PS3 Attitude’s 20 Days of PSN – #12 Fat Princess
Read on and find out why it is finally possible to have your cake and eat it. And eat more. Go on – have another slice…
Made by Titan Studios and released back in July 2009, Fat Princess gained some notoriety before it was even released, thanks to the provocative name and unique game mechanic.
A ‘capture the flag’ game, Fat Princess is different from most similar titles because the ‘flag’ is actually a Princess and you can make it more difficult for the opposition to move her by feeding her cake. The more you feed her, the bigger and heavier she becomes.
When the game was announced at E3 2008, feminist groups were quick to pour scorn on this idea. One feminist blogger was keen to tell Sony of the error of their ways (flipping them the bird on her blog and using some imaginative swear words), while other female bloggers were happy to balance the books and explain that if the Princess were a stereotypical cute skinny girl, that might be even more offensive. At least the game reflects one truth – if you eat lots and lots of cake every day, don’t expect to look like Kate Moss.
When you start a game of Fat Princess, and after you’ve customised your character to look like a short, stumpy Gary Oldman, you will be placed on one of two opposing teams of 16. The goal was a simple one; rescue your team’s Princess from the other team’s castle.
Outside of the cake-feeding mechanic, another neat and well implemented feature in Fat Princess is the ability to change your character’s class by picking up a different hat in your castle. Hats can also be found on the battlefield too, so you can change class mid-flow.
Offering six different classes, you could play as a priest, mage, villager, warrior, ranger or worker in the original title. A further three classes – the ninja, pirate and giant – were unlocked later when Titan launched the ‘Fat Roles’ DLC.
Each class has its own unique set of abilities, as you might expect. Priests, for example, can heal team-mates and can sap the very life-force from enemies. Rangers can fire a bow or, as you progress through the game, a gun.
One of the more interesting characters to play are the Workers, who harvest wood and ore from the surrounding area. With these materials, you can add fortification to your castle (such as doors to keep the hordes out) and build siege equipment to help attack your opponent’s stronghold. Workers can also upgrade the hat machines, helping give additional skills, weapons and powers to the other classes.
In addition to this, Fat Princess featured other objects such as potions that turn enemies into chickens (yes, really), bombs and flaming torches that most classes can use to ignite their weapons to do additional damage. Imagine setting your arrows on fire before shooting them, for example, and you get the picture.
Fat Princess is a huge amount of fun to play. The controls are effortless and the action is permanently frantic. Once you’ve collected enough timber to enable the catapult, there is nothing quite like the image of three players all jumping up and down on it to load the spring, only to be thrown across the map directly into the enemy castle.
Titan have expanded the game a couple of times since launch. A map pack, called ‘New Pork’, was announced at PAX 2009 and launched soon after. When the ‘Fat Roles’ DLC launched a year after release (and playing as a Giant is an experience you’ll not forget too quickly), Titan also put out a simultaneous patch that extended the game by adding password-protected private rooms, local co-op and clan tags. This extended the game’s life further and gave Fat Princess fans another reason to get baking.
The game scored well across the board too, picking up numerous fans in the gaming media and even gaining scores that would make many a triple-A title blush.
If you’re looking for something enjoyable, addicting, frantic and totally original, and you love the cutesy charm of its cartoon styling, Fat Princess is a no-brainer. We’ll take our slice of fun with a cherry on top – thanks.
#12 in our 20 Days of PSN goes to Fat Princess.