E3 2012: Code of Princess (Hands-on)

by: Matt -
Tucked away in the Atlus booth was two 3DS units running builds of Code of Princess, a game that is easily amongst my most anticipated 3DS titles this year. Aram Jabbari gave me a quick demo, showing combat and gameplay that reminded me immediately of Guardian Heroes. That's because the development team is made up of ex-Treasure staff, who have paired up with famed character designer Kinu Nishimura to create a memorable cast of character. A zombie sorceress that wears a scarf that says 'Milk!' on it? I guess I'm not forgetting that any time soon.

The early build had a mission structure in place that allowed players to complete short simple missions, like defeating groups of enemies, or defeating a stage boss. The only concern here was that I didn't see much variety between the missions, and I am hoping that's just due to it being an early build. The characters available were all relatively powerful and plowed through enemies without much trouble, except for  the main character Solange. Playing as her gave a better gauge of the actual difficulty of the game, which is to say, this game is a welcome challenge. Her combo attacks, performed with simple X and Y button presses, would send enemies flying and she was perfectly capable of juggling a crowd of foes, something I would totally expect from Agatsuma Entertainment. There is also the multi-laned paths, another concept borrowed from Guardian Heroes, allowing players to move strategically around groups of enemies.

The game looked surprisingly sharp running on the 3DS, the character models have a detail to them that really stands out compared to other 3D brawlers, and their animation is fluid, but a little bit slow. I assume this is in part to the characters not being built for speed, or just being hulking monstrosities. Solange in particular wields a rather large sword with huge arcing attacks, cutting through swaths of foes.

It was an early build, with much of the text untranslated, so I didn't get to see much of the story, and unfortunately the two 3DS units were unable to do any multiplayer, but I'm sure that will be a blast when the game launches this fall.

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