by Blackened Beans
reviewed on PS3
The fat lady sung
Fat Princess has been in development for quite some time but the long wait is finally over. I am glad to say that it was well worth the wait. The game has no storyline to speak of. If you are familiar with the Capture the Flag multiplayer concept, you will feel right at home joining one of two teams that are tasked to retreive their princess from the hands of the opposition. Sounds simple enough? If it would be, the game wouldn't be any fun, right? Right!
Starting the game, you will enter a uniquely cartoonesque and humor filled world. Even the menus are funny: single player mode is titled "play with yourself" and bots are eferred to as "imaginary friends". The humor in Fat Princess certainly contributes to it being such a fun experience, but it also helps that it looks great, sounds great, and plays great. With another patch or two, the experience could be greatly improved and Fat Princess could very well become the best PlayStation Network game of the year. Read on and I will tell you why.
Getting in character
The game offers a choice between five unique classes: mage, priest, ranger, warrior or worker. All classes play differently, with some being more strategic and others being more offensive. Each and every class is fun to play in its own way. Priests can heal teammates and, once upgraded, can also drain health from enemies. This is a powerful skill, but opponents can't be drained to the point of killing them so Priests will have to work together with other teammates to get the job done. Warriors on the other hand, are slow and powerful. They can take out enemies at close range with ease but will need backup to deal with faster enemies. A cool feature is that you can switch between classes at any time: simply pick up the hat of a fallen comrade or enemy or get a fresh one from the hat machine located at your team's base.
Workers can build structures for their own side and are able to bust down enemy structures faster than any other class on the roster. A useful ability is that they can upgrade the "class hat machines" so that other classes have access to more powerful hats. Workers are somewhat weak in combat and do not have much health to spare but fortunately they are fast, enabling them to run from danger. Mages are good for turning enemies into chickens but, sadly, not much else. Their attacks feel underpowered: freeze attacks last only a few seconds fireballs require too many shots to kill someone, rendering them practically useless. Rangers are somewhat slow in their movement but are incredibly effective with charged attacks. They start with a weak bow that can be charged for a more powerful attack. Once upgraded, Rangers can access a slow but extremely powerful blunderbuss that blasts weaker classes to bits with a single shot when fired at close range.
Fat Princess is packed with features, including online play with four game modes and nine maps, a survival mode called "Gladiate", a story mode and a single player skirmish mode. A lot of the single player content, most notably the story mode, is seriously hindered by AI issues. It is often impossible to capture the princess due to dumb AI that won't follow you when you need it to. Enemies that will gang up on your lonesome and kill you before help can arrive. Since teammates don't have the brain cells to go and bust into the enemies' castle on their own, your only option is to go at it alone or try and get some of them to follow you. In some levels, this is is utterly infuriating and makes you care less about strategy and more about going rogue to get the princess or capture control points. It's not a good representation of the strategy usually involved in online matches and really hurts the single player game.
Excellent graphics and sound, genuinely funny, solid controls and good amount of strategic depth. Great value for your money.
Bot AI is stupid to the point of controller-chucking frustration. Connection issues.