GamesCom 2009: Fairytale Fights Hands On Preview - Senseless Violence
Written Friday, August 28, 2009 By Lee AbrahamsView author's profile
Now here is a game that might not have featured on many people’s radars – which seems strange considering the off-beat humour and addictive gameplay on offer. This is certainly a game that will appeal to anyone that enjoyed Castle Crashers, with a quirky sense of fun and plenty of over the top violence. It is certainly not shy about the body count either, as enemies can be torn limb from limb should you so wish.
I suppose we should start at the beginning. Fairytale Fights is set in a world made up of books and the classic stories that inhabit them, however, all is not well. It seems that classic characters like Snow White, Red Riding Hood, The Emperor (sans his new clothes) and Jack (of the beanstalk fame) are losing their popularity. Our heroes therefore set out to reclaim their former glories and also to stop a local giant from burning up their revered stories.
In fact, the majority of the game revolves around fame and rewards you for accruing it by fair or foul means. Your overall quest is to restore your former glories but you will also build up a ‘glory’ meter as you play that once full, will allow you to unleash slow motion special moves on your enemies resulting in broken bones and torn limbs. You also accrue more fame depending on the points you earn and this can affect everything from the grave that pops up when you die, to the trophies of slain enemies that decorate your home. Suffice it to say that the more fame you amass, the more levels, enemies and weapons will be available to you.
To the gameplay itself; the overriding simplicity of the action hides some very innovative techniques behind the scenes. Firstly, just the sight of your chosen character running around with one of over a hundred weapons from axes, chainsaws and even the odd bunny, is fun in itself. However, you also have full control over every cut and stroke you make thanks to the dynamic slicing via the right analogue stick. The stick controls your attack and how you move it determines how you attack; so if you make a cut from head to toe then it will be replicated on screen and it means you can slice and dice your foes in any way you see fit. Defeated enemies naturally explode into gallons of blood which is also highly interactive – meaning you can slip on it or even slide through it gracefully whilst dealing death to your enemies. Boss fights are giant affairs as you would expect, with you taking on a series of preposterous foes. In our hands on with the title, we were pitted against the mother of all goldfishes that had to be defeated by throwing rotten fish in its mouth to make him become sick and unbalanced. Certainly not your average enemy encounter that’s for sure.
Fairytale Fights does include four player co-op as one of its main staples, which means you can take a bunch of cronies along for the ride. The developers estimate that the game will actually take longer to complete in co-op thanks to the ability to kill each other – a factor that the people we played with were only too happy to indulge in. If anything though this could be a double edged sword, as after a while it became a bit annoying that players could so easily cut one another to pieces, especially when all you were trying to do was fight the same enemy. Hopefully there will be a way to turn off the ‘friendly fire’ element to the proceedings for fear of spoiling what would otherwise be a fun multiplayer jaunt.
The game is looking bright and vibrant, and the easy to pick up and play combat should certainly appeal to most people especially those with friends willing to pick up a pad and join in. The jury is out on whether such simplistic gameplay can truly make waves on the market though, but the success of similar arcade titles is certainly a good sign, although Fairytale Fights is a full retail title. It looks like we will all find out the answer when the game drops, in all its blood splattered glory, on October 23rd (Europe) and October 27th (US).