IGN Preview of Princess Debut
We've seen a ton of Nintendo DS rhythm games that use the Elite Beat Agents style of tapping circles in time to the music. It's officially "been there, done that." Natsume has taken their own approach to the genre with their extremely girly title, Princess Debut. Sorry boys, the ladies get the innovative rhythm game.
Princess Debut has a plot, but my male brain got frightened by it. You get transported to a magical world and switch places with a princess. There's something about preparing for a ball and trying to find a suitable prince to swoon over. It's all very fairytale-esque in terms of story and presentation. According to Natsume the game has 14 different endings, depending on which of the many princes you end up with and how you perform. Yeah, 14. Suck on that, Chrono Trigger.
Dancing in Princess Debut is different than other rhythm games. Players don't lift their stylus from the screen, but rather slide it around, following a purple dot that represents the dance partner. Think of the DS stylus as the princess, and the touch screen as the dance floor, and you're guiding the princess around the dance floor in time with your dance partner. The game uses a combination of various movements – half circles, zig-zags, full circles – to mimic the actual step pattern of whatever dance the player is performing. The Waltz used a lot of large sweeping half circles and tight full circle twirls, and the Cha Cha Cha has a lot of back and forth zig zags and quick circle turns. It's actually kind of a neat gameplay mechanic and with over a dozen different types of dances it's cool to see them all control differently.
The game has four modes: Story, Practice, Ballroom and Movie. Story and Practice seem pretty self explanatory. Ballroom is a mode for after the story mode has been beaten at least once. It's a tournament setup where players have to beat certain scores to progress through the songs. The mode ties in with the story too, making it more of a complimentary mode than a completely separate one.
Movie mode takes the dancing cinematics (all mocapped by professional dancers) and lets players view it from all angles, as well as follow along with a step layout guide. It's an educational supplement that can help teach players how to ballroom dance.
All the modes let the player pick an outfit for the princess. There are dozens of dresses unlocked through the story mode.
We're not saying Princess Debut is going to be the next Elite Beat Agents but from what we've seen it's the most original rhythm game coming to the DS since the Agents hit the US shores.
Princess Debut arrives stores at the end of September, and we have screen and videos for you below.
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