Review: Fat Princess (PSP)

Title: Fat Princess
Format: UMD / PlayStation Network Download
Release Date: May 4, 2010
Original MSRP: $19.99

When we first saw the PSP version of Fat Princess at E3, it was quietly hidden-away in a back corner in the “invite only” area of the Sony booth. While talking to the Lead Designer of the PSP version of LBP, I just glanced at some of the other games running ad saw it off in the corner, so I walked over and started playing. To say that it was rough is an understatement, but already you could see that the visuals were eerily similar to the PS3 version.

Fast-forward to almost 10 months later, when a blank UMD showed-up in the mail, which I threw into the PSP immediately.

Visuals:
We really need to stop being surprised by these translations from the PS3 to the PSP, especially after games like Motorstorm, LBP, and Gran Turismo. The cartoon-like visuals have been almost completely copied to the PSP, with all of the rich color and excessive blood that we’ve seen in the PS3 version. There is the occasional framerate hiccup, which can quickly be excused when seeing the immense battles take place. Everything is here, all of the color, all of the customized characters, and even all of the animations for the characters and objects. I was shocked the first time I saw the full animation during an upgrade of a hat dispenser. The visuals truly shine on the PSP, and it’ll make you grin time and time again.

Audio:
Again, everything from the PS3 version is here, and then some. Sony brought the amazing Tom Kane back to record additional quips and content as the games narrator and “voice from beyond.” Every swing of the axe, every sword hitting another sword, and every bloody demise is represented in some truly wonderful audio, and it definitely works better with headphones if your are so inclined.

Online:
Here we come to the crux of this game on a portable system, and to be honest, it’s a mixed bag. My expectations were obviously lower, and would be for any game on a handheld. Fat Princess does use your PSN login and name for online play, but as far as I’ve seen, there’s really no way to use your PSN friends list to connect with them. Also, you’re limited to 8 humans in a 16-player game, meaning that you’re always going to be playing with A.I. no matter what, and 8 A.I. players via the PSP’s smaller processor means that, quite frankly, they’re not very smart. I had more than a few occurrences of A.I. teammates either only performing a singular task, or outright standing-still in the base. Another issue is no voice chat, which PS3 owners fought so hard for on that version.

Beyond those concerns, online play, overall, does work well. There were a couple of instances of lag etc, but when you’re dealing with peer-to-peer online play with up to 8 PSP’s, I would honestly expect nothing less. All of the maps, old and new, from the PS3 version are included (a couple of them simplified a bit however,) and also included are 6 new maps. There also may be a workaround to some of these concerns that I haven’t been able to try yet, which is the PS3’s Ad-Hoc party app, which would allow for full voice support. Although, if you were going to use your PS3 for that, why wouldn’t you simply just play the PS3 version.

Other Stuff
To compensate for the fact that the PSP isn’t really online all the time, they’ve expanded the Single-Player quite a bit. Along with a couple of new modes, the campaign has been expanded quite a bit. It’s a lot of fun, even though the A.I. is kind-of a pushover most of the time. The story is very funny, and is a welcome addition to the game.

Conclusion
Fat Princess on the PSP may seem like an odd title to translate to a handheld, but it’s extremely well done overall. The biggest issue is the fact that this game was meant to be played online with many others, and at least in some capacity, I really don’t feel that’s something you can get away from. I’m incredibly impressed with the job that’s been done here, and this is definitely an incredible portable version of Fat Princess. The biggest question you need to ask yourself is “will the expanded single-player be enough for me?” The online is functional, but really can’t be considered a major selling-point in this case.

Score:
7.5

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  • madeup6

    I wish I had time for this stuff lately… 🙁

  • madeup6

    I wish I had time for this stuff lately… 🙁