It's cute and extremely bloody, but not as much fun as we'd hoped.
It's cute and extremely bloody, but not as much fun as we'd hoped.

It's cute and extremely bloody, but not as much fun as we'd hoped.

Try to describe Fat Princess to someone who doesn't play video games every day of their life and you'll be met with a puzzled, slightly shocked expression. What you've just done is detail a game in which you hold a young woman against her will and feed her cake until she's so morbidly obese she wouldn't look out of place in her own Channel FIVE documentary. Video games have let you perform illegal acts for years, but for some reason this feels every so slightly more sinister - that is until she starts screaming for more cake and you have your head caved in by a small goblin-like man wearing a pointy hat.

Despite this strange core mechanic, Fat Princess is actually a fairly traditional multiplayer game at heart. Teams of 16 players compete against each other in isometric 3D battles across eight maps, capturing the opposition's princess, protecting the princess you've already captured, killing enemies in team deathmatch or taking control points. So, although the game appears centred on the fat princess, only two of the four game modes actually use that gameplay mechanic.

Each team has a base of operations, complete with five hat machines. It's the hats that determine which character class you play as: warrior, mage, priest, ranger and worker. These are pretty self explanatory, with the warrior being the best in close-range combat, the ranger able to attack from distance, the priest able to heal team mates, the mage capable of firing off magic attacks and the worker designed to gather vital resources.

Resource gathering initially appears to be a key part of the game, seeing as each hat machine can be upgraded through collected wood and metal to give the classes secondary weapons or abilities - the priest, for example, gains the ability to drain enemy life energy. Each hat machine only offers one upgrade level, though, so it doesn't take long for both teams to max out and then build any extra upgrades - such as catapults that fire you directly into the enemy base. Games tend to last so long that upgrades are simply something that happens at the beginning, and then lost beneath chaotic battle and bloodshed. You'll still have to switch to a worker in order to repair destroyed structures, but it's a pretty thankless task.

As an idea the way you feed the princess in order to fatten her up, therefore making her heavier and more awkward to carry (resulting in more enemies being needed to move her), is a good one. It might be capture the flag with a slight twist, but it's a novel idea that's backed up by some wonderful cartoony visuals and whimsical audio - the cry of "feed me" from a rather rotund princess never ceases to be amusing. The problem is that these princess game types tend to last forever. The tug of war going on between the two teams seems so balanced that you can play a single game for an hour and still have no result.

The levels are quite varied, but the gameplay isn't.

The levels are quite varied, but the gameplay isn't.

While all online games tend to take a while to settle down, with players initially getting to grips with the nuances of each class, we've played multiplayer games every day since launch and the situation hasn't improved. In the control and deathmatch game types the goal is easily reached by one team, but trying to successfully capture the enemy's princess enough times to win a match is a recipe for frustration. We've seen reports online of players leaving their character in the game, doing something else for up to an hour, then returning to find the game still going on - and it's entirely believable.

Key to any success in Fat Princess is cooperation with team mates. Charge into battle without a priest or two to back you up and you won't last more than a few sword slashes before collapsing in a pool of cartoon blood. The same is true of trying to carry a princess. Try to do this on your own and you'll get no more than a few feet before eating dirt, but do so with the back-up of half your team and things are a lot easier - although still not guaranteed. Doing this is easier said than done though, as everyone is currently more focused on working for themselves instead of for the greater good.

If you don't plan to play online we really can't see any point in buying the game in the first place, but there are options to play solo. A token campaign mode with a story is included, but it's more or less just the multiplayer experience dressed up with some loosely related storyline about cake. Outside of that there's a game creation mode with support for up to 31 AI bots, with various tweakable options such as difficulty and map. It's good to have the option to play against bots, but once you've learnt the basics it's unlikely you'll want to play offline games again.

All of this is ultimately a huge shame as the game is fun to play up until you fail to get a result after investing a huge amount of time in a match. Multiplayer gaming is generally something that you can hop in and out of, playing a few games here and there, but that's generally not possible with Fat Princess - log on for 30 minutes and you'll likely fail to even complete a single game. There's only so much the cute presentation can gloss over, meaning some serious changes will need to be made if the game is going to have any real legs.

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9 Comments

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User Comments

rbrtchng's Avatar

rbrtchng

I think it's fair that these flaws significantly hampered your experience, but here's my opinion of it. As for lack of depth, anybody who's played Fat Princess well knows that it has a huge amount of depth in terms of teamwork/strategies/techniques, especially compared to the usual "aim crosshair at head+shoot" from most other online multiplayer games.

And then there's the long games, which I have no problems with since I play with friends with headsets and with enough coordination, the games for me has never been over 15-20 minutes. But even an hour long game, that's not long especially if you compare to games like DoTA or every single multiplayer "non-shooter" games, in fact, Fat Princess is quite short comparatively.
Posted 04:27 on 09 September 2009
mydeaddog's Avatar

mydeaddog

Fair enough, that was probably a bit harsh. Apologies.
Posted 14:18 on 05 August 2009
renegade's Avatar

renegade

oh and *deal with it* sorry but I though this was a puplic forum yeh. Im just giving my 2 Cents *1p?* to the review. If you don't agree fair enough, but it is my view on this review. So deal with it ;)
Posted 14:12 on 05 August 2009
renegade's Avatar

renegade

Yeh my point is the score seems to low when you take in the facts.

The main flaws are

Not a huge amount of depth. Come on it is a a Cartoon action game. Like I said before Bf 2142 has one game mode. It is common place for download games.

Games seem to last forever and by that I guess you mean the stalemates. Fair point.

Tbh i would pick a flaw in the aweful uk pricing. But hey what ever. I do still think sites review the high end PSN/XBLA games like they are retail games

*Wipeout Warhawk BF 2142 etc* Sorry I dont know like any XBLA games.

I still think that
8
8
6

Even though you dont agree with averages is harsh, and personally thing 7 is more fitting as

I still would ask what did you really expect more?
Posted 14:09 on 05 August 2009
Mr_Ninjutsu's Avatar

Mr_Ninjutsu@ mydeaddog

I agree with mydeaddog her. BUT i think the review scores should be made by user review scores. They have these similiar to gametrailers.com. Maybe that would even a few things up on this site?
Posted 13:47 on 05 August 2009
mydeaddog's Avatar

mydeaddog

We're a website that runs reviews of videogames. If we don't like a particular game, what do you expect us to do?

Tom's review explains why he gave it the score he did. Some sites have picked out similar criticisms, while others clearly don't feel that these issues detract from the overall experience.

They've given their opinion, and we've given ours. Deal with it.
Posted 13:23 on 05 August 2009
renegade's Avatar

renegade

Yeh like other sites you helped fuck this games average up on metacritic. Nice one....
Posted 13:02 on 05 August 2009
El-Dev's Avatar

El-Dev

This is how the Left 4 Dead review should have read!

Fair points made about the game, though it's still fun. Once less people start playing it though and co-operation is a bigger part then it'll get better. Great idea though.
Posted 19:14 on 04 August 2009
renegade's Avatar

renegade

6 8 8 i know these are not an average but come on xD. This game is getting great reviews. And not a huge amount of Depth well it is a Download game, if this game cost 40 pound fair play. But come on, stop reviewing it like it is one. And surely a downloadable game that last forever is good?

Oh well im sure ill enjoy it

And don't forget. BF 2142 is in the same boat. One game mode etc, but hey it is because its Battlefield right?
Posted 15:30 on 04 August 2009

Game Stats

Fat Princess
6
Out of 10
Fat Princess - No boxshot available.
  • Looks great
  • Amusing audio
  • Not a huge amount of depth
  • Games seem to last forever
Agree? Disagree? Get Involved!
Release Date: TBA
Platform: PS3
Developer: Darkstar Industries
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
Genre: Action
No. Players: 1-32
Rating: TBC
Site Rank: 3,544 6
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