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Old 09-06-2009, 09:18 PM   #1
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Please rate this review: Fat Princess


Empty Calories


High
Holding both princesses for the last few seconds while the entire enemy team is running wild in the castle

Low The sudden realization that almost every match plays out the same way

WTF Where's the baker class?

Around the time I heard the news of Fat Princess through the grapevine, I was really starving for a hearty downloadable PSN title. Sure there had been a few tasty morsels here and there, but none of them really satisfied my appetite. A mash-up of two popular multiplayer staples and a helping of pick up and play accessibility, with a dash of quirkiness for taste, Fat Princess seemed like it had just what it would take to satiate me. Since the initial announcement, I've been drooling over every screenshot and crumb of information that came out for the title.

While essentially a familiar multiplayer dish--team capture-the-flag--Titan Studios has attempted to impart their own unique flavor to the recipe via some noteworthy twists. Princesses are substituted for flags, and while they start out quite thin at first, there is plenty of delicious cake lying all over the battlefield with which to rectify that problem. The plumper a princess, the harder she is to kidnap. Aside from this gameplay quirk, players can also don different hats to switch between five classes--worker, warrior, priest, mage, and ranger--each with their own playstyle. There is a real-time strategy element present as well. The worker can collect resources to build and repair doors, bridges, and catapults to help aid in princess-pilfering, and can even upgrade each of the classes with new abilities.

The complementary flavors of class-based multiplayer mayhem and real-time strategy seemed like a match made in heaven, but it turns out that these are two great tastes that DO NOT taste great together. While the basic red-on-blue carnage is acceptable, if unremarkable, the RTS aspects seems like a good idea that was never fully explored. After only a few games it became obvious that both teams would have their tech trees--more like tech stumps--maxed out not too long after the first few skirmishes. At that point, each match reverted back to vanilla team capture-the-flag, which really doesn't do enough by itself to set it apart from they typical CTF modes in countless other games.

The upsetting part is that it doesn't have to be this way. The basic ingredients for something delectable are here, but some significant developer oversights prevent the game from being something truly special. In a game where I am required to play on a team, I'd expect that an easy way to communicate and strategize would have been included from the word go, but outside of having a headset (purchased seperately, of course) there was no other way for me to interact with my allies. A simple assortment of preset messages--think macros--could've went a long way to keeping the matches from devolving so quickly into chaos.

This isn't the only sour point though. The game automatically substitutes bots for any spot on a team not occupied by a human player, and every human player has the option to switch teams whenever the mood strikes them. The result of this combination is that in games that aren't completely filled, all players inevitably gravitate to one team, which results in boring bot beatdowns. Worse still was when the red team was filled and I was left as one or two humans on the ill-fated blue team.

There are a host of smaller issues, like how the oft-mentioned mechanic of fattening up your princess rarely plays any role in actual matches, or how quickly the same few maps wear out their welcome, but those are minor dings on a game that still has some bigger problems to contend with. There is potential here, and with an expansion or some downloadable content, Fat Princess can easily become something worthwhile, but right now it ends up feeling more like a proof-of-concept than a fully-featured release. Until Titan Studios addreses some of the game's fundamental problems, you can stick a fork in me, I'm done. 5.0 out of 10

Disclosures The game was obtained via paid download and played on the PS3. Approximately 2 hours were devoted to the single-player which was completed one time and 10 hours were devoted to multiplayer.

Parents shouldn't be overly concerned. The game recieved a Teen rating for Blood and Gore, Violence, and Lyrics but the blood is quite cartoonish and inoffensive, and can be turned off in the options. The Lyrics refer to a song that only plays when you check out the game credits, but it's a song nearly everyone is familiar with (I won't ruin it, it's a pretty inspired choice)so I can't imagine it upsetting very many players.

Deaf and Hard of Hearing Gamers should tread lightly with this one. While the basic hacking and slashing doesn't rely too much on audio cues, if you're at all concerned with laying out some strategy, you're going to likely need a headset. In addition, the announcer that informs the player of changes in the battle is not subtitled, so hard of hearing gamers would have to be especially attentive to the HUD.

Last edited by Boy; 09-16-2009 at 07:27 PM. Reason: E'rebody sez
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Old 09-06-2009, 11:39 PM   #2
Brad Gallaway
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Re: Please rate this review: Fat Princess

Hey Boy,

Another solid piece. You’ve got a few minor stylistic issues I'd want to iron out, but they're pretty small... no real need to get into those just yet.

The only thing I see missing here is that you don't really have a specific overview of how the game plays out. For example, I already know that the point is to bring an enemy princess into your team's castle, but you don't really spell that out anywhere in the review. Also, you don't really touch on the whole ‘fatten her up’ concept until you ding it at the end.

Whenever you write a review, you should always make at least a small effort in explaining the game to the reader, regardless of how popular or well-known the game is. Inevitably, there is always someone who doesn't know about it, who will then leave some sort of rude comment chastising the author for the omission.

Get that overview in there, and if the other critics give you the thumbs up, then we can kibitz over the style issues later.
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Old 09-08-2009, 04:10 PM   #3
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Re: Please rate this review: Fat Princess

My bad. I actually wrote the paragraphs out of order and totally neglected to add a basic game description.

It's in now though, so we can kibitz away!
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Old 09-09-2009, 07:04 PM   #4
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Re: Please rate this review: Fat Princess

It might just be me, but while reading the review it seems like you were more focussed on finding clever ways to include food and hunger into the review than explaining the game. It's not really a bad thing, but I think you might have went a little over board as I had to read the review multiple times to digest the content in between.

Other than that, I think you need to better explain the basic concept of the game. Sure, it may be a twist on capture the flag, but some people might not know what capture the flag is. Since this is one the internet, people from other countries will read this, and what we know as capture the flag, might be known to them by another name.

I also want to say that I think you are a great writer and I always enjoy reading your reviews when you post them. keep up the good work.
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Old 09-09-2009, 10:23 PM   #5
Richard Naik
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Re: Please rate this review: Fat Princess

Ditto to what Brad said, and the food puns do get a little tried after a while.

Also, remember to put what system you played the game on in your disclosures statement even if you mention it in the article.

After the above fixes you've got my greenlight. Good work.
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Old 09-10-2009, 03:23 PM   #6
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Re: Please rate this review: Fat Princess

Quote:
Originally Posted by coyls3 View Post
It might just be me, but while reading the review it seems like you were more focussed on finding clever ways to include food and hunger into the review than explaining the game. It's not really a bad thing, but I think you might have went a little over board as I had to read the review multiple times to digest the content in between.

Other than that, I think you need to better explain the basic concept of the game. Sure, it may be a twist on capture the flag, but some people might not know what capture the flag is. Since this is one the internet, people from other countries will read this, and what we know as capture the flag, might be known to them by another name.

I also want to say that I think you are a great writer and I always enjoy reading your reviews when you post them. keep up the good work.
Thanks for the comments, Coyls.

I'll address the second part first. I think there is a certain level of understanding that I should assume between myself and my audience. Brad was right to point out that a summary of the basic gameflow was necessary, which is why I added it in the form of a new second paragraph. However, I'm confident that capture-the-flag is widespread enough that a typical reader knows what I'm talking about. Even if someone had absolutely no clue what capture the flag was at all, there are sufficient enough context clues (mentions of kidnapping and holding the princess, and so forth) that they could figure it out. Besides, the definition is practically right in the name! :P

As for the food puns, it was my attempt to give a cute spin to a cute game, and my initial response to you was going to be that I wanted to see how others felt about it before making any big changes. Fortunately, Richard seems to feel the same way, so I'm probably going to be doing something about it soon.

Richard: The pun-density arose from a desire to keep the review consistently "punny". Would you recommend I thin them out or that I abandon the theme altogether?
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Old 09-10-2009, 05:35 PM   #7
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Re: Please rate this review: Fat Princess

I wouldn't remove them totally-they give the piece some character, and it's never a bad idea to try to be funny and engage the reader.

I'd just try not to use as many of them-I counted a total of 16 food puns in there. Maybe take out roughly half? I'll leave it to you to decide which ones, since you seem to have a good grasp on what you're doing.

Or, if you can come up with a stellar argument for leaving them alone, I'm all ears.
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Old 09-15-2009, 08:09 AM   #8
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Re: Please rate this review: Fat Princess

Hey Boy,

I like the review well enough, but I agree that there were a few too many puns. I laughed in the first paragraph, and then it got to be too much.

There's adding flavor, and then there's choking a reader on one's cleverness... I know that it's fun to write that way, but I think the style overwhelms the content.

So I, too, would ask you to thin out the puns. You can probably replace a few of them without hurting the review.
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Old 09-15-2009, 03:43 PM   #9
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Re: Please rate this review: Fat Princess

I get it, I get it! :P

I do actually have some ideas on how to space it out, so I'll be doing that soon. I've just been busy with work and whatnot, so while it may seem like I've abandoned this review, fear not!

EDIT: Alright, I've toned it back. I tried to keep it to a one pun per paragraph ratio, with the exception of the first which I'm hoping will serve as a tone-setter.

Welcoming all slings and arrows!

Last edited by Boy; 09-15-2009 at 04:04 PM. Reason: don't wanna double post
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Old 09-16-2009, 01:52 PM   #10
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Re: Please rate this review: Fat Princess

it reads a lot beter now and is an excellent review.

the only thing I have a gripe about is the part where you point out that you can only communicate with team mates via voice chat.

Voice chat and text chat are the staples for online communicating in games. Since gamers have been able to use it to successfully strategize with team mates in almost every other multiplayer title, I don't see how only having voice chat is a problem. If the voice chat in Fat Princess is different somehow, and not up to snuff with other games, then you need to explain what makes it so bad.

What is a macro system?
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Old 09-16-2009, 07:22 PM   #11
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Re: Please rate this review: Fat Princess

Oh well, I don't have a problem with voice chat in general, and I'm glad it's there for those who can use it.

But given that the only way to engage in voice chat is to purchase a headset for the PS3, there are a ton of players who just have no way to communicate. My main problem is that there is no alternative for those of us who don't have (often expensive) headsets.

A macro system is a little interface of preset messages (things like "I need healing" or "let's sneak around), that you can quickly send using button shortcuts. Metal Gear Online included this and it was an extremely useful tool for those without headsets. I probably should (and will) clarify that though.

Thanks for your feedback Coyls.
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Old 09-16-2009, 07:28 PM   #12
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Re: Please rate this review: Fat Princess

Looks good. Greenlight from me.
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Old 09-16-2009, 08:41 PM   #13
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Re: Please rate this review: Fat Princess

Me likee. Green light.
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Old 02-06-2010, 01:31 PM   #14
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Re: Please rate this review: Fat Princess

Submission posted.
http://www.gamecritics.com/guest-cri...rincess-review

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