Crispy Gamer

Games for Lunch: Fat Princess

Fat Princess

Developer: Titan Studios

Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment

Release Date: July 30, 2009

System: PS3

ESRB Rating: T

Official Web site

0:00 Most of my knowledge of this game comes from the feminist controversy surrounding its concept. And since controversial = good, I'm looking forward to it!

0:01 A light medieval melody plays as tiny, cute, cel-shaded characters run around a castle, picking up cake and such. In the corner, a fat princess sits munching on a sign that says "Start." Yum!

0:02 The options menu is called "Twiddly Knobs." From that I can tell that this is gonna be my kind of game. I "Get Fabulous" by randomizing my character's look a few times. He ends up with pale white skin and a spiky black beard and hair.

0:03 There are 18 pages of "how to play" text with simple picture tutorials. I'm guessing the actual game has a better tutorial, so I'll save this for later.

0:04 I'm definitely not ready to "Play with Others," so I guess I'll just "Play With [Myself]." Wait ... that didn't sound right...

0:06 Before I get into "Legend of the Fat Princess" the game suggests I finish reading the instructions. So I do. Let's see ... I can pick up hats to change my class. Collect resources to upgrade each one. Two opposing teams trying to take control of both princesses at once. Simple enough...

0:07 Light princesses can be carried easily. Fat princesses (that have eaten too much cake) are harder to move. Brilliant security system, there...

0:09 "The Legend of the Fat Princess," says a distinguished-sounding narrator. Chapter One is "A Delicious Discovery: Once upon a time in the land of Titania, there lived two princesses who loved to play together in the Black Forest." Then they found a 10-foot-tall cake, and "in the blink of an eye the princesses were overwhelmed by the intense yumminess."

0:10 And I'm in control. I pick up the first hat I see and become a bow-wielding Ranger. "The enemy has captured an outpost!" the announcer announces.

0:12 Outside the castle now, joining the carnage with my computer-controlled teammates, firing dozens of arrows at the opposing Warriors from afar. Their close-range attacks are no match for my projectiles. Also, there's a Priest healing me pretty quickly, making me nigh invulnerable.

0:14 I finally get taken down by a Mage as I'm trying to break down the opposing castle door. In five seconds I've respawned in my castle, which is being threatened by the opposition. Quick turnaround!

0:17 I find some cake to help protect the princess, then go back to being a Ranger. My team and I charge to breach the opposing castle wall, and I pick up the fattened princess. A bunch of my allies help me carry her more quickly, and she's soon returned to our castle. After we defend her for a few seconds, "VICTORY IS OURS!" I love the cute hand-drawn princess pictures that accompany the end of the match.

0:19 Chapter 2 is "A Sizeable Problem." The story talks about the kings finding their princesses gorging in the forest. They're worried the girls will explode from so much cake, and ban the cursed cake throughout the land.

Fat Princess

0:22 This second level has a much more interesting map, with mountainous plateaus and choke-point bridges. I sneak into their castle via a back way but can't seem to find their princess. Also, even though I'm alone in the castle and outnumbered 10 to one, the other team largely ignores me. The AI is not all that impressive, yet.

0:25 Since I can't find the princess, I just focus on capturing outposts in the middle of the field. This is quite easy to do ... just stand in front of them and wait for the meter to fill up. I even regain health as I wait, if I don't move. I'm rarely attacked ... seems the other team is busy elsewhere. At some point we get a "Red Team Wins" message, so I guess capturing the outposts was the goal? Maybe? *shrug*

0:26 Chapter 3: The princesses won't stop eating, but nothing satiates them. So he let them eat cake. "The princess ate and ate while the king despaired." A message arrived, but we'll have to beat the next chapter to find out what it said!

0:27 I'm trying out the Warrior class this time in a "Team Deathmatch" battle. No princesses here ... just kill the other team. But I'm having trouble finding enemies to whack with my sword. Oh, there's one ... he's chopping wood. And he keeps chopping wood as I hack him to bits. Doesn't even run away or defend himself at all. Sigh.

0:31 I get a nice team of allies surrounding me as we storm the enemy camp, which happens to be a pirate ship. We spread mass carnage as we go. The Priests and Mages offer crucial support for my close-range chopping.

0:32 Brought down by a few ranged attackers who surprisingly keep out of range of my Warrior's sword.

0:34 Quote of the moment: "They're in our base, killing our doodz!" It's funny when said in the super-dignified British voice of the narrator.

0:37 Trying to take an outpost, I get overwhelmed by a group of 10 opposing forces. I manage to take out a surprisingly large number of them by tactically retreating and firing arrows as I back away. The mix of twitch action and real-time strategy is actually quite enjoyable. An easy-to-read interface and clear map help immensely.

0:38 OK, let's try out the Priest for a change of pace. Guess I'll be healing my teammates instead of killing things directly.

0:39 I am an awful Priest. I'm so focused on healing others that I don't notice I'm being hacked to death rather quickly. Back to direct damage for me, it seems.

0:41 Playing around a bit now, since our team has an insurmountable lead in manpower. I turn into a Worker and collect some resources to upgrade our classes. Now we have Ice Mages! Freezy!

0:43 Quote of the moment: "Help! We're being ganked!" Again, it's all in the British accent.

0:44 We finally take out their last warrior. The outcome was never in doubt ... we were never behind, and end up winning with 100 units left. Just took a while to whittle them down, is all.

0:45 Chapter 4: Prince Albert is coming to cure the curse with a kiss. But wait ... he could choose the other princess as his true love. So we'll capture her! Brilliant!

Fat Princess

0:48 This match is coming to a head in a big standoff on a bridge. Our team has three Priests behind a Warrior, who hacks dozens of enemies to bits while being constantly healed. I provide light support with my arrows. It's a winning strategy as we bust through!

0:51 So we've breached their castle and picked up the skinny princess. The gaggle of blue-team opponents running around the castle seemingly couldn't care less about this, letting me leave unscathed. Man, this AI is REALLY bad!

0:54 After the first princess is captured (of three required to win), I take some time out to collect resources and upgrade our hat machines. This is relatively boring, though I suppose someone else can do it in the multiplayer matches. It's for the good of the team, I guess.

0:59 My upgraded workers have some surprisingly quick and powerful bombs, which I've spent the last five minutes throwing at everything in sight.

Would I play this game for more than an hour? Yes.

Why? Though the crappy AI has made the single-player way too simple, the design feels like it would work well in multiplayer.

This column is based on a downloadable copy of the game purchased by Crispy Gamer.