NIS America wasn’t kidding when they said Prinny: Can I Really Be The Hero? is hard. Their first platformer has insidious level design akin to an NES Mega Man game. Prinny: Can I Really Be The Hero? doesn’t have deadly spikes, but it has plenty of pits Prinny needs to leap over. Miss a jump and you’re dead. After playing Prinny: Can I Really Be The Hero I have come to the conclusion Prinnys are made of lead. Once you’re in the air you don’t have much control over Prinny. If you jump straight up you can’t make Prinny turn around or even move him towards the direction he’s facing. If you don’t make Prinny run before jumping you’re stuck only moving vertically.
Early on this isn’t an issue, but if you get hit in mid-air Prinny falls straight down like a rock. Usually, this results into Prinny plummeting into water or some other dark abyss which means you’re warped back to the last checkpoint you hip stomped. Fortunately, Nippon Ichi was merciful with checkpoints. Each stage has multiple respawn points you appear at if you die, and if you play Prinny: Can I Really Be The Hero? you will die a lot.
The ninja fortress was the first frustrating stage for me. Ninjas hang from walls in this level and they throw projectiles at Prinny. Getting hit by a stray kunai takes off one point of life, but this isn’t a problem if you’re playing the game in normal mode. Prinny can take three hits. However, any hit knocks Prinny back and in the ninja level that often means Prinny gets pushed into a bottomless pit. To make matters worse flaming rocks jump out of pits too. Touch one of these and Prinny gets knocked right into a pit. The ninja fortress isn’t impossible to beat, but like an NES game completing it requires patience and most importantly persistence.
Boss fights are challenging too, but in a different way. You can only take three hits in a boss battle. If you die the boss battle starts over with you and the boss at full health. In Hell Mode you can’t get hit at all since any hit means instant death. Prinny: Can I Really Be The Hero? is already a hardcore game. Hell mode is made for masochists.
Images courtesy of Nippon Ichi Software.