Fairytale Fights is a mixed bag. It has a unique premise and some potential, however, that potential is simply unrealized. There are many reasons for this, from some bad camera work, to the repetitive, mindless combat to the control scheme. The basic premise of Fairytale Fights is that some of our fairy tale heros from years past have been forgotten and they are no longer famous. They have been replaced and aren’t too happy about it so they set out to try to reclaim their fame.
Fairytale Fights is a very violent, very bloody hack and slash platform adventure title. You can choose who you want to play as between Red Riding Hood, Snow White, Jack (of Beanstalk fame) and the Naked Emperor. There really isn’t any consequence for picking one over the other as they are all pretty much the same. Just pick the one you feel like and you can start your adventure. It should be noted that you can change characters in between chapters if you want by going back to Taleville and swapping out your character. This title does feature four player co-op over XBox Live and you can decide whether you want to turn friendly fire on or offf. This should make Fairytale Fights more fun to go through as games are typically more fun when playing with friends, however, the game doesn’t seem to run as smoothly as it does when you are playing by yourself. It’s a real shame too because this could be a great party game where you are hanging out with your friends and just having a good time, not really paying too much attention to what is taking place on the screen. Hopefully Playlogic will release a patch that fixes this issue and hopefully it won’t take as long as similiar titles like Castle Crashers. There is also an Arena mode where you and your friends can just beat the living daylights out of each other and see who comes out on top.
I briefly mentioned Taleville above which serves as the central hub for Fairytale Fights. It’s a village that you start out in where you can do a number of different things. There’s even an achievement for simply spending 15 minutes in Taleville. This is where you will pick what character you want to play, what level you want to start on and various other things. Once you get out of here and start on your quest you will immediately notice the odd control scheme. For some reason the main attack button in this game is the right analog stick. The combat in this game is basically button mashing so I have no idea why they didn’t put the combat on an actual button. The only purpose the “Y” button has in the game is to turn your name on and off over your character’s head. They should have mapped that to the analog stick and the fighting to the button. There are five main stories in the game with each of them containing multiple chapters. Each story has a different background and a different feel, however, the chapters within the story tend to get repetitive pretty quickly. There are even some instances where it looked like they did the copy and paste trick to extend the game a bit. There are a bunch of different weapons but only a few classes so even though it seems like there could be a lot of variety there really isn’t. As you progress through your adventure you will come across and have to fight some famous characters from fairy tales you might have heard when you were younger. You’ll have to fight characters such as Pinocchio, Hansel and Gretel, the Candy Witch and more. The boss fights are pretty simplistic and once you figure out their pattern they are pretty easy to beat although it could take a while as you will have to give the bosses quite a beating before they give it up.
The gameplay for this title is a bit off as well. The controls feel a bit floaty and, once again, it would have been nice if we could have mapped the controller buttons ourselves. To pick up a weapon you have to hit the right bumper, however, that is also the button to throw a weapon, so there were numerous times when I accidentally threw my weapon when I was trying to pick up another one. It became annoying quickly especially if I was in the heat of battle with a bunch of enemies surrounding me. There was also this small scene that would take place whenever you would dismember someone where it would show you a close up view of what you had done to them. While this was initially cool, it becomes very irritating as you progress since it covers up a good chunk of the screen, including potential enemies that are waiting to ambush you. The camera in this game could also use some big improvements. The camera would either be too zoomed out or it would be too zoomed in forcing you to make a leap of faith at times and hoping that you hit solid ground. Additionally, continuity seems to be an issue throughout this title as well. There is some water that you can go in but then in other areas the water will kill you. It makes absolutely no sense at all.
Overall Fairytale Fights has a unique premise and quite a bit of potential. Unfortunately lackluster execution on a couple of key features detracts from the experience. The game is certainly not broken, however, a couple of questionable design decisions prevent it from being a good title. If you are someone who likes linear beat em up titles then by all means check this title out. You’ll probably get a chuckle at the over the top violence and all of the cartoon blood that you will spill throughout your adventure. There are even achievements for sliding in the blood for a certain distance or for a certain amount of time. Do yourself a favor though and rent before you buy. You might get a kick out of renting it for the weekend and inviting some friends over to go through the story with you. At the standard $60 price tag this game is overpriced and it probably won’t be long before it sees a price drop.