Fairytale Fights Review
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On 11/03/2009 at 01:54 PM by Chessa DiMola
A disappointing title that could have been far more than a generic hack-and-slash.
Any gamer who enjoys a certain amount of depth to their gaming experience will do well to stay far away from this title. However, those who truly enjoy a hack-and-slash without many bells or whistles may find some true enjoyment from Fairytale Fights.
At first glance, Fairytale Fights appears to have all the elements needed to be an extremely unique and entertaining experience. There's brightly-colored cutesy characters with a lust for blood and carnage, what appears to be a ridiculous storyline filled with deliciously twisted versions of my favorite fairy tales, and protagonists which mercilessly hack away at innocent creatures within a world where only insanity prevails. Unfortunately, upon closer inspection, all I could find was a generic hack and slash with a bland storyline and a misleading coat of paint.
Players start the game in a fantasy town where there's plenty of action occurring around every corner. Players will undoubtedly be impressed with the game's presentation and graphics, which evoke the storybook setting wonderfully. The world itself is bright and gorgeous, with a cartoonish presentation that adds even more personality to the picture-book environment.
In order to begin the main campaign, players must choose a "story" that they wish to play through. These stories are broken up into chapters, which are essentially check points for when players tire of the game. When a story begins, players will watch a little animated sequence that lays out the overarching plot of the upcoming chapter. Following the sequence, players will be sent out on their way.
The biggest allure of Fairytale Fights is the manner in which players can kill enemies. The game provides players with a multitude of weapons with which they can bludgeon enemies to death in countless ways. At first, hacking away at enemies, then gliding along their freshly spilt blood, was unbelievably satisfying and entertaining. With so many weapons to choose from it was initially incredibly fun to switch up killing methods for every couple of enemies.
But the allure of the killing system quickly wore thin as the game really had nothing more to offer. The stories are bland, the enemies are incredibly generic, and after a while it's just easier to stick with one weapon that’s guaranteed to kill an enemy in one shot.
Strategy is a non-existent element in Fairytale Fights; there is never a reason to think a situation though since a good weapon can annihilate several enemies at once. Eventually this mindless hacking becomes tedious and boring, especially with no other gameplay mechanics to save players from the tedium.
Dying is barely a threat, as coins are a player's health indicator. As long as they have a healthy supply of coins (which is impossible not to have, since fallen enemies spill them out in great numbers) there are no consequences other than losing an equipped weapon. However finding a new weapon requires no more effort than walking a few extra feet or turning a corner.
The game operates in a 2D plane in a 3D world, similar to Namco’s Klonoa series. Unfortunately, players aren’t able to interact with any of the interesting parts of the environment as they exist in either the untouchable foreground or background. The small amount of platforming actually required of players will only frustrate them further. There were countless times when I hit invisible barriers preventing me from jumping up or over an object. When trying to jump over obstacles or clear a large gap, the controls were just too imprecise to easily make it.
On top of boring gameplay, the boss battles are incredibly frustrating; not due to difficulty but rather to unnecessary length and redundancy. Players can expect the battle to last for quite a while with each successive round being exactly the same as the first. While most boss battles switch things up after the first cycle, Fairytale Fights makes no such effort.
The included multiplayer modes can't even save this game. The monotony carries over into the arena mode, co-op quest mode, and battle mode to create just another handful of dull experiences. The only fun thing about multiplayer is keeping friendly fire on so you can hack your partner to death and thus accept the real world consequences of their fury.
There's little more to say about Fairytale Fights, because there really isn't much else to the gameplay. You choose a story, go into the level, find an axe and destroy everyone in your path, do a bit of glitchy platforming, fight a boring boss battle, and repeat until the end of the game.
To say I was disappointed in Fairytale Fights would be an understatement; I expected far more than what I received. The game is vivid, bright, and has so much potential waiting to be tapped, but instead the game is suffocated by focusing solely on a gameplay mechanic that stops being fun after fifteen minutes of continuous play.