Got a thousand prinnies to spare? Terrific! NIS brings back its favorite penguin punching bag for a second PSP go-round.

Explaining the logic behind portable ‘Disgaea’ titles is an endeavor not for the feint of heart. I’ve learned my lesson the hard way, via a recent review of ‘Z.H.P. Unlosing Ranger vs. Darkdeath Evilman.'

A fond welcome to Nippon Ichi Software (NIS)’s latest attempt to once again confuse and entertain, their PSP sequel to cult hit, 2-D platformer ‘Prinny: Can I Really Be the Hero?’ A ‘Prinny’ – for those new to NIS madness – is the self-proclaimed, lowest of all life forms, a bunch of downtrodden penguin-like creatures forced to endure endless servitude under the watch of bratty Netherworld demon Etna.

Legend has it that a Prinny bears the soul of a human who had been very naughty (thieves, criminals, liars, etc.)…hence the ill fate cast upon them. Still, the Prinny is a fairly positive creature nonetheless, and accepts its fate with surprising quick wit plus steadfast commitment to complete assigned tasks. You go on with your bad selves, guys.

As the title alludes to, ‘Prinny 2’ finds our friends in search of Etna’s stolen panties…complete with uncomfortable sexual innuendos and double entendre attached. Etna assigns 1000 prinnies…in a 10-hour timeframe…to both acquire ‘rare’ orbs (via defeating level bosses) and ultimately the missing panties.

If 10 hours and 1000 lives sounds reasonable…think again. The ‘cult’ nature of its PSP predecessor centered on an impossible difficulty level, one that could easily conjure memories of ‘Battletoads.’ Prinny 2 is simply Round Two.


NIS put some new twists into Prinny 2, however, notably a combo-charge meter capable of producing powered up attacks. Moreover, a new ‘Baby’ mode – complete with diaper icon hit gauges – aims to ameliorate frustration level a bit.

Problem is, the same foibles of its predecessor re-emerge in Prinny 2. The jumping dynamic – essential to success – is confounding to the nth degree. With every essential completion point contingent on precise double jumping + attack dynamics, the inability to perform moves as desired is inexcusable. Similar complaints lie in the game’s not-so-perfect collision detection system, where enemy projectiles appear hell-bent on finding you even several (off) screens away.

Finally, the upgraded attack system tends to hurt more than it helps. A charged (via sequenced combo attacks) air-to-ground, sliding strike almost always ends in a randomly abrupt cheap hit. Meaning, the move has an uncanny knack for ending at the most inopportune times. Ditto for the power jump where – combined with the aforementioned jump control issue – Prinny finds anywhere but an opponent’s head to land on.


What results is a necessity to memorize every single nuance of Prinny 2, down to the most miniscule environmental component and/or enemy encounter. This ‘memorization,’ in actuality, equates to dying dozens of times over, hoping and praying that the cheap hit foible from the previous 12 doesn’t re-emerge. In turn, the game quickly devolves into a desperate struggle to reach progress save points. And lots of profanity.

To provide some perspective: Five hours into Prinny 2, I completed a mere 3 levels and died over 250 times. A switch to Baby mode lessened the pain a bit, reducing enemies – and corresponding cheap hits – also the amount of deaths endured (due to one extra hit per life). My hands and fingers likewise ached considerably, stemming from hacking feverishly away at the game’s lone attack button in hopes of survival…also gripping the PSP too tight following a frustrating multiplicity of deaths. Blood pressure? No doubt at unhealthy levels.

Some may find this difficulty level addictive (‘Demon’s Souls’ fans, for example), but I’m unfortunately not one of those people. While many a favorite console-based title sports a difficulty flawed level portion or two, almost none declares it modus operandi throughout. And proudly. Prinny 2 is an ‘I beat [it] out of spite’ title if there ever was one.

I express the above criticisms with considerable sadness; Prinny 2 is a wonderfully clever game with a whole lot of T.L.C. behind it. Moreover, the level of detail NIS puts into its PSP titles increasingly impresses me, and Prinny 2 is no exception. Hysterical dialog, cheesy voice-overs, cute Anime artwork, personable baddies, and original level design combine as testament to yet another Disgaea offering of highest production value.

Unfortunately, however, for every laugh Prinny 2 produces, it is accompanied by an hour plus of frustrating jumps to nowhere, endless deaths, and simply stupid amounts of unnecessary repetition. The fun: frustration divide eventually and strongly favored the latter.

‘Prinny 2: Dawn of Operation Panties, Dood!’ may be the most frustrating PSP game you’ve ever played…but also one beautifully produced. The game’s broken jump and collision dynamics combine to create far too many ‘cheap’ moments, likewise an irritating need to replay level portions literally hundreds of times. For Disgaea fans and/or those inspired by seemingly unconquerable difficulty, Prinny 2 still might be your cup of tea, dood.

  • Disgaea fans, unite!
  • Clever throughout
  • High attention to detail
  • Flawed jumping, collision dynamics
  • Unrealistic difficulty levels
  • Frustrating, frustrating, frustrating
Quote: "Prinny 2: Dawn of Operation Panties, Dood! may be the most frustrating PSP game you’ve ever played…but also one beautifully produced."
Reviewed by Paul Stuart | 01.12.11

Similar Games: Prinny: Can I Really Be the Hero? (6.5)

Prinny 2
Dawn of Operation Panties, Dood!

NIS America
Nippion Ichi


US Released
January 2011



Players 1