You might think it’s okay to insult someone based on the outfit they are wearing and not worry much about the outcome of doing so, but if said person turns out to be the daughter of the devil himself it might have been best to not insult her at all, because now comes the punishment.
She will likely start by locking you in place with a bear trap and then unleash a giant hammer to hit you square in the face sending you flying onto a springboard that will bounce you through the air and into a basketball hoop.
If that wasn’t enough, once you’re on the ground she will likely hit you with a torture device of sorts, only to then finish you off with a bladed highheel kick to the face to ground you permanently.
Welcome to Deception IV: The Nightmare Princess.
Believe it or not that elaborate display of sadistic behaviour is what makes up the core gameplay of Deception IV: The Nightmare Princes and ultimately what is the single factor between a satisfying experience and a forgettable announce.
Deception IV: The Nightmare Princes see you taking up the role of Valgyrie who is the second daughter of ‘the chosen one’ or simply the devil, and who must harvest the souls of humans in order to bring about the devil’s great return. Deception IV: The Nightmare Princes takes place shortly after the end of Deception IV and is in a sense an expansion of that game. In fact Deception IV: The Nightmare Princes comes with Deception IV as well so you can experience both the core game and the Nightmare Princess all in one nice package.
The main difference with the two however is that Deception IV is a more linear level based game with Nightmare Princess being quest based along a quest tree with many different paths that at times is a bit overwhelming.
Once you are past the story cutscenes and set up page where you pick your traps and abilities, alongside checking enemy information, it is time to begin the stage. This is where we run into the first gripe I have with Deception IV: The Nightmare Princes and that is the timer.
Stages are more often than not timed with a 300 second timer. Plenty of time once you know what you are doing but when you’re facing harder to kill enemies it can sometimes be a close call. Each stage however has three objectives you can complete to unlock new traps and routes on the quest tree. Some of these can be a right challenge to work out but once you do it is a rather proud moment. Other than that there isn’t a lot to Deception IV: The Nightmare Princes other then looking at the backstory of your enemies and studying their weakness so you can ensure the most effective and sometimes psychopathic method of torture.
It’s worth noting as well that each stage is themed in a different way and offers a number of different stage traps you can use as part of your combos. These range from castles to children’s playgrounds and even a school gym because honestly, why the heck not? Your placement of traps is down in a pause screen of sorts when you place your traps like chess pieces using the on screen information to create a good flow to then unpause and lead your victim into.
I’m personally fond of using the garden rake as a start point for my combos as the victim is smacked in the face becoming confused and dazed as they walk into the next installment.
Speaking of traps there are three categories of traps available to you throughout the course of the game: ‘Elaborate’, ‘Sadistic’ and ‘Humiliating’. These add up at the end of each stage to give you an overall score but it does not affect the game much more than that. A number of multipliers are available as well that add to your score and increase your combo. This included things such as a mid-air hit or using a trap to trigger another trap and so on. There are a great deal of options available to the player to use including the option to just straight up kick your victim in the face if you really want to. The only downside is that after a few levels it can start to get repetitive.
Generally speaking though the only real issue I have with Deception IV: The Nightmare Princes is the AI. Some of the later stages become a nightmare (pun intended) to deal with because of how crazy some of the enemies you face are. What I mean by that is anyone who can heal himself should just go away. Forever.
The problem is that some enemies when given even just a second of alone time are able to fully heal their health, and given that stages are timed it becomes a bit stressful. More so when your options to heal are very, very limited.
The only technical issue I had however with Deception IV: The Nightmare Princess on PlayStation 4 was with the trophies. For some reason the trophies would pop when unlocked but pressing the PlayStation button would result in an error. Additionally the trophies and the game do not show up in the trophy list at all which is rather odd. This is however the only bug I found with Deception IV: The Nightmare Princess and otherwise the game ran great all the time.
Deception IV: The Nightmare Princess is an odd game and there really isn’t much I could add. It is overly fun to play and makes you free great when you pull off insane combos with even more insane objects just to kill a gym teacher but that is about it.
The gameplay never really changes and the challenge steps up quite a fair amount rather quickly. It is a hit and miss of a title that is subject to just how long you stay interested in the gameplay and how much enjoyment you get out of the repeating actions. On one hand it is an elaborately funny game that feeds your inner sadistic persona but on the other it is a game that gets dull very fast.
Given that the game is now available for around £29.99 and includes Deception IV as well it is a good package. The story alone is interesting enough but if you’re hoping for something to keep you interested for a long time I would suggest looking elsewhere. Deception IV: The Nightmare Princess is an average title that is worth a look if nothing else. Still, rakes to the face are and will always be funny.
Note: This title was played and reviewed on a PlayStation 4.