Fat Princess: Fistful of Cake
Sony seems to have found a new hole in the market, porting succesful PS3 franchises to its less than awesome-performing Playstation Portable. After a series of ports with amongst others Kratos, Jak&Daxter, Gran Turismo and the recently less succesful Eye of Judgment it’s now the turn of the Fat Princess. The original game was a PSN title but the pick&play gameplay of course perfectly lends itself for a portable console. The question now is: is this the cherry on the cake?
The story behind Fat Princess: Fistful of Cake is contrary to the princess quite thin. Each part of the story comes down to feeding the princess with cake until she’s huge and prohibits the enemy to quickly run away with her. Add some different classes, strategy elements and some team work and you get one game that especially feminists will hate…
Fat Princess is a typical multiplayer title and that immediately gets noticed in the singleplayer “Play with Yourself” where your opponents have just been replaced by bots. Before you start you choose a class (warrior, healer, magician, worker, archer) by putting on a hat at a hat-producing-machine. Changing class is as simple as changing underwear, euh… hat. The necessary diversity is present and there’s something for any player, going from aggressive to supportive. A worker for instance will look for commodities to upgrade other classes, an archer is good at long range, a warrior uses his primitive brains, a magician casts some spells and the healer does what his name suggests, but in a beautiful outfit that could even make the pope jealous.
Offline you can get going with a maximum of 23 AI bots but unfortunately they seem not to be part of the race of homo sapiens (aka thinking human) as they don’t defend when you attack nor the other way around. Those that don’t want to get the feeling they’re really “playing by themselves” will quickly discover the online mode where you can play with eight people and 8 additional bots to fill the map. There’s plenty of room for teamwork but due to the constant presence of bots a lot of fun gets ruined.
Another disadvantage is the design of the game as online parts work less on a handheld. You don’t have internet available all the time and this makes that games where the online part is most important are doomed to fail. By adding bots the devs try to limit the damage but it’s clearly a lost cause.
Just like the princess the game is a heavyweight thanks to the 17 different maps with suiting names like Candy Mountain, Brownie Town and Marzipan Meadows. The many game modes where you constantly get variations to the theme of saving or guarding the princess (or a combination of the two) deliver hours of fun as long as the AI doesn’t ruin it.
Visually there’s little bad to be said about this title as everything looks sharp and has a funny and cartoony look, just like the original, but with a high PEGI rating due to the overload of blood and guts. The audio is also very good with a Medieval tune in the background that has a funny twist while the story is being told with a dry British accent that adds some additional comedy.
Fat Princess: Fistful of Cake perfectly lends itself to a Playstation Portable game but the disappointing AI in singleplayer messes things up. Of course it’s still a multiplayer game in its core but also here Supervillain Studios dropped the ball by limiting it too much. There aer too few players possible in one game and this seems to result in few people actually being interested in going online. Gaming online with a handhheld also isn’t common yet. What the game does do well are the graphics, sound and the “pick & play” level. However, if we can choose between the original on PS3 and this port, then the choice is easy: PS3 any day!