Money is everything. It accomplishes dreams, creates new technologies, and makes the world a better place. Of course, that is entirely dependent on the person using money wisely. When abused, money can corrupt even the most fortuitous of men and women, ruining the lives of entire people. Greed imprisons us all, but for those that aren’t so blinded by it, they can use greed to better their own lives, albeit for nefarious purposes.
When her Father is murdered, a lone princess reloads her fists and pounds every last monster standing in her way. But she knows to fight alone will not achieve her vengeance. Instead, she will have to fight, and bribe, her enemies to achieve the ultimate payback against her foes. From NiS America comes a fascinating action game where the focus is all about money: Penny-Punching Princess. Don’t let the name fool you. This is a badass princess with the power of her fists and capitalist economics at her side.
Penny-Punching Princess takes place in an ancient kingdom where money is the focus of absolutely everything. Common Sense, morals, and values are dismissed, as every single resident in this kingdom centers their entire livelihoods around money. In this radically capitalist world, there is rampant corruption and the people who cannot make enough money begin to suffer. For the princess, her father has lost her life to greed and debt. It is up to the princess to avenge her father and make the land right again. With the help of her sidekick, who is also a beetle, she will fight endlessly against the Dragon Mafia, and the Mafia Lords, to avenge her father’s death.
Penny-Punching Princess is an action and brawling game. Players will set across several territories and multiple levels, pulverizing all enemies within the level, while avoiding deadly traps. Players will have access to special abilities and magic powers, which are effective in intense battles. Players will fight a variety of bizarre, but fun-looking enemies in each level, ranging from dragons to caped hearts with arms and legs. Fighting these enemies and dodging traps will be a challenge, but fortunately, money can be used to your advantage with the power of a special calculator. This gives players the power to bribe enemies to fight with you. It may appear to be silly to carry around a calculator in a brawling video game, but in the world of Penny- Punching Princes, it makes perfect sense.
Penny-Punching Princess sets itself apart from other brawling video games by introducing the ability to bribe enemies with money. Players can select the calculator, charge an amount, and convince the very enemy you are fighting to stop attacking you. After the bribe js made, the enemies will fight alongside you as a special attack power. Penny-Punching Princess has various enemies in each stage, which in addition to dragons, includes skeletons warriors and devilish minions. Each enemy encountered in Penny-Punching Princess has unique abilities. Bribing a dragon, for example, may allow for a long stream of fire to attack your enemies. The skeleton warriors, if bribed, will appear and quickly swipe at the bad guys. Additionally, traps, who happen to be strangely sentient, can also be bribed. This is effective for trapping an enemy into a saw blade or a column of fire.
Using this mechanic is not only fun, but perfectly flows with the context of the world of Penny-Punching Princess. In a world full of corrupt capitalism, why wouldn’t you want to bribe enemies for fun? Bribing enemies also makes them citizens of your own territory. They will work to upgrade your skills and forge new equipment. When the gameplay comes together, Penny Punching Princess is an entertaining good time. Coupled with the solid music and cartoon visual presentation, the game is quite the experience, as players punch and bribe their way through the game. There are even massive boss fights to encounter, which will require skill, and effective bribing, to fully defeat. There is only one complaint I have: The controls.
Brawling in Penny-Punching Princess is fine, but using the calculator, and its controls, are rather tricky. When players deploy the calculator, the game continues in real-time. Other games would either place the action in slow-motion or freeze the action altogether. With the fact that enemies are constantly chasing you, you need to stay in constant motion, and with some luck, find a spot to use the bribe calculator. Additionally, the calculator can be controlled by touchscreen. When using the calculator to unleash a special “offer” attack, this can be tricky, as players then need to remove their right hand off the fighting controls to be able to place a number. For bribing enemies, players need to use the additional input to select the enemy, then automatically bribe them. These controls do take some getting used to, and may turn-off players initially. However, as you learn the controls, the game does open up and the calculator functions become second-nature. Still, these controls could have been better streamlined to accommodate the action. Despite this, this does not break the game.
Penny-Punching Princess will definitely be remembered for being a unique game with a fun premise and an entertaining experience. Despite the controls, the combat is quite enjoyable and the story is very entertaining. Whether you play this on PlayStation Vita or Nintendo Switch, this is a definite recommendation for players looking for a different type of action experience on the go. Remember, money isn’t everything, but it sure as hell helps in crushing your enemies.