Prinny 2: Dawn of Operation Panties, Dood!
Prinny 2 review: definitely isn't the worst game you'll ever play. That being said, it may very well be the hardest.
To the inhabitants of the Disgaea universe, the Prinny isn't a creature held in high regard. And why would it be? According to the series' mythology, these highly-combustible penguin-like creatures are what evil-doers become once they die and pass on to the afterlife. But to the video game players of our universe, the Prinny has always been seen as a lovable underdog, and their first video game was both unique and tough-as-nails. After the release of the sequel, however, many of those same gamers may unfortunately start to see the Prinnies in the same light as Disgaea's population.
- At times it reminds you of the fun you had with the original, the game contains plenty of absurd humor that can at times take the edge off your frustration
- The controls need to be more accommodating, the level design will have you attempting to throw yourself through a plate-glass window;,doesn't do things as well as the original
Despite a charming presentation and a handful of promising stages, Prinny 2: Dawn of Operation Panties, Dood! largely falls victim to poor level design and some wonky controls.
First, let me set the record straight: Prinny 2: Operation Panties, Dood! definitely isn't the worst game you'll ever play. That being said, it may very well be the hardest. To the gamers who assume they understand Prinny 2's degree of difficulty due to their familiarity with the first title: you will be in for a bit of a rude awakening upon starting this sequel. This game is more difficult than the first, but for all the wrong reasons. While the original Prinny game was renowned for being hard, its difficulty was something that could be overcome with tight and focused play. It was a game that would basically reinforce your understanding of what a "hardcore" gamer was, and its difficult nature always felt fair. That's not quite the case with the sequel.
Upon starting Prinny 2, the first telling sign that indicates you could soon be experiencing some frustration (and I'm talking ramming-a-sharpened-pencil-into-your-eyeballs frustration), is its allotment of 1000 lives. That's right -- your peg-legged, flammable fowl can kick the bucket 1000 times before the game makes you stop playing. And if you think that the exaggerated number of lives is the game's attempt at some sort of joke, it isn't. You will literally need nearly every one of those lives to complete this title. And while the original Prinny also starts you off with 1000 lives, you wouldn't expend nearly as many of those exploding avians due to its more even-handed nature.
Now, why will you end up dying so frequently? For a couple of reasons: First, Prinny 2's level design is very poorly done. Randomness and unforeseeable hazards, which weren't issues in the original, are commonplace in this game. And where skill and perseverance allowed players to succeed in the first title, blind luck and irrational fortitude may eventually lead to success in the sequel. Ultimately, it feels like the developers simply used the inclusion of those 1000 lives as a crutch so they could get away with employing lazy level design.
The game's control scheme is also suspect. The double-jump in this title, which seems to have become a platforming staple these days, offers a very limited amount of manipulation. Once your Prinny's peg-legs leave the ground, you won't be able to further move while in the air. Certainly this isn't the first game to utilize such a jumping mechanic -- the original Prinny also employed this -- but with the levels designed as poorly as they are, players really need the ability to continue maneuvering their character out of the way of off-screen enemies' attacks.
Despite these criticisms, fans of the first game should be able to find things to like about the sequel. On occasion, you will still come across levels that are laid out in a manner where you feel like you're in control of your success, and it's those stages that will most remind players of how much fun the original Prinny was. Additionally, when you're able to unleash a series of devastating combos on a group of unsuspecting foes, it almost feels like you're enacting revenge on the game that caused you to break so many of the items sitting near you while you played. The game is also filled with lots of unique personality and charm, and although the humor can sometimes feel overly sophomoric (and this is coming from a guy who loves a good potty joke), it still retains a tone that often seems fleeting in today's games.
In the end, it's important to note that this game will likely only appeal to hardcore series fans and masochists. But for those gamers looking for an incredible challenge and yearning for a title that feels like it comes from a bygone era of gaming, these flightless birds could be just the thing for you.
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