Battle Princess of Arcadias is a great game. From the colorful sceenic backdrops, to the addictive combat, there’s a lot to like about this side scroller RPG. You’ll play as Lady Plume who, as the Battle Princess, is sworn to protect her kingdom from any and all enemies. You’ll have the help of many other characters and with the rise of an ancient evil on the horizon, you’ll need all the help you can get. As far as the story goes, that’s actually almost as deep as it gets. While the story isn’t fantastic, it’s absolutely a long-shot from terrible. Luckily, the game’s anime style, silly characters, and Japanese dialogue was enough to keep me interested. Just about every anime stereotype is present in Battle Princess. You’ve got the clueless and innocent girl, the silent badass, the womanizer, and the cocky, barbaric warrior. The characters are fun and silly, but easily forgettable following the completion of the game. The game is has fully voiced dialogue which I enjoyed greatly. Be prepared though! The voiceovers are completely in Japanese with no option to change it to English, so you’ll definitely have to be prepared to read a lot. Following the many main story missions and few side missions will bring to beautifully drawn locales from a freezing tundra, to a scorching volcano. Each location is beautiful and colorful, which is great because you’ll be visiting them very often.
The gameplay in Battle Princess is what I like most about the game. You’ll have three different mission types to complete: Siege, Skirmish, and Combat. In Combat, you’ll fight from the left side of the screen, to the right, defeating all living creatures in your way. Combat is the traditional side scrolling mission. Sieges and Skirmishes, a fun variation of Combat, will have you controlling brigades. Brigades are military units that you will have to level up along with your character. In Siege, you’ll use those brigades to fight a large monster and in Skirmish, you’ll use brigades to fight enemy brigades. In both of these, you’re still fighting enemies of your own, so you’ll really begin to multitask with fighting enemies and telling your brigades to attack, defend, or do a bit of both. During a Skirmish and Siege the more enemies you defeat or damage you do to a monster, the higher your Brigade’s morale gets. Once the bar fills, you can do a massive standalone special in Siege and a Brigade Arcane in Skirmish. Both attacks become essential in defeating strong monsters and enemy Brigades.
When you begin any of the three mission types, you have the option of choosing three of the ten or so characters in the game. Once the missions start, you can switch between any of them with the press of R2 or/and R1. This always brings more variety to combat, as each character can only use one type of weapon. Speaking of combat, there are only three buttons of importance when fighting. Square is a light attack, triangle is heavy attack, and L1 is how you block. It doesn’t get any more simple than that! The combat is fast paced, vibrant, and intense, especially when there are ten or more enemies on screen at once. During combat, you can have one of your other two characters assist you in battle with an attack or an amazing special attack. Both are very much like Marvel vs Capcom’s assists.
While I definitely liked a lot more about Battle Princess than I disliked, there are a few drawbacks that hold it back from being truly phenomenal. For one, the enemy diversity in extremely small. Throughout the game, you’ll fight rabid wolves, large Panda Bears, Birds, and plants. They all come in different colors, but that’s actually about it. In addition, side quests will have you fighting these same monsters or defeated Siege monsters in locations you’ve previously visited. It becomes repetitive rather quickly. Secondly, the game’s difficulty threw me off several times. One mission I would breeze through and the next I would get completely demolished. It wasn’t until after I grinded my characters far above the levels of the enemies I faced that the mission difficulty began to even itself out.
In conclusion, Battle Princess of Arcadias is a game that I really enjoyed. The combat is fast paced and extremely vibrant, Siege and Skirmish missions are fun and different, and the game really shines with Japanese voiceovers and a beautiful, colorful world. Unfortunately, Battle Princess is brought down because of its random difficulty spikes and repetitive enemies.
Final Score: 8.5/10