Diabetics need not apply; Fat Princess is sugar-filled action strategy game that pits two kingdoms against each other in this PSN exclusive. In this plump offering from Titian Studios, we’ll get to eat our cake and have our fun too!
The Playstation Network rolls out the exclusive Fat Princess, a delightful real-time action strategy game from Titian Studios. It's not surprising that Fat Princess has already run up against some scrutiny because of its graceless title, but rest assured Titian Studios isn't looking to be offensive with the "FAT" in Fat Princess. They are simply trying to be funny. The name of “Fat Princess” actually refers to a clever game mechanic within the game which we will get into as this review progresses. In some respects I understand why Fat Princess has taken some heat, as its title could be slightly offensive to weight sensitive people. However, it’s only a game and in the context of the action, it’s harmless fun.
Disregarding the "fat" part, of the Princess, we can get into the filling of this sugar-coated action game. In Fat Princess you will play as a villager in either the red or blue kingdom. The warring kingdoms leads into four game modes which do battle in two areas, Play with Yourself (single player) or Play with Others (multiplayer). Online, or off, the game remains the same except that online you’ll be playing against real people, and real people compared to "bots" is always the way to go. Fat Princess single player is a fully functioning campaign, complete with a working plot line, however it’s all just icing because the goods are found online.
Unfortunately, Fat Princess's online component has been off to a rocky start because its connectivity issues with the Playstation network. Finding a server to hook up with can be a little troublesome as the game matchmaking is touch and go. This will likely lead to some frustration to gamers who are looking to jump right online. Hopefully Sony can get the Princess patched up and running smoother in the near future. Finding an online game isn’t impossible, it just takes some patience. Once you have connected you'll likely be satisfied because even with the servers maxed out with 32 people, Fat Princess runs without any considerable slowdown or lag.
The most appealing modes in Fat Princess are the ones where you have to capture the other team’s princess by storming their castle and lifting her up by force. This is where the Fat Princess comes into play. The more you feed your captive princess delicious pieces of cake the heavier she will get, and in turn the more time it will take for her to be lifted and carried away. Don’t worry about over feeding the lady because she always wants more cake, and as time goes on she simply shrink down to her normal weight. All this weight gain and loss might not be healthy, but it is better than be kidnapped by a bloodthirsty gang of warriors. Stealing the princess and returning her to your castle is simply a re-envisioning of the classic multiplayer mode capture-the-flag which plays out wonderfully. The other games modes aren’t as creative, but still offer a chance to break up the gameplay. These consist of a Team Deathmatch and Invasion mode. Team Deathmatch is self explanatory, and the Invasion mode is a simple capture and hold exercise where you have to hold on to outposts as long as possible.
To capture the bulging princess you'll need to master the different characters you can take control of. When you spawn into this world you will be a simple villager helper who has the ability to wear different hats to become the hat that they are wearing. The villager by himself isn’t much of a treat to anyone unless you are the unlucky thief that is stealing the princess. The villagers unique skill is the ability to slap thing out of the other team’s hands, either a resource that they are gathering, or even better a princess. Doing damage or staying alive long enough to do some damage is hard as the villager, so the creative mechanic of hat wearing comes into play. Unpretentiously slap on a new hat and you transform into a new character. These hats can be picked up in your castle or even out in the battlefield from fallen comrades or enemies. There is no rules on how much you can change, so if go nuts and let your hats sweep you into the battle’s cry.
Aside from the villager there are five other classes you can become consisting of a warrior, archer, worker, mage and priest. The warrior is the main offensive and defensive character who has the most stomping power and health. Expect to see a lot of these little guys doing a lot of the leg work. The Archer and Mage classes are the pesky characters that will be bombarding the battlefield with long range attacks in the way of a bow and rifle for the Archer, and fire or ice magic from the Mage. The Worker and Priest classes are a little more diverse and help out around the battlefield more than directly getting into a stabbing match. The worker can gather resources, build up your existing facilitates and create interactive spots on a map. The Worker might be the most important class to be working in the background, and if played right they can also throw a couple of exploding bombs in the right direction. The Priest has the ability to heal characters along with the juxtaposed ability to drain energy from enemies when upgraded. Like all online games the medic is the job somebody has to do. Even though its not always the most fun, it is a crucial part of achieving victory in the battlefield.
The most crucial aspect in Fat Princess is team-work which means having the right classes all working together as a cohesive unit. Online this can be done with a like minded bunch of gamers, however offline in the single player game you are at the hands of the bots. The bots can be useful, but for the majority of the time they will be hindering your performance. Storming the walls and capturing the princess can be near impossible without much help and that’s likely what you’ll get during the single player missions. Thankfully this is broken up with the other game modes. Online your team can work effectively, the worker gathering resources to upgrade your troops while a few other sneak up to the front lines and build siege weapons against the enemies castle. The ranged fighters can also work as a team with the warriors healing them and picking off enemies from a distance. Like I mentioned early, Fat Princess is meant to be enjoyed online. This is the only place where the mechanics of the game excel and the strategic elements really pop.
Fat Princess is more filling then the sweet magical icing that crowns the princess's favorite meal. Titian Studios has produced a fun, quick-paced strategy game that takes the classic formula of capture-the-flag and turns it into a violent, cheery pool of controlled chaos. Fat Princess is a fun game plump with online gaming goodness that will fill up all the gamers who enjoy real-time strategy games, or simply want a fresh action game to play. Despite a few connection issues, Fat Princess is a nice addition to the PSN, and one game everyone with a Playstation 3 should check out.
Final Score: 8.5