There’s something about the frenzied thirty-two player battles in Fat Princess that really tickles my fancy; somewhere between turning people into chickens, stuffing cake into my team’s princess, and setting other players on fire, I fell head over heels in love. Now the game has packed on a few more pounds with the recent release of the Fat Roles DLC and patch 1.06.
With Fat Roles came the addition of three new job classes: Pirate, Ninja, and Giant. At first I was a little hesitant; for one thing, why the Giant? I mean, I get the Ninjas versus the Pirates, but where do Giants even come into the picture? And why three new jobs; hats have always granted at most two jobs and a third seemed to completely unbalance the system. Regardless, I loyally shelled out the $4.99 and jumped in.
My reticence, as it turns out, was completely unfounded. Those with Fat Roles will find a new generator in their home base spitting out what looks like wizard hats. Grab a hat and you’ll instantly have access to your new classes. You can toggle between them by pressing the triangle button, but the option is only available for a limited time after donning the hat. The first thing you’ll notice (when you stop running around with your new job in glee) is that you now have a blue and yellow meter above your health bar. The meter allows you to activate your special ability and regenerates as a function of time. The new abilities are pretty cool; for example, the Ninja’s special ability makes him a royal pain to the opposing team, turning him invisible as his meter drains. Use it well and you can sneak into the opposing base and make off with the princess before the defenders have caught wise. You’ll also be able to hurl shurikens and deal some damage with your katana.
The Pirate is also an interesting threat, but in an entirely different way; his special ability allows him to summon a giant cannonball that definitely packs a punch and shakes the screen, making it a good offensive and disorienting tactic. Find a knot of enemies, summon a cannonball, and then run out of range. It also works great in your enemy’s base.
The third job, the Giant, is more difficult to use. The Giant is very large but also very slow; this makes it difficult to chase after someone who is fleeing (and, believe me, they will be fleeing). You’ll also be a sitting duck for ranged attacks, both physical and magical, so watch out. On the other hand, Giants are very, very strong. Your weapons are your giant fists, so lay waste as you see fit. If you get injured, you can’t stop and sit to heal yourself like the other jobs. You’ll need to grab an enemy and gobble him down to gain hearts. This is a great demoralizing tactic and a really good way to send folks running for their lives.
So what’s the verdict? I personally think the new jobs are a lot of fun. They add new challenges and change the dynamic. New tactics are needed to counter the new abilities which emphasizes the need for teamwork. Overall Fat Roles is definitely a success, at least in my book.
As if new jobs were not enough, all players get patch 1.06 for free. The patch adds the Fat Princess Party feature, allowing up to four players to play local co-op on the same console. It’s about time! Jumping in is easy; player 1 will need to decide where you’re jumping in to (whether it’s a local or online game), and other players just press Start to join. Beware: in online games you’ll only be able to join if there’s a slot in the team’s roster, so if you’ve got a full party at home you may want to create a game rather than join one already in session.
Local players are differentiated by colored slices of cake floating over their heads. All players are confined to one screen, which enforces teamwork. If a player dies they will respawn in either your home base or a team-owned outpost. As always, they respawn without a hat, so picking them up at an outpost can be risky and should be planned for accordingly. Co-op is definitely a fantastic addition. It’s a lot easier to coordinate attacks with someone who is physically right next to you than it is with someone who is in another state or country. Plus, this allows for the most efficient execution of some of the greatest combos: priest / mage, priest / priest, giant / giant, ninja / ninja.
The pros are abundant, but there are some cons to the new additions. Namely, the new co-op feature can be rather buggy at times. Fortunately jumping out and back in usually fixes the bugs for players 2 through 4; however, if player 1 gets bugged there’s no easy way to fix it quick and move on. Just be prepared; the most common bugs I’ve seen so far have involved status effects not disappearing (like being frozen or burned). Not too big a deal, but a little obnoxious just the same. Occasionally something a little more serious will happen, like someone dies and never respawns. Hopefully we’ll see a stabilizing patch soon. But don’t let that scare you away; the pros definitely outweigh the cons on this one. You can find Fat Roles in the PlayStation Store. And if you don’t have Fat Princess yet, what are you waiting for?