The legend of the Fat Princess has yet to come to a gruelling conclusion with Sony Entertainment and SuperVillain Studios passing down the tale to hands of portable gamers via Fat Princess: Fistful of Cake for Sony's PlayStation Portable. As with the PlayStation 3 version, Fistful of Cake will have players scrounging around castles, valleys and volcanoes in order to rescue their respective damsels in distress.
Fistful of Cake doesn't beat around the bush and quite literally serves the cake straight to players. Aside from the quick children book illustrations and narration before each mission, which really serve more as briefings of what game type players will be engaging in, there isn't much story to bother with. Get the princess and save the day. Short and sweet, something that works very well for Fistful of Cake considering the meat of the game is its gameplay.
Gameplay is simple. Each team has their own hat machines that spit out hats which act as the different classes like Warrior, Mage, Priest, Ranger and Worker. In addition, these classes can be upgraded, and only by the Workers, once the necessary resources have been gathered. Players can also increase in strength by capturing outposts. Outposts serve as a quick way to send resources back as well as provide shortcuts to and from different points on the map. The AI is usually smart enough to do its job, be they friends or enemies. The controls are tight and quite self-explanatory although sometimes ledges and corners won't register properly, resulting in some unwanted falls. Attacking, jumping, grabbing and throwing are all mapped to the PSP's face buttons while team commands and the absolutely adorable taunting are mapped to the directional pad.
Each class has their own set of skills to contribute to the team. Workers are incredibly useful for gathering resources, fortifying the castle, building shortcuts and most importantly, upgrading the other classes. The Warrior is the tank and can absorb the most damage while dealing out the same. Rangers and Priests are best played as support roles. Doling out arrows with a mass group of Rangers can be extremely effective while Priests can constantly heal team mates; however, both classes suffer from low hit points. Once upgraded, each class will gain access to an alternate and more powerful attack skill which, more often than not, can be a determining factor in a team's victory.
The single player campaign serves as an introduction to the many game types and classes that players can play around with. From the capture the flag "Rescue the Princess" mode, where players will scuttle to gather resources, upgrade classes and most importantly, save the princess just as the game type's name implies, to the standard Team Deathmatch as well as a couple of brand new types like Grim Reaper, Dilapidated, Demolition and Jailbreak.
Grim Reaper is a sort of Battle Royale for the Reaper's hat. Whoever dons said hat will gain immeasurable power and it's up to players to hold onto it for as long as possible in order to win. Not to mention that it's the Reaper against every other player. Dilapidated simply starts a game with all the hat machines ruined, which brings ample emphasis on tactics in order to win. Demolition involves delivering a cheekily large bomb to the throne of the opposing team. Finally, Jailbreak will have players fighting for outposts, or more specifically, jailhouses. Holding these jailhouses will sustain players' life points and damage that of the opposing team.
Being a portable title, Fistful of Cake's single player campaign obviously tries to make up for the lacklustre multiplayer options and it by no means does a terrible job of it. The game is simply held back due to the technical limitations and the fact that a PSP is usually on the move. That said, the multiplayer mode allows for up to 8 players to link up together via either Ad-hoc or Infrastructure mode, although with the latter, players may as well boot up their PlayStation 3's. If getting together locally isn't much of a problem then Fistful of Cake provides more than enough fun and laughs for everyone playing.
Graphically speaking, it's no surprise that the game looks and feels just like a Saturday morning cartoon, with plenty of internet smack-talk and bright red blood to spill. The visuals are by no means terrible nor are they drop dead gorgeous, but they do a good enough job in delivering the comical disposition that Fat Princess has come to be known for. Furthermore, the animation is great and compliments the visual style.
Fistful of Cake definitely delivers content wise. Although the single player campaign is relatively short, players can create their own or join in on the multiplayer modes for more Fat Princess excitement. While the online options aren't exactly the most convenient, the setup is idiot proof and as long as hooking up isn't too troublesome, there's plenty of cake to keep players coming back for more. Some problems do arise when playing online though, mainly because there are no voice-chat capabilities.
Fat Princess: Fistful of Cake may be a port from its PS3 version, but it certainly doesn't leave out any of the icing. In fact, SuperVillain Studios have gone as far as adding new maps, game modes and even "33% more internet memes." The game is clearly all about the fun and excitement of working together. With tight controls, giddy music and a comical aesthetic, plenty of praise can be imparted to the game, but one thing that covers it all is that Fistful of Cake is simply fun.