By Laura . July 15, 2010 . 1:15pm
The Asagi Wars section of Prinny 2: Dawn of the Great Pantsu War can be considered a separate game of its own. You access the story by collecting the 10 Tickets hidden in the castle between each level during the epic quest to retrieve Etna’s panties, and after the final boss, you get the option to restart the game with Clear Save data, or to restart the game as Asagi Wars.
This part of the game is actually a side-story taking place during the very end of Prinny 2 (I suppose it’d be called a sequel if it weren’t for the fact that it focuses on a completely different protagonist). Asagi, after her craziness in Prinny: Can I Really be a Hero?, turned into a black Prinny with a white scarf that also works at Etna’s castle. Unfortunately, she also happened to be the only Prinny still on duty while everyone else was off on vacation.
While she’s tirelessly doing laundry amidst many woe-filled monologues, she suddenly hears the television blaring — who will be the next Asagi to fill the role of the protagonist?! Under the urging of Flonne (never a good thing), Asagi the Prinny decides to abandon her household (castle-hold?) chores to pursue her dream of becoming a full-fledged protagonist … by participating in a game show facing her off with other “Asagi”?!
The gameplay and controls are similar to Prinny 2; however, there are several differing factors that help set it apart.
First off, instead of the standard swords, Asagi comes packed with lots and lots of weapons that you choose with L and R. These include vegetables, a flamethrower, a drill, a gatling gun, a rifle, and a homing rocket launcher. Each of these weapons has their own advantages and disadvantages. For example, while the vegetables are the weakest “weapons” and are fairly hard to aim at a distance, they have unlimited ammo. The gatling gun has the most ammo and is pretty strong, but it takes a while to charge up and eats up ammunition faster than a 5-year old with chocolate, while the rifle seems like the standard attacking weapon, but can be pointed in all four directions.
My favorites are the flamethrower and the rocket launcher. The first is a powerful close-range attack, and roasting pigs and dragons is so much fun after the horror they caused me in the main game. The second I tend to save for bosses; it’s extremely powerful and capable of killing bosses in just a few blows, but it also has the least ammo. Easy mode doesn’t actually affect the power of the weapons, but it does increase the amount of ammo you have when you start a level.
The second big difference is the way your health is gauged. Instead of having a definite “Three strikes, you’re out” routine, Asagi the Prinny gets a bar at the top of the screen that starts out at 50%. True to the game show format, this bar indicates viewer ratings, and when it fall to 0%, which happens when you get damaged, Asagi is out. The amount of damage depends on the difficulty you choose; on Normal, it’s 25% per hit. Unlike Prinny 2 (Easy mode not included), though, it is possible regain your health by defeating enemies and by attaining the Boost through combos. Also unlike Prinny 2, you don’t have a limited number of lives — you just keep on continuing and continuing until you either quit the level and go back to the castle or beat it. If you do repeatedly continue, though, the ammo for your weapons doesn’t get renewed.
There are “weapons” you can pick up in the maps as well now. The guitar increases your Boost to the maximum as you play it, but you can’t change weapons or actually attack until you get rid of the item with Asagi’s special boost attack (R + Square in midair). The cat is a one-time use item that refills your bar/health to full automatically (apparently the viewers looove this cat … and I love this cat too).
There are 7 levels in Asagi Wars, and the world themes used in Prinny 2 are used again here — with one exception — although the different schematics behind Asagi makes it feel like you’re playing the levels for the first time.
I loved voices for all the characters, as well as the crazy idiosyncracies of each of the different Asagi’s. Asagi the Prinny is actually pretty charming and energetic in her own crazy way, and I grew to like her quite a bit. Also, for some reason, I felt the story made more sense than the one in Prinny 2, which was something I very much appreciated. (Granted, that still doesn’t mean it makes much sense…)
The music, especially the ones specific to the Asagi Wars part of the game, was as great as ever. I really like the background music to the final level, as well as the final boss battle theme.
Asagi Wars actually felt easier to me, but that was probably because I was already used to the more problematic gameplay aspects in Prinny 2, such as controlling your jump distance and finding out how to defeat certain enemies. It’s also shorter, at 7 levels instead of 10.
It’s really saying something that, despite the fact that I felt like throwing my PSP across the room while playing Prinny 2, I still liked its in-game sequel well enough to play through the whole thing. It was interesting, hilarious, and just as fun (or even moreso?!) as the main game, for me.