Fairytale Fights Preview

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Fairytale Fights Publisher: Playlogic
Developer: Playlogic Game Factory

Platforms: Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC

Once the center of everyone's favorite stories, storybook characters such as Little Red Riding Hood no longer capture the popular imagination. Like any celebrity who has fallen out of the limelight, these storybook characters are desperate to take to the red carpet once more. And what's the best way to do so? Kill people. It's easiest to describe as celebrity boxing for the storybook set, with hundreds of weapons instead of padded gloves.

Projected Release: Fourth Quarter 2009
Kyle Ackerman

Simply put, Fairytale Fights is a 3D brawler with platforming elements built on the Unreal Engine 3 and set in a fairytale world. There's already no question that the game is brutal and cute, and should provide plenty of storybook mayhem. Whether the game has any longevity will depend on how well Playlogic executes on the game's childhood-destroying humor. From what I saw, the game is insidiously adorable, with gigantic vomiting bosses and marauding garden gnomes that you can slay and then pick up and use as weapons. If the final game matches this first glimpse, it should be an awesome way to make a clean break with childhood icons, or even a messy break – by slashing them into many pieces.

Spaghetti Western... Meet Salami Violence

When a game's focus is on hacking up familiar icons, the hacking had better be well done, so Playlogic has been working for years on its slicing technology that it has dubbed "Salami Violence." When you hack up fairytale critters, the remaining pieces are still part of the game as 3D, textured objects. Presumably it's called Salami Violence because you can hack up enemies like so many slices of salami, even if you can't subsequently turn them into a sandwich. There are more than 100 weapons to play with, ranging from swords and axes to a magic wand that I saw that fires deadly bolts.

The controls will feel familiar to anyone who has ever forced Sackboy to jump around – one analog stick controls movement while the other controls the characters' limbs – except that instead of playing as a "sack" critter, you'll play as one of four fairytale icons, including Snow White and Little Red Riding Hood. Also, when you gesture, it will typically be with something deadly and sharp that can slice enemies into bits. Truly spectacular kills will be called out in their own window, so that you can slice-and-dice in close-up glory, seeing the effects of every unique slice that you perform.

How Much Wood Could a Beaver Upchuck?

The Fairytale Fights terrain is a storybook universe, so literally everything is built on or with books. Books serve as the foundations for houses, the scaffolding for staircases and the method for accessing different menu items. Books help take this cartoonish world and turn it into something mischievously gruesome. I was able to see a candy castle (the sort of place where Hansel & Gretel might be baking) guarded by gingerbread men, a giant's home where everything (especially the books) was enormous, and a wooded land filled with lumberjacks. Books were everywhere, but so was carnage.

The whole thing is a bit slapstick, and never more so than when players start slapping each other around. Offline, the game will support co-operative play with up to four players, all able to drop in and out of the action at will. Online, Playlogic promises a minimum of two players for cooperative play, but hopes to allow four to play together.

Especially as a group activity, Fairytale Fights promises to be a lot of fun, and to do its best to ruin Little Red Riding Hood forever. Never before have I seen Little Red Riding Hood aggressively vomited upon by an angry beaver, but I'm sure I'll see it again when Fairytale Fights is released.

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This page contains a single entry by Editor published on June 10, 2009 6:00 AM.

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