Battle Princess Madelyn
Developed by: Casual Bit Games
Genre(s): 2D Action Platformer
Platform(s): Microsoft Windows, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
Availability: Out now
Synopsis: Battle Princess Madelyn is a game that follows the journey of a young knight in training, Madelyn, and her ghostly pet dog, Fritzy. They set out on a journey to save her kingdom and her family from the clutches of an evil wizard.
Note: This copy of Battle Princess Madelyn was reviewed on the PlayStation 4 with a review code provided by the developer.
Hey all, welcome to 2019! It’s a new year, it’s a whole new gXp, and it’s a new game for us to play and review for you guys. And even though this is a new year and this is a new game here, what I like about Battle Princess Madelyn is that it adds to the old adage that “sooner or later, everything old is new again”. (Man, I love that Stephen King quote.) But I love this idea because, as an old-school gamer, I love that some of my favorite old games are being honored and given homage to by some of these games being released lately. And while the developers of Battle Princess Madelyn may not have set out to do this specifically, the fact that their game reminds me so much of one of my favorite games – this one being the 1985 classic run and gun platformer Ghosts ‘n Goblins – it made Battle Princess Madelyn that much more enjoyable to me.
Battle Princess Madelyn also reminded me about what made those old games special as well – there was a learning and difficulty curve to those games that made them both challenging and entertaining at the same time. Those old games were Dark Souls before Dark Souls was even a twinkle of a concept. They were made to challenge and punish you but managed to keep the player engaged in the game and story without enraging them. This was an era of gaming meant to entertain you but also separate you from your hard-earned allowance quarters – and I really miss those games. And Battle Princess Madelyn does a wonderful job of bringing back those nostalgic memories for me. Battle Princess Madelyn breathes and bleeds Ghosts ‘n Goblins in a beautiful retro gaming experience that very few new games fail to replicate.
And that is the only drawback that I see with this game for some of the younger or inexperienced gaming audience out there. The lack of general direction or guidance in the game may be off putting to some gamers out there. And while I watched my kids try to tough it out and power through the game, I could see the frustration building in each of them as they died and died and died again. I may have had a chuckle at watching their rage and frustration grow, but I can see this happening with other younger and/or newer gamers who are used to more modern games holding their hands throughout the campaign. It would be the only thing that I see as a negative in Battle Princess Madelyn, but when it comes to what I love and enjoy, I don’t mind this one bit.
Every bit of the game is a retro gaming dream. From the story to the visuals, the music and sound design, level design and enemy difficulty – there is very little about Battle Princess Madelyn that I do not thoroughly enjoy. It’s a very well-written love letter to classic video gaming and shows what developers and able to produce when you have a team that enjoys and is genuinely interested in presenting and preserving what made video gaming special in the first place. The team at Casual Bit Games should be commended for their effort on the game and, personally, for reminding me why I feel in love with video games in the first place.