When you thought you’ve had enough of humiliating your enemies with banana peels, saw horses, and spring boards, think again. Koei Tecmo is doing what Koei Tecmo does best: adding new content to an existing title in a full priced package for those who missed out for the first time. Is it worth double dipping with Deception IV: The Nightmare Princess? That depends; how much did you enjoy torturing others?
Please note that this review will only cover The Nightmare Princess content. For a review of Deception IV: Blood Ties please click here.
For those of you who are familiar with Deception IV: Blood Ties, The Nightmare Princess is essentially an expansion pack to 2014’s release of Deception IV that also includes the full Blood Ties single player campaign in one tidy package. Fans of the Deception series will no doubt feel right at home, but there are definitely some differences that will throw veterans for a loop.
The game starts out with the shocking revelation that the Devil has another daughter named Velgyrie, who is the younger sibling of Laegrinna. Velgyrie has the power to haunt people in their dreams with humiliating traps and death. The story of Velgyrie plays out in a quest tree that can be frustrating to those who like to work on their own terms. In order to progress to the next levels, missions must be completed through specific tasks such as attaining a certain number of points, which traps are used, and even using mandatory traps in a level. This can be frustrating because some traps are only unlocked by back-tracking through previous missions and constantly replaying them until you earn the specific trap that’s needed to progress the story.
Unlocking these new traps can be as simple (or difficult) as completing the three optional quests in each stage. As mentioned before, some of the traps necessary to complete the game are the rewards from these subquests. For those of you who don’t like to dabble in subquests, this can be a chore especially when you think you’ve done a great job and you end up failing the quest because you’re a few points short. But for those fans who like games with a lot of meat on the bone, the combinations available are endless in bringing pain and suffering to your enemies. A surprising addition is Velgyrie’s ability to give a Battletoad’s style boot to the opponent. While in Blood Ties, if you were caught between traps, Leagrinna was usually done for. With this added ability, it adds an extra option to the game in case you screwed up on a trap or are being chased by numerous other enemies.
For those of you who got a little bit tired of the dungeon setting, The Nightmare Princess arrives with new stages such as a playground, gymnasium and an emergency room. Each of these new locales come with their own sadistic stage traps (such as an operating table or a humiliating ride down a twisty slide) for your amusement. Each of these levels are introduced to you after simple tutorials that show you how the new quest system works and how it is used to gain new traps.
As mentioned before, everything that was included in Blood Ties is present in this new release. From the quest creator to downloading and playing other player’s creations, the replay value for this game is very good. Also unchanged from the previous version is the graphics. Each level is brilliantly designed and the while the frame rate isn’t at 60fps, there are no noticeable drops – especially when there are multiple enemies on the screen. The cut-scenes are comic book styled stills that are fully voiced in Japanese with English subtitles. The game is just as beautiful as before and it is still one of the better looking games on the PS Vita.
For someone that really enjoyed Blood Ties, there was something about the fact that this game is full priced and only $10 less than the PS3 and PS4 version that doesn’t sit right with me. Adding this to the fact that it’s digital only will surely upset some fans who are short on memory card space and may make them pass on this title. But as as with previous Koei Tecmo “re-release” titles, there is no shortage of content in the second go around. With over 100 quests, the entire Blood Ties story line plus The Nightmare Princess story line, you will have hours of playtime in your hands. The bottom line is that The Nightmare Princess would have been better served as either DLC or a low priced stand alone title. There aren’t enough additions to Blood Ties to justify the $39.99 USD price tag.