Last year, Tecmo Koei released Deception IV: Blood Ties, the first game in the Deception franchise in a number of years. It had some faults, including some subpar graphics and some repetitiveness following the campaign's completion, but the overall package was worth it for the people the gameplay connected with. This year, Tecmo Koei is releasing Deception IV: The Nightmare Princess. As the name implies, this game takes the original Deception IV's content and adds more to it, alongside a new PS4 version new to this edition. Is it worth the full $50 price of admission for veterans of the series? It depends what you're looking to get out of it.
Like was stated earlier, The Nightmare Princess is essentially an enhanced version of the original Blood Ties release on the PS3 and PlayStation Vita platforms, with the PS4 port being new to this version and has improved and smoother graphics. The central character in that game, Laegrinna, has her story line unchanged in The Nightmare Princess. As it was before, the core gameplay in Deception IV revolves around laying down traps, luring enemies into them and then activating said traps so they kill said enemies. Our review of Deception IV: Blood Ties went over the general mechanics of the original game which return here in this enhanced version, so we'll be focusing exclusively on the new content in The Nightmare Princess.
The major new addition in The Nightmare Princess is the new mode and character exclusive to this version. It turns out that the devil had a second daughter, Velgyrie, who just awoke from a long slumber and realized she had lost some of her former powers. To regain them, she takes up the aid of her companion Ephemera to gather souls. She has the same trap laying power as her sister Laegrinna, but also has a new physical "Kick" ability that lets her deal damage to her opponents and push them backwards. This ends up being an interesting new addition, as it allows the player to adjust where an opponent is located if they're not quite where they need to be for your elaborate traps to function in unison.
Velgyrie is usable in the game's new Quest Mode, which has the player clear a total of 100 new quests. Each has their own main goal to finish the quest, with three secondary goals that reward the player with new items, including traps. The minor issue I had while playing through this mode is that after completion a certain number of quests, I ended up realizing that the main goals kept recycling and it become somewhat of a repetition going through them all. That said, the game does give you a number of new traps to use (with said total being over 180 in this version of the game), so inventive players probably won't find a major issue with this mode as long as they keep their thinking caps on straight.
One issue some people had with the original game was that the castle-inspired stages felt somewhat same-ish after a while. The Nightmare Princess tries to fix this by including several new stages which take place outside the confines of the castle's environment. These locales include areas such as an outdoor park and even an amusement park. These stages don't have any real special tricks to them, similar to the castle-inspired stages, but they do have a much different feel and even have the enemies decked out in more modern clothing and weapons.
The other new major addition to the game is the ability to create your own enemies. Remember those rewards gained through Quest Mode mentioned earlier? Those items become of use in this mode as you can change up the enemy's clothing, weapons, hair styles, faces, and more. It's a small amount initially, but getting farther in Quest Mode starts to unlock a plethora of new options, so it's worth the investment in that mode to gain the new unlockables.
Stages also can be customized, although there's more restrictions in place compared to the character editor. You can only choose from the same maps you encountered in Story and Quest Mode, with only the enemies and main/secondary completion conditions being customizable. You do have the option to share your custom maps online and download other players' maps, so even with the restrictions it's still a worthwhile mode to check out.
Even with these new additions, there still isn't enough content for the non-hardcore Blood Ties players to spend $50 on this new version, considering there isn't any sort of cheaper upgrade option available. For the hardcore fans the new version is worthwhile, especially if you're planning on picking up the superior PS4 version. And for newcomers who the gameplay connects with, this is easily the better version to pick up if you have a choice between the two.
|Decent amount of new traps for veterans to mess around with in this version.|
|The new environments change things up a bit.|
|The character and stage editors have some nice customizability to them.|
|It's essentially a revamped version of the original game, so the price tag is a bit steep.|
|Stage editor is a tad bit too restrictive.|
|If you disliked Blood Ties, it's more of the same here.|