Deception IV: The Nightmare Princess (PlayStation 4) Review

By Albert Lichi 26.07.2015

Review for Deception IV: The Nightmare Princess on PlayStation 4

In 2014, Deception IV: Blood Ties released on the PS3 and PS Vita, and gamers were re-introduced to the Deception franchise that has endured since the days of the original PlayStation. Koei Tecmo has enhanced it into Deception IV: The Nightmare Princess, which improves on some features and also adds completely new ones, including a new campaign. Koei Tecmo believes this is the version people should play over the first release, but is this double-dip worth it, or is it a deceptive ploy? Cubed3 steps forward into the nightmare of Deception IV: The Nightmare Princess.

At its core, this is a strategy game with an emphasis on unit placement. Players control Laegrinna (or any of the four new playable leads) through two phases of gameplay: real-time third-person movement, where they must avoid or bait enemies, and placing traps in the most efficient set-up possible to defeat (downright murder) and/or humiliate them. This core concept has been pretty much the same across the series, but it can still be quite satisfying when an elaborate trap goes off and sets an absurd chain-reaction. Some of the additions to this enhanced version include new traps to humiliate, like some sexual torture devices and even toilets that can launch unsuspecting sentries.

All the original content is accounted for (which was already a fair amount of sadistic toys to play with), but the headliner is by far all the new content and classic Deception heroines from past entries, like fan-favorite Millenia. The new campaign gets weird and experimental if the role of Velgyrie is assumed, with about 100 missions featuring many new abilities and stages that can be messed with over the course of this bizarre journey. Playing as Velgyrie is very distinct from Laegrinna in that Velgyrie can actually directly punt enemies, and while it never does enter beat 'em up territory, this distinct quality about this character adds a new layer of depth to an already deep game. Controlling these ladies is pretty basic, and they animate beautifully thanks to Koei Tecmo's masterful team of 3D modelers and animators, who really gave these characters a graceful and dark elegance to their supple frames.

Screenshot for Deception IV: The Nightmare Princess on PlayStation 4

The true challenge of Deception IV is being creative with the strategy and tools available. Often planning and baiting can even be overwhelming, and it's easy to get lost in the possibilities when setting up a sequence of traps. There are a lot of abilities to learn and micro manage, and most RPG fans will be pleased. Visually, it's obvious this was built to run on PS Vita specs, and the sparse environment and low-detail generic units will always be a dead giveaway that this is not a ground-up PS4 title, but in spite of that it never looks ugly, only simple. By far the most disappointing quality is the lazy attempt at cut-scenes, which are static character portraits and a Japanese-only language track. Considering the beautiful character models (which are only mediocre at their worst), it comes off as cheap that they don't get a moment to perform any sequences in the story's surprisingly quality script.

For the price there is quite a bit of content here that makes the double-dip worth it: an all new campaign spices up the original gameplay, and a highly amusing story features classic Deception girls making their triumphant return. This is a Deception for people who might not have played one before, with the new campaign being looser than the one found in Blood Ties. Both campaigns together can end up taking about 60 hours, and even more should anyone dare to see all the game has to offer. There's even a mission editor mode where custom bad guys can be deployed. This is the definitive Deception experience by far, and is easily the best installment in the franchise.

Screenshot for Deception IV: The Nightmare Princess on PlayStation 4

Cubed3 Rating

7/10
Rated 7 out of 10

Very Good - Bronze Award

Rated 7 out of 10

Of all the Deception series, Deception IV: The Nightmare Princess is the complete package that has it all. It's great for neophytes since it has an adequate tutorial and offers an unbelievably wide breadth of what the series is all about, and long-time fans will be satisfied by the new twists on the old formula. While the presentation lacks focus and the narrative was lazily implemented and relegated to cutouts and text (which is inexcusable in a near full-price package from a major publisher like Koei Tecmo), the core game is very strong. It can be bewildering how many possibilities are available for laying down traps, and there is something for almost everyone here.

Developer

Koei Tecmo

Publisher

Koei Tecmo

Genre

Strategy

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  7/10

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   

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