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Amazing Princess Sarah (Xbox360) Review

 
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At a Glance...
 

Formats: Xbox360
 
Genre: ,
 
Year:
 
Developer:
 
Final Score
8.0
8/ 10


User Rating
2 total ratings

 

We liked?


A familiar look blends with brutal retro platformer mechanics to challenge and engage.

Not so much?


It is truly retro in difficulty - fatalities are a given.


Final Fiendish Findings?

Castlevania fans will find a familiar friend in Haruneko’s latest release, Amazing Princess Sarah. Sarah is a gratuitously buxom young princess whose world is torn apart when her father (the King) is kidnapped by demons. It is up to Sarah to save the kingdom, but that isn’t going to be any easy task. There are […]

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Posted July 23, 2014 by

 
Full Fiendish Findings...
 
 

Castlevania fans will find a familiar friend in Haruneko’s latest release, Amazing Princess Sarah.screen1

Sarah is a gratuitously buxom young princess whose world is torn apart when her father (the King) is kidnapped by demons. It is up to Sarah to save the kingdom, but that isn’t going to be any easy task. There are bad guys at every turn, and save points are few and far between. This is an old school 2D platformer where you’ll die, die, and die some more before inching just a little farther each time.

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The mechanics in Amazing Princess Sarah are pretty standard for a platformer, for the most part. Sarah has a blade that she can use to attack enemies, and it’s effective enough, although it often takes several swipes to fell a single bad guy. The unique twist in this game is that Sarah is one muscle bound princess, and she can use her unusual strength to pick up and throw just about anything to be found. Armoires, dining tables, even felled enemies can be picked up and thrown, and massive damage generally ensues. Mastering the pick up and throw move is essential to doing well. You pick up by pressing “y”, and throw with the attack button, but the size of the item thrown affects how far it will go, so there is some trial and error involved as you learn it.

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Although Amazing Princess Sarah seems a rather simple game at first glance, it has a lot to offer once you get into it (particularly when you consider it’s one dollar price tag). There are quite a few different enemies, each with their own quirks and challenges, from flaming creatures that spit fire to archers that rain down arrows to dive bombing fairies. It’s a game that is meant to challenge, extremely so, and it does that well. Like in many of its retro counterparts, the player begins with a very weak amount of life, and dying often is just part of the game. Dying once puts you back to your last save point (marked by a sparkly statue of Sarah herself). Killing enemies spectacularly will help you gain points to level up, which in turn helps you increase your maximum health. For maximum frustration, leveling up does not return you to full health (hard core), but reaching a save point will.

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Amazing Princess Sarah offers a whole lot of bang for your buck with a Castlevania look-alike game that will have throwing your controller in sheer frustration – and loving every minute of it. Like the 2D platformers of old, Amazing Princess Sarah is a game that forces you to suffer through dying over and over again, just to eke out a little more distance in each and every level. In fact, playing each level over so many times is so challenging (and frustrating yes, but in a good way), that the bosses almost seem like an afterthought. It takes skill to make a game that is super hard, yet fun and engaging at the same time, and Haruneko has definitely done it with this time. At just one dollar, Amazing Princess Sarah is worth every penny and then some.


Amy

 
U.S. Senior Editor & Deputy EIC, @averyzoe on Twitter, mother of 5, gamer, reader, wife to @macanthony, and all-around bad-ass (no, not really)