Fairytale Fights – Fresh Look Review

Title   Fairytale Fights
Developer  Playlogic Game Factory
Publisher  Playlogic International
Platform  Xbox360/Playstation 3
Genre  Action/Slash 'em up/Platform
Release Date  23rd October 2009

Ever have one of those days?

Finally, the dust has settled, the spilled blood has congealed, and my faithful Wooden Chainsaw can slip from my fingers at last.  For me, the war is over and Fairytale Fights, is done.  To say that I’m not relieved would be a monstrous lie, but amongst the bitter, blurry eyed exhaustion, part of me is also a little sad.

In my original review, I found a lot to love about this twisted little oddity, with its great concept, twitchy characters, and dark sense of humour.  The good was, however, much outweighed by the bad, with an appalling glitch list marring an otherwise interesting title.  It was a great shame, though I felt enough of enjoyment of the game to persevere and to be honest, I’m glad that I did – though to anyone following in my footsteps, I warn you now that you’ll be drawing deep from your well of patience long before the end.

The idea of combining a warped view of traditional fairytales and the characters who inhabit them with blood spilling carnage and over the top, slashing mayhem was a good one, and with the vivid palette practically vomited in your face from a blend of Disney primary colours, it was always going to be a curious delight.  To their credit, Playlogic largely pulled it off, and with more replays that I care to count to knock down the various completion achievements (among grinding for cash, chests, and the until recently, unobtainable Autograph achievement), I have come to love the game, despite its flaws. And the flaws are still an issue, though not the great flatulent elephant in the room that they once were.  Whether or not this is down to the game or my becoming accustomed enough to gloss over them is still an open question however, but with the advent of the desperately needed patch, the game was made infinitely more playable.  No longer did it feel like an unwinnable war, with freezing lock ups and several achievements beyond mortal reach and it has made a difference.

While I can’t speak for the new state of the online multiplayer, not having played it again since its glitched days, local co-op is well behaved and the other bugs have, by and large, been squashed firmly beneath Playlogic’s bloody boot.  With these gone, the player now has an unfettered run at the game and we can finally see it as it was intended.  Does it now stand up on its own, without the screen of glitches to hide behind when negative barbs begin to fly?  Yes and no.  There are still occasional freezes (always heart tearingly at the end of long levels) and the controls can still be grating, but this can be overcome and believe me, I have now had plenty of practice.  Thanks to the camera, the hit and miss platforming remains the same and the enemy’s ability to rain attacks which destroy you in a few hits while you are stunned and unable to respond is still beyond infuriating. In fact, this has only become magnified on repeated plays and on the hard setting, this is such an issue that your controller and TV screen may well risk getting far better acquainted than is recommended.  This is mainly because you will be spending death after death trying to extract yourself from gingerbread scrums long enough to get in a few, paltry hits before kissing dirt once more.


Little Red: homicidal, psychotic, and loves the smell of dead fluffies in the morning

The game, despite its deceptive, cartoony and simplistic looks, is a tough cookie and perhaps my masochistic side was prickled by its Vampire gloves as I submitted myself repeatedly to its punishing hands.  More and more, I appreciated the level designs and backdrops, becoming oddly accustomed to the side-scrolling limitations that I had once bemoaned.  I noticed little extras in the back or foreground that I had missed, learned to appreciate the little innovations and took delight in discovering even more ridiculous weapons.  The final rescue attempt of the sleeping princess had a hilarious and very untraditional, laugh-out-loud outcome and even the credits were laced with some of the game’s, now familiar, warped humour.

So, now that I have dragged my weary bones over the finish line of 1000gs I can look back and say that Fairytale Fights, while not for everyone, was an enjoyable enough romp.  It will never be up there with the top games, but as a largely overlooked release, it deserves some snaps.  It will sap your time and lead to the ruination of your controller and remaining hair, and if you want that 1000gs, you’ll have to be prepared to slog for it.  This twisted master works you hard for its prizes but as someone who has graduated with honours, I can say that it was both satisfying and an almighty relief when it was over.  While some issues became fainter with time, others simply magnified, still leaving it very much a tricky one to recommend.  I may be seeing rolling gems every time I close my eyes, and will never see an incarnation of Snow White or Red Riding Hood again without smirking, but for a mindless, fun slash ‘em up platformer, it is worth a look. (though not, perhaps, at full retail whack.)  Anyone venturing a purchase and needing a co-op player, please note…for now I have hung up my Jawbreaker Candy Gun and Giant Scissors, so you’re on your own.  Maybe.

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  1. Samuel The Preacher says:

    Nice article, Lorna. Fairytale Fights is an odd one. I love the idea behind it, the humour tickles me in just the right places, and the presentation and style of it are wonderfully, deceptively, bright and appealing… but I can’t get past the controls, and that infernal camera. It’s remarkably clumsy, it doesn’t feel natural at all. So it was great for five minutes, and then the novelty and the balls behind it were overwhelmed with technical niggles. For me, a solid game under the hood is more important than how it looks. It’s a shame, but I just don’t have the patience. Fortunately I was playing at my cousin’s house, too, because I nearly bought it, and I know it’d have been sitting on my shelf between Eternal Sonata and Fallout 3, glaring at me with blood-spattered anime eyes for denying it play time.

    I’m still kind of hoping they come out with a sequel that overhauls the game mechanics, and isn’t held together with spit and duct tape, whilst retaining the charm and visual appeal. The idea is so deliciously subversive that it really deserves better treatment.

  2. Victor Victor says:

    I am still not convinced, Lorna. Dare I play a game that aggravates yet entertains as well? I still remember what Jumper did to my soul. I shall let you know. :)

  3. Ben Ben says:

    Really liked this from what I’ve played of it, is just one of those games that you can pick up, go a bit mental and then put it down for another day.

    Brutal humour in it too!

  4. MarkuzR says:

    You know, when I first saw the screenshots of this game I thought “Animal Crossing meets Viva Pinata, with a bit of Jason Voorhees thrown in for damn good measure”. I think the only part of that I got right was the Jason Voorhees part heh, but I can’t deny that the colouring and the graphics of the game are pretty damn stunning!

    I’m glad they sorted out the glitches though, from what you’re saying it sounds like it was an entirely different game when you were able to play it through glitch-free! I may play it myself once I break through this backlog of games :)

  5. Rook says:

    I hadn’t heard of this game when you ans Zoey first mentioned it. It looked so colourful and the dark wtist of fairytales sounded good. Then I heard about the glitches you had been referring too, and it seemed like a game that I would not want to pick up.

    Not sure if I would eventually play this or not, there are many other games in my ‘to be played’ pile that I should go to first.

  6. [...] expectations with the flawed but inventively blood-spattered Fairytale Fights, reviewed and ‘fresh looked’ by GamingLives some time ago.  It appears that with Naughty Bear, Artificial Mind & [...]

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