|System: DS||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Climax Entertainment||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Atlus||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: May 19, 2009||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Everyone 10+||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
by Amanda L. Kondolojy
It certainly has been awhile since we have had a good platforming game. Sure, titles this year like Klonoa and Monsters vs. Aliens have featured some fun platform-style gameplay, but these titles were aimed more towards the younger sect, and as a result, have been fairly simple. However, if you are a fan of this genre, and dont mind a serious challenge, then Steal Princess may be for you!
Steal Princess is a puzzle-platformer that features over 100 playable micro-levels. Each level has a key and a door, and you will have to find items and gather weapons in the various levels in order to find the key and unlock the door to the next level.
Although this sounds relatively simple, do not be deceived. Steal Princess is a game designed for the hardcore platformer. If you find Mario games to be relatively easy, then Steal Princess will probably still be a little difficult for you. The puzzle-platforming combines timing, strategy, and innovation, and definitely takes some serious skills to get through.
For instance, one level immediately following the tutorial requires you to kill enemies in a certain order to get special elemental weapons. The game gives you a few hints as to the correct order, but youll have to figure out all the intricacies yourself, and if you make one wrong step, youll have to restart.
Although I was intrigued by the challenging gameplay at first, I have to say that I frequently found myself putting the game down in frustration. This is definitely not a title you can power through in a weekend, and it is best played in between other games. The difficulty level of the game really is intense, and the format of the levels, which are all separated into zones, make it easy to just take it a few levels at a time.
In addition to the challenging level design, you are also asked to solve each level within a certain amount of time to receive medals. These medals allow you to unlock more stages, so while it may not seem that important at first to collect medals, youll find yourself going back to previously beaten levels and trying to beat the clock to unlock new content. You also need to gather treasures and gems in every level to unlock even more content, so replays in this title are basically a given.
As far as story is concerned, this is one area where Steal Princess is a little lightweight. You play as a common treasure hunter who is charged by the King of the land to find his son-in-law, who has been kidnapped by a mysterious evil force. Although your character is a former outlaw, a small fairy seems to think she is destined to be a great hero, and while your character is a little reluctant, the fact that her criminal record could be expunged is certainly a driving factor.
Though the game gives you a solid twenty minutes or so of plot in the beginning, after that you only get a few snippets of witty dialogue following the successful completion of each level. The fizzling plot is a real shame as there is a lot that could have been done with the story, but unfortunately, it just ends up being a real missed opportunity.