Review: Fat Princess Adventures (PS4)

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Title: Fat Princess Adventures
Format: PlayStation Network Download (7.16 GB)
Release Date: December 5, 2015
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
Developer: Fun Bits Interactive
Original MSRP: $19.99
ESRB Rating: T
Fat Princess Adventures is exclusive to PlayStation 4.
The PlayStation 4 download version was used for this review.
A copy of this game was provided by the publisher for review purposes.
PS Nation Review Policy

I find my greatest and most memorable moments in gaming come from co-op experiences. From split screen Halo, to same screen Diablo 3, nothing beats a same couch experience with your buddies, relatives, or significant other. And while playing online can bring some similarly engaging moments, it’s that same-room experience that I hope never truly dies.

Apparently some developers agree with this, as we seem to be getting more and more same-couch titles as of late: Fat Princess Adventures being one of the most recent, and not to mention, one of the more entertaining.

Gameplay:
Fat Princess Adventures borrows its primary gameplay from the well worn formula of games like Diablo and Champions of Norrath. It’s a bird’s-eye-view action role-playing game (or dungeon crawler to most).

Up to four players can take on the campaign together, rampaging through countless enemies and leveling up in order to take on tougher mobs and become the ultimate badass. Along the way you pick up better weapons and armor that contribute to this goal of badassdom.

The game introduces something somewhat new to the dungeon crawler arena. It’s a gameplay element lightly visited in the 2015 game, Forced.

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Whereas dungeon crawlers normally give you the choice of a class to play, and thus, you stick with this class throughout the campaign, Fat Princess Adventures allows you to change character classes throughout the adventure (much like the previous RTS Fat Princess game). This allows you to experiment with certain class types without having to start the game over.

You are given a choice of four character classes: Warrior, Wizard, Archer, and Engineer. Each requires a different set of armor and weapons, and when you switch between classes, your character will automatically equip the required set.

In addition to stat increases, certain weapons contain added perks (fire damage and such), so it pays to look through your loot and consider your attire before entering into battle. Also, while it is certainly acceptable to stick to one class, it doesn’t hurt to keep the other classes well equipped, because you never know when you might need a ranger for some distance damage dealing.

… an absolutely blissful experience …
There are plenty of areas to explore and just as many quests to keep you busy which are found throughout the world. And let’s not forget that this game is still a Fat Princess game, so quests are filled with hilarity and sugary goodness. I was rewarded for providing toilet paper to a guy doing his business in a bush, for example.

But let’s also remember that the original Fat Princess was filled with tight gameplay, and this one is no different. Factoring in that this game is filled with beautiful colors and candy-themed environments, it is an absolutely blissful experience to plow through hundreds of enemies, leaving a bloody mess throughout the green and lush countryside.

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This game is even more messy than, dare I say, a much darker game like Diablo 3. But you wouldn’t know this from the chipper attitude that the characters take, as they embark on their quests.

Depending on the weapons you equip, you are offered two methods of attack. Each contains a charged version of itself (where you hold a button down to unleash a stronger move). And while you can swing away with reckless abandon, you are also given a lock-on button to focus on a certain enemy.

… the ability to select an active quest would help a lot …
This is a welcome feature in that you often want to focus on a stronger enemy, like a boss, and not waste attacks on the smaller fodder. These boss fights introduce minor puzzle elements that encourage cooperative discussion and keep the engagements from being a simple slash-till-it’s-dead fest.

My only real issue is with the quest system. While there are markers on your map to indicate where your quests are located, it’s sometimes difficult to determine which quest is which. There is no arrow to point you in the direction of your objective, so I found myself constantly calling up the map to gauge our location relative to our quest marker.

In-game cinematics use your custom character model.

In-game cinematics use your custom character model.

This in itself would not be a big deal, except that calling up your map in this game requires holding the button down for a second. This makes looking at your map something less instant and more something you try to avoid, particularly since combat still continues for the other players underneath the map.

A simple arrow pointing you in the direction of your “current” quests (and the ability to select an active quest) would help a lot here. Again, there are markers showing a relative direction to your objective, but they can often be misleading and at times had me backtracking because I went the wrong direction.

… splattering enemy blood all over the countryside …
Visuals:
Simply put, this game is beautiful and extremely colorful. It shares its common vibrant environments with its predecessor. The style in here however is more like that of a CGI movie.

High glossy characters with shimmering edges and rounded, bubbly, environments give Fat Princess Adventures the old Pixar look, a descriptor often used for games like Ratchet and Clank. Two decades ago this look would have only been achieved with pre-rendered graphics.

Again, it’s this beautifully rendered design and vibrant colorful style that makes the bloody rampage that much funnier. These happy little warriors have no compunctions against splattering enemy blood all over the countryside.

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Audio:
You can’t have a Fat Princess game without the hilarity that comes from the voiceover work. Characters chime in with chipmunk-like voice treatment, and the lines that come from their cartoony mouths add to the comedic aspect of this game.

This is driven home when your character is leaving town for his/her big adventure and the entire town breaks into a song about the enemy “never taking their cake”.

… an enjoyable adventure to embark upon …
Online/Multiplayer:
Once again providing us with equal attention to same-couch as well as online, Fat Princess Adventures is a pleasure to play with friends. In fact it’s highly recommended.

Grouping up with friends online is fairly simple, and dropping in and out of the adventure can be done without any compromise to the progress of your team.

I haven’t tried migrating my character from my home to another in order to play local at a friend’s house, but I’m assuming the Cloud saving would make this a simple process since your character travels with your save.

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Conclusion:
It’s great to see so many games continue the tradition of cooperative gameplay, both online, but particularly within the same walls. Fat Princess Adventures does it differently by allowing for on-the-go class selection while giving us a less dark and brooding quest to keep us killing hundreds of enemies.

While the bloody result is the same, the presentation remains light-hearted and it kept us chuckling throughout. If you’re looking for an enjoyable adventure to embark upon with your friends or family, Fat Princess Adventures will absolutely fit the bill.

Score:
8.5

* All screenshots used in this review were taken directly from the game using the Share functionality on the PlayStation 4.

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