Preview: Holy Invasion of Privacy Badman! (Sony PSP)

Holy Invasion Of Privacy, Badman! What Did I Do To Deserve This?
Developer: Sony Computer Entertainment
Publisher: NIS America, Inc.
Genre: Strategy
Release Date: July 2009


NIS has been known for their brand of humor that revolves around the more demonic side of things, namely in the Disgaea series and games like Makai Kingdom. Those of you who bask in that and like playing the bad guy and/or are tired of saving the world over and over again, Holy Invasion Of Privacy, Badman! What Did I Do To Deserve This? – or, for you acronym lovers, HIOPB!WDIDTDT? (Say that five times fast!) – could be just what you’ve been looking for.

HIOPB!WDIDTDT? places you in the role of God of Destruction and tasks you with guarding Badman from nefarious heroes and warriors who seek to bring him to the surface, slay him, and bring peace unto the world. Oh, and also from people looking to invade his privacy (though one could argue the aforementioned group fits in this category as well) – can’t forget about that. To accomplish this, you must build a large dungeon filled with Byzantine, nigh impossible to navigate passages by digging deep underground. You do so with naught but a pickaxe at your disposal. Yes, you read right, you’re a god that uses a pickaxe to do his dirty work. How’s that for hardcore?

But that’s not all – you also have to have monsters, which appear as you go about creating your subterranean labyrinth. You must ensure that the ecosystem within the dungeon remains self sustaining so that the sundry critters guarding the lair can survive. Through the course of your burrowing, you will encounter various types of soil that contain different nutrients and powers. Monsters thrive on specific types of soil and other monsters. For example, Dragons will feed on all monsters, while Skelemen consume no food, making for relatively easy upkeep. Lizardmen devour Omnoms, and Spirits derive their nourishment from Magic Soil. This of course only scratches the surface of the delicate balance of soil and creatures you must maintain to succeed. Should you fail to do so, the oubliette’s circle of life will collapse onto itself, leaving you with no one to drive away invaders. And you can’t very well have a dungeon without monsters to defend it. Otherwise those dastardly do-gooders could just waltz right in and whack Badman. And you certainly wouldn’t want that, right?

You’ll have to contend with sixty-six possible types of heroes that have assorted magic and skills at their disposal. On the one hand, those magic and skills can really put the hurt on your demonic legion, so using runes to drain the hero’s MP would be in your best interest. On the other hand, whenever a hero uses a skill, the surrounding soil gets reinvigorated with powers from the MP consumed – gotta love them Catch-22s. They can also leave torches that restore their HP as long as they are within vicinity of its light, so that’s another thing to look out for.

As you may be able to gather, gameplay is reminiscent of the Dungeon Maker games, with a dash of Dig Dug added to the mix. It’s a rather intriguing combination that adds a unique layer of strategic consideration. The graphics are a throwback to the 8-bit era (you kids these days with your three dimensions and polygons – I shake my figurative cane at you), which should please the old-school crowd.

Considering some of the humorous innuendo contained in the game, there might be more reasons than initially meets the eye why His Badship may be so protective of his privacy. The game is slated for a July 2009 release in North America, so we’ll just have to wait until then to find out. In the meantime, NIS is holding a Hidden Code Contest. All you have to do is enter the secret code (BM579842LM) at this page and follow the trail of clues and codes there until you reach the mystery page. Good luck and enjoy.