PAX 2015: Extensive Hands-On with ‘Fat Princess Adventures’ (PS4)

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PS Nation has always kept ties with the Fat Princess franchise ever since it debuted on the PlayStation 3 back in June of 2009. For a while, it felt like we wouldn’t get to save her again until she appeared on that huge screen at the keynote in Las Vegas at PSX 2014. This new iteration of the series is campaign-driven instead of competitive, but there’s still a lot of multiplayer to be had (so much so that I played so much that I almost missed my flight home that day, no kidding.) Also, a huge thanks to the folks from Fun Bits taking some extra time to go through this stuff with me at PAX, it’s a crazy time and I couldn’t appreciate it more.

First, take a gander at my writeup from PSX 2014, that should give you a good understanding of the game as a whole. Fat Princess Adventures-PSX 2014

It’s been around 9 months since that first glimpse, and it’s grown-up quite a bit since then. I won’t really talk about story elements here for a couple of reasons. First, we don’t spoil things here at PS Nation, and second, the folks from Fun Bits took me on a tour through a bunch of the different areas in the campaign, so I couldn’t follow the story even if I tried.

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Right away, I couldn’t help but notice the huge jump in visuals. Everything looked cleaner, more detailed, and shinier than I’d seen in the past. I also love the depth-of-field they use during the in-engine cutscenes, so much so that I begged for a patch adding 3D support. Also, a generous use of actual depth when crossing bridges and walking along the edge of a chasm just adds to the overall polished and detailed feel, which is tough to do when people may consider it “cutesy” at first blush. Animations are incredibly smooth, and control responsiveness matches those crisp animations every frame of the way. Everything just feels “new”, and when the voices began, I was laughing from the first line. The ever-proper narrator is back from the first game, and he hasn’t missed a beat. We played for quite a while too, and every voice I heard was top-notch, which doesn’t surprise when you find out the caliber of talent they were able to recruit for Fat Princess Adventures, including the voice that every gamer knows, Nolan North. The voice cast is full of veterans, and when I asked if some of the voices were modulated etc, I was shocked to hear that no, the voice actors did all of these crazy characters on their own, it’s quite impressive.

Gameplay is pretty fantastic too. if you want to compare it to anything, I’d say the closest I can imagine is that Fat Princess Adventures feels like a much more approachable Diablo III, with wonderfully colorful visuals, deep audio, AAA voice work, a genuinely funny script, and solidly addictive gameplay. You can have up to 4 players at once, either on the couch or online (or a combination of both.) Locally, every player can log-in to their own PSN account to track progress and of course, trophies (yo). Something that I really liked when we first saw the game is that at different points throughout your missions, you’ll actually be able to choose a different of the 4 available classes. This is something that can be very beneficial for those that play through the campaign more than once (which it’s made for by the way), so you can load up on a specific class or two for specific sections or boss battles.

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During our session, we battled a couple of mid and full bosses, and the design of each battle was quite elegant. Since there’s no availability of AI companions (except the occasions when a Princess is with you, she’ll actually fight alongside your party), the game will in-fact adapt depending on the amount of players that you’re fighting with. The nice thing is though, that since online play is right there, you shouldn’t ever have to go it alone if you don’t want to, but I love that it won’t be quite as hard if I’m going it alone. The first boss we battled, Zug, was a lot of fun, especially with some of the lines he muttered throughout the different waves of our fight. You’ll quickly learn to ration your “Awesomesauce” and use it at the right time to be effective, and it’s as easy as filling the meter up and and pulling R2 when it’s full. It gives you a temporary boost, and against certain enemies, it’s a requirement to use.

To refill your health, obviously you’ll eat cake! This is actually one of my favorite things in the game too, because when you eat too much, you’ll grow to about twice your size, into a big oaf that lumbers at a slower speed than your normal run, but is stronger as well (so you can actually use this as a legitimate tactic in certain sections). In this form, you also get an effective Butt-Stomp, which will take some enemies out and dizzy others. I couldn’t help but talk like Mongo from Blazing Saddles while in this form, while also throwing an occasional “I want all the ham” from Patton Oswalt. Equipment upgrades and replacements are also very accessible by simply pressing the touchpad, and even better is that the game doesn’t pause when someone does it. The menus are easy to navigate, and weapon attributes are simple to understand. Tied-in with this is the fact that there’s a ton of LOOT to find, which is another piece to being able to play through the campaign more than once, because it’s actually encouraged. Via this interface, you can either equip new items and weapons that you may have picked up, or by holding a single button (if you have enough Gold to afford it) you can simply upgrade the item that you’re currently using. Again, it’s very simple to figure out.

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From what it sounds like, we won’t have too long to wait to play Fat Princess Adventures, which I’m happy about now that I’ve some quality time with it. This is a significant amount of game, with tons of potential replayability. Playing with your friends, either in the same room or via the PSN, is going to be enormously entertaining in Fat Princess Adventures. So start pre-heating your oven and find your favorite cake recipes, because things are about to become super-sweet. I can’t wait for this one to come out, and I hope, truly hope that it’s available by the time Extra Life happens this year, because it WILL be featured on our play schedule for sure.

*NOTE* Some may notice that I originally mentioned competitive multiplayer. I misunderstood our conversations and was under the impression that it would also be available when the game hits. I apologize for that error -Glenn

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  • Nice writeup Glenn, thank you!

    I have a question. Will this be a retail title or just a PSN download please? Or perhaps, is it too early to tell?