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Princess Natasha: Student, Secret Agent, Princess Package Art
GENRE
Action
DEVELOPER
Frame Studios Interactive
PUBLISHER
DSI Games
LOCAL WIRELESS
MULTI-PLAY
No
Wi-Fi/GLOBAL ONLINE
MULTI-PLAY
No
MICROPHONE
No
BUY NOW AT

Princess Natasha: Student, Secret Agent, Princess

With a little research, I found Princess Natasha, an AOL for Kids flash animation series about a teenage girl who protects her country from her evil uncle by posing as an exchange student then transforming into a secret agent. Enter Princess Natasha for DS, an action gaming adaptation of the Web series.

visuals

DS recreates without a hitch the animation and style of the flash series. The characters are honest recreations, and the backgrounds are varied and interesting. The weapons are less exciting, as most are small balls that have little or no pizzazz. The bottom screen shows a few different images when items are collected and again show a consistent style to match the source. Natasha is a little on the small side, as are most of the enemies in the game. A lot of the empty space onscreen could have been filled with more or larger characters. Size issues aside, it stays true to the AOL for Kids creation.

audio

Natasha lets out a woo every time she finishes a level, but otherwise the comics mostly clever and entertaining voice work is missing from the game, and it's a shame. The flash comic is certainly entertaining for kids, but still tolerable for adults, thanks mostly to a dialogue that makes good fun of itself. It really would have given this game some much needed personality.

gameplay

Where to start. Princess Natasha has almost no gameplay elements. She jumps and kicks and can fire a weapon, and thatís all she does. The jumping controls are tight, but there is little strategic platforming involved to take advantage of that quality -- the only quality of Princess Natasha. Each level is a nearly static screen filled with enemy robots that Natasha fights, and fights, and fights.

And fights.

If you are going to make an action brawler, make one that is entertaining. Her punches and kicks suffer from awful hit detection and are just as much a threat to hurt the player as the enemy. Most of Natasha's weapons are little more than BB guns. They improve over time, and players can select two to take into each level, but there is no strategy to the choices. Simply choose the new ones as they arrive. Aside from these slightly changing weapons Natasha can use as the game progresses, her capabilities never expand from their uninspired beginnings.

And neither do the levels -- all she does is fight bubbles. Yes, an occasional new robotic enemy may pop up, but almost every stage is overrun with bubbles. Every level, minus a new background, is the same. It is one of the most boring experiences available on any gaming system. It has no twist, no variety, no creativity. It is a constant barrage of bubbles.

It seems as though so little effort was put into this title. Even compared to the standard underwhelming licensed fodder, Princess Natasha has no redeeming qualities. Kids will be just as disgusted by the boring repetitiveness as adults. The free flash games on the Princess Natasha Web site are better than this -- it's not even close.

multiplayer

N/A

overall

We never expect much from licensed video games. They serve a purpose -- generally to reap the financial benefits of an eager-to-buy fan base -- and that's okay. But somewhere in these games there needs to be an actual video game. In Princess Natasha, there isn't one.

final score 2.0/10





WRITER INFORMATION
Staff Avatar Dave Magliano
Staff Profile | Email
"Tiger uppercut!!"


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