They also took my car keys!
Developers Mediatonic have a great game in the shape of Monsters (probably) Stole My Princess. The game is not only part of the PSP Minis Range, it is probably one of the most enjoyable games so far in the range, which does slowly seem to be giving us more enjoyable titles of a higher quality as time goes on.
In this game the player takes control of The Duke, a cute, if you will, little vampire, reminding me personally of The Count from Sesame Street, as he searches for his missing princess, who he immediately assumes has been kidnapped by monstersâ€¦ probably.
The stages are set over vertically scrolling levels through which The Duke must chase a single large monster, believing that the creature is the one who has his princess. The monster is continuously moving upwards through the stage and so the player must follow by hopping from platform to platform using a series of jumps and double jumps, the aim being to catch the monster and double jump onto him, causing him damage. This process must then be repeated twice more for each monster, for a total of three attacks. On the third hit you bring him crashing to the ground. On top of this, your three attacks must be carried out before the monster reaches the top of the stage. A handy bar at the side of the screen lets you know how far away that is and how close you are to the monster. So, although you are not technically against the clock, if you mess up one or two of your jumps on a stage, you will be pretty hard pushed to catch up. The game constantly keeps the pressure on the player.
You can take down the monster using the quick and simple way of just hitting him the three times. But, taking much more skill, is building up a combo which enables the player to take down the monster on their third hit using a devastating attack and rewarding with a higher score. The combos are built up by hitting as many platforms as possible on their way up through the stage, without hitting any that you previously touched. The more of them you land on, the higher your combo and the more devastating an attack you can unleash on the monster.
What this game has over many of the other games in the Minis range, is that it is so well put together, both visually and sound wise, with both the levels and the monsters well designed and nicely portrayed in the game, along with the music throughout the levels, which is spot on. About the one and only downside to the game is the story mode, which covers only six stages, and each of those you will be able to complete within two or three attempts. The whole story took me only an hour or so to finish and although it was enjoyable enough, it just seemed to be over all to quickly. You can, of course, replay the stages and, in doing so, improve your score, which leads to you being awarded medals – bronze, silver or gold depending on how well you do.
But the short story mode really should not put you off, as it is not the whole game. For a further challenge, and what keeps you coming back for more, is the Score Attack mode, which is more of the same basic gameplay. Selecting a stage, the game then sets you a target score to achieve before taking out the monster. This means strategically planning ahead of yourself to land on as many platforms as possible to build up your combo, so you can achieve that score target, which always seems to be just out of reach, making it so much sweeter when you do eventually hit it. This mode kind of puts the story mode in the shade and also ensures that there is enough of a challenge to keep you playing over and over again.
With the Minis range increasing in both game choice and quality since its introduction, itâ€™s not easy to pick a favourite. But Monsters (Probably) Stole My Princess is, without a doubt, one of the best currently available, sitting head and shoulders above its current competition. The simple pick up and play game style, combined with the addictive challenge of the score attack mode, is more than enough to keep you coming back time and again. For the low price of Â£3.49, it makes this game from Mediatonic a must own for any PSP user.
Mediatonicâ€™s Monsters (probably) Stole MY Princess is available to download now from the PSN Store for the price of Â£3.49.