Battle Princess Madelyn had me hooked from the initial premise and the trailer that this looks to be a classic Ghosts ‘N’ Goblins-style game with both an arcade mode and a story mode, but there are big problems with it.
I’ll first address the fact that my issues are with the arcade mode, since I tried the Story mode, and… it didn’t gel with me, as it was a bit too long-winded since as you go back and forth through similar screens you come across in ‘arcade’, talking to people and trying to figure out what they want, and from where to get it.
Given the type of game Ghosts ‘N’ Goblins was, only ‘arcade’ would suffice, and the scene was set for 10 levels, each with an end-of-level boss, shooting baddies – some of which can be felled with one hit, while others take a few hits – and I was excited for this…
If you’re not familiar with the original, then I’ll give some basic info including some plus points, but will also include a gameplay video for you to check out, and you’ll see that, as you walk along, yes, you’ll get hit by the baddies, but you don’t die immediately – first, you lose your armour. Second time, you die.
Run along the platforms as they lead either straight, both up and down at an angle, sometimes with ladders and steps and other ways to get about, but don’t assume that anything dangling down might be in your best interests to climb higher, since it might just be a baddie ready to grab you and eat you up! To that end, you only get a handful of lives and they don’t last long.
After upgrading my weapon along the way, the second one was actually worse than the first, since while it seemed more powerful, the first one would travel to the edge of the screen, while the second stopped after a very short time, and so they didn’t reach the actual baddies who were a slight distance away, but still able to shoot me!
This title has both an arcade and orchestral version of the score – The latter sounds more cool, but I loved the former, for that retro feel. Also, it has fantastic 8-bit style graphics with parallax scrolling.
Battle Princess Madelyn – Arcade Mode – ShisheyuGDC
When I began, I was enjoying Battle Princess Madelyn, but I figured… it’s way too damn hard. For example, after battling through and finishing the first level, I could see that when I completely died, it started a new game from the start of level 2, but… when I quit out (since I can’t leave it on forever), I could only start right from the beginning again.
We at least need an option to start from the beginning of the last level we reached. I asked if they could implement this soon, but…. they’re not going to implement this at all, which really doesn’t help. Sure, I want a game to be challenging, but at least give me the option so, if something happened and I couldn’t devote enough time in one day to play all ten levels, I wouldn’t have to go back to the start!!!
And if the game crashes, or something on the PC affects it and I end up going back to the desktop… yep, the same end result.
Similarly, there are no checkpoints within each level, so if you lose all your lives – even if you’ve made it to the big baddie at the end – you go back to the very start! GAH!
This is also particularly unhelpful when I want to record gaming footage, and while I have BPM set to ‘display 1’ (my TV), with a second display (my monitor) for writing this review as well as checking the folder in Windows Explorer to make sure the game footage is – y’know – recording, ‘display 1’ jumps back to the desktop! Ugh…
Is it recording? Is it not? Well, Christmas is a religious time for many, and I was praying it WAS recording!
Alas, sometimes, thanks to it going back to the desktop, even though I had BPM on my TV, it was making nVidia’s Shadowplay record the desktop behind it instead(!) In the end, OBS was kinda the answer for that, but again, not a given.
So, as good as this game could be, if you don’t mind not recording any footage, AND you enjoy frustration, then this is for you.
Battle Princess Madelyn – Nintendo Switch Gameplay – Handheld Players
Overall, I really wanted to like Battle Princess Madelyn, given its style, but even with the problems in saving your progress as you go, there’s a fine line between ‘difficult’ and ‘bastard insane’ but while I’ve played a ton of arcade games in my life, this one was more a game to – as they say in the US – ‘rage quit’, making you want to throw your controller across the room. However, I’m playing this with my Xbox One controller connected to the PC via USB, and I don’t want to throw it – (a) because a replacement controller would cost around £40-50, and (b) throwing it would take the PC with it!
What developers need to do is allow the game to store the fact you’ve reached the next stage even once you’ve quit out of it, as well as implementing difficulty settings. Sure, I’ll try the harder settings later, but at first, just give me a chance!!!
I know the team are making refinements here and there, and the game has also been released on Nintendo Switch and PS4 just before Christmas, but it looks like only in North America so far.
Battle Princess Madelyn is out now on PC/Steam.
- Developer: Causal Bit Games Inc.
- Publisher: Causal Bit Games Inc., Hound Picked Games
- Players: single-player
- Captions: English
Battle Princess Madelyn – Launch Trailer – NEXT Studios
Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.