Retro Review: Fat Princess
If there’s one thing Sony’s done right with the Playstation Network is its array of downloadable games for the system. They’ve taken a chance and have offered unique titles like Flower, The Last Guy and the Pixel Junk series and have come out smelling like roses. Their latest offering, Fat Princess, keeps their record on track with a fun and unique multi-player experience. From Titan Studios, Fat Princess will suck you in and keep you entertained for hours.
The basic premise of Fat Princess is easy, rescue your princess while keeping the opposing teams princess in your castle’s dungeon. The varying amounts of game types is what really makes Fat Princess interesting. Before we get into the game mechanics let’s start out with the characters. You can choose between five classes for your character, having their class defined by the type of hat it wears, allowing you to change classes at the drop of a hat, literally. As long as a hat is laying on the ground you can pick it up and wear it, changing your character into one of the five available classes.
The five character classes are broken down into the Priest, Warrior, Ranger, Wizard, and Worker. Each are essential to the game and offer different tactics to help your team achieve victory. Priests are healers that support others well by targeting individual players or healing a group with an area of effect spell. They can also drain the life from your enemies, helping bring down their numbers. Warriors have the most health and armor, allowing them to get into the thick of the battle. Using their swords or long swords to deal damage to the opposing team. Rangers utilize their bow and arrows or guns that look like Blunderbuss’, dealing damage from afar. Wizards can choose between different spells that will freeze or burn individuals or groups with their magic attacks. The last group is the Workers, they gather resources, construct siege weapons and destroy enemy emplacements. They can also go on the offensive with the ability to throw bombs. Each class has its advantages and disadvantages that can make for a quick game, or a long drawn out one.
The game features a single player, “Playing with Yourself” as they’ve titled it, and a multi-player component, “Playing with Others”. The single player campaign throws you into large games with bots, allowing you to get a feel of how to play. It’s broken down into six playable chapters, with each chapter having you complete various tasks from capturing outposts to an all out game of capture the flag. Additionally, there’s an arena based gladiatorial mode that allows players to hone their skills for each class. The online multi-player features a 16 vs. 16 match of the various game modes. This is where Fat Princess really shines. Whether you win or loose depends on how your teammates play. If it’s every man for himself you won’t get far, but when your team comes together you can really see how well the team works and leads itself to victory.
Fat Princess offers four different game types that help mix things up. There’s Rescue the Princess, which is the standard format that has your team trying to rescue your princess while holding the other team’s princess within your castle. Have both princesses in your possession for 30 seconds and you win. Snatch n’ Grab has your team kidnapping the other princess three times, with the first team to three wining. Team Deathmatch has you slaughtering the opposing team until their army is defeated. In Invasion, teams have to capture various outposts throughout the map. By controlling at least half of them, your team will reduce the other team’s morale reserves until victory is achieved.
The controls in Fat Princess are really, simple. One button for attacking, one for jumping, and another for switching abilities. Holding down the attack buttons allows for charged attacks. Lastly, the L1 button allows you to lock onto a target. Unfortunately this feature needs a bit of improvement since it doesn’t seem to function as well as it should. Still, it’s easy to control your character and it’s nice that you don’t have to worry about numerous control mechanisms.
The game’s presentation is fun and quirky. The environments are well designed, vivid and beautifully rendered. Even watching the pooling blood during death is enjoyable. Individuals can customize their character with different hairstyles, beards and skin tones. You can even choose the hair and beard color, as well as the color of your eyes. What’s more is the ability to unlock new styles as the game progresses, giving you roughly 20 options for each feature once all are unlocked. The game’s musical score and sound effects are equally enchanting, with the high-brow voice work, and gurgling death shrieks adding a sense of fun to the game.
This game is a lot of fun, both the single player campaign and the multi-player, but having said that there’s one major flaw the game has experienced at launch and that’s major connection errors. Trying to join up with games could take up to ten minutes and once you’re in the game lag could become a problem. Titan has admitted that they’re aware of the problem and think they have a solution. They hope to have it up within a week so that’s the good news. Once they do the game should be near perfect. It still shouldn’t stop you from getting this game.
When all is said and done, and despite its online problems, Fat Princess is a great game that everyone will enjoy. It’s fun, quirky and satisfies many gamers bloodlust. Sony has another hit on its hands and rightly so. For $15 this title is a can’t miss.