Fat Princess (PlayStation 3) review
""Behold: the blue team's Castle. The walls are paper thin, as well as jumpable by means of catapult or trampoline. The entrance has revolving doors, and there are hidden shortcuts that reach all the way across the map in every direction. Only thing left now is to storm in and Rescue the Princess. We cannot lose! Charge!" "
"Behold: the blue team's Castle. The walls are paper thin, as well as jumpable by means of catapult or trampoline. The entrance has revolving doors, and there are hidden shortcuts that reach all the way across the map in every direction. Only thing left now is to storm in and Rescue the Princess. We cannot lose! Charge!" "slaughter your enemies in adjustable degrees of cartoony gore"
Meanwhile, outside the red team's Castle... "Behold: paper thin walls...".
Just like the adorably ruthless art- style, the gameplay in Fat princess is simplistic on the surface, but increasingly mental the more you look at the detail. Choose a hat from one of the choices - hats that are manufactured in disturbingly busy pre- industrial looking machines - and take on the mantle of the Warrior, the Archer, the Mage, the Priest. Or choose the worker's cap. And then slaughter your enemies in adjustable degrees of cartoony gore, get the princess over to your castle before the enemy force captures yours, and win the game.
Sounds simple enough. But, my team and I failed our first attempt. The other team had been busy reinforcing their walls, and had upgraded their Warrior helmet machine before our attack. So a few of their warriors could rush out once in a while with their charged attacks, and hold off the entire army. While the rest of them broke down our front door on the other side of the map, and walked out with our Princess.
Fortunately, we had been foreseeing a cowardly attack like this, and instructed our commoners and workers to force- feed the Princess with cake, making the enemy's retreat to their own castle a long and heavy haul. We catch them about four meters outside the walls, vainly trying to escape to higher ground, over the unnaturally rising and ebbing tide, and into one of the many side- paths and shortcuts throughout the level. And after some heavy lifting, the Princess is safely back in the castle, and the doors have been repaired again. Stalemate!
Then suddenly, the enemy (who had been busy gathering resources, rather than fighting like men on the battlefield) start launching soldiers into our castle from above with their freshly manufactured catapult, making us struggle hard to keep everyone off the Princess. Struggle hard, because at the same time, part of our force sneaks up to the enemy castle. And in a good moment, we blow a hole in the wall and rush in to take their Princess. But look at her, she's bulging huge! And screaming for more cake! What can we do! We can't carry her like this!
Aha, the enemy's catapult! And we launch the Princess back to our own castle. Where, sadly, the enemy had finally broken through, and brought the other Princess out. Into the swarm of awaiting unarmed commoners - the swiftest carriers - who then run the huge Princess back to their castle, no doubt in triumphant song and cheer. Stalemate!
The battle went on for a while.
But in some ways the most interesting part of the online play is difficult to get into. If people are not working together, the matches can drag on for a long time without anyone winning or losing, or even gaining an advantage. Skirmishes that would've been won satisfyingly if even two players used the strenghts of their professions together, will turn into pointless back and forths. Which the lack of a clan- system, or possibility of forming squads with friends - or perhaps text- chat, or a more contextual command menu - doesn't help with either. In other words, it's easy to join a game where no one uses their mike, and won't try to work together. Something that can quickly make the online play very chaotic, and not necessarily very fun, in spite of the endearing gameplay and graphics. You simply don't know what to do that could help the team win.
The mysterious match- making process (with impossible to understand user preferences), that sometimes also will fail after long waits - certainly also makes you less patient with the game.
So it's not difficult to see where Fat Princess failed, in a sense. But given it's art- style and fairly complex gameplay, it's an achievement to end up with identifiable online issues as the only shear in the vicious happiness. Meanwhile, Titan Studios have woved to listen closely to the community when it comes to online issues and suggestions for improvements.
Fat Princess is an arcade- like online game that is good enough and artistically well made enough - to have complex and dynamic gameplay and graphics, without also becoming difficult to grasp. But online problems, some programmatical and some not, makes the game a little hard to enjoy all the time.
"slaughter your enemies in adjustable degrees of cartoony gore"
Community review by fleinn (August 16, 2009)
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