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Sad Princess Review

By , on January 5, 2011


Sad Princess
Download on the AppStore
3 out of 5

PROS

  • Deeper RPG mechanics than most similar titles.
  • Console quality graphics and audio.
  • Endless 'survival' mode for shorter, frantic sessions.

CONS

  • Sluggish combat; impacts lack weight and perceived delays also slow things down.
  • While not hard to learn, the game doesn't assist in the process.

VERDICT

Sad Princess suffers from a depressive malaise that has seemingly infected the gameplay itself and adding more spice to the combat would go a long way to get things headed in the right direction.


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Never have I wanted to enjoy a game so badly as I do with Sad Princess by Perlo Games, but there's a vital spark in the gameplay that almost feels absent and what should be a smash-hit starts to fizzle early on.

You play as Princess Clover, one of four card-themed princesses who have been seemingly wronged by a Prince that has broken your heart. Thankfully your sadness is your weapon and as you travel you'll be able to power up your attacks by tapping in to the sadness you steal from the foes you defeat. It may sound odd, but Sad Princess is a fairly standard beat'em-up with a virtual stick to control your movement and jumping, while two buttons allow you to attack and defend in turn. Combination attacks along with dashes and upward slash maneuvers provide you with a good amount of variety to your attacks and a companion pet that you can raise is also able to join in on the fight.

Unfortunately everything feels downbeat and a bit off-kilter as though a pervasive 'depression' has infected the very gameplay itself. While the controls are relatively responsive, there's no sharpness to the attacks as combo hits continue well after you've finished tapping the screen; also, monsters hang around even after they're 'dead' as long as you're still hitting them. Furthermore, while there are additional features to explore including raising a pet and re-forging your weapons, they're not explained and players will need to learn them both through trial and error.

Sad Princess is a gorgeous title that aims for the stratosphere, invoking shades of titles like Princess Crown or Odin Sphere. However, while the potential for a great game exists in Sad Princess, the lack of sharp battle mechanics; guides to teach you the ropes; or anything beyond an implied storyline hold the title back. Sad Princess is still worth checking out, but it'll take some work to truly enjoy it.

Screenshots

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