Prinny 2 Playtest: Go, My Minions! Find Me My Pantsu!

By Laura . May 19, 2010 . 2:19pm


I can’t help but start with the two observations I made after I had played my first hour of Prinny 2: Dawn of the Great Pantsu War.


The first was that I was surprised my PSP square button hadn’t stopped working by then. I don’t think I’ve pounded on a button that much since Final Fantasy VIII and its boosting. The second was that I was surprised my thumb hadn’t died. After every five minutes or every life lost (whichever came faster), I had to shake my hand out because it was starting to cramp.


After playing through the first half of the game, I have decided: this game is the epitome of “love to hate, hate to love” for me.


I hadn’t played Prinny 1 prior to Pantsu War, which is fine story-wise because the two games aren’t connected. However, since they’re both platformers, it’s the gameplay experience that counts. From what I’ve read, the Break system, which is a superpower mode that the Prinny gets when he (it?) racks up combos, is new. A Baby Easy difficulty mode and some additional types of obstacles, like breakable platforms and weather effects, were added to the levels as well. The art has also been given a “facelift,” with the addition of 3D bosses that fit seamlessly with the 2D art style.


The rest is, to put it lightly, entirely Disgaea-esque. The plot is pure crack. The great Etna and her infamous Prinny squad make their return … meaning that Etna wants something done and the Prinnies (zombie penguins that explode when you throw them) better get it done chop-chop. In Prinny 2, Etna’s panties get stolen by the Great Demon Thief and it is your job as the one Prinny with the shiny red scarf to boldly go where no Prinny has gone before.



Oh, woe is the poor penguin.


The game is split neatly into 10 levels, each level symbolizing one hour in the game. For the first six stages, the order in which you tackle the maps is up to you. What I found really interesting was that no matter which stage you chose, the first would be the easiest, the second a little harder, and the third harder still. In other words, if you choose to play the Satan Land (the obligatory winter wonderland world) level first, the content in the level will be different, and much easier, than if you play the level last. Not only are there more enemies (what was 3 enemies has multiplied to 15) and more obstacles (there are spike balls there now?!), but the very composition of the stage is different (more bottomless pits, different positioning of platforms, more chances of sudden death).


This being said, I learned early on that it’s much easier doing harder maps early before they turned from just “hard” to “impossible.”


I’ve probably put off a few people reading this review, going on and on about how the game is so hard and I keep on dying, and whatnot. Never fear! There are actually three difficulty levels in this game. There’s the Standard level, which is probably what players should start on to get a feel for the game. Here, Prinnies can get hit twice before they explode.


Then there’s Hell’s Finest, which is super-difficult. I didn’t dare try it, so I’m not sure if there are any changes level-wise, but I do know that you can only get hit once before kablooey.


Finally, Baby Easy is a new difficulty level added to Prinny 2. Here, you can get hit three times, and also, there are blocks that appear throughout the stage that cover up bottomless pits, enlarge platforms, and prevent enemy attacks, generally making the game a breeze. You can also regenerate yourself in Baby Easy mode, regaining “hit points,” which you can’t do in the other two levels. Usually, once you’ve been hit a set number of times, you’re dead.



From the start, you’re given 1000 lives. At first, this may seem like a lot, but the lives flow faster than a waterfall, and before you know it, you’ll find yourself down to 900, 800, 700… Amazingly, though, the constant respawning isn’t annoying. It’s quick, clean, and you can forgo a long loading time or animation sequence before attempting to get past the challenges before you. (Conversely, you also die a lot, so it’s only fair, I suppose.)


The controls, too, are crisp and clean. I have never seen another game with such a quick reaction time – for every time I press the square button, the Prinny attacks, no matter how fast I hit the button. I’m used to games having a refractory period, where no matter how many times you press, the action won’t be registered until the previous one’s done. Nope, not the case with Prinny 2, which is why this game is a great harm to my thumb, as my first two observations above pointed out.


Out of the controls, the only problem I had was that the directional pad was read in before the jump button. In other words, you can’t control the character after you’ve jumped, which is very different from most platformers like Super Mario Bros. Newcomers to the series may die a few times before they get used to the jumping scheme -– and you can’t get very far in a level without mastering the art of judging distances. In light of everything in this game, though, this is really a minor issue that you could get used to easily.



Racking up combos to get a Break is also really fun (unless, of course, you’re standing on a destructible platform…), especially when you encounter the occasional unbreakable Etna dummy that you wail at the gauge is full. When you reach Break, all foes in the vicinity are damaged, and with Break, your attacks are at least twice as strong and enemies go down extremely quickly; not to mention, most of your other actions are changed to attacks.


The Hip Pound can now be used to damage the opponent, and the twirl can also be used as a mild attack. There’s also an extra-damage sliding attack that uses up your entire Break gauge at once – a true all-or-nothing attack. Actually, I think it’s absolutely essential to master using the Break because it’s the only reliable way to damage some of the tougher enemies and the bosses.


For a game with only 10 stages, there is an amazing amount of content in the game. Each level is ingeniously designed to provide a good challenge, and the first six even have six different versions each. Sometimes the boss also changes, depending on when you tackle the level, and for each one of these boss, he has his own “backstory” (as serious a story as you can get for a character in Prinny 2, at least), voice, set of attacks, and animations. Each normal enemy is also fully animated as well as voiced, and the environments you travel through are truly beautiful, both the scenery and the background music.


Honestly, I would stand and gaze in awe at the art if it weren’t for the fact that an enemy cold stab you in the back at any second. Each cutscene is also well-voiced and the dialogue is entertaining, as expected of a game that’s related to Disgaea.


Despite having all this content for one game, Prinny 2 also comes with a side story – Asagi Wars, which is unlocked by collecting all of a certain item throughout the course of the game. I actually needed to restart my game to collect these, so I’ll save this section for another playtest.



Overall, I found Prinny 2 a very enchanting game that was engaging, hilarious, beautiful, infuriating, and frustrating, all at the same time. If you don’t mind a challenge, I’m sure you’ll enjoy this game. Then again, if you’re a fan of the Disgaea series and have played the other games, that concept shouldn’t be all that new to you by now…

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  • malek86

    What’s up with those screen?Anyway, the game sounds like it’s pretty much just more of the same. Not that I mind – in fact, playing the original game on Hell’s Finest (I went directly for that, I don’t really know how’s the easier difficulty) was one of my favorite experiences on PSP. Though, after the sixth time it got a bit old.

  • The first game was exactly like that, and like you said it about the challenge is that it depends on your situation with the previous game if that is good or bad. I personally found it to be one of my favorite platformers lately. At times I got frustrated by the challenge (I actually chose the easy levels first early on.. here’s a tip when you play the game Laura: Play the Ninja stage early! Holy crap that was insane as the last of the group of stages.. then again I didn’t play the others at its peak). Even then I was enjoying it. Somehow Nippon Ichi manage to make the game fun while tearing your morale apart! Simply amazing.

  • Is there something wrong with the screenshots? I really hope the actual game doesn’t look like THAT.

  • cj_iwakura

    The screens look low-res,like they were taken from a camera.

    Coming from a Prinny 1 vet, the game is gorgeous, and I’m sure the sequel is too.

    And the original game is plenty sadistic. The Asagi DLC level was designed by Lucifer himself.
    (Or herself, for SJ vets)

    I died 900 times before completing it. No joke.

    And that’s just for the stage.

    • Yeah the screens were really compressed images. I just swapped them out with uncompressed ones.

  • Ereek

    After playing the first game, I can absolutely understand and will lovingly secondThe first was that I was surprised my PSP square button hadn’t stopped working by then. . . The second was that I was surprised my thumb hadn’t died.And while the game can get a bit annoying at times, I love it ; the game is punishing, but also oh-so-rewarding and I can’t put it down. I loved the first game and will no doubt love the second. I will buy it when my backlog is down a bit.

  • Artavasdus

    I hope Prinny 2 manages to be localized in the USA, NiSA could probably do it fast since it should be fairly light text-wise.

    That said, it’s amazing to think how many Psp and Ds NisGust games still need to be localized: Prinny 2, Antiphona, Pucelle Ragnarok, Atelier Judie, Atelier Lina, Classic Dungeon, Zettai Hero… the list is endless >__>

    • Ereek

      Definitely. NISA has a busy year(s) ahead of them. Especially since you didn’t mention the console titles. I know Nick’s been working hard for us, at least.

      • Artavasdus

        I mentioned only the handheld titles since NiSA seems to be more interested in the home console ones. Among three possible Ps3 candidates (Rorona, Gust, Tonelico 3) they have already announced two, and the other two possible localizations, Totori and Neptune, have not even came out in Japan.Compared to the home titles, the handheld ones seem to be a bit neglected, aside from Disgaea Infinite. Of course localizing them all will probably be both impossible from a localization standpoint (only Prinny 2 and Classic Dungeon are light on texts, the others seem to be pretty heavy) and maybe even unprofitable (I am not sure how much Pucelle Ragnarok would sell in the USA seeing how it bombed in Japan :).

  • Intensely looking forward to this game. 2010 has been a great year so far for NISA (and ultimately us)!

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