Princess Maker 2 holds a very
simple idea; you as a hero who saved the Kingdom, were granted a daughter
by the gods, and you were told to raise her properly so that she grows up
into a fine lady.
What you do as the daily routines of this game is to schedule the
daughter to work part-time, to study at school, or to go out in adventure;
the various abilities (parameters) of your daughter will grow gradually
depending on what kind of work she does and what kind of school subjects
she attends, and the better she's at, the more money she makes...
and money is important: you need money to go to school, but you only
get money (in much smaller portions) from part-time jobs, a portion
of your income, and rewards from competitions that she must win.
Princess Maker 2, and its predecessor Princess Maker, were the pioneers
of this kind of game... which was suitably called child rearing simulation.
Crazy idea? blame the Japanese. It is a highly addictive game. It does
not breed family violence - as in this game the girl gets bad temper
easily if you stress her out... and if she's mad enough it's game over.
But just going to work and school is no fun at all. True to its RPG backdrop,
the daughter can go out to adventures. Needless to say, the girl must strengthen
up and get some combat training and proper equipment in order to survive
long out there... On the contrary, the girl can also aim for a future in
high society, learning the decorums and visiting the royal palace, and again,
it takes more than pretty face to excel at that. And then, as always, the
girl can always settle as a shop owner, or a nun... the possibility of her
future is almost endless. Other
than basic health, her intelligence, interests, and all kinds of stuff,
translates to about 40~50 different endings (of jobs), several turnouts
of marriage, and a judgement of how well she does in her field.
The length of the game time is
8 years in simulation (from when she's 10). What she ends up doing in her
18th birthday... will depend on the actual results.
For a little short term goal, there are annual festivals where different
kinds of competitions (cooking, dancing, fighting, arts) are being held.
Winning first place in any of these is not easy, but it will come with a
wholesome reward that pays for almost everything you wanted for the rest
of the next year.
The gameplay value is guarenteed; I personally wasted so much time, I can't
recall. The game is very well balanced, and there's no better/worse jobs.
You must have a very clear agenda in mind or else the trainings won't add
up. And you can tell that the creators enjoyed making this game too, adding
all the (almost) excessive little details that keep you amused... Even though
the routine is routine, it's not tiring with all the cute animations :).
You'd be surprised that you never get tired of its melodies, which is absolutely
beautiful and original (you'd be surprised for this because once you're
at it, you spend so much time at it), and the girl herself - illustrated
in an adoring and innocent figure, is simply lovely.
For a game like this, the Japanese gamers call it 'CLASSIC' (they don't
name classics as easily as the North Americans do...). And it was already
observed that at least 4 different ports have been made of this particular
game to other platforms. An English port had been planned in the past but
it was unfortunately miscarried.
Ray Chien, July 2005