In 2009 I began working with Mrs B on her website FemaleGamers reviewing the latest console games. Sadly, our other commitments meant the website couldn’t continue and we brought it to an end early in 2010. I’ll be using this blog to review all the games, recent and not so recent, that I encounter. With Mrs B’s kind permission, I’ll also be posting some of the reviews I previously worked on, so don’t panic if they refer to previous years and months.
Fat Princess (PS3)
The greatest military leaders considered many things when detailing their battle strategies but the acquisition of delicious cake was never top of their lists. With Fat Princess, Titan Studios have combined a love of irresistible dessert with the pandemonium of warfare, which turns out to be a lot of fun.
Set in the land of Titania, Fat Princess pitches two rival cartoon armies against each other, beginning in the relative safety of their castles before venturing out into the hazardous land to face off in, at times, very bloody battles. In each castle resides a princess that is the primary target of each army for either rescue or capture dependent on which game mode you are playing. In both instances the gathering of cake to feed the princesses and fatten them up becomes as important a strategy as what happens on the battlefield.
There are four game modes in Fat Princess. The story mode entitled ‘Legend of the Fat Princess’ is divided into chapters telling the tale of two princesses who suffer for their fondness of cake. To unlock the next chapter you will need to play through one of the four types of battle. In ‘Rescue Princess’ the rival armies have imprisoned the enemy princess and must go to war to recover their own regal damsel in distress. In ‘Snatch ‘N Grab’ you must steal the enemy princess and imprison her in your dungeon three times while also leading a stalwart defence of your own princess. ‘Team Deathmatch’ does everything it says on the tin – a fierce bloodbath between rival armies where you each begin with 250 warriors and have to reduce your enemy to 0. Finally, there is ‘Invasion’ where you have to claim enemy outposts to lower their morale before claiming ultimate victory. Aside from the story mode there is ‘Mess About’ where you can customise your own battles. The ‘Gladiate’ option throws a solitary warrior into an arena where they face endless enemy attacks, which they must repel alone for as long as possible. Fat Princess is also playable online where up to 32 players can take part in the action.
Each castle begins with a small group of villagers who are fast on their feet but have limited health. In order to face the enemy your villagers head for one of five hat machines where donning a particular headpiece changes them into a mage, warrior, priest, ranger or worker. Mages devastate enemies with fire spells, warriors brandish swords, priests heal their allies, rangers fire arrows, while workers gather resources and upgrade the hat machines, build catapults and siege engines. Whenever a hat machine is improved the corresponding class is also enhanced, for example an upgraded mage will be able to cast ice spells as well as fire spells. You will control one character at a time while your independent allies will head into battle alongside you.
The downside to Fat Princess is unfortunately in the game modes involving the rescue or capture of princesses. Although challenging, these scenarios can become protracted with the tide of battle swinging in favour of rival sides at regular intervals. I found my army would advance into an enemy’s castle but then numbers wilted and my rivals would counterattack rapidly. Launching a daring capture of the princess single-handedly was often the only way forward but this is difficult to accomplish alone. Thankfully the ‘Deathmatch’ and ‘Invasion’ modes prove great fun. One of the highlights is in customising your own battles and selecting ‘Soccer’ as a location. You will experience a makeshift football game where the players are more focussed on fighting each other than pursuing the ball, leaving you free to take on goal scoring duties.
Fat Princess boasts colourful locations, cute but deadly characters, intense and frantic battles and some hilarious exchanges, not least the bossy princesses demanding more cake! Though some of the battles can become frustratingly overlong there are plenty of options in the menu to keep you entertained and it can be downloaded for only £7.00. Recommended, though you may never look at a piece of cake the same again!
Final Score: 87%
* Originally published on FemaleGamers
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