Prinny 1•2: Exploded and Reloaded Review – Not Your Typical Platformer

    Title: Prinny 1•2: Exploded and Reloaded
    Developer: Engine Software, Nippon Ichi Software
    Release Date: 10/13/2020
    Reviewed On: Switch
    Publisher: NIS America
    Genre: Action, Platformer

Alright, dood, so hear me out, so there’s this game and you get to play as a Prinny dood, how cool is that! Master Etna is kinda mean for making us risk our lives even though she knows we ain’t that tough dood, what are we supposed to do dood!!

Sorry about that; it kind of grows on you after a while. Prinny 1•2: Exploded and Reloaded are spinoffs from the Disgaea series released on the PSP in 2008 and 2010. Now, they are being re-released with HD textures with all of the DLC that came with them. Through many moments of button mashing and side-scrolling action, there’s a story of a forgotten hero to be found in this zany adventure.

Prinny 1•2: Exploded and Reloaded has players play as the demon race known as Prinny. The publisher has decided to release these titles separately, digitally, but they both play more-or-less the same so let’s just break down the stories. In Prinny: Can I Really Be the Hero?, Master Etna discovers that her Ultra Desert has been eaten, and she tasks the Prinnies to go and retrieve all six ingredients from six different worlds to make a whole new Ultra Desert for herself. In Prinny 2 Dawn Of Operations Panties Dood!, Master Etna discovers that her panties have been stolen and sends the little Prinnies to risk their lives once again and retrieve what has been stolen from her.

Each adventure is pretty short, so they don’t overstay their welcome in that regard, but that doesn’t stop them from being ungodly difficulty. For starters, you only have 1000 lives to get through the game with, which seems like a lot but trust me, you’re going to fly through them pretty quickly. On some levels, I found myself burning through 10-15 lives in a matter of minutes, and don’t get me started on the bosses, who take multiple tries to understand their attack patterns.

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I played each adventure on the normal difficulty, which is what I would recommend using because you get three hit points as opposed to playing on hard where you only get one. As you can imagine, only playing with one hit-point can get pretty aggravating (unless you’re into that sort of challenge). Still, I would recommend at least trying the more difficult modes if only to test the skills you’ve developed.

Prinny 2 adds a few extra mechanics such as a damage buff, which activates once you fill-up the combo bar. In the first title, the combo bar was there, but it only gives some extra points. This added feature makes it more useful and gives you a reason to want to fill it up. Another mechanic is the powered up ground pound to use against strong enemies and a spin technique that can cause damage but can also be used for a few seconds of invulnerability.

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Prinny 1•2: Exploded and Reloaded has one glaring issue that makes for some pretty frustrating gameplay moments. While double jumping, once you initiate the second jump, you are locked in that direction and can’t change where you want to land. This causes multiple deaths if you accidentally overcompensate distances or misjudge the distance of an enemy. For the most part, the controls take some getting used to and come off like a product of their time. In the long run, you can adjust and improve, but it’s tough to get comfortable.

Jumping aside, the enemies are formidable. There are times where you will encounter foes who simply have a random attack pattern of them flying in a circle, or there’s even some who pop out from the corner of the screen and send you to a quick death. Luckily, there are checkpoints, so it’s possible to get your revenge.

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Surprisingly, even though it’s difficult, there’s plenty of fun to discover in this adventure. It becomes one of those games where you take the challenge head-on and don’t let it defeat you. Yeah, the game did make me frustrated at some points, but the fact it doesn’t really take itself seriously made it more enjoyable. Further, the level design is impressive, the enemies are unique, and the soundtrack fits each stage perfectly. It all equates to environments that don’t feel like copied and pasted versions of themselves, making the entire experience less repetitive.

The Switch version of Prinny 1 and 2 run great and look decent with their upscaled textures. Visually, there’s not much you could do for the game as it still appears to resemble its PSP counterpart. If anything, this release just puts this series back on our radar for a possible third entry. Outside of that, the added DLC only sweetens the pot.

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Prinny 1•2: Exploded and Reloaded is as great a title for the Switch as it was for the PSP. It’s challenging 2D platforming will cause many moments of frustration, but you’d be hard-pressed not to want to jump right back in and try again. The platforming physics themselves can come off a bit dated, but the excellent level design and the genuinely unique experience that these adventures offer make up for most of what lacks mechanically.

Score:
7.5/10
A review copy of the title was provided by the publisher for review purposes

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John Rangel

Anime enthusiast and gacha addict.