Title: Princess Waltz
System(s): Windows 98/Me/2000/XP/Vista (DVD, download)
Release Date: December 9, 2008
Publisher (Developer): Pull Top (Peach Princess)
Pros: Beautiful and pristine CG, enjoyable card battles, lots of cute girls (and a really cute boy who looks and has the body of a girl), original Japanese dialogue included
Cons: Sluggish story progression, text-intensive, lack of animated fight scenes.
Overall Score: One Thumb Up, One Thumb Sideways; 80 out of 100; B-; ***stars out of ****stars
Princess Waltz is primarily a very text-intensive visual novel with a dash of eroticism. Most of the text is thankfully accompanied by Japanese voice-overs except for dialogue that originates from the omniscient narrator and Arata himself. Most of the battles that don’t involve you require you actually use your noggin to visualize the frantic pace with the assistance 6th grade level vocabulary descriptions. Once again, you are forewarned! This game is very, very text-intensive.
Once Upon A time…
Enter Arata Fukamori (that’s you), a run-of-the mill Japanese high schooler who lives with his stoicly sexy sister Shizuka and presentless mother. However, everything goes amock when the new androgynous and angelic looking transfer student, Christopher Weatherfield, is adopted into your classroom curriculum. All of the sudden, you’re tossed into an alternate dimension that’s swarming with rather terrorrotorial beasts that want paint the floor red with your guts.
It looks like your adoring fan club not only includes blood thirsty monsters but princesses from all over the world who lust to challenge you to the Princess Waltz – a combative dance held to find the princess worthy of becoming queen of Seven Central in the fantasy world of Eldelant. Only princesses who wear a Dress (a nom de plume for armor) may participate in the Princess Waltz and, luckily, you unknowingly already have one. It turns out that the you and Chris can transform into the enigmatic Princess of the Sword, Iris. That’s right, 1 boy + 1 girlish boy = 1 smoking hot sword-wielding princess. This equation is greater than the discovery of Einstein’s formula for relativity.
Not Your Ordinary Game of Blackjack
Fights are conducted via a card battle system that utilizes a combination of colored cards that are randomly dealt to you and your computer controlled oponent at each turn. The basic strategy needed in order to trump your opponent is to simply select a combination of cards that total to a number that’s greater than your opponent’s.
Thus far into the game, I’ve only been dealt red and blue card. Red cards deal normal attack damage while any specific use of blue cards initiates what I would like to call a “special attack.” These attacks are marked by an exciting battle-ready still of your princess whom you are currently fighting with. It’s always in your best interest to defeat your opponenet quickly since the game tends to reward you with additional points that are required for leveling character stats.
Foreplay ≤ Real Action
Now, you must be wondering why I haven’t made mention of any ecchi/hentai details yet. Yes, it’s true that Princess Waltz is tagged with the 18+ stamp and categorized as an erotic game (ero-ge). While the closest that I’ve gotten to lascivious hotness was the the tapering shredding of a princess’s Dress when she succumbed to blows, that’s about all I’ve been granted after clocking in nearly 2 hours of gaming and that scene occurred during the first 30 minutes of the game.
I’m all for seeing skimpy and sexy lingerie on sexy girls but you’d agree that wouldn’t be enough to warrant the 18+ rating at all. Don’t worry though, because the scenes do get naughtier later in the game. A whole lot naughtier. The bawdiest screens that I’ve seen thus far, however, have actually come from the official Princess Waltz CG Events page(most definitely NSFW). Let’s just say that this game isn’t very generous and doesn’t like to give up the goods very easily. (Enough with the foreplay already and stop being such a tease!)
The CG events look marvelous, it’s just too bad they happen very to be very few and far between at least, at my point in the game.
Patience is a Virtue
While it’s great that the gaming market has expanded so much that it includes translated rarities such as Princess Waltz, it definitely appeals to a more refined crowd of gamers. Those type of gamers who don’t mind oodles of voiced text – unlike myself, a person who struggles to keep from dozing off – can only play this game in 30 minute intervals (45 minutes when I’ve gotten a full 8 hours of sleep).
The story is charming, the characters are glistening, the card battles are fun but, unfortunately, all of its strong points are marred by the fact that this game progresses at the pace of a stepped on grandpa snail. And, if you think that you can muster the patience to sit through it all you will indeed be rewarded with some deliciously kinky scenes, keep in mind that there’s only a handful.