Fairytale Fights is a gorgeous game with a unique concept and delightfully demented gameplay. From there, it goes downhill.
The game, which had built up a bit of hype since E3, plays out like this: four fairy tale mainstays (Little Red Riding Hood, Snow White, the Naked Emperor and Beanstalk Jack) have had their fame taken away from them, and they’re sad. For example, the lumberjack kills the wolves, so Little Red doesn’t get her time in the limelight. This, of course, makes them mad, and has them decide to go on a psychotic killing spree to regain notoriety.
Okay, that’s not what they intended, as there’s a story, but it seems tangential to all the mindless killing that you do to progress in it.
The gameplay is your standard multiplayer beat-em-up, with lots of weapons to pick up and lots of enemies to take care of. The world looks open, but the actual traversable area isn’t any larger than in old-school titles like TMNT or Streets of Rage. There are obstacles to avoid and rivers to jump over, but it’s not really a platforming challenge as much as it is a hazard to hit enemies into. Attacks are handled with the right stick, so the control setup feels a bit like a melee Smash TV.
The game does indeed look gorgeous. The bright, lush environments combined with the simulated pools of blood really get you into the twisted mindset the game requires, and everything feels polished visually.
All of this makes for a really fun game…for an hour or so.
Fairytale Fights starts to fall apart as the story progresses. Weapons are only categorized into “stars” that indicate strength, and strong three-star weapons are easy enough to find and deal only slightly more damage than even-more-common weaker items. It’s cool that the weapons slice in ways generated by your movements, but it’s all flash and no strategy. Characters don’t level up, weapons don’t alter your attack patterns, and there aren’t any cooperative elements to the combat. Collecting money adds to a bank, and things can be built with it, but none of these things change the game experience at all.
This would have been a magnificent game had Playlogic included anything at all that helped replay value. I mean, seriously guys. Patch in some character progression or something. You’re killing me here.
As it is, it’s an interesting diversion, but it gets totally outclassed by Castle Crashers at a third of its price.
ESRB: M– Please, please, please don’t buy this for a kid.
Pros: Impressive visuals, distinct style
Cons: Lack of compelling elements