People love capture the flag. It’s a great game for the outdoors, and it’s a nifty multiplayer option for many first-person shooter games across loads of consoles, past and present. People also love cake (though they don’t love it anywhere near as much as this pair of portly princesses) so why not combine these two things into one? That’s exactly what Titan Studios with did the latest hit release on the Playstation Network, Fat Princess.
Developer: Titan Studios
July 30, 2009
The princesses are not fat on their own–you have to make them that way. Since this is capture the flag style play, with the princess being the flag, you want your opponents to struggle to bring her back to their castle dungeon. To do so, you load your princess up with cake until she’s bursting at the seams. The whole concept is kind of out there, but it fits very well with the style of game that Titan Studios has come up with. That’s the gist of it–there’s also a deathmatch mode which works very well, though it requires less teamwork–but even with such a simple concept, there’s some deep and rewarding gameplay here.
For starters, there are 10 maps and five different classes to choose from. The worker, mage, priest, ranger and the warrior all have their own strengths and weaknesses, and you will need all of them in order to succeed in capturing the princess. Each class is also capable of being upgraded, which is where the workers come in. They cut down the trees and mine for the precious stones that allow you to upgrade your castle, build trampolines, scale the enemy’s walls, and enhance your other classes. Mage’s are capable of fire and ice attacks, the priest is able to heal you and leech life from others, the ranger is a long-ranged fighter, equipped with a bow and later a gun, and the warrior is equipped with first a sword and then a lance that he can charge across the battlefield with. Each class plays very well, and each is integral to a successful match. You can pick a class (and easily switch it as well) by picking up one of the hats generated by the machines in your base. All you need to be a warrior is to wear a warrior hat; no leveling or RPG-elements necessary.
Stylistically, the game excels. The graphics are very clean and cel-shaded, and have a cartoony look to them. It’s also a very violent game though, with loads of blood splatters all over the place, so don’t be fooled by your initial looks at the title. The charm of the graphical style also appears in the voice acting and narration, which has its own cute, quirky vibe going on.
The controls work well; attack with the square button, lock on with L1, hold square to charge your attack, and pick up items such as cake or resources with the circle. It’s easy to pick up and play, and even inexperienced players can pick off the talented ones by locking on and mashing the attack button. Killing the opposition isn’t the point though, especially with the quick respawn times (unless you’re in deathmatch of course, then it’s the only point).
Single-player is a mixed bag; it’s a good way to get your feet wet, but the AI is atrocious, so you will end up doing most of the work yourself; this causes the matches to go on much longer than they would online, where people can use voice chat to get their team into a plan of action. I recommend playing it first to get used to the game modes and some of the maps, as well as familiarizing yourself with the five classes, but that’s probably the last time you’ll play it once you check out the online play.
While online was impossible to get into at first–there’s a reason I’m doing this review now instead of a week ago–Titan Studios has since patched the game to fix some of the balance issues with scoring as well as make joining servers faster and more efficient. This has allowed more people to check out what Fat Princess has to offer, which if you’ve been following along with what I’m saying, is a great thing. Some matches don’t work so well, though with time this should subside–some people just refuse to work as a team, and they don’t help you upgrade or stage attacks appropriately. If you get into a match with people who are on the same page though, then Fat Princess just flat out rules.
Blast Factor: It’s got charm, it’s got violence, it’s got humor, and best of all, it’s got cake. Fat Princess is one of the top games available on the PSN, and with 32-player multiplayer, multiple game modes and a $15 price tag, there’s no reason not to pick this up. Unless you hate fun, of course.
Fat Princess is available exclusively on the Playstation Network, and costs $15