Deception IV: The Nightmare Princess – Review
Follow Genre: Strategic RPG
Developer: Koei Tecmo
Publisher: Koei Tecmo
Platform: PS4
Tested on: PS4

Deception IV: The Nightmare Princess – Review

Site Score
8.5
Good: Atypical gameplay, amazing graphics and sound, cool story
Bad: Might get a bit repetitive
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8.0
(1 votes)
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Rating: 8.0/10 (1 vote cast)

When playing certain games, you are (mostly) the good guys who try to save the world from destruction. Koei Tecmo has made a certain franchise, namely the ‘Deception’ series, that tries to be different from the rest. Deception IV: The Nightmare Princess might be the last game but they it does an effort to go out with a bang. Be ready to experience a lot of cruelty and try to survive this nightmare filled with dangerous traps.

Story

Deception IV: The Nightmare Princess has two stories in its sleeve. Before we can understand what is happening today, we need to go back in time. Three thousand years ago, the Devil was roaming the Earth but he was defeated by ‘The Twelve Saints’. They sealed him away by using the Holy Verses and after he was locked away, the Verses were separated and given to the Saints to guard and hand down this artefact onto their descendants. This is where our story starts.

First of all, we can follow the quest of Velguirie. This redheaded vamp is the Nightmare Princess, although this title might not be that suited anymore. It seems that she was asleep for quite some time and due to this slumber, she has lost almost all of her powers. Thank God that her father, the Devil, has made her a servant called Ephemera. This ‘automaton’ is the only “friend” and guide Velguirie has at the moment, as she needs to regain her lost memory and skills.

At the start of the game, it is quite clear that you need to gather souls from humans by killing them in their nightmares in the Darkside Heaven. This heavenly place is a spot between dreams and reality and only people with strong believes or wishes actually come here. They hope to find answers or fulfil their desires but when they encounter you, they’re bound to find something else. By giving people nightmares and killing them, you regain your strength and the most important thing: you feed your lovely dad, giving him the chance to escape his prison. During your hunt for human souls, it seems that you’re not alone. There is another daughter of the Devil named Laegrinna and she’s after your spot. Due to your encounters, it seems you will meet other characters as well, mostly from the previous games. Overall, it seems like you’ll have a ball together.

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This edition has another story as well. The complete storyline from the previous game (Deception IV: Blood Ties) is available. This means you will be playing as Laegrinna with her three servants Caelea, Veruza and Lilia. These three daemons are servants of the Devil and are send on a mission to help Laegrinna retrieve the twelve Verses. With these artefacts, they can release the evil wrath of the Devil.

Although it might be an atypical narrative, it is a refreshing experience. The story of Velguirie unfolds while playing the game and though you only gets bits and pieces now and then, it gets you thrilled and keeps you going. Even more, this edition seems to be the closure of this series and might hold some key elements to understanding the bigger picture. For example, why is there a Darkside Heaven and why are there five protagonists throughout the series?

Graphics

This title is available on the PS4 and although it doesn’t exploit the possibilities this console offers, the developers made the game as a remastered version for Deception IV: Blood Ties and they did a marvellous job. The surroundings are empty but this is necessary for the gameplay. Nonetheless the details of the environments are really nicely finished. Even more, there are a lot of areas you can explore and every room has its own particular elements.

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The same goes for the characters as they are really amazing. They have loads of details and specifications and they are fun to look at. Same can be said about Velguirie and her “companions” as they stand out in the environment and they’re divinely finished as well.

When you’re not killing humans, you’ll be conversing or selecting quests in the quest screen. The conversations are done in 2D with altering images during the talking. There aren’t any real movements implemented but it isn’t something you’ll miss.

Sound

Overall, everything music- and sound-related is just amazing. It seems that even the Devil has a fond of classical music as this is what you’ll mostly hear during your playtime. It definitely sets the mood and it certainly fits the setting you’re playing in. The tune you’ll hear when you finish a level will be mostly the same and this might get a bit dull at times, although you’ll be happy to hear that you’ve succeeded your mission.

The sound effects are superb as you will hear loads of your traps fire, burn or break your preys. For example, you will hear the swinging axe swoosh by or a pumpkin pop on someone’s head. Even more, the voice-overs are amazing as well. Every character has its own particular voice and they fit perfectly. The people you’re haunting got their own speech as well, although you’ll hear them scream more than something else.

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Gameplay

Deception IV: The Nightmare Princess is a strategy RPG where you’ll have to lay out traps for your victims. This game is the “remastered” version of Deception IV: Blood Ties and gives you the stories of Laegrinna and a new one as Velguirie. This narrative has some new goodies to explore, which will be explained in the next paragraphs.

As you have already read, you will need to get souls and this isn’t done in the most conventional way. Velguirie needs to solve several quests, that are linked with each other. This means that, before you can do a certain event, you will need to have done some necessities. During a mission, you need to place traps in the area and trick your prey into stepping on one, so you can inflict damage. If you positioned them in a correct way, it is possible to get a combo which give you more points or ‘ark’. This is sometimes necessary to complete your quests or just to get a nice highscore.

There are three kind of traps namely ‘Elaborate’, ‘Sadistic’ and ‘Humiliating’. You can tell the difference by the colour frame each trap has. Elaborate has a blue colour, while Sadistic is red and the last one is yellow. This is quite important as some of the quests require you to have a certain ‘Sadistic score’. You will need to use as much red traps in a combo to get a big score. Even more, you can use stage traps to increase this number as well. These stage traps are stationary but do loads of damage and since you cannot move these, you need to place your own traps in such a way, that you lead your prey to their demise.

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Talking about stage traps has led us to the different stages available. Next to the cathedral-lookalike place, you will also venture a school gym and the hospital. Every area has their own stage traps, making it a good idea to check the options before placing your snares. Some of the stages have a teleportation circle as well as a healing spot. These two aspects are also available on the stage information.

Some of the traps fall from the ceiling, while others pop out of the floor. There are humans that can dodge certain snares so it is a good idea to check the ‘Devil’s Eye’ before jumping recklessly into battle. You can alter your strategy to the specifications a certain prey has. Even more, there are humans that have an armour on and it is important to try and break their shell. This can be done by combining several traps that have a lot of power (like boulders), stressing the armour to its limits. In this specific story, you will be able to unlock new traps by completing the three sub-quests each mission has.

Seeing Velguirie is a so-called master of ‘kicks’, she will be able to kick her enemies into traps. That being said, it’s often easier said than done, as it is actually quite hards to position yourself properly to get the job done.

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If you had enough of Velguiries story, you can always make your own missions and publish them or you can also dress your enemies however you like. This means you have a lot of extra content to explore as you can download levels from other players as well. Every quest will have a certain difficulty, so you will have an idea what you’re about to get yourself in to.

You have another possibility to exploit, as you can play the story of Laegrinna. This is the predecessor of Velguirie and she works a tad different. You will have the help of the three daemons Caelea, Veruza and Lilia. Each of these servants stands for a type of trap, namely the ones we mentioned beforehand. During missions, these daemons will give you tasks and it is your own decision if you will accept these or not. By completing these chores you will gain experience and money, which are both necessary to buy traps. (Only in this storyline.)

If you want to do some battles but don’t want to follow a certain storyline, you can also start a free battle. Here you can select your enemies, the player and several stage settings. This means that you can make it as hard as possible or you can try lots of options.

Both storylines have a tutorial part, but it seems that the narrative of Laegrinna is more explanatory than the newer one so if you’re new to the game, it might be a better idea to start with the story of Deception IV: Blood Ties rather than with the Nightmare Princess. You can always go to the tutorial section in the main menu when you forget how certain mechanics work. This also makes it a tad easier for those who are new to the series.

Overall, it is quite fun and refreshing to play the game. The gameplay is something unusual and although it might seem easy, you will need to access your inner strategic commander to place the perfect combo. Placing traps is the only thing you’ll be doing and it might get a bit repetitive if you play it a lot.

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Conclusion

Deception IV: The Nightmare Princess might seem a bit strange but it is worth your while when you like strategic RPG’s. Next to the rather unusual storyline, you will be treated with great graphics, amazing music and voice-overs. If this isn’t enough, you get a rather unique way of playing a game and even more, you can be a bad guy (or woman in this case) for once! If you want to experience something new, thrilling and challenging, it is a great idea to check out this game.

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Deception IV: The Nightmare Princess - Review, 8.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating
AnneMieke


Faster than lightning

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