Game: Battle Princess Madelyn
System: Nintendo Switch
Developer: Causal Bit Games
Publisher: Causal Bit Games
Price: £13.99 | $19.99 | € 19,99
Rating: EU 3| America E
Release date: 24th December US/6th January Europe
Also Available On: PS4, Xbox, PC, Vita and Wii U
A review code was kindly provided by the publisher
Battle Princess Madelyn is a Ghost and Goblins inspired title which boasts two play modes. The general storyline behind both modes focuses upon Madelyn’s quest to rescue her family and kingdom from an evil wizard. Along with her Ghostly dog Fritzy, she must battle through hoards of ghouls, trek through numerous areas, defeat multiple bosses – all in a bid to save the day!
The story behind the game’s development is incredibly heartwarming. The game’s main protagonist was named after the developer’s real-life daughter. After continually encouraging her Dad to replay the 1st stage of Ghouls and Ghosts, Madelyn’s desire to be a knight led to her being incorporated into her own game. Fritzy is based off Madelyn’s much loved pet dog who passed away but is fondly remembered by her family. The backstory alone is worth a read. 🙂
How does it fair?
I’m having a great time with the game. I can’t comment on Arcade mode yet because I’ve put most of my time into story mode. I’ve played arcade mode a little, but each time I’ve tried to dig into it, I keep reverting to story mode, That’s not to say that there’s nothing to enjoy in arcade mode, but I’m engrossed by story mode’s more in-depth platforming and exploration.
So what is Story Mode?
Story Mode is a platforming adventure which involves opening up new areas by completing numerous side quests and gaining access to new areas and lands. As her mission progresses, Madelyn will obtain better weapons, tougher armour, and ability enhancements. As with similar games, new skills and objects such as keys enable Madelyn to open doors and reach once inaccessible areas. Keys and other items are obtained by paying homage to statues, spirits, and completing fetch quests. Fetch quests involve finding objects and accomplishing tasks for people spread throughout each stage.
As a platformer, the game is pretty solid and controls well. I love the Ghost and Goblin aesthetic, and even though the game is hard, it’s more forgiving than Capcom’s classic. A nice inclusion is Fritzy’s magic gauge which absorbs magic upon killing Ghouls and partially empties if Madelyn dies. Potentially, gamers can play a long time as long as they keep killing enough Ghouls to boost Fritzy’s magic level.
Another nice feature is the ability to upgrade armour and weapons. Finn’s weapon shop is unlocked after completing a specific fetch quest. Madelyne’s basic armour can be upgraded to take more hits whereas upgraded weapons boast greater range and strength.
Is all well with Madelyn’s Story mode?
As much as I enjoy Battle Princess Madelyn, the game’s current build does suffer from issues. Firstly, the size of each stage and the absence of a map sometimes makes you feel as if you’re wandering around aimlessly. Also, the lack of a quest log means it’s difficult to keep track of important details. The game also suffers from notable slowdown in certain areas. Where this happens, I feel there may be a slight delay in Madelyn’s jump, so players need to be extra careful while jumping across dangerous areas.
I think backtracking is another issue that could be slimmed down. Due to the size of each area, returning from one area to another can take a long time, and may eventually deter some from playing.
There are a few bugs that still need to be ironed out, and I know that the developers are hard at work in patching and improving the game for all systems. Future updates will include a map, quest log, level improvements, and numerous bug fixes. I also know that latest patch (which has been submitted to Nintendo) fixes bugs such as slow down issues.
Is it worth a purchase?
In my opinion yes. Despite its issues, I’m having a good time with Madelyn’s Story mode. It may lack elements familiar to modern gamers, but I’ve enjoyed playing through it regardless. The game reminds me of the old days when players were required to share hints and tips and read magazines to make progress. That’s not to say I recommend the game for everyone, at least not in its current form. If you’re looking for a modern-day Metroidvania with Ghost and Goblins like visuals, then you’ll probably be left disappointed. But if like me, you’re used to retro games and willing to play without the luxury of a map, or other modern-day elements, then you should have fun with story mode alone.
So what about Arcade Mode?
Arcade Mode replicates the gameplay of Ghost and Goblins. Players progress from left to right, battling ghouls as they go. The storyline remains the same as story mode, but the action is far more frantic and areas more concise. I do know from the PRHound discord that Arcade mode is made up of 7 mixed up story mode stages. Another nice touch is that other power-ups such as Madelyn’s double-jump are available by default.
As stated above, I’ve yet to spend time with Arcade mode, but from my brief experience, it appears to be a great modern reinterpretation of Capcom’s classic.
I like Battle Princess Madelyn a lot. I continue to have great fun with it, and I look forward to future patches. Yes, the game is still in need of refining but I’m confident this will be resolved soon.