PS3 Reviews: Fat Princess Review

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Fat Princess Review

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Graphics:

 

8.9

Gameplay:

 

8.7

Sound:

 

8.4

Control:

 

8.1

Replay Value:

 

8.6

Online Gameplay:

 

8.3

Overall Rating:       8.5

 

 

Publisher:

Sony

Developer:

Titan Studios

Number Of Players:

1-4 (32 Online)

Genre:

Action/Strategy

When we first heard the title, “Fat Princess,” we had no idea what to expect. Then, the interest and hype began to rise and we found ourselves following the game’s progress with a very close eye; the concept of a RTS set in a fairytale world and played at a frantic pace was most certainly intriguing. It was yet another mostly original idea, and we had already seen several on the PlayStation Network. Of course, we knew going in that Fat Princess would need a strong multiplayer component if it were to be ultimately successful, and unfortunately, the game has launched to significant server problems. We wanted to mention this early in order to clarify one thing: while we can’t ignore this downfall, we will also acknowledge it as temporary. Titan Studios is currently working with Sony to resolve the issues, and rest assured the online experience will stabilize over the next few weeks. Taking that into account, and after having successfully involved ourselves in several multiplayer matches (along with the obvious single-player test), we’re ready to give you an accurate review of Fat Princess.

There’s little doubt that this is one of the better-looking PSN games available, but we’re starting to say that quite often as of late. The bottom line is that designers are rapidly beginning to cram even more visual goodness into these downloadable offerings, and the vibrant colors and fluid lines are abundant here. The most shocking contrast is obvious the instant you take down your first opponent; he will literally fall apart and blood will soak the quaint landscape. After intense battles, puddles of red will mar that fairytale setting and you might even bark out a sadistic laugh when involved in the carnage. It’s just such a bizarre contrast. The map designs are great, too, as there are more than you might think, and each provides the player with various looks at the world of Fat Princess. There are bridges and rising and falling water (immersion in water hurts), differently designed castles, and a solid amount of diversity in the environment. The special effects are also quite good and fit the atmosphere perfectly, so we have very little to complain about in this category.

The sound benefits from a good narrator, the comical yelps and cries of the units (try not to laugh when an unfortunate unit catches fire), and a soundtrack that, while somewhat repetitive especially during long matches, fits the mood and style of the game as well as the graphical effects managed to do. Sometimes we thought there could be more sound effects to accompany the gameplay, but that was a rare complaint and one that didn’t hinder our enjoyment of the action. There is also a fantastic balance between the music and effects; we’ve noticed a disturbing trend in a lot of games these days, and that’s a distinct lack of balance in the sound category. In short, there’s a tremendous amount of polish and accomplishment that is present in regards to the technical aspects of this game, and that’s impressive in and of itself. You will be hard pressed to find someone who doesn’t find Fat Princess appealing on a purely cosmetic and auditory level. Any drawbacks or shortcomings are just too small and/or trivial to mention.

Although it may appear cutesy and even silly on the surface, there’s a true-blue real-time strategy mechanic beneath that charming exterior. We don’t wish to imply that it’s anywhere near as intricate or in-depth as strategy or even action/strategy games you’ve played in the past, but the fact remains, the gameplay involved here is all about two teams competing against each other, and how each side prepares for and attacks the other is paramount. The best part is that instead of requiring several campaigns and different play-throughs to get a full sampling of what the game has to offer, you can experiment on a minute-by-minute basis. Whenever you die, you can choose to head out as another class simply by picking up a different hat, and because every player or NPC can do this, it makes the action ceaselessly dynamic and constantly entertaining. The only downside is that there’s really no way to “master” any one particular class you prefer, as any and all upgrading is done within any given match and must be brought about over time. The Worker will see to that, and yes, if you so choose, you can be the laborer who chops down trees and works his hands to the bone for the benefit of all.

The available classes include Warrior, Ranger, Priest, Mage, and Worker. The Warrior has a sword and shield and when he’s upgraded, he can wield a spear; the Ranger is an archer that has long-ranged attacks (obviously), the Priest runs around and heals allies (while Dark Priests can drain health), the Mage casts fireballs from his staff, and the Worker runs out with an axe to gather necessary resources from the woods. He can also deal with certain parts of the map that will open up new paths, so don’t discount the usefulness of that unit so quickly. The whole point is take your group of allies and conquer the other team in a variety of different ways; each map will have a different objective in the single-player mode, which means you likely won’t get bored soon. Sometimes, it’s a standard Capture the Flag match (only with Princesses), other times it’s just a straight-up team deathmatch, and you might even have a map where you have to control as many outposts as you can for as long as you can (remember Domination from UT?). In multiplayer, you can choose from several modes and all the maps available, so again, don’t worry about a lack of diversity.

The single-player story is insanely nutty as you might expect: there are princesses that simply can’t stop eating cake, and in order to rescue and/or kidnap said princesses, your job will become more difficult depending on how many calories they’ve ingested. So when the goal is to capture the other princess and maintain a firm grip on yours, you have the option of feeding your captive cake, which is found lying around in the battlefield. Bringing her cake fattens her up, which in turns makes her heavier and, of course, makes her difficult to carry away. You can run a normal speed with a thin princess but if she has blimped out, you’ll move very slowly, giving the enemy a lot more time to hack you to bits and reclaim their prize. We’d almost call this little gameplay addition ingenious, but it’s just too silly to be called “ingenious.” Let’s just say it works. And it’s funny. But if you’re playing a match that doesn’t involve any princesses, you’ll just rely on the various classes and your combat ability to lead you to victory. It’s good fun, but it’s not perfect.

You can lock on to enemies with the L1 button, which works just fine, but there seems to be a slight delay when attacking. When pressing the Square button to use a unit’s attack, we experienced a small delay between the time the button was pressed and the actual strike of the Warrior’s blade. Furthermore, with no way to block (for most units; the Warrior has a shield he can use against incoming arrows), everything usually boils down into a button-mashing frenzy. In other words, while there’s definitely a good deal of strategy surrounding the use and implementation of the classes, there isn’t much going on concerning the actual combat. Basically, it just revolves around the idea of killing as many as you can before you die, but at least we have a few features that enhance the battle gameplay. There are outposts to capture, for example, and if you wish to heal yourself at any time, you can simply stop moving and do nothing; your character will take a seat on the ground, eat some cake, and restore his health. Of course, if you get interrupted, you’ll have to either run away or turn and fight; your decision will likely rely on the class you’ve chosen.

The balance on the technical side is excellent but we do have a slight problem with the balance of the classes; we ended up using the Ranger far more often than the Warrior, for instance, just because he could stay away and pelt everyone with arrows. The arrows weren’t as strong as the sword or pike, but at least he wouldn’t suffer much in the way of damage, and because all units move the same speed, we felt he had an unfair advantage. On the other hand, the upgraded Ranger, who could yield a gun of sorts, didn’t seem like so much of an “upgrade” as that gun was very slow and didn’t seem to do much more damage than the arrows. But other than this small complaint, everything seems to flow and come together quite well, leaving you with a fun and even exciting little adventure that is bound to keep you occupied for extended periods of time. Going online to play with up to 32 players at once is preferable, though, and we certainly hope that the issues will be worked out ASAP. This game really does need that feature, as the multiple units calls for multiple players almost by default.

Fat Princess is both charming and amusing but it’s also nicely designed and capable of holding a player’s interest due to the diversity and variety found within. The different maps, classes, and modes are all quite distinct, and the frenetic gameplay offers up yet another strange yet oddly satisfying contrast (in addition to the blood vs. fairytale setting). Going online is still a problem but once the issues are fixed, it’s our belief that you will have one of the better online multiplayer titles available. Really, for $14.99, it’s tough not to recommend this one, and we seriously doubt that anyone else would refrain from that recommendation, either. Taking this game on its merits alone, it’s well worth the price.

8/3/2009 Ben Dutka

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Comments (38 posts)

apofisboricua
Monday, August 03, 2009 @ 10:33:55 PM
Reply

Good Review!!

Im still trying to have an online experience with it but I have high hopes.

PEACE AND GAMING!!

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Highlander
Monday, August 03, 2009 @ 10:43:39 PM
Reply

Cake-y Please!!

It's a fun game, I wish that they'd included a few more maps for $14.99, but I suppose that we'll have to buy them as DLC in future.

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SHADOW [Moderator]
Monday, August 03, 2009 @ 11:08:27 PM
Reply

I'm waiting to try the online until the first patch arrives. I don't want to get left with a sour taste in my mouth just to have the game eventually become amazing. It's happened to me with multiple titles before. So I'm just going to wait it out this time.

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chicko1983
Monday, August 03, 2009 @ 11:13:31 PM
Reply

great game even though I've yet to play MP

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BigTonesAUS
Tuesday, August 04, 2009 @ 2:39:30 AM

you just like it because it has cake :)

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Zeppo
Monday, August 03, 2009 @ 11:54:52 PM
Reply

I have had alot of really successful online experience, it just takes a few tries to get in sometimes. But I will be glad when that is ancient history.

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phantomMenace
Tuesday, August 04, 2009 @ 12:05:16 AM
Reply

Great game I have really enjoyed it. I also have had success in joining games it just takes a while. Can't wait for the patch though. That would make it a lot better.

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Squirreldriver
Tuesday, August 04, 2009 @ 12:10:01 AM
Reply

Server issues aside, once you do find a good MP match it's insanely fun! Also found out today that if you're the points leader at the end of the match (1145 thank you) you turn into Death! Takes 1-2 swipes to kill with the sythe, I just ran around and slaughtered the other team! Good times! ;)

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Kevadu
Tuesday, August 04, 2009 @ 1:44:42 AM

Huh, that's odd. I've been points leader before and I always turned into a giant chicken...which was quite fun too. It basically looked liked the chickens that the magic potions turn people into only much larger. You could peck people to death in one or two hits plus you were much faster than everyone else and could kind of float in the air.

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kevinater321
Tuesday, August 04, 2009 @ 7:25:30 AM

Haha! i got 1500+ Muahaha

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TEG3SH
Tuesday, August 04, 2009 @ 2:16:14 AM
Reply

i think it should have gotten a better score . fair review though
i was death also :)

Last edited by TEG3SH on 8/4/2009 2:16:53 AM

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KuNI
Tuesday, August 04, 2009 @ 2:37:28 AM
Reply

I didn't think there was single player :>

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kevinater321
Tuesday, August 04, 2009 @ 7:26:01 AM

aha nice avatar :P

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Squirreldriver
Tuesday, August 04, 2009 @ 3:53:12 AM
Reply

@ Kevadu
Now I know, if you're the points leader on the Winning team, you get Death. Leader on the losing team gets you el pollo gigante! Also somebody on a board somewhere sez if you can kill either they will drop an "egg" that'll give you their power. Haven't tried it yet tho.

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The X Factor 9
Tuesday, August 04, 2009 @ 4:04:18 AM
Reply

This game looks really cool. I'll get it in a few weeks when the online servers are fixed.

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___________
Tuesday, August 04, 2009 @ 4:25:45 AM
Reply

its a decent game, but jesus christ sonys got some work to do.
every single game they release is stuffed online.
GTAIV.
socom confrontation.
resistance 2.
killzone 2.
were all almost unplayable upon release.
i remember trying to play co-op on resistance 2 day it released and couldent kept getting signed out.
killzone 2 for the first month, hell even now i still cant play the game constantly because im always getting bloody 5021 errors.
if they cant get a simple game like this working properly bug free.
imagine the problems and bugs there going to have with MAG.
im not getting that till 2 months after release, if by then the bugs are fixed i might jump in.
but ive learnt my lesson never buy a sony game on release purely for online because its never up and running.

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kevinater321
Tuesday, August 04, 2009 @ 7:28:22 AM

I didn't have those problems with resistance 2 or killzone 2 but i havn't played socom or GTA IV.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Tuesday, August 04, 2009 @ 10:41:16 AM

No offense, but I think at least a few of those problems are on your end.

At most, the significant issues for R2 and KZ2 lasted all of a few days, if that. And when it comes to online-only games, you can ALWAYS expect some issues early on, regardless of the platform.

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Highlander
Tuesday, August 04, 2009 @ 11:06:05 AM

For the nth time, your network problems are so un-typical, that it's clear that either you are deliberately looking at the downside, or your network configuration is specifically (perhaps deliberately?) horrible for your PS3 and PSN. In any event, your experience is absolutely not typical, nor representative of the online experience of the average PS3 user.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Tuesday, August 04, 2009 @ 2:44:52 PM

and you still need a name sir.

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Gregory Freeman
Tuesday, August 04, 2009 @ 6:16:33 PM

lol i was the first person in my city to get Killzone 2 (midnight release, first in line :D) and i played it online that night... it was error free on my end... i loved killing bots in ranked games... lvl'd 2 max b4 they removed it... then pwned everyone with my prox. mines while they were like lvl 1 :P

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Byakko2009
Tuesday, August 04, 2009 @ 8:58:39 PM

And I JUST got finished arguing with somebody about lag. *Head explodes* Seriously, too many people are jumping right into online without first having a stable connection. Generally, people get this crazy idea you can connect via wireless router while everyone in their house is using the net at the same time. You don't have to be a tech genius to know you have a maximum bandwidth that you can't exceed. Reminds me of my older brother who would download literally 50 songs at once and a 1 hour video simultaneously. He would complain how he can never finish downloading the songs he wants (P2P Program). What an idiot.

Location can be a factor but I've played BlazBlue against some Japanese players with 0 lag! ARGGJHNMJUUHGFDEDFFHHH. Why is it so hard to understand?

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tes37
Tuesday, August 04, 2009 @ 4:35:41 AM
Reply

Can anyone tell me if there are any offline single player modes, or two player offline?

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TEG3SH
Tuesday, August 04, 2009 @ 7:21:42 AM

yes there is an offline mode but it is only solo no local multiplayer.

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Highlander
Tuesday, August 04, 2009 @ 10:09:47 AM

You can create a friends only game with however many slots and assign all the remaining slots to friends, then if you're the only friend to join the game, it should assign AI players to the remaining characters before launching.

I haven't had time to try that myself, but I know you can set it up that way, so it may work.

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tes37
Tuesday, August 04, 2009 @ 4:30:57 PM

Thanks TEG3SH ....... TheHighlander.

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Ghidora
Tuesday, August 04, 2009 @ 4:53:31 AM
Reply

Altough i havent played this for more than... max 2 hours, i can say thats its really great already!

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Ves
Tuesday, August 04, 2009 @ 5:00:59 AM
Reply

Good review. I this game is relaly fun, though in a bad team the game can take long to finish but that just means you have to play Rambo and do it you're self.

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kevinater321
Tuesday, August 04, 2009 @ 7:34:00 AM
Reply

I am in love with this game right now, i just got back from a vaction like a day ago and i saw this shining in the playstation store! i imidiatly purchased it and i am glad i did so. The single player is absolutely a blast. Although it is more of a tutorial it is still challenging. And then there is the bot games and they are my favorite so far, they act just like real players! the AI is absolutly amazing and the online was a let down because of the server issues but i know that there is a patch coming. I give this game a 9/10.

Last edited by kevinater321 on 8/4/2009 7:35:36 AM

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BeezleDrop
Tuesday, August 04, 2009 @ 11:05:29 AM
Reply

Loving this one, apparently the cake isn't a lie! Which is hard to believe, I cannot wait until the multiplayer is finally fixed.

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bearbobby
Tuesday, August 04, 2009 @ 11:16:04 AM
Reply

Looks cute, and the gameplay does look amusing. But I'd like a mini-demo or something just to see for myself before plunking down $$$.

Does the princess ever refuse the cake? lol

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TEG3SH
Tuesday, August 04, 2009 @ 2:19:27 PM

hell no??? who says no to free cake ;)

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Lotusflow3r
Tuesday, August 04, 2009 @ 3:28:49 PM
Reply

ive been enjoying this. offline is fun, the soccer stage is great and im just awaiting the online

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tridon
Wednesday, August 05, 2009 @ 5:59:01 AM
Reply

Is this game more strategy-oriented or action-based? I'm not much of a strategy fan so I haven't purchased this yet without playing through a demo first. Would anyone still recommend this to someone who's not into strategy games?

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___________
Wednesday, August 05, 2009 @ 7:51:13 AM
Reply

ben none taken.
but theres tuns of people copping that error to this date, check the KZ2 boards in the first 2 weeks there was so many people posting threads of the 5021 error.
but may be the error im getting from the PSN (8002AD23)is causing this.
im getting a new router on the weekend (Dlink DIR-855) if that does not fix the problem i may have to get sony to have a look at it.
because ill go ape sh*t if i get those errors when mag comes out.

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___________
Wednesday, August 05, 2009 @ 7:55:33 AM
Reply

if there not typical.
than why is a friend at tafe having the same error code.
why is there heaps of threads on the official PS3 website or on game websites such as gamespot.
seriously just because most people dont get it does not mean its not common.

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JPBooch
Wednesday, August 05, 2009 @ 12:54:51 PM
Reply

I haven't had one issue with the multiplayer and I played for hours over the weekend. Maybe because I hosted the game and people joined me? At any rate, that sounds like an easy solution, just host your own game if you have a good connection. People will join your match pretty quick. It's definitely a fun and addictive game.

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photo K
Monday, August 17, 2009 @ 4:13:16 PM
Reply

this game is fun as well, i bought it last week, no hiccups online. I wish there was "team balancing" though. Teams that have more cpus typically don't have a chance against teams that have more real human players.

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