Code of Princess EX is not the Guardian Heroes Revival Youre Looking

Code of Princess EX is not the Guardian Heroes Revival Youre Looking

first_imgStay on target One of my absolute favorite Sega Saturn games is Treasure Co’s Guardian Heroes. It had everything: animated cutscenes, gorgeous sprites, Hack-and-Slash action, and RPG progression. For whatever reason, the game never got any sequels. Aside from being released on Xbox 360, Guardian Heroes all but vanished after the 32-bit era. This is a shame considering how much fun the game was and still is.Why am I talking about Guardian Heroes in a review for Code of Princess EX? It’s because the game is effectively a spiritual successor to that Sega cult classic. After all, the team behind Code of Princess also worked on Guardian Heroes back in the day. As a fan of the Saturn title, you can imagine my surprise when I received a review copy of Code of Princess EX and saw that the back of the box said: “Be the GUARDIAN of 50+ HEROES.” They aren’t exactly trying to hide what this game is about! So, is Code of Princess EX the long-lost Guardian Heroes sequel/follow-up I’ve always wanted? Not exactly, but it’s still a decent enough game.AdChoices广告Code of Princess EX originally came out for the Nintendo 3DS. Now on Switch, the title comes with new features. The most obvious is the sharper and smoother graphics. Everything looks clean and animates fluidly. The sound effects and music also get a slight upgrade. Like the 3DS version, this edition has local co-op and online multiplayer. It also sports over fifty playable characters which players can level up and equip with items. The game certainly doesn’t lack in the content department.If you’re looking for a compelling story, you won’t find one here. The game follows Princess Solange of Deluxia, who is out to save the world from a monster uprising along with a ragtag band of misfit allies. What the scantily clad princess lacks in clothes she more than makes up for with an oversized legendary sword. The story won’t win any awards but the characters are fun and it is enjoyable to see them interacting with one another.Hack-and-Slash combat is at the heart of Code of Princess EX. Like Guardian Heroes, players can fight on three separate planes. Being able to hop back and forth between the vertical planes adds a nice layer of strategy to battles. If you time things right, you can avoid attacks entirely. Every character can perform quick combos, heavy attacks, and finishing moves. Each character also has their own unique combos and skills. In the early parts, you can get away with just spamming the light attack button. As you progress, you’ll need to memorize character-specific combos and utilize some of the more complex techniques in order to complete missions.You can lock onto enemies by attacking them with the Y button. When locked on to a foe, you’ll deal double the damage. Pressing the X button performs a “Burst” attack which gives you extra health and restores your MP. It also gives you a momentary boost of attack power. Attacking while locked on and in Burst mode makes short work of most foes. However, since you only get a limited amount of Bursts per level, its best to save them for bosses or if you’re near death.While combat works well enough, I have to say it isn’t nearly as fun as it was in Guardian Heroes. The main reason is that Code of Princess isn’t as fast or responsive as the title it’s inspired by. Guardian Heroes had almost non-stop action at all times. Both playable characters and foes could unleash a flurry of quick attacks. Code of Princess is sluggish in comparison. Again, it controls well and you will not fight against the controls. If you’ve never played Guardian Heroes you will have no issues with the game’s speed. However, if you’re a veteran of that Sega classic, you’re going to be at a slight disadvantage here because of the slower pace of combat.The ability to play as 50+ characters is nice but not every character is worth trying out. While the human bosses are definitely cool to play as, some of the monsters just don’t control right. I give props to anyone who goes out of their way to level up some of these weird creatures. You can’t use most of the unlocked characters in the campaign, which makes having so many of them feel unnecessary. With that said, having all these characters at one’s disposal will surely keep multiplayer interesting. And, hey, if you want to play as a little vegetable monster then more power to you!Available modes include: Campaign, Free Play, Bonus, and Tutorial. Campaign mode is pretty self-explanatory. This is where you go through the game’s main story and play with the core group of characters. In Free mode, you can replay quests from the Campaign with any of the unlocked characters. Want to battle as one of the monsters or bosses you defeated? Go for it. Bonus is kind of like Free mode since you can also play as any character. This mode is great for leveling up your team in-between missions.Unfortunately, I could not test out either the local co-op or online multiplayer modes. I don’t have anyone who lives nearby who owns a Switch (and has the title). As for multiplayer, I couldn’t find a lobby even after after the game’s official release. Online multiplayer has several modes that allow users to either play co-op or against one another. Players can even see how well they’ve done on the leaderboard. But again, I was unable to test any of this first-hand. If this changes, I’ll come back and update this review.Graphically, Code of Princess EX is pleasing to the eye. The backgrounds and characters are all nicely rendered. While the graphics are solid, they’re not going to blow anyone away either. This title was originally on the 3DS, after all. The game runs at a smooth 60fps, but there are times when you can see jagged edges on sprites; especially when they’re on the front plane. You’ll only notice this when playing on a television. If you play in portable mode, the graphics actually look somewhat impressive. In all honesty, I’d recommend users play this in handheld mode. The game just looks better that way.Nicalis does a great job when it comes to packaging Switch games, and Code of Princess EX is no exception. Users who buy a physical copy will get a small mini-CD containing samples of music from the game. There’s even an honest-to-goodness full-color instruction booklet inside. It also comes with a reversible cover. Overall, it’s a slick package. If you want to get the game digitally, that’s fine. But as far as I’m concerned, going physical is where it’s at. The extra goodies are most definitely appreciated.Code of Princess EX is a perfectly serviceable game. I’m sure users who love super-grindy titles and/or are into anime will probably dig it. Unfortunately, I can’t say the same thing for myself. Don’t get me wrong, I think the game is fine, but I expected a little more. I think my passion for Guardian Heroes has somewhat clouded my judgment here. Yes, it is definitely in the spirit of that beloved title, but it just isn’t on the same level of its predecessor. I suppose having a game falling short of hitting the Guardian Heroes mark is better than not having a Guardian Heroes-type game at all. If you’re a fan of the genre, you can’t go wrong with checking out Code of Princess EX. Just don’t go in thinking it’s the second coming of Treasure’s Sega Saturn cult classic.As always, for more on Nintendo’s new console check out Everything You Need to Know About Nintendo Switch and Switch Games to Play Before Super Smash Bros. 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