Battle Princess Madelyn
Switch version tested
Review code provided
I love Super Nintendo graphics, all day. Battle Princess Madelyn is a great example of how Casual Bit Games took throwback graphics and kept them in mind while making it. Madelyn is a young girl playing a video game when her Grandfather interrupts with a story that features a princess with the same name, that becomes a knight. The cut scenes look great and it wouldn’t surprise me if Princess Madelyn became a cartoon (they really should).
The beginning is a tutorial mode basically, read the dialogue sequences and run around town figuring out who to speak with. Folks give missions and directions for future reference. Madelyn is dressed in knight gear and her main weapon is infinite spears, great for spamming. Spears can be thrown in any cardinal direction. From the beginning enemies appear out of nowhere and the player is taught very quickly how important spear spamming is to survival.
Adventure mode was a hassle at first so I restarted because I had made no progress when I first started the game. Some patches were issued for the game but I’m not sure what they were for, regardless my second time starting was much better and I made progress so maybe it affected my play.
A small detail that stuck out for me that I enjoyed, ladders do not need to be approached from the bottom to climb. Jump to them from either side and hold up to grab hold. You can also jump while climbing ladders to make it a faster process. Not by much, but enough to give you the satisfaction to keep doing so.
Enemies are colourful and enthusiastic, they disintegrate into dust once defeated. Skeletons, ghouls and more will make a gesture before jumping on to the main screen and attacking Madelyn. Whether it be making a silly face or looking left and right madly. New weapons can be found and swapped between using the L button. Pray at statues for good luck! (hint hint) Praying takes about four seconds for the secret to be revealed. One of the statues you can pray to reveals a load of peoples names which I believe are from the games Kickstarter. A frequent ghost that appears to pray to looks like one of the twins from The Shining.
Keep an eye out for clay pots to destroy for coins, bags of money, and diamonds. Money can be seen in the inventory pause screen, along with diamonds, keys, armour level, weapons etc. Enemies gather more and more, it feels like you must defeat them all but just running away is fine too. Defeating enemies doesn’t promise any drop loot and you can’t level up from it. Press on running if you can and are bored of killing the same bad guys. They drop money and diamonds but no health.
Five hit points on the top left of the screen and then you’re shot back down to earth via lightning strike to the ground. Top right will show keys, an empty slot and I have no idea what the top far right is for. Archers have to be the worst enemy to encounter, an arrow at the worst moment as soon as they appear. If you get hit once you will be knocked backwards, it is terrible and will most likely end Princess Madelyn depending on the surrounding area. Very frustrating indeed. What also sucks, is that enemies can shoot downward but you can’t. This is all made more frustrating because you have no map to find out where you’ve been and need to be, so you must experience all those horrible enemies over and over.
The graphics are retro looking and familiar, while still being interesting. Branches on the leaves sway, leaves spread across the screen falling, people are blinking. Many details that could go unnoticed. Pause the game and these movements will still occur, which is nice to take moment to enjoy. Funny thing, coins that are headed your direction will still be moved and auto collected while the game is paused.
Why is there no map? Why can’t mud-hand enemies be killed? Why can’t enemies be killed with the boulder? – it rolls over me and not them?! Why isn’t there a list of quests? These are the questions I have.
Arcade mode is full-on action all the time. There are enemies everywhere and non-stop spear throwing left and right. The first big boss appears in no time and you’re right in the thick of battle. What a way to bring the player into the game. Start the game in Arcade mode for sure, then begin Adventure mode.
If not for infinite lives I would have put this game down much sooner. There are some unforgiving aspects of BPM such as the kickback received from enemies, knocking the player clear out of the park to fall to their death or be hit by another enemy without the chance to move. Pretty unforgiving without a chance to regain your footing, that holds the game back a lot. The constant resurgence of enemies becomes a headache even when backtracking the correct way. If you’re looking for a challenge, here is your game.
Beard Score 6.5/10
Nintendo Switch Essentials:
Platform: Nintendo Switch
Release Date: Jan 07, 2019
No. of Players: 1 player
Category: Arcade, Action, Adventure, Platformer
Publisher: Casual Bit Games
Developer: Causal Bit Games Inc.
Download link: eShop