Impressions: Princess Fury

A side-scrolling brawler is a tough game to completely screw up. When all else fails, bombard the player with enemies, an interesting graphical interface, and enough gore to beat the band. Use a combination of two or three of these elements and you should find you’ve got an enjoyable diversion on your hands. Princess Fury, $1.99 worth of 16-bit button mashing for your iPhone or iPod Touch from developers Mo-Star, demonstrates that a delectable blend of all of these things makes for a highly addictive experience that you’d be mad to pass up, especially at such a reasonable price.

Princess Fury stars a spunky violet-haired menace who’s out for blood. Think Final Fight with the power of a steel blade and elemental magic. Via onscreen control pads (movement on the left and a simple attack button on the right) she can be made to slice and dice through enemy after enemy who want only to make her a lifeless corpse. Combat is simple, fast, and furious with little to no learning curve. If you’re an experienced iPhone/iPod Touch user, you can jump right in without even bothering to read the instructions or prime yourself accordingly.

Aside from essentially Slap-Chopping through the oncoming hordes, the Princess is equipped with some equally deadly magical spells. Fire, lightning, wind, and several other elements may be summoned to make short work of enemies populating the screen too quickly for your tastes. Rather than relying on any kind of MP/mana system, these abilities may be used as many times as you like. When used up, they simply require a recharge. These abilities are equipped on the Princess’s person, and recharge time can take up to ten seconds. It’s a quick enough time to wait between attacks, but in one of the game’s many highly frustrating boss battles, sometimes a few mere seconds feel like a lifetime. This isn’t exactly a hindrance, but a minor niggling complain that might deter more casual players from completing the title.

Though usually going it alone, the Princess is also accompanied by several minions who will fight with her and fight for her, but you can’t directly exert control over them. I was expecting elements of an RTS-lite, and was quite pleasantly surprised when this was not the case. They spawn simply to give you a bit more of an edge against the hordes of enemies that encroach on you in each instance of combat. This further simplifies gameplay, which is great, because the many boss encounters can be outright, well, obnoxious. You’ll be dying quite a few times if you aren’t sufficiently leveled. Fortunately, you have two options when faced with a particularly difficult fight. You can either keep plugging away at the menace that’s giving you so much trouble, or leave to re-play previous levels to earn experience points. This is where I found the game’s only tangible fault (to me.) Revisiting the same levels over and over just to be able to pass an end-boss that I should for all intents and purposes be able to defeat now gets downright annoying.

For a pick-up-and-play game like Princess Fury, you shouldn’t be spending that precious few minutes you might have to spend on gaming doing the same thing you did the last time you played.

Still, Princess Fury is a lovely and addictive title that’ll keep you coming back for more any time you whip out the trusty old iPod. Its colorful and frenetic environments are the stuff of familiar anime-styled conventions and it’s simple enough for anyone to get right into. If you have a spare couple bucks, why not give it a try?

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