Kira Kira Pop Princess (Nintendo DS) Review

By Mike Mason 19.04.2008 9

If there's anything we need more of, it's music games. While they can be notoriously difficult to master, it's a genre that's close to our hearts and has provided us with many a good time. Therefore, we're not actually screaming with horror at reviewing such a sugar-coated pink and fluffy game about anime girls for once, because there is the promise of dancing, music and rhythm-based fun. Were we screaming by the end? Find out...

Based on the Pinky Street figures that are so popular in Japan, Kira Kira Pop Princess, as the name might suggest, is a game aimed solidly at the pre-teen girl market. As Gaby, a blonde moppet with no talent for dancing whatsoever, your aim is to set the streets ablaze with your performance prowess - not an easy task given that you have no talent. Luckily for you, one of the best dancers in town is about to set off to spread their musical magic around the globe and leaves you in charge of her dance studio for reasons that aren't quite fathomable; she sees potential, but decides to just leave you on your own running the place. We hope she had the place insured...

Being a game for girls, excuse us for being cynical while we tick off the list of the criterion included that make sure it appeals to the fairer side of the market. Lots of pink? Check. Shopping? Check. Clothes? Check. Big eyed cute characters? Check, check, check. It's almost like the developers got a grab bag filled with stereotypical things that girls like, swiped out a few fistfuls and smushed it altogether before adding a musical side to things. Luckily for them, the whole things hangs quite well together.

In your quest to be the best, you take Gaby around a number of districts in the girl-dominated area to learn their dancing styles. - i.e, beat them in dance-offs. Enter these matches and you will be asked to turn your DS onto its side, book-style. The top screen displays the girls doing their moves in time to the music as well as a metre which shows who the audience is preferring in the dance-off, but you're not really going to be looking at this too much. The musical action we're interested in is all set on the touch screen. Three horizontal bars fill the screen and light up in numerous ways to tell you to tap them (simply light up their colour), drag across them left or right (left or right arrows in the bar's colour go across it) or vertically strum over all three of them (a big arrow - surprisingly - goes vertically over the bars).

Screenshot for Kira Kira Pop Princess on Nintendo DS

That's about the complexity of the system, but while other music games have a simplistic system but excruciatingly difficult patterns as you go further into them Kira Kira Pop Princess has had the traditional music game extreme difficulty nixed in favour of a child-friendly game. While it's a fair amount of fun, we wish there was a bit more depth and challenge to it, as the potential is there. It isn't really going to hold the attention of anybody older than the age of ten, sadly. The music isn't particularly memorable either; good enough to get into while you're playing them and let you tap your finger a little bit, but other than that, nada. The whole thing could have turned out much better if the tunes you danced to were more interesting.

Other than the dancing sections, you can spend your well-earned coins in shops to buy new clothes and items, or spend it on capsule machines. That's really about as far as the game goes, as well as a quirky little extra where you can take photos of your character and the opportunity to have dance-offs with other players over DS wireless link, but to be totally fair to it it's probably enough to entertain the audience at which it's aimed. The visuals are surprisingly decent, particularly in the dance-off sections (though you don't really get a chance to get a decent look at them unless you want to fail - and that'd just be embarrassing given the difficulty level), with a clean chunky chibi-anime style. Some of the dialogue is even rather funny in a bizarre Saturday morning cartoon kind of way, though the slapstick jokes fall flat on their faces.

Overall, Kira Kira Pop Princess is an alright little game for youngsters, but anybody expecting any more depth than a cycle of 'play simple rhythm game, buy some clothes, repeat' is kidding themselves. It's not bad, what's there is done quite well, but there just isn't enough to it.

Screenshot for Kira Kira Pop Princess on Nintendo DS

Cubed3 Rating

5/10
Rated 5 out of 10

Average

Good visuals, quite funny and lashings of stereotypical things that girls like mean that this will likely appeal to the audience at which it is aimed, but overly simplistic gameplay lets it down. Only really worth a look if you're a ten year old girl or are massively obsessed with music games - which we suppose fits in quite well with what they were aiming for, so it's a success on that level.

Developer

Dimple

Publisher

505

Genre

Party

Players

2

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  5/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

Comments

I'm amazed this came over from Japan...looks like it should have stayed there, to be honest!

Adam Riley [ Operations Director :: Senior Editor :: Cubed3 Limited ]
Word of Adam | Voice123 Profile | AdamC3 on Twitter

Well even if the game is not so great, they should know that there is a niche audience over here too! There are far too many great games that never leave Japan.

Twitter | C3 Writer/Moderator | Backloggery

...and far too many crap ones that DO make it over Smilie

Adam Riley [ Operations Director :: Senior Editor :: Cubed3 Limited ]
Word of Adam | Voice123 Profile | AdamC3 on Twitter

Yeah, that's just really unfortunate. Smilie

No Giftpia, but instead this. Smilie

Isn't it a good thing that Cooking Navi is coming to the west though?

Twitter | C3 Writer/Moderator | Backloggery

Definitely! Considering that's a 2006 game it means there's still slim hope for Project Hacker, that Nintendo mecha game and Mistwalker's ASH! Smilie

Anyway, I hope Nintendo brings over the forthcoming Band Brothers DX to show how rhythm/music games should be done on DS.

Adam Riley [ Operations Director :: Senior Editor :: Cubed3 Limited ]
Word of Adam | Voice123 Profile | AdamC3 on Twitter

Yeah, I always wanted to check out those Band Brothers games. And if ASH doesn't come out here I will be pretty upset, because it looked really good. Smilie

Twitter | C3 Writer/Moderator | Backloggery

I like pink but that doesn't mean I want this... although I'm not 10 Smilie

I can see it doing quite alright seeing as a lot of younger girls seem to have a DS (or at least access to one).

Co-founder of the PDSLB - Pink DS Lite Buddies Fraz: Cheerios are made from fairy orgasms.

Ouendan ftw!

Doesn't Kira mean killer in Japanese?

Comment on this article

You can comment as a guest or join the Cubed3 community below: Sign Up for Free Account Login

Preview PostPreview Post Your Name:
Validate your comment
  Enter the letters in the image to validate your comment.
Submit Post

Subscribe to this topic Subscribe to this topic

If you are a registered member and logged in, you can also subscribe to topics by email.
K-Pop Korner - The Best of Korean Music
Sign up today for blogs, games collections, reader reviews and much more
Site Feed
Who's Online?
Gabriel PVJ Jones, Red

There are 2 members online at the moment.