It’s been many, many years since the last time I stumble up on a game such as “Battle Princess Madelyn”. You see, I grew up playing games like “Wonder Boy 3“, “Ghouls ‘n Ghosts” and “Castle of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse”. My point would be that Causal Bit Games sure hit the jackpot with their own action/adventure arcade game (and I’m not just talking about their Kickstarter success here). As “Battle Princess Madelyn” is an epic mix of those three titles. In the matter of fact, as soon as I booted up the game. I felt the same exact way as I did when I played some of the best games that the Mega Drive and SNES had to offer during the 90s (I was blown away when I played “Castle of Illusion” and “Ghouls ‘n Ghosts” for the first time as a kid).
So you could say that “Battle Princess Madelyn” is a mix of both old and new epicness. As the game has extracted everything that we loved from the 16-bits era, and injected some brand-new gameplay mechanics into the mix as well. So, yeah, there is a very good reason behind why people continue to state that “Battle Princess Madelyn” is like a spiritual sequel to “Ghouls N’ Ghosts”. As it’s as close to the truth as you could get. So in my opinion (as an old-school gamer), that is a very accurate description of the game. Furthermore, “Battle Princess Madelyn” is the kind of game that is easy to learn but hard to master. Yes, you guessed it. The hardcore difficulty setting from “Ghouls N’ Ghosts” is very much alive in BPM. So much so that even the old-school players (those who master “Ninja Gaiden”, “Ghosts ‘n Goblins” and so on) will grind their teeth throughout the pre-alpha demo.
I have fun fact to share about the game’s difficulty setting actually. Long story short, when I first played through the demo of BPM, I didn’t die all that much, but the boss fight was a real pain in the ass. Well, before I sat down to record my gameplay video for BPM, I was prompted by Steam to update the game. So I did, and I didn’t think much of it (you ignorant fool! It was a trap!). Well, let’s just say that the tables had been turned. Because now the stages had become even harder, while the boss fight was a bit easier (it might just be me, but I felt these changes directly after the latest update via Steam). Anyways, I sucked up my pride and cooped with the challenges ahead of me, and trust me on this. There are PLENTY of challenges in this game.
Hell, you can’t even boot up the game without being attacked by the dead after just a couple of seconds. So in a way, Madelyn is like a death magnet. As she attracts tons of deadly creatures where ever she may roam. No worries though, because Madelyn is in the process of becoming a knight (yes, she’s a princess who wants to become a knight). Simply put, she knows how to take care of herself (there is a rather entertaining story behind how Battle Princess Madelyn came to be, so I would recommend you to read it). In other words, she won’t mess up unless you (the player) screw things up (now, now, there is no need to point any fingers at me. I did my very best. I swear!). So no, you can’t blame your mistakes on the controls or the game’s difficulty, because its most definitely possibly to master the game like a boss. That’s also why I took a long and hard look at my Chuck Norris poster and remember the wise words that Norris once said:
“A lot of people give up just before they’re about to make it. You know you never know when that next obstacle is going to be the last one.”
So with the help of Chuck Norris wisdom I found my inner “get gud” Gamer force. Thus I was able to play through the latest pre-alpha demo of “Battle Princess Madelyn” without having to cry myself to sleep at night (I hate to lose), and let me tell you what. Even though it was “just” a pre-alpha demo, I was still very much impressed with what I saw, heard (the soundtrack is freaking awesome! And so are the sound effects and the voice actors) and experienced. In the matter of fact, there are very few things that I could complain about. I still wish that you would have gotten the chance to try out more than one weapon though (to my knowledge, you can just use the lance in the pre-alpha demo), and some special attacks and items would have been nice.
Nevertheless, all in all “Battle Princess Madelyn” is set to rock the world on release with no doubt (at least if the rest of the game holds the same quality as the pre-alpha demo did). So I’m going to pick up the PC version in February next year with no doubt. As for here and now though, you can watch my pre-alpha demo playthrough down below, and “if” you enjoyed the video. Then you could download and try the demo for yourself =)
+ Awesome graphics
+ Very nice music
+ Rock solid controls
+ Top-notch voice actors
+ Plenty of action and adventure
+ Fun boss fights (at least so far)
+ Neat and interesting NPC companions
– It would be nice if you could look up and down in the game
– Enemies that can drop down on you out of nowhere
– Some people might be turned off by the game’s hardcore difficulty
Robin “V-Act” Ek
Editor in chief
The Gaming Ground
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