The game starts off with a tutorial level, as a Prinny is late to see Etna. As you play through this level, you’ll come across scarecrow-looking creatures called Skellmen that teach you the basics. Prinnies can double-jump, Hip Pound (butt stomp) and run. Running is a little tricky, as you first need to first build up speed. The Prinny needs to perform a pirouette and then it can run. If you hold down the spin button too long, though, your Prinny will get dizzy.
Prinnies carry with them two small swords as their only weapons. When on the ground, players can spam sword slashes against enemies. When in the air, the camera shifts degrees behind the Prinny as it shoots out sword blasts. The Prinny will hover in the air for a few seconds as the X button is being pressed. When the sword blasts hit the ground, harmful energy spikes rise out from the ground. Prinnies can also pick up bombs scattered throughout the levels to use against enemies and control vehicles for a short time in certain levels, such as tanks.
Ever since the original Super Mario Bros., players gain extra lives found throughout the levels. Every platforming game has followed this golden rule, but Prinny is breaking that trend, as you have exactly 1,000 lives. It’s actually kind of cute how this works, too. When Etna ordered the Prinnies to find the Ultra Dessert, the Prinnies argued that even a million Prinnies couldn’t do this, since they can explode so easily. So Etna gave one of the Prinnies a red scarf that prevents the Prinny from exploding immediately. The Prinny with the red scarf can still be killed, but the red scarf will be passed along to the next Prinny until all 1,000 Prinnies are killed.
A thousand lives may sound like a lot, but Prinnies are extremely fragile creatures. There will be two modes in the game, one for hardcore players and one for casual players. Prinnies in the casual mode will be able to take up to three hits from enemies before being killed. In hardcore mode, Prinnies will die just by taking one hit. The story is exactly the same in both modes, and players can switch between the two modes at any point in the game at the hub world.
All of the levels will have several checkpoints in them that get activated by a Prinny’s Hip Pound. You’ll die a lot in the game, so the checkpoints are extremely useful, especially in hardcore mode. The Hip Pound can also be used on enemies and bosses to stun or weaken them. Some enemies can’t be harmed with the Prinnies' swords until they’ve been stunned.
There are ten worlds in the game, but you won’t ever beat them all in one play-through. In fact, you’ll need to beat the game six times to experience all of them. At the start of the game, you have a choice between six different worlds to go to. Each world has six variations to it, and the next level you play depends on the previous world you just came from. In-game time (not real-world time) also plays a factor in the levels. If you play a level during the day, it will be pretty easy to play through. However, if you play that same level during the evening, it gets extremely hard. Playing on a nighttime level is even harder.
At the end of each level, you’ll have to fight against a boss. Some boss battles will be just against one boss, but there are some against two bosses. If a Prinny is killed during a boss fight, the fight starts all over again.
Prinny: Can I Really Be the Hero? is a breath of fresh air and is easily a must-own game for 2009 for PSP owners. This game is extremely fun and it will offer a ton of replayability too. There’s a ton of extras that can be unlocked and you can even save you runs to watch in theatre mode.
Prinny: Can I Really Be the Hero? is developed by Nippon Ichi Software and published by NIS America. It will be out on February 17, 2009, for $39.99.