A bloody mess
Fairytale Fights is quite an interesting creature. The game is all about fairytale characters fighting other fairytale characters in a fairytale dreamworld. While the concept is rather interesting and mostly untouched, Fairytale Fights’ problems remain in execution, with its having a rather bad camera, frustrating controls and uninspired level design.
The game starts off with a storyteller introducing you to the world by telling a somewhat vague fairytale story. After that, you’re left in a hub world called Taleville. From here, the game allows you to change your character (Red Riding Hood, Naked Emperor, Snow White or Beanstalk Jack), change a few settings, and build a statue of yourself, but the area is mainly useless because anything important can be done from the start menu. You can also start up a Xbox Live session at this point to bring in up to 3 other people to play with you.
Visually, Fairytale Fights is a beautiful game. The colors are very vibrant and they really fit the world well. This game has a lot of blood, and it’s also shown off pretty well, with blood literally splattering all over the place like some kind of slaughterhouse. Having this cutesy type fairytale world with blood and guts everywhere does make things a bit uneasy, but it’s something you don’t see very often.
Once you’ve picked your level, you are set upon a mission to perform some tasks involving a fairytale character. The first mission involves the Three Bears wanting their stolen porridge from Goldilocks and it’s up to you to get it back. At this point, Fairytale Fights starts going downhill and it never really recovers.
The gameplay can best be described as overly complex and repetitive. At first it seems cool to slice enemies in half by swinging a sword and cutting their torso in two, but it quickly becomes a bore because the core gameplay never varies outside of this hack-and-slash gameplay. This is made worse due to the analog stick controls, because it requires you to tilt the right analog stick everytime you need to attack. You can also hold the tilt for a few seconds to charge an attack that does a bit more damage.
The weapons do have some variety but only in a contrived ranking manner. The weapons rank from 1 to 5 stars with 5 being the most powerful weapons. There are also 3 types of weapons which are projectile, slicing and blunt. Slicing weapons let you slice characters in several different ways, blunt weapons let you smash characters to death ,and projectiles shoot a few different types of items. All of this would be okay if the controls weren’t mapped to the analog stick and were switched up once in a while, but it never changes; you are smashing your analog stick ad-nauseum for the entire length of the game.
My next complaint is the camera angles that go hand in hand with the atrocious platforming segments. For 90% of the game, the camera is set to the side of the action and works fine for the combat sequences but for the platforming sequences it doesn’t work well at all. There are plenty of platforms to jump on in these sequences and falling off any of them will equal instant death. These parts of the game don’t add anything but bouts of cussing and frustration.
At the end of each chapter, there’s a fairytale boss to fight (Pinocchio, a giant, Hansel & Gretel etc.) and this breaks things up a bit, but generally the battles take way too long to complete and have plenty of cheap death moments.
Online play is one of the bullet points in Fairytale Fights, and it appears to work at times. Playing with a friend through some of the levels, it mostly worked okay, but there were also some crazy bouts of lag that made things a bit unpleasant. There is also an Arena mode that is sort of interesting, but the gameplay is the same as the rest of the game; however, it could be fun with some friends for a few minutes.
In the end, Fairytale Fights has a lot of problems. The title has repetitive gameplay and just plain bad platforming segments. The addition of co-op attempts to make things a bit better, but nothing can cover up boring and repetitive gameplay. While not bad in concept, Fairytale Fights does not stay interesting long enough to warrant a purchase.