She's Really Uhhh, Fat, Man

Really? Fat Princess lives up to the name? Oh yes, that and so much more.
Author: Sam Bishop
Published: August 16, 2009
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Where the game's real depth comes in is that resource gathering portion. By mining and chopping down trees, Workers can build things like doors, shortcuts and even alternate ways into the enemy castle. Better still, they can upgrade the hat machines that spit out all the class-making caps, giving Workers the ability to throw bombs, Warriors a piked blade that doubles their range, Mages the ability to burn instead of freeze, Priests can go dark to sap life instead of restore it and Rangers get a proper musket instead of a piddly bow and arrow. Each class also has a specific charged-up attack, and upgrading a class gives it a new special attack (the upgraded Warrior, for instance, can unleash a dash/uppercut attack as opposed to his normal 360 swing with a normal sword/shield). The upgrades introduce new, interesting strategies, too (again, the Warrior can trade the defensive advantage of his shield for more range), and once upgraded, the different sub-classes can be toggled at any time.


What really makes the game interesting, though, is the way the maps are laid out. Multiple ducts, tunnels and back routes into the castle or around the map are introduced, and no two maps have the same kind of shortcuts, which is great. This leads to some interesting strategies and contests over things like outposts, which allow Workers to toss their materials into without having to go all the way back to the castle as well as providing the odd shortcut from time to time. That there's an entire mode dedicated to capturing and holding outposts shows their importance. The other two modes, a straight-up deathmatch and a soccer map help broaden the game's offerings, but the capture-the-flag main mode is definitely where the meat of the game lies.

The cutesy look of the game has been fairly consistent throughout the development process, but the final product has nice, clean, anti-aliased edges and a normally rock-solid framerate. The color palette stays true to the cheery look of the original medieval look of the first revealed map, but the lava pits, cliff-top bridges and sunny beachside shipwreck maps are just as impressive, if not moreso. The jusxtoposion of all the bloodletting combined with the otherwise innocent colors really is a great clash.

The audio is a little less consistent. While the tracks that play throughout the matches are both lengthy and varied, the smallish number of maps and the fact that some fights can drag on for what seems like an hour means you'll still hear it quite a bit. The adorably high-pitched quotes from your little guys are equally adorable (right down to their death cries as they're hacked into the great hereafter), but again, you'll hear a lot of the same stuff after just a few minutes. Still, it's perfectly fitting for the game's look, and none of it is offensive, just... repetitive.

Now that Sony has kicked out a patch to resolve most of the connection issues that were encountered upon launch (seriously, guys, can we have one online multiplayer game that launches without major issues?), getting into things is fairly easy, and though there are a few pauses here and there when in 32-player games (as well as the odd bit of teleporting), it's usually rather solid. That said, the actual matchmaking and hosting options are all but nonexistent, and though friends were able to join my game, I was never able to find theirs; it just said nobody was playing. Without support for clans and incredibly generalized "you unlocked new customization options!" prompts on the main menu, the community and progression aspects of the game also feel a little lacking.

All told, though, Fat Princess has a ton of fun to offer those that are willing to shell out for a headset and stick to playing a specific role. Armchair generals and those that like formulating strategies or matches with friends can be incredibly fun, and speak well to the game's ability to keep giving even after a few-hour play session. The long-term viability of the game seems a bit limited without the addition of new maps and perhaps an expanded suite of community options, but what's here is a very, very solid start, and if you've got a means of talking with other players, you absolutely need to give this game a shot.
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The Verdict
8.5

Though it's hardly perfect, Fat Princess is nevertheless one of the most enjoyable and multi-faceted multiplayer experiences on the PS3 right now. Grab a headset and get to slaughtering; that princess isn't going to gorge herself, you know!

8.5Graphics:

Cute, clean, smooth and well-animated, Fat Princess is as much fun to look at as it is to play, though there can be some hiccups from time to time.

8.0Sound:

Adorable at first, some of the music and sound effects can start to feel a bit overly repetitive after a few hours.

8.5Control:

Nice, tight controls are contrasted by just a bit of sloppy lock-on action. Performing tasks without the lock on is seriously a crapshoot, and usually not recommended.

8.5Gameplay:

Played properly, Fat Princess can be an incredible experience, and one that seriously plays to one's ability to cooperate with other people on your team. So long as the community stays strong, the game should have decent legs, too.