Code of Princess EX is a remaster of a 3DS game, and one that sadly ever got a physical release in Europe. The Switch version still has no physical release in Europe, and there’s very little here to warrant another play through the beat-’em-up title featuring one of gaming’s worst outfits.
If you’re a big fan of the original game or haven’t played it for the first time, then the Switch proves to be a good home for it. It is showing its age as the 3D character models look dated now and, really, what is up with Solange’s outfit? The outfit might not be a deal-breaker, but it’s only one of several things which failed to impress me about her character and the game itself.
Code of Princess follows Princess Solange Blanchefleur de Lux as she’s exiled from her kingdom following a successful monster attack, dethroning her father and lying the blame of the Kingdom of DeLuxia’s current predicament at the royal family’s feet. Armed with the legendary DeLuxcalibur, Solange has to fight off the Distron Army and their leader, Queen Distiny, who are looking to steal it for their own gain.
There’s a fair bit of dialogue but Code of Princess doesn’t weave an engaging tale, and it relies more on its abundance of playable characters and combat to liven things up. Thanks to the vast amount of characters and a deep combat system, those hoping to experiment and create some stylish combos will be able to, and button-mashers are warned as there are some severely difficult missions! That said, you’ll still be fine. The game does feel held back by the 3DS’ more limited capabilities though, providing an experience not quite as smooth as many other beat ’em ups.
As with any beat ’em up, you’ll be mashing the Switch’s face buttons to string together light and heavy attacks, mixed with special abilities. It’s fine, but it didn’t grip me as someone who loves a good beat ’em up. The majority of enemies have an abundance of health which makes battles outgrow their welcome fairly quickly, but thankfully stages are bite-sized. There are a bunch of side-missions if you can’t get enough, however.
A lock-on mechanic would seem useless in a side-scroller, but lock-on here works in a way that amplifies damage to a chosen enemy rather than one you want to not lose track of. Using different characters to focus on melee or magic attacks can pinpoint an enemy weakness, so whilst it’s easy to stay with Solange it’s worth picking up a few characters and leveling them up.
Code of Princess has nice art which shines in its 2D art, but its 3D models are quite a sore sight on Switch – this isn’t something I thought of so much when playing it on 3DS. The models lack great detail and their animations aren’t all that smooth, making what was once quite a good-looking game to look average.
There are still some good sights – Solange’s outfit isn’t one of them – but for a full-priced release on Switch, I’d have liked there to have been more work done to it to justify the price. The English voice-acting present in the 3DS version had been removed, bizarrely.
Code of Princess EX doesn’t justify its full price with its lack of new content, and its lack of previously included English dub, and it hasn’t aged particularly well. It’s a serviceable game that doesn’t excel in any area, and there’s not much to check out if you’ve played it before. otherwise it’s worth picking up once it goes on sale if you’re fancying a button-masher – this is made out to be an easier choice considering there’s no physical version in Europe, so there’s very little rush to secure a copy of this niche game.
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