Fairytale Fights PS3 Review

Being a game of fairytales you may think that Fairytale Fights is going to be suitable for a youngster, though this couldn’t be further from the truth. The game has received a 16 rating, and this isn’t to cruelly deny the kids a magical fairytale, but rather to dissuade people, who would have otherwise purchased it for a young family member, not to.

The game may very well take its inspiration from children’s stories, though it’s a gory action parody of these famous fairytales as opposed to a true retelling. It’s one of those titles that may look like a kid’s game at a quick glance, but further inspection very much proves otherwise.

Visually, the game is bright, cheerful and quite attractive, if in a simplistic fashion. The occasional slowdown and a regularly unhelpful camera do little to detract from its charm, though it obviously does from the game experience itself. As mentioned, it’s also absolutely overflowing with personality and has gallons of slippery blood, as well as the casual obsession of slicing up bodies like a Christmas turkey.

Indeed, the game may be violent, though not at all in a grisly way. This is cartoon violence with lots of blood, though said blood looks like a thick red goo, and it’s even possible to slide on it as if you’re simply enjoying yourself in an ice skating rink, whilst bloody footprints are left behind as you pass through it, and characters are splashed by it. Limbs also become detached and heads fly, though there’s nothing truly nightmarish to be seen as a result of its gorily entertaining combat.

There’s also plenty of humour: the loading screens have amusing quotes from the characters and the story and cut-scenes certainly aren’t to be taken seriously, with mumbling characters and lots and lots of blood.

In this twist on fairytales, you’ll be controlling the likes of Jack (he of the beanstalk), Snow White, Little Red Riding Hood and the Naked Emperor (The Emperor’s New Clothes), though they’re probably more vicious than you might remember, well, unless you had a very warped imagination, in which your own version of Little Red Riding Hood carried a bloody carving knife. The characters have nothing unique about them, which is a bit of a missed opportunity to say the least.

The very simple combat system has you using the right stick to pull off attacks (holding it if you’re wanting a stronger charged strike), the R2 button to use your slicing and dicing glory attacks (coming available to you once a bar is full and literally allows for the chopping up into little pieces of your enemies). As the game can be played by up to four people (online or drop-in/drop-out offline multiplayer) at once and combat is fast and frantic, Fairytale Fights can get a little chaotic and confusing at times, even in single player. In spite of being initially fun with plenty of blood, humour and weapons (they differ in strength and you are able to carry two, which can be switched between) to pick up, repetition does soon begin to set in, as well.

The game seemingly takes its inspiration from Travellers Tales LEGO games, at least in the sense that you have unlimited lives. This doesn’t mean that you should get yourself carelessly maimed over and over again, as, just like those LEGO games, you lose a certain amount of your accumulated cash (this can be used at wishing wells for random items and weapons to be spewed out at you, or to slowly complete a statue of your character in the Taleville hub) each time you die, as well as drop any weapons that you are currently carrying: irretrievable if you happen to fall down a big hole.

The environments are wonderfully fairytale-ish, and are enjoyable enough to jump (you’ll be doing a fair bit of jumping when you’re not carving enemies up) around, whilst storybook characters and famous locations are also scattered liberally. It’s all in good humour of course, as Fairytale Fights isn’t really a fairytale, at least not like any gentle, magical fairytale that I care to remember.

As for options, other than the quest mode, a versus mode has also been included. It can be played online or off, although it’s completely throwaway and pales in comparison to the main game. In any case, I was only able to test all the multiplayer options locally, as there wasn’t anyone playing online when I attempted to try it out, so I can’t say how smoothly things are currently running in this area.

Due to its many problems, the fairytale may start to fizzle out rather quickly, but that’s not to say that Fairytale Fights is a complete disaster. It’s fun in short bursts and has some rather entertaining and silly humour, although this doesn’t save the game from being a mostly average and repetitive experience.