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25 Reviews

Fat Princess

Review: In Titania, no one can hear you scream...

The vivid pastel colours and pleasing cartoon visuals of Fat Princess are misleading. Behind that seemingly simple exterior of comedy Elf violence hides a much deeper complexity.

But while this is one of the cleverer, full-fat games available on PSN, its complexity is also one of its downfalls. There's a lot to take in and so much to do on the battlefield that it's not easy knowing what everyone's up to and how best to set about your own duties.

The main mode is an online 32-player team game called Rescue the Princess. Both teams try to rescue their princess from the opponent's castle, hauling her back to their own base where she must stay for 30 seconds for that team to win the round. Simple, right? Nope.

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There are five player classes, changeable at any time by picking up the corresponding hat. The mage shoots fire or ice spells, the priest can heal team mates, the ranger fires arrows, the warrior is a close-range sword fighter and, most crucially, the worker collects resources (and can use his axe for weak attacks).

Workers head out to chop down trees for wood or hack at rocks for metal. The resulting goods can be used at either the base or any number of outposts that can be captured during battle.

With these resources, workers can build ramps, ladders or catapults that aid your insurgence or make escape during a rescue attempt easier. They can also upgrade player classes. Warriors get bigger swords, workers get bombs, rangers get guns and so on.

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While all this is going on you also have to grab pieces of cake and feed the enemy princess imprisoned in your castle. She gets fatter, making her harder to carry home. Oh, and you also need to make sure that you capture some outposts too. Pretty intense stuff for something that looks so colouful and pleasing to the eyeballs.

It can feel like you and 31 other players have been dumped into one of eight symmetrical maps, directionless. What do you do first?

There's also a Snatch 'n Grab mode, which is the same as above except you grab the enemy's princess from her throne and get her back to your base to score a point.

A straight-up team deathmatch mode gives each team a pool of lives to share - although there's little depth or real skill to the actual fighting in Fat Princess so that's a bit pointless. It'll never take over from a good old fashioned FPS version of deathmatch.

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And Invasion is a Battlefield-style outpost capture game where you have to control specific territories.

You can play all these modes offline with bots if you wish, but we don't know why you'd want to - even if Sony's servers are as laggy as they've been all weekend (Titan is working on a fix though).

A single-player Legend of the Fat Princess mode weaves a simplistic fairytale into otherwise standard battles that aren't really significant to the story itself. You probably won't want to bother with it.

All of this stuff is inherently brilliant - a game with such depth and variety has the potential to be great fun. And with the over-the-top cartoon violence it offers no end of laughs.

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