These poor prinnies can never seem to catch a break. Granted, they are doomed to an eternity in hell under the heel of the demon Etna because of the crimes they committed when they were in the world above. Etna still runs the Netherworld, and her temper is as fiery as ever. Taking place sometime after the first Prinny game, Prinny: Can I Really Be the Hero?, where 1,000 prinnies were sent to retrieve ingredients for the ultimate dessert, Prinny 2: Dawn of Operation Panties, Dood! is about stolen panties--Etna's undergarments, to be exact. Someone has gone through her drawers, and she is outraged (rightfully so). As one of her obedient blue penguinlike servants, you must go find her stolen delicates before she really loses it.
Prinny 2 starts off with the plump penguins doing their thing, like laundry and sunbathing, when bombs start raining down on them. Etna's tantrum sends them running obediently (and fearfully) to her chambers, where she threatens to turn them all into banana hammocks if her panties are not retrieved by the morning. A note was left by a phantom thief, who is notorious for stealing all kinds of rare items from the Netherworld. Early on you'll run into a suspicious, well-dressed demon who just so happens to mention that he likes collecting rare goodies. The prinnies gather whatever info they have and decide that the best way to catch a thief who likes rare items is to lure him or her back with some special items. To obtain these precious commodities, they decide to head out into the Netherworld and swipe them from other demons.
Your goal in Prinny 2 is to seek out the demons who carry hard-to-find artifacts and hope that it is enough to entice the phantom thief. Gameplay-wise, Prinny 2 is very similar to the first game, so be prepared for some tough platforming action with a boss fight at the end of each level. At least you still have 1,000 lives, and for those who found the previous game too hard, there is a Baby mode made specifically for…well, babies. This mode replaces the scarves onscreen with diapers to indicate how many more hits you can take. Diaper pickups are also strewn about the level for you to refill the meter, and safety blocks are also in place to protect you from harm. Standard and Hell's Finest modes are still available and will provide quite a challenge, but for better or worse, the controls feels exactly the same. Regardless of which difficulty mode you play on, though, you'll experience the same events and ending.
Like before, you'll jump, slash, butt-stomp, and pirouette your way through the stages, defeating enemies for points and a score total at the end. In Prinny 2, you'll build up a combo meter at the bottom when you attack consecutively in a row, as well as when you pick up an array of delectable sweets along the way. When your meter is charged, you'll enter Break mode, which increases your attacks until your gauge depletes or you get hit. In Baby mode, whenever you hit a checkpoint you'll automatically enter Break mode. Another fun thing to do once your gauge is full is the prinnikaze, where you hit the R and square buttons when you're in the air to become invincible for a brief moment as you plunge toward your enemies.
You have 10 hours to find Etna's undergarments, and the timer ticks down each time you complete a level. At this point we aren't quite sure what happens after 10 stages, however, (maybe the Asagi stages mentioned in the trailer?) but in between stages you can go back to the castle hub and interact with the other prinnies. You jump into the various stages via a giant cannon, and while the levels are very different visually from one another, the overall look and feel of the game is similar to the original, which isn't a bad thing. The quirky dialogue, colorful visuals, cameos from Disgaea and upbeat music are all part of this silly prinny package. Prinny 2: Dawn of Operation Panties, Dood! is set to be released sometime in January, so keep your panties on, dood, until then.