Please read the review before dismissing me as "wrong" because I gave this a relatively low score

User Rating: 6.5 | Fat Princess PS3
Fat Princess is actually somewhat of a MMO based around castle-defending games. It's one of those $14.99 downloadable games on the Playstation Network. I was downloading demos of different games that interested me, and I kept finding myself coming back to this. I hadn't even heard of Fat Princess until Playstation All-Stars was announced and wondered where that character was from, and it still doesn't make too much sense considering you don't play as Fat Princess… Anyways, I figured if I was going to start doing reviews again that I should review a game that's fairly current (my other game being Klonoa: Door to Phantomile from 1997). I also wanted it to be a game that I had just gotten through and played all of the modes a few times. This worked out perfectly for Fat Princess… but I don't really know how to bridge that sentence into the review so here's the review. Deal.
The visuals and soundtrack are both fairly simplistic, and to a point I found some of it annoying. The music is mainly a calm backdrop that typically fits the mood of what you're doing at the time. As a musician myself, I am fairly anal about music's function in a game and although I couldn't just sit there and listen to the Fat Princess soundtrack all day and be satisfied, it does feel like there was some thought put into and seems to be mixed well with the game. The music isn't the best, but it functions and it isn't annoying. Speaking of annoying, the blood in this game. The artwork of the game is cel-shaded, which is beautiful when pulled off correctly. The scenery is fairly detailed without distracting (or burning) your eyes; the items, characters, and backgrounds all mesh together fairly well. The "blood and gore" is irritating to the eye because the blood is a huge puddle of red in a cel-shaded atmosphere. It is one of those things that is hard to explain until you are in the situation yourself, but I found it to be just a blur of colors and very visually displeasing and distracting. If you see an area that is primarily green and something bright red suddenly oozes out nearby, you are probably drawn to it unless you are colorblind; I suppose this is the point I'm trying to make here. However, the reason I label it as "blood and gore" is because the options features a "violence" switch where you can select to see either "blood and gore", "blood only", or no violence at all. I find it slightly ridiculous and almost a tease that there is no option for gore alone. When I first played the game and didn't know what to expect, I found the gore to be great… in the sense that it was hilarious and fitting to the cartoony style of the game, but eventually the blood was hindering me from seeing fully what I was doing, and in a game where so much can change in the blink of an eye, the second your eyes are open should not be distracted by such annoyances. By the standards of 2010 games, I feel more could have been done with the visuals and sound, despite the fact that the game is budget-priced, and for that I give it the score I did. In my personal rating key I have a "0.5" labeled as "relatively bad" and I just see that as fitting.
The game is a defend-your-castle style game, though some game modes may change that. You control a minion of a princess on a team of other minions anywhere between zero and fifteen. The other team is equally matched in numbers and resides on the opposite end of the map with their castle. The minion can switch between different classes by wearing various hats. Six classes come with the game and three new ones were later made as DLC. I have not purchased the three other classes but they are not fully essential to gameplay and although you can't fight fire with fire in online matches, you won't be overpowered or helpless to the three classes that the DLC provides those who spend $4.99 extra on this already cheap game. There are essentially five different play modes but for the purpose of this review I will use the "Rescue the Princess" mode as an example. The blue team will be holding the red team's princess captive, and the red team will be holding the blue team's princess captive. Whichever team can successfully sneak into the other team's castle and put their respective princess back on her throne will win. Once the princess is put on the throne a timer will start, and if that timer goes out that team will win, but if the opposing team tries to take the princess again, the timer will dwindle (not cancel, but dwindle). The reason I mention this detail is because I find it interesting and feels very natural, especially when playing online. If the timer completely cancelled the game could be an eternal juggle between teams, but the opposing team must not only reclaim the princess, but keep her in their grasp. Little details like this that are simple but open to the complexity of players' actions are what make the gameplay of Fat Princess fantastic. The game seems to be catered mostly to online play, and overall just fun with multiple people (up to 32 people at a time), and though the online mode can ironically become laggy at times, it's still highly addictive and practically brainwashed me into paying for the game. I did it almost unconsciously.
To put it simply: if you have a good high-speed internet connection to your PS3, then the replay value should be high for you. The game is very fun and quirky and in itself is very fun to pick up and play while still quenching a thirst for strategy, conquest, and cute Animal Crossing-like characters pounding each-other into oblivion. There isn't a whole lot to do with storyline and single-player modes unfortunately. Most of the actual core content of the game can be covered within just a few hours. Your character will receive more random things to be customized with as you complete the story mode and online matches, but the customization isn't very deep, thus making it a reason to only come back for so long. I have said it earlier and will say it again; the game has simplistic values that somehow give it an almost limitless quantity of possibilities of fun, so in its own right it has plenty of replay value just by existing. There is lack of any real reason to come back and complete something though, so I can't just give it a 2/2 for this regard.
The storyline compliments the quirky, dark humor of the entire game, but is very short and consists of irrelevant pre-set matches. The matches do make the player acquainted with most of the different modes in the game, but don't seem to increase in difficulty in any way nor give you any real sense of accomplishment otherwise. The main voice actor in the story mode is also awkward which I guess depends more on your personal taste whether or not his role in this game as narrator is very good or very bad. The story is very short and the way it was played out was subpar but was still very consistent and clever. The story itself is fine, just the way that it was portrayed makes it feel like you are playing two different modes when you are taking in the story and then playing some other match that has little to do with what you just soaked up. You have to beat these matches though to see what happens next in "The Legend of the Fat Princess", so for this I am going to have to give a 1 out of 2 score, not out of generosity but because it serves one function very well and another very bad, making it so-so.
FLOW: 2/2
The flow section of my review looks past the bells and whistles of the game into how those bells and whistles are jointed together. You can spend all night with a prostitute but if he/she turns out to be an undercover cop then your rambunctious night was basically for not. This section I find very important to the game because I don't look for a very good flow in the game but a lack of it. Why? Because the lack of it will find my fist through a nearby wall, so a good flow will soothe me and lead into a good experience. For the most part I will have to say that everything comes together pretty nicely in Fat Princess. Other than the slight bit of lag I mentioned earlier there aren't any major glitches or anything extremely upsetting other than an online team raiding your castle with two giants and two priests healing them the whole time. I added that for comic effect, it isn't an impossible scenario and not a major issue to the game, just something that makes you say "you have to be kidding me" for lack of obscenities.
I was not expecting that to go that low. For those of you who just skimmed the review and looked at the final score, I would recommend taking the time out to read this before denying this game entirely because the game is slightly above average. It isn't the game of the decade or anything but it is a fun game at a price you can't beat. Those with internet (most of you because you're reading this review on the internet), download the demo first and play a few matches, let it grow on you for 15-minutes to a half hour. If you feel the need to rinse and repeat, do so. If it suits your fancy then I really hope you enjoy this little Sony gem and I hope to see you on the online modes of this game and on that of the upcoming Playstation All-Stars in which Fat Princess is a confirmed playable character.