Also On: PS4
Publisher: Tecmo Koei
Developer: Tecmo Koei
Seeing as I thoroughly enjoyed Deception IV: Blood Ties, it should come as little surprise that I feel equally positive towards Deception IV: The Nightmare Princess. After all, The Nightmare Princess includes all of Blood Ties' content, which means that everything I liked the first time around is still present. Not only that, The Nightmare Princess adds on some new content on top of that older game, so really, this expanded version of Deception IV is…well, just that: an expanded version of a game I really liked. I'm certainly not going to complain about getting more of something I liked.
However, while The Nightmare Princess is essentially a bigger version of Blood Ties, it's not wholly identical. The Nightmare Princess adds an important wrinkle to the Deception IV formula that significantly changes how you play the game. Whereas Blood Ties basically gave you free reign to kill off your enemies however you wanted, The Nightmare Princess is a much more specific in its requirements, and you only pass a quest once you've achieved certain requirements.
How does this difference play out? Pretty simply, actually. In Blood Ties you were given an environment and a set of murderous traps and abilities, and you could use those to set up whatever lethal Rube Goldberg machines you could dream up, with no limitations beyond your imagination. In Nightmare Princess, by contrast, you only pass levels and gain new traps and abilities if your sequence ticks off certain boxes — for example, one level requires that you include a kick as part of your combination, while another demands that you have an aerial hit or two.
I'll admit, initially I wasn't a big fan of the change. I loved the original game simply because it let me go on a crazy killing and maiming spree, and it put little to no limits on how I could go about doing that. Suddenly having requirements seemed like it would take away some of the fun. However, after playing the add-on for awhile, I went back to the original game and was reminded of more one and only problem with Blood Ties: it got a little repetitive after awhile. As fun as it could be to use a giant hammer to launch your opponent into a giant, cow-shaped furnace, there was a limit to how often you could do that before it got stale. By imposing mandatory components, the game adds a new level of complexity that wasn't there originally.
Is it a big enough difference to make The Nightmare Princess worth picking up if you've already played Blood Ties? Probably not, unless you finished everything there was to do on the original game and you're desperate to play even more (and I'll be honest here — as much as I loved Blood Ties, I wasn't exactly clamouring for more content). Those people who missed out on it first time around, however, are in for a treat — a bloody, murderous, thoroughly enjoyable treat.