Thursday, February 5, 2009

In Defence of Prince Vince in Princess Debut

Having completed an initial game of Princess Debut by experiencing endings with three different Princes, I have to admit that I am at a bit of a loss to comprehend the deep hostility that some players express towards poor Prince Vince. At the age of 13, he is 5 years younger than some of the others and his behaviour should not be compared with that of those princes who are almost old enough to marry! The fact that he took the time and effort to MAKE an accessory in the form of a Beaded Choker for my character was quite touching. His tradition of the blue string tied round the finger was quite romantic.

From the point of view of some one who really loathes ALL insects and never has responded positively to practical jokes, I would be the first to be disgusted by a box of worms but in the spirit of the game, I was able to forgive and forget...

It is interesting that Cesar's endless rather shameless womanising at every turn does not appear to generate half the hostility engendered by Vince's innocent pranks.

Vince wasn't my first choice, nor even my second, but when he gave me the Beaded Choker and then declared he no longer was nervous about the competition, my heart warmed to him...

I did not intend to make this video but somehow felt compelled to show the positive aspects of the much-maligned young prince.

It includes the ending:

On a more general note, I am debating whether or not to write a brief Walkthrough for Princess Debut. I made some errors in my own game that could be avoided easily by other players. For example, the option to 'dance by yourself' in various locations, imagining the company of one of the princes WILL increase your Levels but at the same time, may cause you to lose the opportunity to obtain some of the Accessories available to players who dance exclusively at the Practice Hall.


Anonymous said...

Wow, this 2nd post regarding Prince Vince is quite a pleasant surprise! Despite our differences in opinion, I really appreciate your taking the time to post and video this follow-up on the Prince Vince debate. :)

Re-reading my comment on Wed night, I guess I did come off as overly bitter & hostile towards Vince. You're right. He does have his sincere & cute moments, and, to a certain degree, Vince does redeem himself by being noble at the end of the game. ("Romance at the 11th Hour" is a very fitting subtitle, btw!) After all, I guess it'd be illogical for Natsume to create a completely repulsive & obnoxious bachelor for a courtship game.

My problem with Vince is there isn't a lot of romantic connection between him and my character, aside from the very end. I understand that Vince is younger than the other princes and my character's age is unknown. Still, from the game script, my character sounds a bit older and a lot more mature than he is. She's kind, understanding, and, despite being tossed into a fantasy world, remains calm, collected, and takes things in stride.

That's why throughout the game, I feel as though my character behaved sisterly toward Vince more than anything. The tagged-on romantic feelings at the end felt sudden, weird & unnatural. To me, Vince is like that young, naughty boy next door whom you've to babysit and tutor. You dodge from his constant pranks; you wait for him to do his homework while he has already sneaked out to play with his friend Michael. You intend to lecture him when he comes home, but he returns with a flower in hand, saying he picked it especially for you, expecting your forgiveness. He might have a secret crush on you, but, most of the time, he'd rather spend his time playing & fishing with Michael instead.

OK, I might have gone a bit crazy imagining the above scenario... ^_^; A lot is based on subjective feelings, but I'm just trying to demonstrate that I, as my character, feel more sisterly toward Vince, and having him as my character's partner isn't very appealing. Plus, considering my expectation & excitement in picking up Natsume's first imported courtship game, the experience of that 1st game was extremely disappointing. I guess I'm hostile towards Vince because he's a bit of a let-down (for me, anyways).

I can't answer for other players who have also expressed a deep loathing towards Vince, but one of the reasons is perhaps we're just all (sadly) way out of this bachelor's intended age target... In a courtship game consisting of 6 bachelors, most people would go for the ideal prince, or the silent, brooding one, or what have you, not a lot of people would veer towards the 13 yrs-old or enjoy romancing the sixth/seventh grade prankster... I think.

On my 1st game, I didn't realize you can hold off on accepting Vince as a partner until the 28th day, that's why I impulsively accepted his blue string offer at the end of the 4th day. Playing the field is more fun (having the opportunity to experience events with more princes), but I also tried to play the majority of the game with one partner to see if there are any differences in game dialogue. The conversation during and consequences of the Horse Derby, for instance, would be a tad different if you already have Vince as a partner at the time, or if you're single but are possibly interested in Klaus.

I really must stop myself from rambling on, but... about Cesar. Yes, he flirts shamelessly and posts himself as a womanizer, but he's actually even a failure at that! For he's dumped and was left partner-less for the 2nd dance contest! And he's never the one chased by girls, in fact, he chases my character. Cesar's pompousness and smooth-talking is a turn-off, but at the very least, he does have a little back story (however shallow) to explain his character & behavior: that bit about his sister & his consequent obsession of beauty. I can't help feeling that everything he does is just an act! I ignored him throughout my 1st couple games, though in the end, I feel rather sorry for him. Of course, this doesn't necessarily excuse his bad behavior or make him more likeable (neither he nor Vince would be in my top three), but at least he's so involved in his own world that he isn't as offensive as Vince.

By the way, Freyashawk, if you've played beat the game with Cesar as your partner, do you remember what was that part about the scar on his chest about? ( I think it was during a dressing room scene at the market.) I might have missed something since I don't remember the game explaining anything further about that... (though it might just be a bit of story from nowhere the game tossed out intending to add depth to Cesar's past...)

Thank you for reading & sorry! I won't post a long comment like this again! :)

Freyashawk said...

Oh, you certainly are welcome to post as many comments as you like! It is very interesting to read the responses of other players to characters in these games.

I can understand how you could have been disappointed in Vince if you chose him as a partner as early as the 4th day in your very first game. I do believe that this is the source of the rancour demonstrated by other players as well! They expected more romance from the game and having accepted the first offer Vince made, were a little disappointed.

I am making a video about Cesar today, by the way.

Wulfette said...

I just wanna add to this post. I have read about Princess Debut in your blog for awhile but was unable to play it until yesterday. I could not put it down! And I did have Vince as my partner because I felt sorry for him when he said he had no partner in the beginning (the first ball). He is childish but is so sweet that even though I prefer Luciano, I can't make myself to let Vince go. In my experience, having him at 100% love will make him say no to Michael many times for the fishing trip. He said he'd prefer to walk with me :P

Btw, I seemed to be able to experience quite a lot of experience with other princes even though I am already with Vince...

Wanda said...

hey i also loved Vince <3 <3
i mean he may be child-like but i like the way he plays around and still think about my character by giving lots of surprises (like the one in the forest concert or at Ball). well maybe it's because i have a similar relationship with my boyfriend, teehee...
but i gotta say i can't take my hands of princess debut ever since. and i desperately search for wallpapers so i wont get too attached to my Nintendo DS (quite a maniac, I know! LOL)

...and I played a story with Vince twice. It stabbed my heart more than when I'm with the other Princes (I love Luciano, but he really broke my heart)