Review: Fat Princess (PS3)August 9th, 2009 | Written by Chris Selogy | Topic: PlayStation 3, Reviews
Class-based multiplayer games have become quite popular in recent years (Team Fortress 2, Battlefield 1943), so Sony is joining in on the fun with a game of their own. Fat Princess takes the same basic principles of a Team Fortress 2 and applies them to more of a cartoony action game that is as cute as it is bloody and violent. Fat Princess is certainly an enjoyable experience, but it kind of falters with some tech issues that ground the fun a bit.
For what is pretty much a multiplayer-focused game, Titan Studios did a good job of creating a story mode for Fat Princess that is simple and concise. The story is presented like a storybook that explains the simple tale of mysterious cake appearing in their world that the princesses of two kingdoms end up eating so much that they crave nothing but cake. The Legend of the Fat Princess mode, as it is really called, covers seven matches that logically fit the story and helps you get the hang of the gameplay well enough while being pretty easy to get through within a few hours. Also inhabiting the “Play With Yourself” portion of the main menu is a Gladiate mode, which is a decent way to learn how to fight with each of the five classes as you try to survive twelve waves of enemies to be a true gladiator. Add in a simple local match mode that lets you set up your own match with bots for when you don’t want to play with others.
The gameplay in Fat Princess is fairly similar to Team Fortress 2, but more of an action game than a first-person shooter. You start off each match as a blank villager that must visit one of the five hat machines around your base that spit out hats that turn you into its class when you put it on. From offensive classes like the warrior and ranger to the mage, priest, and worker as support classes, these are pretty simple roles that shouldn’t take you too long to figure out what you’re best at. Every map features outposts that your team can capture to allow for quicker mining for workers and a good place for rest or defense. The maps are well-designed, as they include quite a few shortcuts and hidden paths that can help you get an advantage over the enemy.
The worker is an especially important class in Fat Princess, as they can help the rest of the team become more powerful and open up more options and shortcuts to get into the enemy’s base. The classes overall are well-balanced, though there is an issue at the moment where ice mages are a bit more powerful when freezing guys than they need to. Matches can get into stalemates rather easily until a good group effort is initiated that can break through to get the princess, so some extra options to allow for tiebreaker options to help allow for shorter matches would be great. It really is a shame that there are no options for local multiplayer or additional players to join you online on the same console, since it seems like splitscreen wouldn’t hurt your view of the action here.
Fat Princess is definitely made to offer its replayability through online play. The online mode offers a few gametypes that include the main capture the flag mode plus a spin-off version of that mode, the typical team deathmatch, a mode centered on capturing outposts, and a soccer mode that is hidden for a good reason. The most entertaining modes are the two that are centered around capturing the princess in the other team’s base, though with the way the network is after the patch, you’ll probably be happy enough just to get into any game that is open. The major issue with Fat Princess is the crappy network code, as we have had about a 10% success rate of getting into a game through the quick or filtered matchmaking options even after the recent patch. Even when we’ve been able to get into a game, each and every match has even with us being kicked, which adds more time to the whole process of getting into games when you’re not just dropped back into the multiplayer menu but back to the Press Start screen.
Fat Princess has captured the look that Titan Studios aimed for quite well, which is to be overly cute but still offer the blood and gore that’s expected in your competitive multiplayer games these days. The maps look great along with being well-made as functional battlegrounds along with looking quite varied so every map doesn’t look the same. There is a good bit of customization with characters, called Get Fabulous in the main menu, as you can unlock new hair and eye colors, hair and facial hair styles, and skin color that can be used to create a bit of an identity for yourself as you play more of the game. The music is quite charming and enjoyable, though it will definitely get on your nerves after you find yourself at the main menu most of the time.
Fat Princess has the potential to be a very enjoyable and entertaining multiplayer game, but network issues that still persist from the beta a few months ago make it not a recommendable purchase right now. You might as well buy or stick with Battlefield 1943 at the moment and just wait until you hear about the definitive patch that actually fixes the online play and helps it live up to the potential that it shows right now, which is why this gets a Rent It recommendation. If Titan Studios can support Fat Princess well and offer plenty of good updates that include free and paid content, there should be a bright future for Fat Princess.