Thanks to NIS America for the review code
Title: Prinny 2: Dawn of Operation Panties Dood!
System: Nintendo Switch (eShop)
Release Date: 10/13/2020
Taking place a while after the first Prinny platformer, you take control of another heroic Prinny, setting out on another quest after Edna’s panties go missing. Yeah, this game gets even more crazy than the first one, with even funnier dialogue in spots!
Just like before, Prinny 2 is the same as the OG PSP game, with the same good art style, catchy music and english VA as the original release, and unfortunately, like the port of Prinny 1, it also has suffered from an unpleasant blur filter that you can’t disable. Like before, it looks pretty fine in handheld mode, but on docked it can be a bit of an eyesore, which makes it a real bummer there isn’t some option to at least clean up the HUD font a little. Not much else to say here, it’s a very straightforward port just like the first one.
Prinny 2 plays very identically to the first game, offering the same control scheme and a similar structure of freely choosing stages, followed by a day to night cycle that increases the difficulty the more you progress. However, some general QOL improvements have been made across the board, such as improving the combo meter to not just increase with ground stomps, (normal attacks fill it up now too,) the combo meter awarding you with an attack buff if you manage to fill it up, (instead of an assortment of point items) and most importantly, a brand new, easier difficulty mode that adds extra safety blocks across the stages to prevent the likelihood of instant death.
But even if you don’t play this easiest difficulty mode (called “Baby Mode”, for better or worse), you’ll be pleased to hear that Prinny 2 is much, much less vicious than the first game, especially starting out. Yeah, the game is still filled with enemies that will try to cause knockback into pits or instant-death hazards, but it feels a lot less intense even when the challenge ramps up during the night, and overall, you have a better chance to adjust to the earlier stages of the game starting out.
In fact, I even managed to successfully clear a stage on the hardest difficulty with only a few tries, something that I couldn’t fathom doing by any means in Prinny 1. Of course, that doesn’t mean challenge is absent, since you will die a lot if you aren’t paying attention, and just like before using ground stomps to stop your mid-air momentum is a critical technique, especially as the night comes and the game gets harder. But it was certainly very nice to see that the game in general was more reasonable while still maintaining enough retro-inspired challenge to be tricky and engaging, while also offering the easier difficulty for those who want to just enjoy the game without the sudden cheapness at points.
In fact, the bosses can be a bit of a pushover this time around due to the new addition of the combo meter buff, since on the easiest difficulty, I had almost no resistance defeating them in under a minute due to this buff completely murdering their health bars once they got stunned. While upping the difficulty did make the combo meter harder to fill, it still was just as devastating if you managed to get the buff anyhow. It definitely feels like a huge step down from the first game’s boss fights, but on the plus side, it does make them feel much more doable on the hardest setting with only one hit deaths, and the fights themselves are still enjoyable, and do indeed scale up in difficulty as the adventure continues.
Just like before, you have optional stuff to find too, from the returning dolls hidden throughout the stages, to the returning soul orbs that will “complete” NPCs in the main hub plaza, allowing you to do things such as track new in-game achievements, get rewards from collected dolls, save replays of your lives, among other opportunities.
In fact, Prinny 2 is just way more fun to play than the original game due to being more balanced overall and offering more content via these in-game achievements. But that’s not the only thing you have to mess with, for a secret mode is also available, known as Asagi Mode. Here, you play an alternate story where you take control of a Prinny named Asagi, competing against other Asagis in hopes of TV domination!
As a result, the structure of the game changes slightly, with the focus being to try and maintain viewership by performing well in stages, and avoiding viewer dips from events such as taking damage or messing up a lot. This acts as your “health gauge” in a sense, and your weapon isn’t the normal blade attack that the Prinny in the main game uses, but rather, an assortment of limited-use projectiles you can swap between on the fly, reminding me a bit of the Upa-Upa mode in the Fantasy Zone Switch Port, oddly enough. To make this even better, the stages aren’t 1:1 from the original mode, and the bosses are all new too, leading to this being a fun remix mode that you can actually unlock right away with a cheat code, definitely adding its own extra replay value to the mix.
In conclusion, Prinny 2 is a much more enjoyable platformer compared to the first game, and is just more fun and balanced all around, with plenty of replay value to keep completionists interested without having to pull their hair out.
However, the barebones porting job that the first game got, applies to this one as well, and it’s such a shame. The UI is still a blurry mess and this filter still looks ugly in TV mode, and for a fun hidden gem like this brought back into circulation, it deserved so much better. While it’s an absolute recommendation for the $20 pricetag, I can’t say this port in general is anything worth getting excited about if you already own this on PSP/Vita, since it barely adds much of anything and feels like the most barebones job imaginable.
Still, for newcomers to these quirky platformers, I absolutely encourage you to pick up Prinny 2 over the first game if you can only choose one, for it’s well worth your time despite the lackluster porting found here. It pretty much takes all the major annoyances from the first games and smooths them out to make a funny adventure you should play through at least once.
Alternatively, the $40 retail pack isn’t too bad of a pickup if you want to give the more grueling first entry a shot to see how these games evolved. Maybe there’ll be a third one someday that improves things even further and takes advatange of HD hardware? I can only hope, after enjoying this one so much!
I give Prinny 2: Dawn of Operation Panties Dood! a 7 out of 10.