Amazing Princess Sarah (PS4) Review

A simple and straightforward action platformer, Amazing Princess Sarah isn’t anything you have not played before, suffers from repeating enemies and environments, but is still casually enjoyable thanks to a goofy gimmick – you can use the corpses of your murdered enemies as weapons to kill more enemies. A vicious cycle for sure, but starts to wear a little thin after you killed a few hundred enemies this way.

At times, the background set pieces look like they were pulled from early Castlevania titles. For the most part, the 2D sprite art carries a strong retro vibe but there are moments of awkwardness, like Sarah’s hulking running animation. It might be a little distracting but thankfully doesn’t impede gameplay.

(Unfortunately, I could not embed my stream of Amazing Princess Sarah in this article as it got hit with copyright strike from the soundtrack of the game. However, the official trailer of the game is embedded below.)

Stages are rather lengthy too, each taking twenty minutes to complete with a casual attempt. Although the campaign is never too difficult, I did die a few times but was my fault for being impatient, mostly due to the long, repeating nature of the gameplay. A restarting checkpoint is usually never too far behind so death is a minor set-back at worst. Bosses can be tough but the restarting checkpoint is always just a couple seconds away.

Unfortunately, like killing the same few enemies literally hundreds of times in each stage, the overall level design repeats throughout, built with stereotypical themes such as the ice, spikes, and fire.  It is a linear experience, only with some very minor backtracking when an occasional switch is used to open a new path. Each stage is built using basic 90 degree bends, occasional platforms that fall beneath your feet, and plenty of vertical platforms to cross. Bosses are the biggest spice of gameplay, like the spider that climbs after you at the end of Stage 2, but was unclear how to defeat this monster until it was too late; I thought you need to just escape the spider’s climb but actually need to toss dead carcasses at him.

Speaking of throwing dead bodies, this gimmick is really the saving grace of gameplay. Sure, you have your standard sword attack to kill demons and monsters but chucking a bloodied carcass at another baddie is where the fun is.  Also, throwing enemies at other enemies results in more damage and more experience points. There is a level-up system but this doesn’t seem to make Sarah any stronger. There is a level-up system but this doesn’t seem to make Sarah any stronger as enemies seem to grow in tandem.

Amazing Princess Sarah is a plain experience but is still playable and recommend. While I would have liked a double jump or wall dashing feature, or even a ranged or magic attack system, there is something charming about the straightforwardness here. Jump to that platform, kill that enemy with a few sword swipes, throw that carcass at the next enemy, repeat. Best played in short bursts (one stage at a time), it isn’t that next indie Castlevania or Ghosts’n Goblins clone you wanted but still a budget friendly game that offers some casual and simple entertainment value.

SCORE: 6/10

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By: Zachary Gasiorowski, Editor in Chief

Twitter: @ZackGaz

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