"Amazing Princess Sarah" is an action packed 2D platforming game for the PC. This game opens up with Sarah's father (whom is a King) relaxing in the throne room until a parade of monsters break into the castle. The King is a bit confused until two big breasted flying she-demons (literal she-demons and not an ex-wife) fly in and use a charm spell that forces The King to fall in love with them. While all charmed up we see a scantly clad succubus and a big read demon come in and kidnap the king as they were the leaders of the monsters and that was their plan (very straightforward and simple wouldn't you say?). Shortly after that, amazing Princess Sarah walks into the throne room in shock as she spots her father being taken away. Now Sarah must battle her way through the evil monster army and search castle after castle to find and rescue her father from the evil succubus. Will she be successful in her task? I sure hope so. (Click "Read More" to read the full review).
The story in this game uses a classic formula: "*insert name/item here* gets kidnapped and the hero goes out to rescue them and defeat the boss". There also isn't much of a story as it is all told during the opening cut-scene but I wouldn't say that's bad as I did enjoy how simple and right to the point the cut-scene was. The intro to the game also sets a good mood to where you feel very determent to beat the game as fast a you can.
The gameplay is pretty simple as it's a simple side-scrolling platformer with very smooth and responsive controls. The gameplay also borrows elements from the "Castlevania (1986 - Ongoing)" and "Shinobi (1987 - 2011)" series but is defiantly more "Castlevania (1986)" inspired. You are running around castles that have many themes like ice, fire, and water and I did like the designs of the levels and it was fun going through all of them. This game does get harder the deeper you get into the game (as to be expected) and it will get to the point to where it will get frustratingly challenging to where you'll die a lot due to strong enemies and tricky jumps. The challenge does make this game very hit or miss as some people would find the challenge to make the player want to get better and beat the game, other players will find the challenge too hard and frustrating to where they'll never want to touch the game again. I'm on the side that liked the challenge as it just made me want to beat the game so hard and I had a very good time doing it.
This game does include a leveling system for Sarah to where you can gain levels by killing enemies and gaining experience points. You will not lose your level and experience points when you die in the game nor will you lose them when you start a new game, you can reset your level back to level one by clearing data in the game's options. The higher level you become, the stronger your attacks and health bar become and it is a very useful feature and while it makes your trip a bit more easier you'll still find this game to be tough to beat.
Speaking of attacks, Sarah has two kinds of attacks including a sword slash and the ability to pick up items and fallen enemies and throw them across the level and into other enemies causing some crazy damage. The attack system was smooth and responsive and I couldn't find any problems with it what so ever. You can also smash candles to gain hearts just like in "Castlevania (1986) but unlike "Castlevania (1986)" you will see that the hearts actually give you back some of your health. While that's a helpful item I didn't find myself using them as much as I'd like as when you reach a checkpoint in this game you'll find that they'll give you full health anyway.
Once you beat the game you will find that there is more to be found as there is a whole bunch of extra modes to unlock that will change how your character plays. I really enjoyed that as it added some very nice replay value. The graphics in this game tries to emulate the look found in games from the 16-bit era (Super Nintendo Entertainment System, Sega Mega-Drive/Genesis, ETC.) but it looks more like a 2D game from the early 32-bit era (Sony Playstation, Sega Saturn, ETC) and I did like it as it did give me a warm sense of nostalgia. While good it also has a roughness to it and is lacking a little polish found in a lot of 2D platformers but it's nothing that will bother you.
The character designs are alright and suit the game's setting well but other than Sarah herself and the bosses (to which we'll get to soon) don't expect any originally designed characters as it's all monsters you'll see in many other horror games. I am not saying that's a bad thing at all as you expect monsters like Skeletons and Demons as they work perfectly in a horror setting. Later in the game you'll start getting tougher enemies and the designs for those creatures are just re-colored versions of the monsters you fought earlier in the game and I am mixed on that as on one hand I found that to be a bit lazy, on the other hand I found it was needed. The designs for the bosses in this game range from menacing to completely insane and weird and I enjoyed them plus when you do encounter a boss battle you'll take them seriously as they are also very menacing and tough to where you are going to die a lot. Soundtrack in this game had a nice hard rock sound that worked well with the game and also helped build an intense atmosphere.
Overall while I did enjoy this game a whole lot I will say that this game is very hit or miss. I am only giving this game a "yes" rating due me enjoying the game but if you are unsure then just get the game on sale. Fun game.
Game: Amazing Princess Sarah
Developer/Publisher: Haruneko Entertainment
Genre: Action, Platformer, Horror
Price: $4.99 (Steam)