There’s one good thing about Fairytale Fights – the combat doesn’t suck. Well, not immediately anyway. Sadly, everything else that surrounds this average hack and slash gameplay pretty much does. The story, the platform bits, right down to the character design – which reminds us of the annoying Rabbids – all of it makes for a huge drag. The worst bit? It costs as much as a top-brand game.
We initially thought (hoped) Fairytale Fights would be a moderately priced downloadable title. This is because quality-wise it’s pretty low-grade. You play as one of four characters – Jack (of beanstalk fame), Sleeping Beauty, Red Riding Hood or the Naked Emperor from The Emperor’s New Clothes. Each of them plays out almost identical to the last save for some unique animations.
It’s like a cross between the Shrek movies and Fat Princess as you cut a bloody swathe through characters such as gingerbread men and the big bad wolf. But levels are largely vacuous, and without any sort of vocal narrative or voice acting it’s as bland as it gets. You hack waves of fodder, jump over traps (usually spike-based) or leap across platform sections that are made tricky by a camera that seems to want to stay as far away from the action as you probably will. These jaunts are punctuated by boss fights against things such as a giant Beaver, the Pied Piper and more, but each of these is grindingly formulaic, and plays out for far too long.
It’s a shame, because Fairytale Fights opens up with a few nice ideas. Your attacks are controlled on the Right Stick and you can string together pretty neat combos. There’s a nifty berserker move you can unleash too – it does a good job of knocking the blood and snot out of an enemy, and the kill-cam, where you see a foe being dismembered, is a fun touch. Sadly, the thrills are exhausted faster than baby bear’s porridge, leaving you trudging through repetition again.
You’ll find more entertainment in the raft of games under 15 bucks on XBLA than you ever will with this sub-PS2 repeat-o-fest. Still, at least the combat doesn’t suck.
Oct 27, 2009