The question is should you be a penny-pincher for this game?
Penny-Punching Princess – Nintendo Switch – Released: 4/3/18 – $39.99
I really enjoyed making the Speed Review so check that out and here is my picture of me having the highest score. I believe the other scores are hacked because you can’t even get that much money in the game even if you collected everything. Took me about a half hour to get the high score so I wonder if they are giving away anything to the person with the highest score.
Short Review (Review copy provided by NISA)
While this company is held close and dear to my heart with games like Disgaea, Danganronpa, and Criminal Girls as some of my favorite games. I can’t hold back how I truly feel about this game. To start off the game on Switch suffers from noticeable slow down when there are many enemies on the screen. It was never to the point where I would stop playing because the game is a great time. That is the major issue out of the way with some minor stuff that I will cover in the long review. The game overall is a great time, I went into this game only seeing the original trailer.
The game begins with letting you know that money rules everything. The Princess is given a magic calculator that is able to buy out almost any enemy or trap you see. With it she sets out to get revenge on the people who tore her country apart due to debt. The game is a pretty standard button masher with the ability to hire your enemy. Surprisingly this works well since every enemy has unique attacks or effects. Only issue with this is you don’t know what they do until after you have paid them to try them out. You could badly need something that is a damage dealer and end up with a wizard that casts an area that creates slower movement. I found myself running around constantly trying different things or having enough money to slowly pay off all the enemies to clear the area.
Overall the game is a fun time minus the times when slowdown was to a crawl. It is interesting that the game revolves around money. You need money to unlock heal wells, unlock doors to get chest, use traps against enemies, and recruit enemies to aide in your revenge. I would say this game is a soft purchase due to the slowdown. If they were able to fix that issue I would say go for it but at the moment it is a bit hard to recommend. Many people I feel as though would have issues with the slowdown so check out my gameplay footage. I did upload the entire let’s play so check that out if you want to see everything. They are broken down by chapter so enjoy the rest of the review!
NOTE: NISA does know about the slowdown issue and is forwarded to the development team so I’ll update the review in the future if there is an update that fixes some slowdown.
Love this icon:
Like I said in the short review, you take control of the princess on a revenge plan. The calculator is given to you by the mystery Zenigami who only cares about money. He provides you with great advice, wants statues all over your country of him, and is the God of Money. The Princess is accompanied by Sebastian, a giant beetle. He is basically your speaker for the game because the princess barely talks. He is the reason why you have to fight most things since he starts trouble. Once you find out that the Dragonloan clan has a secret weapon, the princess goes to find out what is it. The Dragonloan clan is the reason why you are in such a crisis but they will stop at nothing to bring you down. When you get to their secret weapon, you find out its…. YOUR SISTER! But she has turned into a zombie.
While the game is a simple button masher with the calculator aspect. I was shocked at how weird the controls are for the game. You use your calculator a ton so playing using the touch screen is the best method. The button controls are very odd but understandable. You use the D-Pad to move the cursor around to pick numbers while you could auto price something using L. This is by far the best way to bring up a price and quickly pay off an enemy.
The other unique thing about the calculator is the Coin Miracle, which you can pay any amount to get a special. These range from heals, power ups, full screen blast attack, or shrinking in size. This is when you will notice the button controls are pretty bad. If you want to input a Coin Miracle you have to bring up the calculator using R then use the D-Pad to press in amount. Then press the Coin Miracle button and pick a randomly selected Miracle. You have to use a claw grip to be able to pull this off. I wish there was an easy way so you find yourself moving the Princess to dodge stuff then do a few inputs, move, input, move, input, until you get the Miracle. It is really odd and you can easily see in the footage me doing this several times.
Surprisingly I found myself grinding a lot since some requirements can be a bit demanding. In my gameplay footage of Chapter 4, the boss requires a certain type of armor and wallet size to proceed. Unlike the Disgaea series, grinding is required to beat this game. I thought I would be able to beat the game in a few sittings but once this came up. The game came to a complete halt forcing me to replay levels to gain points for upgrades and materials for armor.
You can play as two different characters, you can’t switch between the two while in a level but before each level you can. The Princess has her calculator while Isabella can scan an area but she can’t pick her target so it makes it harder to pick the one you want. I found Isabella to be better all around. She has a long range compared to the Princess, she uses bombs and her dash leaves smaller bombs. The downside is you have to unlock her after Chapter 3. She then completely replaced the Princess for the rest of my run. The Princess has the calculator that makes it easy to pick targets but Isabella’s long range attacks were easy to land.
I really enjoyed this game but the mindless running around to fill up meters and the grinding pulls it back some. I really loved the Disgaea series because even if I don’t spend anytime outside of the story. I could beat the game without putting a minute replaying a level or going into the item world. Booting up the game I didn’t think I would spend anytime doing anything of the side things just to get through the story. Once I hit that block on chapter 4, it felt more like a chore than fun.
I did spent the bulk of my time playing in docked mode due to recording gameplay. It feels better while playing with the touchscreen though so I would say that is the way to go. The claw grip is a pain to use compared to running around with one hand and touching the screen with the other. During those times it felt more like I was the Princess since she pulls out the calculator as well as I am holding the Switch with one hand pressing buttons. That feeling of immersion is pretty great compared to the button mode.
I would say go for it if slowdowns aren’t an issue for you. For me they didn’t bother me enough or hinder the gameplay to say “nope never again”. It was constant in some areas and I have let NISA know about it. I do feel as though they will be looking into it but it seems to be a problem with the game itself. I did restart the Switch and it didn’t fix the issue so I don’t believe it is the memory leak issue that plagues some games. I did enjoy the bulk of my time playing and the comedy was enough for me to get a few giggles out of me. I feel as though overall it is a great game, not as solid as other NISA titles but enough that I would pick up a sequel. I would give the game a 7 out of 10! It would be a 8 out of 10 if I didn’t run into issues though.
My Gameplay Footage:
This was a pretty rough game to review since my feelings about NISA are they are a great company with great games. This game just reminded me that some of their games can be just average. While the experience is fun a game that may only be a few hours turned into a 10+ hour game that had several hours of deaths and grinding. Those times felt terrible enough that I had to bring down the score. I feel as though the price point is great certainly if you pick it up using GCU or Prime. The sweet spot is $30 though in my opinion.
I really look forward to other games NISA brings to the Switch! Currently I know SNK Heroines looks great in the gameplay from different events. Really holding out for a Disgaea Collection or Danganronpa Collection for Switch though. Would love to replay those games again but no word yet so hopefully E3 brings some good news. I don’t remember when D5 was shown off for Switch but I do remember seeing it a lot in Nintendo Directs before it came out. Hopefully we get something small in a direct since I lost my mind when D5 was shown like 5 seconds in the reveal event.
I still have two giveaways going on so check those out as well!