Class is in session at this fantasy school of hard knocks, but unfortunately, this is one class that, much like your four royal pupils, struggles to make the grade. On the surface, The Princess Guide has the makings of something different and fun. The art style, though a bit cheesy at times, has a cute and colorful anime-meets-retro vibe. It's quirky enough to stand out from the usual fantasy fair, with a decent amount of silly humor to get the occasional chuckle. But once you try to look beyond the surface, it's hard not to see a game that seems to be more focused on style than substance.
It's once you get into the gameplay that The Princess Guide's GPA (that's "game" point average) takes a major hit. For starters, the combat system seems like it should be fairly simple, especially since most of your party acts of its own accord. But it's such a convoluted system of issuing commands, activating your princess's abilities, and making strategic use of the scold/praise system, that it's hard to sort out what's actually going on. Making matters worse, the in-game tutorials are all but useless, which is ironic for a game whose main plot point involves teaching. Once you get the hang of things, though, the fighting eventually just devolves into an almost rhythm game style, where you're just going through the motions of pushing the same buttons with the same timing over and over again. Thankfully, most battles are over quickly, but there's always another just around the bend. It's a repetitive mess with a bright and shiny coat of paint, making it less of a master class in adventuring and more like the class clown.