Game Review: Fairytale Fights
Release: October 23, 2009 (EU), October 27, 2009 (US), October 29, 2009 (AUS)
Genre: Action (Platformer)
Available Platforms: Playstation 3, PC, Xbox 360
MSRP: Playstation 3, Xbox 360 – $39.99, PC – $49.95
ESRB Rating: Mature (360, PS3, PC) for Blood/Gore, Crude Humor, Violence
When most of us were growing up, we had the pleasure of reading about Little Red Riding Hood, Snow White, and Jack in the Beanstalk. Even the Emperor and his new ‘clothes’ was known to us before we grew into little miscreants getting into mischief. Playlogic has taken these sweet tales of our childhood and twisted them into some pretty ‘colorful’ (read: BLOOD RED) gameplay and story-telling of their own.
Basically, at the beginning of the game, the four characters mentioned above have become passed over and old. No one really cares about them or wants to hear about (or from) then again. Heck, when the Naked Emperor comes out, he sends everyone into a screaming riot. Little Jack doesn’t seem like he’s all there as he tries to impress the crowd by reaching into a live hen and pulls out a ‘not-ready-to-be-laid’ egg (**shivers**). Snow White is getting her ‘beauty sleep’ when she is abruptly disturbed and it leaves her eye twitching like she escaped from the loony bin. Finally, Red Riding Hood strolls up to her grandmother’s house, which is besieged by a pack of wolves, only to see that a new ‘hero’ is there already saving her grandmother’s life. Needless to say, each of these feels that they have something to prove in order to show the people of the Taleville to start paying attention to them again. So our story begins.
This is a PLATFORMER. Let me say it again. THIS IS A PLATFORMER. There are no camera controls whatsoever. You ‘attack’ by using the right analog stick, but not by pushing it in the direction of the enemy. You push the stick how you want to inflict damage (UP twice will pop the enemy into the air, DOWN will perform a downward strike, etc). Needless to say, the control scheme is horrendous. Even Too Human’s control scheme was semi-decent once you got used to it. This is just awful. From the manual:
START – Pause
BACK – Back
A – Jump
B – Push
X – Drink
Y – Show Name
Right Stick – Attack/Fire
Left Stick – Move Character
Right Bumper – Pick up/Throw
Left Bumper – Switch Item
Right Trigger – Glory Attack
Left Trigger – Block
Directional Pad – Taunts
My feeling? They could have used A for attack/fire, B for jump, and Right Stick for push, and the controls would be light-years better.
The best things about this game are the colorful environments, the weapons innovations, and the sheer reckless abandon with which you unleash violence on the creatures (both friend and enemy) of the world. Think Viva Pinata withing a platforming environment and, of course, blood, violence, and gore. As far as the weapons are concerned, being able to use anything from a lumberjack’s axe to a navigator’s compass (kind with the pointy end) to a candy cane, and even a cuckoo clock made me chuckle when I would pick up something new and realize, ‘Am I holding a BIRD’S NEST?!’, which I would then use to club a deranged lumberjack over the head. There are also potions that you can either drink or throw: love potions (drink for a boost or throw to STUN players or enemies) and acid potions (drink–YES DRINK–to vomit–YES VOMIT–a puddle of acid to damage players or enemies or throw to also create a puddle of acid). In speaking about the gore and violence, there’s really no other title out there that takes something so child-like and tame and makes it a hack’n’slash platformer. I don’t think that this is what the Brothers Grimm meant when they were putting these tales to paper.
In our world, with good, there comes bad. Sad to say that there is more bad than good. First off, obviously, if you don’t like platformers, then run far, far away and don’t look back. Seriously, don’t even rent it. You will regret it later. The combat controls, as stated above, are absolutely atrocious. It could be marginally improved by at least allowing players to reassign buttons for different actions, but it doesn’t. That would make it relatively tolerable. As far as audio is concerned, the music was decent, but some of the effects didn’t come off well and sounded terrible. I played the game on Casual, and even that wasn’t a walk in the park, so the difficulty setting seems to only affect the enemies, but doesn’t really make getting through the levels that much easier because you WILL be dying–A LOT–from ‘accidental’ deaths because you didn’t time something right, or you timed it right, but the shot from one of the enemies hits you RIGHT when you land on the ledge, knocking you off, which causes you to lose your hard-earned money. Some of the boss battles are easier (Pinocchio) then others (Pied Piper), that you’ll wonder, ‘Was Pinocchio even a BOSS?’.
Patrick’s Final Say: Playlogic’s concept was very well thought out, but with platformers being a very niche genre, and with all of the other AAA titles out there right now, it simply fails to make a passing grade. Even if you LIKE platformers, the controls will make you pull your hair out. The one reason to possibly rent the game is the co-op, which would at least allow you to lament your constant death with one to three other players.