Let's start this off with a simple yes/no questionnaire:
Do you like a challenge?
Do you like a good platformer?
Do you like games that will make you think?
If you answered no to two or more of those questions then get out of here. Why don't you go play Fable 2 while us men talk.
Game:Prinny: Can I Really Be The Hero Developer:NIS Publisher:NISA System:PSP
I will say this first: This game is hard (There are 2 difficulty settings: Hells Finest=1 hit death, and standard=3 hit death). It's probably one of the hardest platformers out there. I warn you; if you're one of those people that will break things when frustrated, then I suggest looking to a easier game. This game does not hold your hand, ever. You are given 1,000 lives and you'll need them (when I finished, I had around 400 left, and that's because I knew what to do).
Now that that's out of the way, let's take a look at some of the other aspects of the game.
Prinny's story is pretty simple: Somebody stole Etna's Lava Pudding and she's pissed. It's up to you to go make the Ultra Dessert within 10 hours, or else (don't worry, it's not a real time limit). The best part of the story is it's humor. Most of the jokes come from the exchanges before the boss fights. The most humorous part of the game has to be the alternate storyline involving everyone's favorite cameo character, Asagi.
The game controls pretty well. You jump with the X button, hip pound by pressing X again after a double jump, pick up things with the triangle button, pause with select, and attack with square. It may take a while to get used to the jumping aspects(you cannot adjust your jumps), but other than that it is pretty simple and easy. Everything responds as it should.
The later the time, the harder the levels get.
Next up are the levels. You can choose which order to tackle the stages, and that will determine how hard it gets later on. Each of the initial stages has 6 variations in layout and enemy placement: early morning, morning, noon, afternoon, night, and midnight. Early on, they are fairly easy and simple, but they get more difficult the further you get (don't choose the lava level for last, trust me). The difficulty is alleviated a bit by the plentiful checkpoint provided in each stage.
Boss fights a fairly simple in theory, but are actually very challenging. Each boss has a health bar and a shield gauge(the skull symbols next to their health). To effectively harm them, you must deplete their shield gauge by hip pounding them. In order to do this, it is important to memorize their pattern so that you can strike when they're vulnerable. Some bosses, though, are really freaking hard and can cause a lot of frustration.
Bosses generally tend to look pretty cool in this game.
The game's audio is one of it's strongest points. The voice acting is pretty well executed. There wasn't anyone that really sounded out of place. Of course, the best element is the soundtrack. Every stage has a unique song, and they really fit the theme of the level. The boss songs, in particular, are a real blast to listen to.
the graphics are pretty high quality. Each sprite looks really good, and the animations are really fluid. The bosses, especially, look really good. The stages all look really nice, including the background artwork. The only real issue that could be had is if you do not like 2d sprites, but that's not a fault of the game. Nippon Icchi really knows what it's doing when it comes to sprites, and it shows.
I find that one of the best aspects of the game comes from it's replayability. The story has multiple endings, and an alternate storyline to play through. After you unlock the dimensional gatekeeper, you are able to play through every stage you have beaten with infinite lives. The main reason that you'd want to do this is for the collectibles such as music, lucky dolls, or receive medals for doing well on enough stages. It also helps that there are about 40 stages total; maybe more if they bring DLC here(they probably will). You can also watch and record replays from stages and boss fights. So, there's definitely plenty to do after you've beaten the final boss.
Overall, Prinny: CIRBTH is a solid, albeit difficult, platformer. The only real fault that could dampen the experience is the frustrating difficulty, but that's not that big of a problem. I recommend this to anyone that likes challenging platformers or is a fan of NIS.
I give it: