When it came time for Guardian Heroes, a classic action/RPG for Sega Saturn, to get a sequel, an exceptional game was not received. Advance Guardian Heroes missed too many points to be seen as authentic to the original, in spite of a fair way of continuing the story and an exceptional array of playable characters. Imagine people's surprise when many of the developers of the original chose to make a new game that would be a tighter spiritual successor — and their further surprise when the game was confirmed for a North American release. Atlus' booth provided a first glimpse at what could be an awesome addition to many 3DS owners' libraries.
Plot-wise, mysterious monsters appear in the kingdom of Errah, and a foreign army comes in to fight off the monsters and take over the nation. The princess takes up arms against both the army and the monsters. The story is told through voiced cut scenes.
The core gameplay of Code of Princess is more or less a match for Guardian Heroes. The biggest difference is the introduction of Burst mode, which can be freely switched on and off, rapidly consuming MP to double attack damage. Otherwise, its unique hallmarks — three-plane combat, large numbers of foes, highly customizable characters, etc. — are represented in one form or another.
Code of Princess is split into 100+ quests of varying length, consisting of one or more waves of enemies — often including bosses — to fight and drive away from the field of battle. Every kill earns experience for your character, and you can freely repeat missions to grind. Of course, the number of characters — eight playable "main" characters and 50 NPCs who are playable in multiplayer — means that you may need to play a number of levels several times to build up your characters. The multiplayer provides for four-player cooperative play, in line with its inspiration, allowing players to team up to face tougher quests. This is especially useful in the game's array of free-play missions.
Character designs are more variable. The princess's outfit may be too forward for many, and there's little practical armor, especially among the heroic characters.
Code of Princess's gameplay felt right, both as a successor to a classic and as a 3DS game.
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