Fat Princess

If you like chaotic action with a dash of tactical planning, if you like your multiplayer games to be accessible, violent and fun, or if you simply like your princesses as big as a house, then Sony’s latest network offering will be for you.

Fat Princess, a cream filled treat, with chocolate frosting and sprinkles, not only has a rather dodgy premise, but is also packed with playability, up to date online features, and a chunky slice of offbeat humour.

 
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In the best traditions of competitive gaming your team of little red men goes up against the opposing forces of evil. That’s right – little blue men. The evil blue empire, looking like a murderous pack of heavily armed smurfs, have kidnapped your princess and locked her away in their castle. Your noble red army has, quite rightly, responded by taking their princess and locking her away.

After that, it’s all on as both sides battle to recapture their large-boned monarch and leave their enemies beaten, ridiculed and hacked into small pieces.

When playing Fat Princess you begin in your castle. Looking down on the action in a view reminiscent of the old isometric dungeon crawlers, you are automatically assigned control of one of your scurrying soldiers. In the castle there’s also a throne, a number of strange machines and, in the beginning at least, a fairly average-sized princess. In front of each machine is a hat. Picking up a hat will assign your little drone a class. You have a choice of a warrior, mage, priest, archer or worker. Choosing the worker will enable you to chop down trees or mine gems from mounds of rock. Carry the wood or gems back to your castle and you will be able to upgrade the machines, and in doing so, upgrade your classes.

Switching classes is as simple as it gets. All you have to do is pick up a hat from one of your machines, or the battlefield, and you’re no longer a worker, you’re an archer or a mage. Each class not only has different abilities, but also has different stats. It's all fairly rudimentary, with the difference usually just a slight tweak in health and a different mode of attack. If they sound a bit like the classes in Diablo, they are. It's all kept refreshingly simple but with a cool little two-dimensional graphical twist. The entire game is light, smooth and very engaging.

The single-player mode is a good opportunity to get familiar with the game mechanics and will see you heading towards your opponents castle, as a warrior or mage, as soon as your worker has upgraded a machine or two. While there is nothing much you can do to direct your AI army, aside from pressing up to get them to follow you, for the most part they will be keeping themselves busy collecting items or fighting.

The control system is also very simple. Use the square button to attack, cast and build, while the trigger buttons can lock onto targets or block attacks. Triangle changes weapons and you use the circle button to pick up hats, bombs, potions and cake.

The cake is at the heart of the game. Big slices of it are lying all around the charmingly presented environments. Take them back to your captured princess and she will scoff it down, immediately packing on the kilos. The heftier your princess, the more difficult it is for the opposing army to carry her back to their own castle. This gives you more opportunity to counterattack and drag her back to her cage.

That’s it, really. As you can imagine there is a lot of fighting, building, and feeding that goes into winning each of the ten levels. There are plenty of failed sorties with mage-flanked warriors getting run down while struggling with their weighty prize. The green fields are soon scattered with body parts and pools of blood and the princesses are soon the size of a house.

Fat Princess is a game aimed squarely at the online gaming community. It supports up to 32 players and, like the best of games, combines a simple premise with humour and charm. Everything about it is kept simple, but it also offers plenty of scope for tactical planning and teamwork. There is always the choice as to whether it is better to upgrade now, or build a catapult or ladder to make an early run at the princess before she gets too fat. Whatever you choose, organising mages and priests to support your warrior is essential when attacking the opposing castle.

Fat Princess, despite the dodgy premise, is heaps of fun. It’s old-school gameplay with a fresh new look. The single player mode won’t take much more then a night to play through, but online there are plenty of reasons to keep going back. Somehow, the game manages to keep a light, family-friendly charm amid the severed limbs, pools of blood and morbid obesity. And who can’t find room for another slice of cake?


Fat Princess
"Dodgy premise, but heaps of fun."
- Fat Princess
7.5
Good
 
Follow Own it? Rating: PG   Difficulty: Easy   Learning Curve: 15 Min


 

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Comments Comments (14)

 
Donutta
Posted by Donutta
On Tuesday 11 Aug 2009 10:17 AM
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Uh, I don't necessarily want to be a douche -- although I'm sure it will come over that way -- but this is kind of a light review.

I mean, firstly, you left out information about the various modes and only talked about one of them. What about team deathmatch? What about castle capture?

Secondly, what about all the problems that have plagued the game since launch (and still aren't fixed for Kiwis)? We can only host games with up to four people because of poor bandwidth. Connecting to a game is a nightmare. If a host drops, a new one is never found efficiently -- and that's if you can even find one at all. The other night I spend 20 minutes trying to find a game.

Lastly, (and I know it's not usually good form to talk about other players in a review, but still) everyone is a freaking idiot. In a team-based game, everyone just does their own thing. This is because the system is set up around points, so it's far more beneficial to just cut down 20 dudes as a warrior than it is to get your ass to the other side of the map and rescue the princess. Hell, it's even more beneficial than feeding your own princess cake. In a team-based game, it's a major design flaw to have a single-player focus.

Also, rescuing the princess is practically impossible because of distance -- although this is partly coupled with everyone just being out for themselves. Consequently, games can last literally hours. While the game is fun in small doses, after 45 minutes I'm finding myself bored. I've actually walked off to do other things, and I can't be the only one as I frequently see people just idling. Leaving isn't really an option because then you lose all the work you've just spent the last 30+ minutes doing.

Broken, broken game.

Again, not trying to bag on the review, but I think it's important for people to know these things.
 
 
 
ChatterboxZombie
Posted by ChatterboxZombie
On Tuesday 11 Aug 2009 2:31 PM
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I didnt read what Donutta said but its easier to just assume hes right.
 
 
 
Donutta
Posted by Donutta
On Tuesday 11 Aug 2009 3:09 PM
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Dene's review isn't wrong. I just felt he left out some pretty important pieces of information.
 
 
 
twisterjamz NZGamer.com VIP VIP Gold
Posted by twisterjamz
On Tuesday 11 Aug 2009 3:34 PM
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I actually liked the game was a fun enjoyable game
 
 
 
MounatinMan NZGamer.com VIP VIP Bronze
Posted by MounatinMan
On Tuesday 11 Aug 2009 5:32 PM
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i loved this game, but the online play is still kindof sketchy, awaiting a much needed patch
 
 
 
Oliver
Posted by Oliver
On Wednesday 12 Aug 2009 2:29 AM
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I never got what the hype was about with this game. Sure it's a funny idea but even before it was released, it had gotten old. I thought I'd wait for the review and see how it fared, and I'm afraid this just isn't enough to offset the many complaints I've heard. I'll only ever play this if for some reason it's free.
 
 
 
Moneyshot
Posted by Moneyshot
On Wednesday 12 Aug 2009 12:13 PM
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First hour is fun, bold and a visual joy- but its crippling mission to join a game online, then unless your lucky to get to play with humans not circus chimps that seems to be playing at the moment its a nightmare.
Its more like grab the princess get hacked down in 2 minutes flat and repeat over and over again until you smash the contoller and have a stiff drink.
Even the single player the IA on your team are uselss unless you manage to get 4 of them which is a mission and then smash open the water tunnel next to your fatty in the dungeon and strain your escape back to your base.

Unless you have a headset "which I do but dont what to hear winey teenager's Americans talk trash all the time" its a mission to get anyone to Help,Join you in trying to win or play the game that it was suppose to be played towards 1 goal in saving a porker.
Unlike Games such as BF2 you cant just really do your own thing because the man game is to get one goal and you will be cut down very quickly.

It would be a great game if it was more focus into making the teams work together, or maybe its not the designers fault there are so many muppets out there.

9- for the idea
8 -For Price
7 -For graphic "cartoon" detail
4- for trying to play it online.

Donutta your %100 right with your comments.
 
 
 
Moneyshot
Posted by Moneyshot
On Wednesday 12 Aug 2009 12:39 PM
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Oh the reason its a mission to join a game is it a P2P game without servers.
So if Todd the America playing at 3 am decides to call it a night your game is dropped like a sh*tty nappy.
Also having a ping from NZ you would be better to make a game rather trying to join one.
 
 
 
krizzla
Posted by krizzla
On Thursday 13 Aug 2009 3:04 PM
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Support G.A.M.E.O.P. (Gamers Against Microsoft's Excessive Over Pricing ) http://bit.ly/10tMHz
 
 
 
Fatmike NZGamer.com VIP VIP Bronze
Posted by Fatmike
On Friday 14 Aug 2009 1:18 AM
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Hey, Dene here. Fat Princess ay? Well, everything posted is absolutely right, so I won’t argue it point by point. If I did I might come over sounding defensive or dismissive or snarky, which I hope I’m not.
So I might just go through a few reasons why I wrote what I did.
When I first got it I had no idea what kind of a game Fat Princess was. All I had was the name. For all I knew it could have been a little kids game with a strange sense of humour, or some dark morbid freak show. It was neither – or maybe it was a bit of both?
Anyway, the way I went at it was to try to give some idea of what kind of game it was. I stated with the name Fat Princess and worked out. So I guess most of what I talked about was the Fat Princess, and everything that revolved around her. I probably should have included a list of game modes, my bad, but the gameplay and tactics, even between modes, didn’t strike me as being too different or adding much.
The online stuff I’ve always found tricky. My ISP’s a bit crap (but in NZ ‘a bit crap’ I think is the official industry standard) so I’m a bit wary of bollocking a game because of connectivity problems or lag. Also, the most fun I’ve had online in the past year was playing Socom, so, liking Socom despite all the bad press it got may mean my sense of perspective is a bit skewed. But, if anyone knows which game it was that on release had no network or lag problems or idiot spammers, let me know.
And don’t stop posting. Even though I’m still trying to get over being called an idiot for mentioning that Madworld was kind of violent, I know everyone here reads all the feedback avidly and I for one don’t say thanks nearly enough for it.
So thanks again.
Dene
 
 
 
Moneyshot
Posted by Moneyshot
On Friday 14 Aug 2009 9:59 AM
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The game should be a triumph of team work and game play, this is what it is marketed as.
Its main goal is to have up to 32 players working together for the purpose of getting the princess and beating the other team, the whole game play is made to work on this point.

It fails....its not lag issues or spammers. It the connection issue of trying to connect to a game and the complete lack of team work which in the end of it all was what the game is about.
Playing online is a slow, painful and becomes boring after the first hour due to the desingers fault to see that everyone wasnt going to play like them.
Patch it and get some servers and bingo you have a wicked game this is what lets it down.
 
 
 
Donutta
Posted by Donutta
On Friday 14 Aug 2009 11:17 AM
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14 August 2009, 09:59 AM Reply to Moneyshot
The game should be a triumph of team work and game play, this is what it is marketed as.
Its main goal is to have up to 32 players working together for the purpose of getting the princess and beating the other team, the whole game play is made to work on this point.

It fails....its not lag issues or spammers. It the connection issue of trying to connect to a game and the complete lack of team work which in the end of it all was what the game is about.
Playing online is a slow, painful and becomes boring after the first hour due to the desingers fault to see that everyone wasnt going to play like them.
Patch it and get some servers and bingo you have a wicked game this is what lets it down.
Yeah, I think the inclusion of ANY scores and ranking system was a really, really big design error. The designers should have been aware that people are only out for themselves, especially online with a group of strangers.
 
 
 
The Host of Chaos NZGamer.com VIP VIP Gold
Posted by The Host of Chaos
On Saturday 15 Aug 2009 2:10 AM
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I only played this online once during the beta (due to connection issues) and even then I was the only guy on my team who went anywhere near the princess. Nobody else helped until I made it half way back. Useless bastards!
 
 
 
Oliver
Posted by Oliver
On Tuesday 25 Aug 2009 3:40 AM
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15 August 2009, 02:10 AM Reply to The Host of Chaos
I only played this online once during the beta (due to connection issues) and even then I was the only guy on my team who went anywhere near the princess. Nobody else helped until I made it half way back. Useless bastards!
Maybe the beta had some serious issues? No, who am I kidding. People are d*cks.