The Princess Guide
Reviewed By: Tyler Higgs
Developed By: Nippon Ichi Software
Published By: NIS America
Category: Action, Role Playing, Strategy
Release Date: March 26, 2019
I’m sure it’s a rewarding career being an instructor, but sometimes you just want to teach more practical skills than calculus. Princess Guide let’s you become a combat instructor and teach a variety of princesses some techniques, on how to kick ass. What more could you ask for in a game? Well time to see if this Action Rpg can keep me interested.
Princess Guide starts you out in a pretty simplistic create a character screen. It’s not very in-depth, you can change your character’s appearance and their personality, but that’s about it. The story centers around choosing a princess, and then training her to deal with conflicts, and defend herself. Honestly, the story is a very generic anime style story, with some fan service and cringe inducing anime tropes.
I think this is important to mention because this is not, I repeat not a game for those who can’t deal with the typical anime tropes. It tries hard to appeal specifically to that audience, so if you’re not part of that audience, I really don’t think Princess Guide will keep you interested. I would say I’ve built up a tolerance to these anime gimmicks over the years, but Princess Guide even tested my patience at some points
The entire game takes place across a large overworld. You’ll use the map to dispatch your characters from their base to go to missions, and enemies that are placed on the map. One of the unfortunate limits to this is you can’t adjust your characters at all on the go. They have to be at their main base to equip them or do anything with them. This feels very limiting as you’ll often come across new items you might want to try, and to do that you’ll have to withdraw your force and bring them all the way back.
When you do end up crossing paths with an enemy you’ll be transported into a small area to explore and battle enemies in. You’ll control your character along with three soldiers that follow them. You can slash, and dash around enemies and call upon your soldiers to attack as well. If you want something more powerful to take out your enemies, then you can use your EX attack. Every weapon as its own special EX attack you can use once you’ve filled up your EX gauge. They’re useful for doing big damage, and it’s fun to try out all the different ones at your disposal.
Princess Guide’s approach to combat should have just stayed simple as a button masher, but instead they try to add a bunch of extra elements that make the game kind of fall short. Unfortunately, they decided to try and add more depth which just makes things feel clunky.
There is a plethora of menus and abilities to use to boost your stats the first being tactics. Tactics are dependent on your character and theirs tons of them to use. Really, there’s too many tactics, and it makes them feel overwhelming. Then you also have the ability to praise and scold your princess to give her different boosts. This is a definite anime trope that may make some players feel uncomfortable. It really isn’t fleshed out it in a way that makes it really weird, but it still comes across as kind of strange. There’s just too many menus for the games own good. It really comes across clunky and unnecessary to have for an Action Rpg.
When you’re not battling you can allocate some time to all the extra stuff at the castle. That’s where you can hire new squad commanders, equip, upgrade and build new weapons and do lots more. I have to say there’s quite a bit to do in The Princess Guide, although it’s gameplay formula can get tiresome.
The most interesting aspect is the form of items called historias that you can teach to the princesses to boost their stats. They’ll also unlock new units for your squad, and other little things. There’s tons of them you can find while out on the battlefield and some even come with goals you have to complete to be able to teach them. It’s a fun, unique system that helps The Princess Guide stand out a little bit from others in the genre.
The Princess Guide’s visuals are alright, and will be fine for those who like chibi style character sprites and bright anime environments. There’s tons of color in the world and everything looks really vibrant. Unfortunately the graphics can’t help but feel very similar to many mobile anime games I’ve seen. It just makes the visual style not feel very special, being able to relate them so closely to many gacha titles on my android. That, along with the bland enemy designs, and lackluster overworld design doesn’t do a fantastic job captivating players.
From a technical standpoint, I luckily didn’t have too many problems during my playthrough. The resolution looks good in handheld & docked mode. The frame rate could get a little jittery when a lot of enemies were on the screen. It wasn’t too bad, but it could be a little frustrating.
The Princess Guide was an adventure that was not without its flaws. It suffers too much from being another anime game and comes off more generic than it should. There’s definitely some great aspects to the game that will be enough to keep some players invested. Unfortunately, unless you’re able to deal with the anime tropes and average gameplay you may not find a ton of enjoyment in The Princess Guide.