Chapter One: Introduction
I concluded, “this game is so boring!” But this time around, I completed “V0.9.0725.1” in about two hours. Though Princess&Blade has been dramatically improved since release, it remains bogged down by unrefined graphics and gameplay.
Chapter Two: Gameplay (2/5★)
Section One: Overview
Following the invasion of “evil spirits”, it’s up to Princess and a “talking blade” to save the Shia people. Although the “sharpness and power” of the blade are legendary, she must tactfully sneak, attack, roll and collect clothes to overcome her enemies.
Yes, collect clothes. With the power to “directly improve [her] combat effectiveness”, see-through lingerie and pantyless-bottoms “excite” the blade — granting enhanced stats and special attacks. As long as Princess “twists [her] little ass to fight”, the sword has the power to “expel evils”.
I have a feeling the sword is just making shit up. . .
Section Two: Combat
There are eight “Attack postures” with weapons of varying speed, range and bonus effects.
For example, the Rabbit posture grants a rapier with rapid, midrange attacks. By the end of the game, my Princess attacked so fast most enemies were unable to attack back! On the other end of the spectrum is the Bear; it offers slow, wide-reaching attacks which bypass defense. The Bear favors methodical, calculated play due to the time it takes for Princess to swing her weapon.
Alternatively, Princess&Blade supports (and in one “Level”, requires) stealth gameplay; throughout each Level are marked foliage where Princess may sneak by. If she gets behind an enemy without being detected, she can “assassinate” them for an instant kill!
Though Attack postures add much needed variety to the game, I can’t say combat has improved much since I last played. Combat boils down to mashing the “attack” button until it’s time to roll out of the way. You can argue most hack-and-slash games play the same way — but where I think Princess&Blade goes wrong is the lack of variety between enemies.
Despite differing shapes, sizes and animations, enemies generally act and attack the same. They simply follow Princess and periodically swing (or shoot) until defeated. There’s no need to learn interesting, overlapping attack patterns or alternate between Attack postures. I can safely say combat is still “attack-attack-attack and dodge” since I played “V0.7Beta”.
Section Two: Customization
When starting a new game, you may change the appearance of Princess. There’s no need to stress about the little details — you’re free to make alterations between missions.
Overall, the character customization is pretty solid! There are a ton of sliders to work with, allowing for dramatic alterations of the default face and body. With some creativity, I think the character customization system will allow for western-style Princess.
As much as I’d love to put that to the test, you only get one save file (and I like my princess!)
The best part of the game is playing “dress up” with the Princess. They provide enhanced stats, such as “additional defence [sic]” and “Additional attack speed”. There are tons of unlockable clothes, but all of that variety is a doubled edged sword.
Here’s the problem: It’s unlikely any clothes Princess finds will match.
On one Level, Princess may find transparent lingerie — and on another, a distinctly modern bikini with brightly colored shapes. The lack of cohesion between unlockable clothes insures Princess will likely experience ongoing wardrobe malfunctions throughout the game.
Making matters worse, Princess&Blade mechanically encourages matching outfits; each piece of clothing is assigned one of eight different kinds of “charm”. Charm increases the rate at which Attack postures improve through usage and how effective “SwordGifts” are.
SwordGifts are special attacks that periodically recharge based on equipped clothes.
On paper, charm encourages “flexible fighting methods”. But the charm mechanic made me feel I wasn’t allowed to change clothes. Charm can be altered using randomly collected “crystals” — but It’s hard to justify spending them while you’re waiting for matching clothes.
Section Two: Exploration
During the first half of the game, you’re punished for exploring. Every second that is wasted contributes to a lower mission score upon completion, resulting in diminished rewards. Once Princess is strong enough to tackle “The way of revenge” (about when all levels have been completed), then exploration is allowed.
It’s a shame, because the Levels are actually really pretty.
The way of revenge features offers an world with significantly spongier foes than the rest of the game. Throughout the heavily forested world are unmarked chests with loot that isn’t worth your time. . . but at least you aren’t punished for playing at your own pace.
Chapter Three: Sexual Content (2/5★)
Section One: Content
There are three or four optional masturbation animations.
Section Two: Implementation
Upon interacting with “secluded areas”, Princess has the option to masturbate. Is she does, her equipped SwordArt will quickly recharge over the next five minutes.
Unfortunately, secluded areas are only available in “The way of revenge” — meaning that it’ll take most players at least a few hours before they’re ready to tackle the open world gameplay.
Section Three: Interactivity
Sex-scenes are progressed by mashing the mouse button.
Section Four: Quality
The general animation is okay, but the voice acting is poor. It’s what I’d expect from a throwaway puzzle game. It’s also disembodied — Princess’ mouth doesn’t move while voice clips play. On that topic, her pussy doesn’t move as she thrusts her hand inside.
Skyrim (with mods, of course) has better vagina physics than this game.
Chapter Four: Story (2/5★)
Section One: Plot
Once upon a time, “The Shia people of Arthas” lived “diligently and happily”. Out of nowhere, the “door of void” opened, releasing “evil spirits” (or more accurately, “orcs”).
“The war was burning [sic]”, and “the Shias could not defeat the enemy”. So they prayed.
When “the tribe was about to be destroyed”, from the sky fell “A talking blade”. Powered by a “excitement”, the blade relies on a beautiful wielder to “expel evil”. It’s no coincidence that a princess with a “little ass” and “little white rabbit [sic]” finds the blade.
Section Two: Character Development
You’d think there’d be more dialogue between Princess and her sword. After all, they’re unlikely allies; Princess doesn’t look like someone with combat experience, and the sword is clearly more interested in her than saving the world. The sword is weirdly perverted, and I find I surprising XP Liu didn’t take more chances to include comedic exchanges or off-hand dialogue.
Chapter Five: Sound (2/5★)
Section One: Soundtrack
Princess&Blade features a selection of thematically appropriate fantasy themes, one for each level. The music doesn’t loop seamlessly, but it’s alright as long as you don’t get stuck on any levels.
Section Two: Sound Effects
The sound effects are acceptable. I don’t have any recollection of memorable effects, but I can’t think of any complaints either.
Section Three: Voice Acting
When there’s voice acting, it’s awful! There are only a few voice bites for every enemy in the game — nothing says “low budget” when one sound fits all! Barring one, optional sex-scene, Princess doesn’t make any sound whatsoever.
I was hoping she’d at least grunt or exclaim while jumping or attacking. . .
Chapter Six: Visuals (3/5★)
Section One: User-interface
The English translation is terrible, but it’s good enough to understand the plot and gameplay.
The menus of are riff with off-centered text and stock icons.
The screen for equipping clothes (no doubt one of the main selling points of the game) is cumbersome. It sucks scrolling through clothes one by one without so much as a “favorites” system. If XP Liu plans on adding more clothes to the game, I hope they write a stronger customization menu for equipping clothes.
Additionally, Princess herself cannot be rotated to gain a better view.
Section Two: Graphics
The environments of Princess&Blade are, for the most part, beautiful. Whenever I looked too closely, I was able to spot clipping or floating assets. The world collision is poor, allowing characters to phase through solid ground. Poor collision makes “Pose Mode” a nightmare due to Princess’ hands and feet disappearing from view.
However, the physics system for clothing leaves a lot to be desired.
To begin, the physics and collision of equipable items is wildly inconstant. I couldn’t bear the sight of most clothes due to extensive clipping with my character’s body. It sucks finding and equipping new gear only to find it’s mostly covered by skin.
Clothes cover skin, not the other way around — ew that’s a gross image.
Chapter Seven: Verdict (2/5★)
Princess&Blade has undergone positive changes, but I still can’t recommend this game to anybody (even if you enjoy “bad” action-RPGs). Combat is monotonous and enemies are disinteresting. The clothing system is a cool idea, but the weird physics and lack of stylistic coherency kill the customization for me. I think some day, Princess&Blade will be a fun, unpolished gem among hack-and-slash RPGs. But for now, Princess&Blade needs another year or two before it’s worth buying.
Chapter Eight: Recommendations
Add chests and hidden loot throughout each Level. Exploration should not be punished; players that take the time to explore every nook and cranny should be awarded accordingly. If you’re going to punish players for exploring, don’t have an open world.
Consider adding friendly units to the game. Princess can’t possibly be the only one resisting the orcs. Considering the story revolves around saving the Shia people, you’d think at least one Shia would show themselves.
Hire someone that can write proper English. The story is difficult to follow along as-is.
Add breakable clothes. As Princess receives damage, her clothes should tear away — clothes breaking mechanics would be perfect for this game, allowing players to enjoy nudity and clothes in tandem, instead of one or the other.
Re-equip clothes after playing sexual animations.
Implement sexual content outside of “Secluded Areas””.
Fix the depth of field while customizing Princess.
Character customization should come before the cut-scene. The Princess that picks up the sword should be the Princess players customize, not “default”.
Add more body options for customization. If possible, add an option to adjust height; I enjoy playing as short and flat characters.
Add adjustable colors for clothes. I find it visually jarring to equip mismatching clothes.
Please add more voice lines.