Princess Maker 2 Refine
Gameplay 9
Graphics 7
Sound 8

It has been quite a long wait, but Princess Maker 2 Refine is finally available to western audiences. There is no denying that it is a very niche title and still has a couple of rough edges to smooth out, but it is still a very addictive title with plenty of replay value. Prepare to lose at least a couple of hours when you get hooked on this game.

Gameplay: Very stat heavy, but once you get the hang of how things work it becomes extremely addictive.

Graphics: The visuals have been spruced up, but still look a little dated compared to more modern titles.

Sound: Nice tunes and full Japanese voice overs

Summary 8.0 Great
Gameplay 0
Graphics 0
Sound 0
Summary rating from user's marks. You can set own marks for this article - just click on stars above and press "Accept".
Accept
Summary 0.0 Terrible

Princess Maker 2 Refine

Developer: CFK Co., Ltd. | Publisher: CFK Co., Ltd. | Release Date: 2016 | Genre: Simulation | Website: Official Website | Purchase: Steam

Heroic deeds are usually rewarded with gold and glory, but in addition to these, your character in Princess Maker 2 also finds himself thrust into unexpected fatherhood after saving a city from a devil’s army. The girl is bestowed into your care by a celestial god who gives you the daunting task of raising her into adulthood. Thankfully the girl is already ten years old when she is left in your care, so you are at least spared the sleepless nights and diaper changing dramas that is part of parenting. However, you only have eight years to raise your new daughter and all the choices you make will impact what type of person she will become after her eighteenth birthday.

If all of this sounds familiar it might be due to the fact that Princess Maker 2 Refine is not a new game. In fact, Princess Maker 2 was originally released way back in 1994, but due to a series of unfortunate setbacks never received the official English release that it deserved. Now, more than 20 years later, western audiences can finally enjoy the game legally. It’s been quite a long wait, so the question of course is whether it was worth it or not.

Starting with the visuals, Princess Maker 2 Refine looks a lot better than it did back in the early nineties, but compared to modern titles it is still pretty basic. The new full colored visuals definitely increases the charm of the game and the short animations for all the actions in the game are nice, but it is still very much a game of menus and statistics. The game can be played in windowed or full screen mode, but the maximum resolution appears to be 800×600, which is quite low by today’s standards. It would also have been nice to have the option to play with the original artwork, if only for nostalgia’s sake. Princess Maker 2 Refine is a game that can keep you busy for hours at a time, so thankfully the music is decent, but unobtrusive. New to this version is full Japanese voice overs for all the characters, but these can be disabled if you wish. Handling the voice duties for your daughter in the game is Chinami Nishimura, while the butler, Cube, is played by Tomo Saeki.

While the visuals and audio give away the games age, even with the updates, the gameplay still shines. PM2 is a life simulation game where you have full control over every aspect of your daughter’s life. This is done through a series of menus where you decide everything from her diet to where she studies, what work she does and who she interacts with. All of these influences her stats, which in turn determine which one of the more than 70 different endings you get.

Initially your daughter only has access to six available jobs, but more opens up as she grows older. Depending on the type of job, which range from babysitting and farm work to tutoring and hunting. There are also some unsavory jobs that open up eventually, but these can take their toll on her morality. The jobs all raise certain stats while lowering others, but your daughter only receives payment if she actually performs well. Forcing your daughter to work all the time isn’t good for her health though as she’ll become stressed, sick and might even run away from home. To combat this you can give her breaks, with or without pocket money, to lower her stress or go on vacation.

Life isn’t just about work either, so you can also send your daughter off to study subjects ranging from poetry and fencing to painting and manners. Doing so can provide her with significant stat boosts, but doesn’t come cheap. Once every October there is also a harvest festival with four different competitions where your daughter can put her skills in cooking, fighting, dancing or art to the test in return for prestige and prizes. You can even send her off to the castle in order to chat with the people who hang out there if you want to improve her influence. Then there is the town where you can buy gifts, food, clothes, armor, and weapons or visit the church and hospital, all via menus of course.

If your daughter is the adventurous type you can even send her off into the wilderness to explore and fight monsters. Unlike the stat heavy, menu based gameplay of the rest of the game, these segments play out in typical RPG style with you given direct control over your daughter as she walks around an overhead map. Random enemies will also crop up in this mode and can be dispatched of in turn based fashion. There are only four areas to explore, but each is packed with plenty of secrets and definitely make for a nice diversion from all the stat grinding.

Princess Maker 2 Refine involves a lot of repetition, but thanks to all the variables and numerous endings it makes for quite an addictive experience. Unfortunately, despite the long wait for an official release, the game isn’t quite perfect. Apart from the rather dated visuals and audio it also suffers from some other issues. The most grievous, a stat resetting bug, was thankfully squashed soon after release, but other problems remain. These range from Steam achievements that doesn’t appear to work as intended, confusing translation issues in places and ending sequences with Japanese text, but no accompanying English subtitles. While none of these ruins the experience they are issues that will hopefully be addressed in upcoming patches.

There can be no doubt that Princess Maker 2 Refine is a very niche title and one that can look a little inaccessible at first. However, spend some time with it and you’ll find a charming, addictive and very entertaining game that can keep you busy for days, if not weeks. This is probably not a game for players who detest pouring over pages of statistics, but anyone looking for a unique life simulation game shouldn’t miss out on this one.

System Requirements

  • OS: Windows® XP or higher
  • Processor: Intel Pentium 3 or higher
  • Memory: 256 MB RAM
  • Graphics: 32MB or greater graphics card
  • Storage: 2 GB available space
  • Sound Card: Direct Sound
  • OS: Windows® XP or higher
  • Processor: Intel Core2 Duo or higher
  • Memory: 512 MB RAM
  • Graphics: NVidia GeForce GTX 280 or ATI Radeon HD 6630 or higher
  • Storage: 2 GB available space
  • Sound Card: Direct Sound

Related posts

Ellipsis

Ellipsis

Don’t be fooled by the beautiful minimalist visuals that Ellipses sports. It isn’t just another Geometry Wars clone, but a polished and very addictive title where your avoidance skills and puzzle solving abilities are needed instead of an itchy trigger finger. Ellipses features tons of great levels, spread across eight worlds and in addition to plenty of replay value it also ships with a level editor and Steam Workshop support. If you are looking for something fresh and unique this is definitely not a title you want to miss. Gameplay: Simple, but very polished and highly addictive. Graphics: Makes great use of minimalist, but striking visuals. Sound: Complements the on-screen action perfectly.

The Reject Demon: Toko Chapter 0 — Prelude

The Reject Demon: Toko Chapter 0 — Prelude

The Reject Demon features an interesting cast of characters, twisting storyline and a great setting, which is all backed up by some very nice artwork. The soundtrack is also very good and, while short, it is definitely an enjoyable experience. It ends a little abruptly, but we are definitely looking forward to the future chapters. Gameplay: The story is enjoyable and the characters all very memorable. Graphics: The unique art style definitely sets the game apart. Sound: Features a variety of very nice tracks.

Concrete Jungle

Concrete Jungle

Concrete Jungle offers an interesting mix of genres that all combine to offer a compelling gameplay experience that is also much more challenging than you would think. In the versus modes, city planning turns into a vicious game of sabotage and dirty tricks, while the solo mode requires players to think ahead in order to survive. Multi-player is unfortunately local only, but even so this game will keep players busy for ages. Gameplay: The game is very addictive and truly a joy to play despite sometimes being as hard as nails. Graphics: When zoomed in the visuals look a bit fuzzy, but overall the amount of detail and variety is top notch. Sound: Great tunes and some surprisingly good voice acting.

Starship Traveller

Starship Traveller

Starship Traveller offers a nice departure from the usual swords and sorcery settings that the gamebooks are known for. It is a science fiction tale that borrows heavily from Star Trek, but packs a lot of humor as well. Completing the story requires a lot of luck or trial and error, which might annoy some players. However, it remains entertaining and engaging throughout, even if the replay value is not as great as we would have liked. Still, you can’t really go wrong with its low asking price and it is worth it for the nostalgia factor alone. Gameplay: Lots of reading along with the occasional choices and dice rolls. Graphics: A couple of nice full color drawings add some flavor to the text. Sound: Not many sound effects, but the music capture the mood nicely.

Appointment With F.E.A.R

Appointment With F.E.A.R

If you are a fan of the original role playing gamebook you will love the way that Tin Man Games brought it to life. You'll still spend most of your time reading, but the great illustrations and comic book style presentation along with the soundtrack brings everything to life. The storyline is pretty straightforward, but infused with plenty of humor and parodies which makes it more entertaining. The different powers and story branches also give the game a lot of replay value. Gameplay: Like reading a visual novel and making the key choices yourself. Graphics: No animations, but some nice comic book style art and bold colors. Sound: The music and sound effects make the game feel more dynamic.

Epistory – Typing Chronicles

Epistory - Typing Chronicles

Basing an entire game around typing is not a new idea, but Epistory does it extremely well and never feels like it is an “edutainment” title. It has a vibrant game world to explore along with plenty of enemies to kill and puzzles to solve. Seeing as the entire game is keyboard driven and requires lots of typing it is a bit of a niche title, but definitely worth the effort. Unless you absolutely hate typing or still get by using only one finger Epistory should not be missed. Gameplay: Expect plenty of typing as you explore, fight enemies and solve puzzles. Graphics: The origami style visuals look great. Sound: Great soundtrack and the narrator does a stellar job as well.

Leave a comment

15 − fourteen =