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Code of Princess Review

Code of Princess Review

Ever since its original Japanese announcement, Code of Princess has had a ton of hype to live up to. With a development team made up of members from the team behind Guardian Heroes, the game Code of Princess is modelled after, it's to be expected that people would hold the title up to the high standard Guardian Heroes was known for. So the question everyone is wondering was if developer Agatsuma Entertainment was able to strike gold a second time. I'm glad to say that, for the most part, they succeeded.

Code of Princess's world is one where both man and monster co-exist. For a long time both sides left each other alone, but prior to the game's start the monsters began attacking again. The titular main character, the princess of DeLuxia called Solange, is forced to flee the castle which she calls home after a nearby army invades the town. Before leaving, however, her father gives her the legendary blade DeLuxcalibur. With the blade in tow she aims to restore balance to the world and meets quite the eclectic cast of playable characters along the way. It's a pretty standard story for the genre, but Code of Princess does a good job of giving the player a goal without taking away from the core gameplay of any good action RPG: the fighting.

If you've played classics like Guardian Heroes or Golden Axe, you'll feel right at home here as attacking is relegated to two buttons: A (strong) and B (weak). Of course you can just string together rapid AAA or BBB button presses, but Code of Princess does a great job in letting the player tie these buttons together to create combos, similar to a simplified version of fighting game's mechanics. For example, you can launch an initial salvo of attacks on the ground then launch the enemy into the air and combo them on the way down.

Of course, in most battles, you aren't going to deal with simple 1-on-1 fights outside of bosses, so Code of Princess has a few more options to help one survive. The Y button is used to lock onto enemies for a brief period of time, which outside of focusing your attacks on a single opponent and its immediate adversaries, has a few nifty side abilities. The locked-on enemy gets dealt more damage when attacked and also lets long-range characters such as casters have their ranged attacks attack them no matter which plane they are presently on. Finally the burst system, which is activated by pressing the X button, has two abilities. The first is stunning any opponents who are in the immediate range of the initial burst and double damage (along with other bonuses depending on the character's equipment) which can be stacked with the lock-on mechanic and lasts as long as the player has MP (it can be deactivated any time). And of course, no action RPG would be complete without the ability to guard, which in Code of Princess is activated by pressing L or R.

Speaking of planes, one of the defining features of Code of Princess which it shares with Guardian Heroes and other similar action RPG games, is the ability to fight on one of three planes at any given time by pressing up or down. This is where the 3D aspect of the Nintendo 3DS really shines as Agatsuma Entertainment utilized this feature to make telling the planes apart much easier than if you were playing in 2D. And unlike some recent games such as New Super Mario Bros. 2 which fuses the backgrounds, Code of Princess' still stay sharp.

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