Whether or not you’re a girl or an open man, Dogenzaka Studios’ “Destiny’s Princess” delivers a run of the mill love and war story with run for the hills archetypes. The visual novel’s story isn’t technically bad, but it fails to further the visual novel genre immersively unless you count the Nintendo Switch’s portability as immersive.
As previously implied, “Destiny’s Princess” is a love story that primarily targets girls, but it won’t discriminate toward fans of jacked pretty boys. The game struts its mature rating with its provocative dialogue and themes like sexual assault and incest, so think twice when little Jimmy asks for this ‘Switch title. You’re a princess amidst of a war against demons. Your brother, fiance, father, commander and “ninja reinforcement” suffers a fatal death in battle. You rush to your demon sealed sword to grant a wish in exchange for your blood. However, your wish to bring your family back takes a peculiar turn when they’re replaced by men from other worlds. With your families memories, any one of these five dashingly handsome men with well-conditioned hair could be your potential mate in this surprisingly lengthy story. You’ll have hours of dialogue to dissect and appreciate to your possible pleasure, but quantity isn’t necessarily the bearer of a solid script.
At their core, visual novels are scripts with pictures, and how you choose to mix up video game’s most simple format is what makes game creation an art. “Doki Doki Literature Club,” released in December 2017, used poetry to win the hearts of specific girls, but the appeal of the game was its psychological manipulation and horror-overtone. Capcom’s (Megaman) “Phoenix Wright” series is a visual novel that depended on your attention skills in murder cases. “Destiny’s Princess” attempts to incentivize likability, via the Likeability counter that can be viewed when you attempt to save. Your responses to any of these men may spark them to like you just a bit more.
Whether or not you play the game for the fantasy of an exclusive archetype as your soulmate, we can all agree that more character in a character, brings character. The writers attempt to give these men hidden qualities that make these men diverse. Takenaka Hanbei, your fiancee, is supposed to be a cruel and manipulative tactician with a soft side, but his dialogue at times closely resembles Sada Yukimura, your naive and childish twin brother.
The game primarily aims to be pure fantasy, and it shows in its Japanese themed art style. The artists successfully help to convey the game’s intent with the men’s exaggerated features. The art itself, however, lacks just as much diversity as the characters, as they lack diversity in features other than hair color and choice of clothing. After you’ve spent six chapters with only one guy to look at, the last thing you’d want is to see the same guy for an additional six chapters. There are many side characters who aren’t drawn that play a significant role in the protagonist’s life who aren’t drawn, such as the protagonist’s housemaid. Diversity in character design would have made for a much smoother experience.
This game is a fantasy, and it shows in execution and visual presentation. “Destiny’s Princess” is a game for fans of love, war, social taboos and pretty anime boys, but it’s also decent for discussion given its vast wealth of story-based content. Though the game contains serious themes, it’s best not to take the game’s story to heart.