Fat Princess: Fistful of Cake
Posted 3 years ago By - Marko Djordjevic
Sony’s Fat Princess was one of my favorite games of last year. I absolutely loved its pick-up-and-play multiplayer action and funny humor. The success of the PS3 edition opened the door for a PSP release entitled Fat Princess: Fistful of Cake. This version puts a solid effort into giving portable gamers an opportunity to have some fun; but limitations and questionable AI prevent it from being as good as the original.
Fistful of Cake takes everything that was on offer with last year’s PlayStation 3 release and puts it in the palms of your hands. For those unfamiliar with the original, Fat Princess is a team-based, Capture-the-Flag style game that replaces flags with Princesses. Depending on the game mode, your goal is to either protect your own Princess from being captured or to capture your opponent’s Princess and bring her back to your castle. One interesting aspect is that the Princesses absolutely love cake; and feeding them with the high-calorie dessert plays an important role in the game. The heavier they are, the more difficult it becomes for your opposition to kidnap/rescue her. If you want to win, you’ll need to consider this when planning your strategy.
What makes Fat Princess so enjoyable is its humor and premise, both of which transitioned well onto the PSP. You will be committing a lot of violent acts; smirking the entire time. While Fistful of Cake manages to retain these aspects from its PS3 big brother, due to the limitations of the system, other parts do suffer and hamper the experience.
For starters, the amount of human players available to participate is limited to eight (four on each side). The rest of the 16 combatants on each map are played by AI-controlled Bots. If you manage to play a game with all eight human players, this limitation doesn’t stand out as much as it does in those situations where there are only a few human-controlled combatants. As you get more Bots in the game, you will be amazed at just how poor the AI plays and reacts. The CPU characters are programmed to only accomplish one specific goal and rarely deviate from their routines when you need them to. There is the ability to have AI characters follow you, but this often leads to some really poor results.
Another issue that hurts the multiplayer portion of the game is the lack of any sort of communication between players. There’s there no voice communication and the developers also failed to implement a dialogue menu option with pre-recorded lines. Without any sort of contact between teammates, any attempt at devising a plan of attack is all but impossible. Since you won’t be able to work together, matches that should only take a few minutes to complete are prolonged. Of course, it’s a non-issue for those who play ad-hoc, but considering that most people will play this with strangers, this is a glaring ommission that just shouldn’t have been over-looked.
Graphics and Sound
The transition from PSN to PSP is fairly well done, although you will see plenty of minor blips here and there. The most prevalent occurs when characters ’warp’ from one section of a map to another; including going through walls and other environments. While it won’t hamper the experience,when it happens, it is quite noticeable. Areas with characters in the backgrounds, such as the soccer level and all the Gladiate stages, don’t animate quite that well and have a 2D feel that causes them to standout for the wrong reasons. Thankfully, in terms of the maps themselves, there is plenty of variety and detail in each and you will have fun trying out the different stages and picking your favorites.
Fat Princess relies on humor, both in terms of the animations and in the sound department. The same comical lines of dialogue from the PSN release are all found here. From the proclamations of the narrator to the one-liners from the combatants, there are plenty of sound-bites that will cause you to crack a smile. Those who enjoyed Fat Princess’ interesting, European-influenced score will also be happy to hear that it too has been ported over and still works well with the game’s style.
For a mere twenty dollars, Fistful of Cake does offer a lot of value; both when playing alone or with others. All of the same modes from the PS3 version are available here, including a few extra chapters in the single-player "Legend of the Fat Princess" campaign. These new sections aren’t anything noteworthy, but do give you a bit more time with the game and are great for those who want some practice before taking their chubby monarch-in-training online.
Your enjoyment with Fistful of Cake will revolve around how many other people you find online to play with. Thankfully, my time spent online turned out really well as I was able to connect to a good variety of game types with around 6-8 Human controlled players per match. Also, I didn’t have a single issue when connecting to online games and the only slowdown I found occurred when a lot of characters filled up the screen.
Limitations really prevent Fat Princess: Fistful of Cake from being the breakout title it should be. Had there been a better method of communication and smarter AI, this would be a significantly better experience. In the end though, it’s still a worthwhile addition to your PSP collection, depending on your play style. If you love to take your PSP online, can look past the various restrictions and still have some fun then you’ll want to give this one a whirl. For those who prefer to play single-player titles on the go, then you might want to find a way to sample a crumb or two before investing in the entire cake.
+ Various options at your disposal
+ Even if you’re not good at being violent, you can still be effective on the battlefield
+ Retains the same feel of the PSN release
- Poor AI
- Some matches take longer than they should due to previous issues
- Minor graphical hiccups
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Release Date : Q4 2010
System : PSP
Publisher : Sony Computer Entertainment America
Developer : Titan Studios
Category : Strategy
ESRB : M
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