NISA has been cranking out games like a factory lately. Some have been better than others, I have been rather surprised though, they have been branching out in terms of game genres. This is the case with Battle Princess of Arcadia. Games like Hyperdimension Neptunia Producing Perfection were odd, but most of the time they are complete, this is not the case with Battle Princess.
The kingdom of Schwert was once peaceful and beautiful. But now it’s been overrun by monsters, and as the Battle Princess Plume, it’s up to you to set things right.
I could not pay attention to the story. As with NISA’s recent games, it seems like there is too much dialogue. A lot of it is fluff, especially with the early game tutorials, even the basic mission speaking lines seem to drone on. It is too wordy and it does not work with an action driven brawler. Nothing kills your momentum more than a bout with some anime tropes after decimating a few dozen enemies.
Battle Princess of Arcadia feels like a splintered game because of the combat. Obviously this is a cornerstone portion of game development to keep people playing a game so when the combat feels unfinished, the whole thing could come crumbling down. The best way to describe the combat is wooden. The combos do not flow together like they should. Instead, after a 5 hit combo, you can’t take any action for at least 2 seconds, sure this makes combat a bit more tactical, but at the same time it hurts the flow of combat.
You can play as multiple characters and they all have their own skills, equipment, and level to increase. Before every battle you can take a party of three and during the mission you can switch between them, if any lose all of their HP, they are incapacitated for the rest of the mission. You must level up each character individually as well, so be prepared to find characters to love and hate using. In addition to different characters you can extensively upgrade all of their equipment. While it is nothing ground breaking, there is still a lot to do in that regard.
There is a mission type called “Seige” and this is where you command a small army of warriors to fight against either another army of a boss. There are plenty of little mechanics this mode has but the commands are mapped poorly so trying to manage the formation of your army as well as fight yourself is difficult to pull off. I appreciate the effort in adding something different to the genre, it was just executed poorly because of the limitations with a controller.
My final verdict on Battle Princess of Arcadia is this, the game is certainly playable and there are plenty of people that will find this game to be really fun. However, the wooden animations and odd combat were a real difficult thing to get used to and the game is incredibly slow. I like how this is a new IP for NISA and not just another sequel. I give Battle Princess of Arcadia a 6/10. You can pick it up for the PS3 now.