|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: 1-4||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Mature||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
by Maria Montoro
Once upon a time, there was a little red-hooded friend that came straight out of a fairytale. Leaving her peaceful and adorable village behind, she decided to embark upon the greatest adventure of her life; it was an adventure that involved unimaginable dangers and blood thirst. But she didn't care; she was ready to take on anything and anyone in her way. All it took was to open up one of her books, and off she went! She travelled through chapter after chapter of pure mayhem.
That's how the game started, but of course, she wasn't the only fairytale hero anxious to become popular once again. Soon you'll learn the forest is plagued with all sorts of infamous characters looking for notoriety at any price, such as the lumberjacks and the gnomes. They will all do whatever it takes, and it's in your hands to help.
At the beginning of the game, you'll become one of four fairytale characters (Little Red Riding Hood, Jack - from Jack and the Beanstalk, Snow White, or the Naked Emperor). Your mission will be to slice your way through the levels with the help of wonderfully dangerous weapons; blunt or sharp, heavy or light, it doesn't matter - they all have their purpose. In fact, you'll be surprised to see what a swordfish can do, or a mandolin, or a mailbox, or an ice cream stick everything counts in this game, and in fact, you'll have to try out the dozens of weapons you'll find along the way, because you never know what kind of damage they can do! Damage and carnage is what this game is all about anyway.
Okay, now you're wondering: what's up with all this crazy bloodshed? I thought this game was about fairytales, and I thought it was the perfect action-platformer for kids! Well, you thought wrong. This mature rated game vaguely tells its own stories, mixing up characters, environments, and memorabilia from well-known fairytales. However, the storytelling is weak, with no character voices or narration whatsoever; just a few grunts, laughs, and screams is all you'll hear. The varied, jazzy tunes are perhaps the best it has to offer within this world in disarray. The visuals may look appealing for kids as well, but those bubbly figures with puffy eyes just carry resentment and a death wish. This may sound funny and even appealing for fans of sick cartoons such as the Happy Tree Friends (which I enjoy), but unfortunately the quality is not there.
The game controls are not very intuitive, and when you finally get the hang of them, they still leave a lot to be desired. Moving the character where you want him to go is no easy feat; picking up the weapon you want when there's more than one in the ground doesn't always happen on the first try; even assaulting the enemy or blocking attacks can be tough. Not to mention the fact that attacks and chained strikes are done with the left control stick, which feels weird and unpredictable. This mechanic has been tried in previous games, but in this one it just doesn't work. To top it off, when you kill enemies, you have to pick up the coins around you, just like if you were a five year old playing a terrible cartoon-inspired game. There's nothing I hate more - either the coins come to me, or I'm leaving them behind!!!
Even when it comes to platforming, I found the controls in Fairytale Fights to be fairly unreliable, resulting in unnecessary deaths down a gap or under the axe of a twisted foe. There are segments with spiky rotating logs, circular saws, etc. that don't just look like a nightmare, but they become one. Missing the jump is easy, and stopping your character on time is not; therefore, you'll often end up with your head split open or turning into mere ground beef. Worst of all, boss fights are as painful as the rest of the gameplay, if not more. Even when you learn the bosses' patterns and try to avoid their strikes, they always manage to get you. Luckily for everyone, you're allowed to lose as many lives as you want, and it'll only count towards your final score in that chapter - oh yeah, and you'll lose some coins.