the game without flinging your poor PSP out the window onto the tar road where a truck just so happened to pass by. Baby mode gives you three chances before you explode instead of two, in addition there are "Baby Blocks" scattered throughout the level. These usually make it easier to get to the next checkpoint by either blocking pitfalls or enemy attacks.
Fans worried about the voice acting due to a certain trailer won't have to worry much. The voice acting is perfectly apt for each character. Yes, even Etna. The plot doesn't take itself too seriously so there's plenty of humorous moments and the animated sprites do well to compliment the experience. It's always fun to see Prinny freak out over the littlest of things.
What's great is that Asagi returns in Prinny 2 with her own separate story called Asagi Wars. She has basically been turned into a Prinny after accidentally blowing herself up in the first game and has to take part in a competition to determine who the real Asagi is. There are six stages, each with their own boss - a unique rendition of Asagi, to say the least. It's all real funny.
Prinny 2 can be a fun game as long as you know what you're getting yourself into. Even then, expect plenty of frustrated cries and hateful outbursts. Make sure no one is within a two metre radius of you and if you have a strap for the PSP, it might be a good idea to put it on. Aside from new attacks and a casual mode, the game doesn't really bring anything new to the table. The core mechanics are essentially the same as the first game and the only thing different is the premise for which to use them. If you are not a hardcore platforming maniac, it is highly recommended that you play the game on Baby Mode. That aside, apparently sniffing Etna's panties will destroy the entire Netherworld. How awesome is that?