|System: X360, PS3, PC||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: PlayLogic||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: PlayLogic||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Oct. 27, 2009||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-2||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Mature||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
by Amanda L. Kondolojy
September 1, 2009 - Sure, tales like Hansel and Gretel, Little Red Riding Hood, and Snow White have their share of disturbing elements and sinister underlying themes, but I can't think of a single fairytale where a hero (or heroine) brandished an axe and chopped their oppressor into tiny bits, leaving pools of blood in their wake. Fortunately, this gaping hole in traditional fairytale lore is going to be filled this fall with the release of Fairytale Fights.
Fairytale Fights can best be described as a traditional hack n' slash adventure with linear platform-style levels, plenty of environmental traps, some puzzling elements, and, of course, boss fights. However, even though this formula might sound a little generic, Fairytale fights is all about style, and that's where this game looks like it is intending to make its mark.
The game has a very cartoonish image, complete with bright colors and disproportioned characters. The different environments in the game range from the dark halls of a candy-filled hut (ripped from the pages of Hansel and Gretel) to a bright forested area filled with buzzsaws that is supposed to recall the setting of Little Red Riding Hood. Of course, the vivid colors and softly-textured surroundings make even the most out-of-place environmental elements seem fitting.
Despite its look, Fairytale Fights was actually built using Unreal Engine 3, and the visuals definitely accentuate this fact. The animation quality is also solid, and the hack n' slash gameplay is augmented by a special "dynamic slicing" system that was developed just for Fairytale Fights. This system allows you to use your cute little fairytale character to hack and slice through any part of an oppressor's body and get a custom animation that reflects the carnage.
Trust me, these animations are anything but generic. Say you lop off some poor bad guy's arm you'll see a short sidebar animation of him walking around armless and spurting out blood. However, the most fun animations occur when you have more creative slices. For instance, slice a character diagonally and you'll expose their innards, seeing them all fall apart in a very gruesome animation. Same thing goes for decapitations and any type of disembowelment.
Fairytale Fights is one gory game. The juxtaposition of the cute fairytale aesthetics and the gory gameplay definitely works for Fairytale Fights, really making it unique. Although it may seem a little "gimmicky", it is strangely satisfying to see the happy fairytale worlds of your childhood drenched in blood. Blood is another remarkable element of the landscape, as each defeated enemy will drop massive amounts of the red, oozing stuff. Best of all, your character can run through it and it will smear across the landscape. After walking in blood, your character will also leave little red footprints.
Another excellent aspect of Fairytale Fights will be the multiplayer portion. Fairytale Fights will feature drop-in/drop-out co-op modes for the main story mode, and it also features several competitive multiplayer modes that support up to four different players. These multiplayer modes include everything from the traditional deathmatch to a challenge mode where you can race to collect coins in different environments.
As for playable characters, Fairytale Fights will have plenty of iconic personas for you to take on. Confirmed characters include Little Red Riding Hood, Snow White, Jack (from Jack and the Beanstalk), and the Naked Emperor (from The Emperor's New Clothes). The character designs feature extremely deformed versions of the characters upon which they are based, having huge heads, tiny extremities, and, for the female characters, way too much makeup.
Fairytale Fights is looking like it will deliver an over-the-top experience for mature gamers, as it will definitely be pushing the envelope for violence when it releases this fall. However, I'm not entirely convinced that the gore alone will make this game stand out in the crowded pre-holiday release schedule, especially since the hack n' slash gameplay doesn't look all that unique. Still, if you can't wait to hack your way through classic stories in almost horrific detail and love some colorful gore, then Fairytale Fights will definitely be a game you'll want to check out!
Amanda L. Kondolojy
CCC Staff Contributor