Fairytale Fights Review

The thought of taking traditional fairy-tale characters, warping them, and throwing them into a twisted and violent storybook world is clearly a great idea. Who wouldn’t want to play a game based on such a premise? Well, if the only way to do so is via Playlogic’s Fairytale Fights, then maybe the answer to that question is you.

Fairytale Fights is a 3D beat-em-up action title with platforming elements that places players in the roles of Little Red Riding Hood, Snow White, Jack (of beanstalk fame), or the Naked Emperor, and sets them off on an adventure through a linear world that is inspired by children’s books, but is as demented as the psychiatric ward. Characters like ginger bread men, gnomes, and wolves attack at every turn, so players must make use of an extensive arsenal of blunt, sharp, ranged, and magical weapons to brutally (yet somehow seemingly light-heartedly) massacre them all.

Fairytale Fights

The game has its own little brand of humor, most evident in the sarcastic quips in characters’ speech bubbles, but also a bit more discretely present in the background goings-on in each of the game’s levels. As for the buckets of brightly colored, smoothly polygonal blood that spills everywhere as Little Red Riding Hood cuts lumberjacks in half with a swordfish skeleton, it’s mostly just gratuitous, pointless, and immature. I tried to tap into the most childish centers in my brain to appreciate it, but came back with a response that more closely approximated something like, “Is this really happening? Is she skating on a puddle of blood? Is that necessary?”

This lack of willingness to entirely acquiesce to the game’s humor most likely stems from the limited fun to be had with the actual gameplay. The controls feel awkward and unnatural in nearly every way. To start, movement is floaty, and characters too easily get caught on the layered and uneven, albeit interesting, terrain. Swapping weapons is a chore because there is no way to know if a weapon on the ground is better than the weapon in hand without hurling the latter across the screen to make room. Attacking is mapped to the right analog stick, but only ranged attacks are influenced by the direction in which the stick is pushed; melee attacks always go straight ahead in the direction the character is facing, and are not very precise. Characters get caught in unbreakable attack chains that send them swinging in the wrong direction, often leaping uncontrollably forward and plummeting to their doom. Either a regular attack button or consistency across weapon types would have at least helped a little.

The game features an “arena mode,” which pits characters against one another in deadly, bloody combat, but because the controls are such a struggle to begin with, even playing against other local or online players is just a wild mess of stick wiggling. Drop-in/drop-out multiplayer works better in the game’s story mode, so long as friendly fire is turned off and you can’t go flailing into one another; playing with a friend makes this mode slightly more enjoyable… or rather, less painful.

The game’s visual style is colorful and bright, and creates a strange and warped world of fairy tale settings and characters, but the overall quality of the graphics is sub-par by today’s standards. the game looks dated, and sounds the same way. There is no voiced dialog in Fairytale Fights, and only some of the background tunes redeem the game’s soundscape… if players make the effort to pay attention.

Fairytale Fights is built upon an interesting premise with great potential, but sprouts something far inferior to a magical beanstalk. While it can be briefly enjoyable and provide a few giggles and chuckles, it quickly becomes repetitive and boring. Cooperative play helps, but in the end, the poor controls and lack of genuinely entertaining qualities will drive most players away.


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Author: Eddie Inzauto View all posts by
Eddie has been writing about games on the interwebz for over ten years. You can find him Editor-in-Chiefing around these parts, or talking nonsense on Twitter @eddieinzauto.

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