Title: Battle Princess Madelyn
Developer: Causal Bit Games
Publisher: Causal Bit Games
Genre: Action, Adventure, Platformer
Platform: Nintendo Switch, PS4, Xbox One, PC, PS Vita
Audience: E for Everyone
Release Date: Switch: 20/12/2018
Price: £17.44 – Rapid Reviews UK was very kindly provided with a review code.
What the Developers say
Battle Princess Madelyn is a game that follows the journey of a young knight in training, Madelyn, and her ghostly pet dog, Fritzy. They set out on a journey to save her kingdom and her family from the clutches of an evil wizard.
I grew up in a time where video games could be challenging. The idea of an auto-save or checkpoints just didn’t exist during my Sega Genesis and Super Nintendo days of gaming. The first thing that comes to mind when thinking about these types of games is Ghost ’n Goblins on the original Nintendo. I can recall becoming more than upset when I couldn’t even get past the first level, but when I did, I had a Dark Souls-like boss slaying jubilation. Developer Causal Bit Games is trying to recreate this gaming experience and with all the frustration that comes with it with their title Battle Princess Madelyn.
After a brief introduction with some nice cartoon cinematic’s similar to Dragon’s Lair, Battle Princess Madelyn throws you right into the action without any real clue of what’s going on. You know there’s an antagonist and plenty of enemies to fight, but it took me some time to truly figure out what my goal was. As Madelyn, you are tasked with saving the kingdom with the help of the ghost of your dead dog. Throughout your playthrough, you’ll face countless hordes of enemies with their primary objective being to kill you.
Gameplay and Replayability
In true retro 2D side-scrolling fashion, Battle Princess Madelyn doesn’t hold your hand. It gives you little direction outside of some arrow signs places around the maps, and that means you are free to figure out where to go on your own. As frustrating as this may sound, I enjoyed finding my way to bosses through dungeons. Furthermore, I enjoyed that you can face off against enemies that you might not be strong enough to face, such as the first boss that I was probably supposed to kill after I acquired the double-jump ability.
Although Battle Princess Madelyn is difficult, it’s not as challenging as the Ghost ’n Goblins series. You are given unlimited continues and the weapons and character upgrades are a huge help. That being said, there are some annoying enemies with some being able to shoot arrows at too fast a clip, or some that seemingly dodge every attack I throw their way. I enjoyed the difficulty of Battle Princess Madelyn because it gave me access to gaming skills that I would remember using growing up.
Looks and Sounds
The freedom the developers have put in our hands during the game works well with this design. However, I would have liked a map of places I visited and a list of side quests I had accepted. The world gets much bigger later the further you get, and everything is connected in one way or another. I had the most fun in the Arcade mode, which was a Kickstarter stretch goal. This was just a 2D side-scrolling game where you take on a vast variety of enemies, but it’s more streamlined and has a point system.
I would be remiss , and there’s even an option for the bit version or orchestrated version. Both are equally as impressive, and it’s hard to choose which one is better. The presentation is excellent with graphical sprites and animations looking fantastic in HD, without sacrificing visual fidelity. Much like many other Metroidvanias, there are a variety of different weapons and abilities you can earn that make defeating enemies easier and provide a way to access different routes for progression.
Overall, as frustrating as Battle Princess Madelyn can be on the design front, I found a lot of fun to be had from its homage to retro games. This offers a great way to introduce these types of games to a new generation because of how beautiful the character sprites and level layouts are. Gripes aside, Battle Princess Madelyn recaptures what it felt like to want to scream out in anger, but hold back because with enough determination you can pass a troubling spot.
Rapid Reviews UK Rating
You can purchase Battle Princess Madelyn on the Nintendo eShop at the following link, https://www.nintendo.co.uk/Games/Nintendo-Switch-download-software/Battle-Princess-Madelyn-1480825.html