Tecmo Koei has improved Deception IV: Blood Ties for all those of you who missed it the first time. I reviewed the original Deception IV back in April of last year and I enjoyed it. It wasn't the best game - the level design was drab, the main character was boring, and the graphics were nothing to write home about - but it was pure Deception, so I still loved it. The series is so unique that I continue to play it despite the shortcomings of any particular title. I wish Tecmo Koei would bring their A game to the series, but their B game is still quite fun.
Let's recap the original title for those who don't want to take the time to read my original review. You play Laegrinna, the daughter of the Devil, who's attempting to bring her father to life with the help of her three Daemons: Caelea of Elaborate Death, Veruza of Sadistic Torture, and Lilia of Humiliating Demise. People want Laegrinna dead and they'll mindlessly march into her home - these people learned nothing from Sun Tzu - to kill her.
That means they're fair game, so Laegrinna can lay traps to humiliate and kill every intruder. You have a maximum number of traps you can place in each room, from bear traps, to exploding toilets, or the almighty delta horse. Some intruders are hardier than others requiring specific traps or combinations to dispatch, but that's the whole game from beginning to end: people walk forward, you activate your traps, and hope they die. Using different traps gives you points with one of the three Daemons, which you can then use to unlock more traps.
The recap is important because The Nightmare Princess is largely the same game. This isn't really a remastered title, like we've seen from Tomb Raider or DmC. Nightmare Princess is more of a Game of the Year Edition that also happens to have a PlayStation 4 release. The graphics are improved on the PlayStation 4 version - it runs smoothly at 1080p and 60fps now - but while the models have seen some upgrading, it's still clear that this is a port of a PS3 title.
Instead of vastly improved and reworked graphics, what Nightmare Princess offers is content. You get a whole new quest in addition to everything that was in Blood Ties. The primary addition is the Nightmare Princess storyline, which adds 100 quests delivered through a new branching quest tree, instead of the straightforward linear fashion of the Blood Ties storyline. I like this layout better, with optional conditions and extra rewards clearly listed.
In the Nightmare Princess questline, you're playing another daughter of the Devil, Velguirie, backed up by the soulless automaton Ephemera. For the first time ever in the Deception series, Velguirie has the option to quick dash forward or attack enemies directly. It's nothing spectacular, but Vel can deliver a solid kick that players can use to initiate trap combos. She also has the added bonus of actually enjoying her job and injecting some personality into the proceedings, something Laegrinna was sorely missing.
Velguirie can play on modern day stages for the first time, including a school gymnasium, a playground, and a hospital. These areas have unique traps, like the jungle gym or the kendo dummy. Speaking of new traps, Tecmo Koei has thrown a few our way in Nightmare Princess, like the acid slime, the rail hook, the armor-breaking changing room, or the all-new, all-awesome delta horse rodeo. The protagonists from previous Deception games? Yeah, they're here too.
Another new mode is the Deception Studio, allowing players to create new intruders (called Sacrifices in the game) or missions. Throw together hapless victims by choosing their look, immunities, and and resistances and then see if you can kill them. It's fun for a little while, but I grew tired of this mode quickly.
That's a nice chunk of new content, but the problem is the price. Deception IV: The Nightmare Princess is $49.99 on PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 3, with the PlayStation Vita version going for $39.99. If you've played the game before, most of the focus is on the new content (even the trophies are aimed at new content), but there's no way to buy a Nightmare Princess add-on for Blood Ties. If you look on the PlayStation Store you can can see that Nightmare Princess is a $10 premium over Blood Ties, but you can't simply upgrade for that price. You're either all-in, or you're not. You can transfer your Blood Ties save over, but the overall price is a bit hard to swallow.
In the end, the new quest line, character, and traps are great, but they don't really raise Deception IV up to a completely new level. This is the same game, with a better presentation. I'd buy it just to have Deception IV on PlayStation 4, but I'd also probably wait until the game dropped $10-20 in price before doing so. I'm not made of money. If you're a Deception fan, Nightmare Princess is worth your while, you just have to decide what the entrance fee is going to be.
The Delta Horse Rodeo takes the Delta Horse to new heights of genital destruction.
The lifespan of the game is longer with the new content, but it won't keep you occupied forever.
They've been improved over the PS3 and Vita versions, but most of that is in the increased frame rate and resolution.
Deception IV: The Nightmare Princess isn't really a full remaster of last year's trap simulation. Instead, the port adds a new questline, a new character, and some new traps to the mix, in addition to kicking the game up to 1080p at 60fps. It's worthwhile just to get the trap sim action on PS4, but the asking price is a bit high for double-dipping if you've already played Blood Ties.