Tagged "Battle Princess Madelyn"

Jan 11
By Matt Gander In New Nintendo Downloads No Comments

We sincerely hope Christmas hasn’t left your wallet empty, as it’s a surprisingly busy week for the Switch eShop. A trio of titles standout, while a few smaller indie releases have also turned heads.

Leading the way are New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe and Tales of Vesperia: Definitive Edition. Reviews of NSMBU, which also features Super Luigi U, have been slightly mixed due to the game’s age – it was a Wii U launch title, lest you forget. Some critics claim it’s still a must play due to the excellent course design, while others felt let down by the lack of new content and the £49.99 price tag.

Review scores for Tales of Vesperia are more consistent, clocking in at 8/10. “If you’ve ever slept on this classic, there’s never been a better way to rectify that error,” said Nintendo Life.

Then we have SEGA AGES Out Run, which features new motion controls, optional mods, and other extras. Nintendo World Report felt the arcade racer was worthy of a 9/10: “While the game remains a short one, plenty of fun options make it one of the best rides out there.”

Bury me, my Love – an adventure based around text messaging, involving Syrian refugees and tough decisions – also seems to be going down well, gaining an 8/10 from GameSpot and an 8.25 from GameInformer, who praised the refreshing humanistic approach.

The creators of Runbow have a new release out this week too. Double Cross features 2D platforming mixed with adventure-game style investigations. Scores are wildly mixed – everything from Nintendo Insider’s 9/10 (“The combat is surprisingly deep, the platforming is equal parts satisfying and immensely punishing, it is all brilliantly balanced”) to DualShocker’s 4/10 (“unoriginal and bland”).

After a last-minute delay, Battle Princess Madelyn is finally out in Europe. This Ghouls ‘n Ghosts homage features an excellent, appropriately challenging, arcade mode but the story mode is a bit of a mess, due to poor signposting, cheap deaths, and annoying backtracking. We reviewed the Xbox One version back in December. “This is something that’ll put your finely-honed platforming skills to the test, while occasionally pushing your patience too,” was our final word.

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Dec 18
By Matt Gander In Reviews No Comments

This crowd-funded action platformer is a remarkable collaboration between a father and his young daughter. A spiritual successor to Capcom’s seminal Ghouls ‘n Ghosts, it borrows more than a few ideas and mechanics, only here the relentless spear lobbing is accompanied by a side-line of elusive childhood innocence.

The storyline is especially twee involving the titular Princess and her ghostly canine companion out to recover the scattered pieces of a rickety time-altering robot.

Don’t let the child-like nature of the game’s premise fool you. Battle Princess Madelyn is for battle-hardened gamers weaned on the likes of the aforementioned Capcom classic, offering an arcade mode with ‘old skool’ sensibilities and a more involving story mode with light Metroidvania elements.

Both are as tough as their inspiration, if not tougher. The slow-burning story mode requires a degree of commitment, being surprisingly time-consuming, while the shorter arcade mode demands level layouts and enemy locations be consigned to memory.

Both modes begin in the best possible fashion – with a glorious homage to Ghouls ‘n Ghosts opening graveyard stage, complete with ghoulies that spring out from behind tombstones, and a rousing musical score. Compared to what’s to come this stage is relatively straightforward, giving chance to acquaint with the controls and the three-strike damage system. Take too many hits and poor Madelyn is forced to run around in an old-fashioned nightdress. We guess polka dot underwear would’ve been a step too far.

The arcade and story modes soon reveal their own unique foibles and peculiarities. The biggest problem with arcade mode is that it’s authentic to a fault. There’s no save facility, so all progress is lost when returning to the main menu. That’s to say, it must be completed in one sitting. Each level – which are arrangements of the story mode stages – grants a handful of lives, and there are no additional 1-UPs.

Madelyn does at least begin arcade mode with a few additional skills, including a double-jump not unlocked until story mode’s second boss battle. Fitzy, Madelyn’s canine chum, can also bite enemies from the outset; another skill not gained until later elsewhere.

Once the stockpile of lives has been depleted, you’re placed back at the beginning of a stage… which is what you’d expect for an arcade-like experiance. Indeed, for the most part, it’s akin to playing a long-lost arcade game, albeit one that requires considerably more time and effort. This isn’t something you’ll breeze through in an hour or two.

a demanding experience in more ways than one

The biggest obstacle to bear in mind is that Battle Princess Madelyn uses the universally disliked knockback feature. When Madelyn takes a hit she’s propelled backwards, often into harm’s way. While it definitely helps BPM feel quintessentially retro, it’s also the cause of much frustration. The second stage in arcade mode, for instance, entails traversing dozens of lily pads – take a hit, and you’re almost guaranteed to end up in a watery grave.

All but a minor hiccup when it comes to the game’s third stage – a colossal cave filled with dozens of stalactites to leap across. Some of these have projectile spitting snakes wrapped around, causing Madelyn to be knocked back and halting progress until the location of every snake has been memorised and the safest route found. To be blunt, we’d gladly never step foot in this cave ever again – it took us two entire evenings of play to overcome. There’s also a puzzle to solve here, requiring buttons to be pressed in sequence, which is off the beaten track and in the opposite direction to the few signposts guiding towards the exit. Particularly when taking on this stage in story mode, more than a few peculiar omissions come to light.

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Nov 14
By Matt Gander In Blog No Comments

Capcom is on something of a roll currently, listening to fan feedback in order to bring back such franchises as Mega Man, Resident Evil, Onimusha, and Devil May Cry with a bang.

A new Ghouls ‘n Ghosts is only a matter of time, but until then, there’s Battle Princess Madelyn to look forward to.

The pixel-art action platformer hit its Kickstarter target some time ago. After two years in development, it finally has a release date – 6th December 2018.

It’s set to launch simultaneously on PS4, Xbox One, Switch and PC (Steam), with a Wii U and PS Vita launch planned for 2019. Yes, it’s due on Wii U. Presumably, this was one of the Kickstarter goals.

“It’s been an exciting, exhaustive, stressful, enjoyable, frustrating, etc. period over the last two years developing Battle Princess Madelyn and I would do it all over again. The feedback that has been given in the creation of the game, the positive remarks, the way social media, the specialist gaming press, etc. have supported the game throughout this long period has been nothing short of remarkable.

The end result is a game the team are all proud of and went beyond what was envisioned. Within a very short time gamers will be able to play Battle Princess Madelyn. I hope it will give them as much enjoyment as it has to the team that created it!”, said Christopher Obritsch from the Canada-based Causal Bit Games.

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