You take you’re most popular children story fairy tale characters, throw them into an alternate chaotic universe, have them unleash hell, blood, and guts on anything and everyone who dare stand in their path, process all this concept into a renowned 3D Unreal Graphics engine, stick a mature rating on the box, and then try and pitch the idea to adult gamers? Hmm"Well let’s just say that not all fairytale stories come stamped with a happy ending.
"Fairy Tale Fights" is developer Playlogic International’s sadistically mature spin on fairy tale adventures where popular bed time story heroes such as Little Red Riding Hood, Snow White, Jack of the "Beanstalk," and the Naked Emperor are depicted in a cartoony, yet morbid-like reality where they are free to perform heinous acts of violence upon their societies twisted and demented inhabitants.
There is, of course, a lot of blood and gore involved, else the games rating wouldn’t be mature, and frequent moments of humor set in the plot designed to help keep things fun and interesting. The problem is that while the idea seems somewhat appealing and may perhaps strike a funny bone or two, the overall concept of the game is poorly executed — something the equivalent of that bad taste in your mouth when you first get up in the morning.
The first thing that just hits you wrong is the idea that it seems that blood and gore is the only way to hook adult gamers for a title like this. I don’t know, it just seems a bit odd to see Little Red Riding Hood with a pleasantly sick look on her face lopping some poor chap’s body in half for fun and giggles. I think if you really wanted to appeal to older gamers in a situation such as this you should’ve used slightly exaggerated everyday real life events and made this concept incredibly humorous. For example, just off the top of the head, it’d be cool to see all these previously mentioned heroes all thrown in a high security prison for violating the laws of society: Little Red Riding Hood or boosting cars, excessive speeding and frequent fits of road rage, Snow White in for cursing and violently assaulting her boss for accusing her of sleeping on the job, Jack of the Beanstalk in for scaling buildings and acts of burglary, and of course the Naked Emperor for public drunkenness and indecent exposure. All of these hero-now-thug inmates would band together to wreak havoc on the prison system and it’s warden and eventually come up with an in-depth plot to escape prison and head for the borders of fairytale land. Now there’s an interesting scenario that doesn’t have to rely primarily on blood and gore to get the point across.
Visually, the game is mediocre at best. Even though things are set in a cartoon-like universe, a lot of the scenery is boring and uneventful. The biggest problem is that while the game looks to be a roaming 3D adventure the environments are very linear and non-interactive, forcing the player along a designated path using invisible walls and stationary scenery to guide you along the way.
Players have really gotten used to being able to adventure where they so see fit over the years and to not be able to do that definitely puts a damper on the game. Also, the bloody and gory evisceration of enemies is a high that lasts roughly about 15 minutes into the game before it just doesn’t do anything for you anymore. Though there are over 140 weapons in the game, yet it seems like blood is spilled the same way over and over again. Also the picture-in-picture scenes that occasionally pop-in during the adventure to show a zoomed in replay of the slaughter don’t really do a lot to make things that much more interesting.
Hacking, slashing, crushing and body dismemberment is ultimately the theme here when it comes to game play. Other than that, there’s not much else to talk about. You can use a number of weapons during you’re serial killer spree including hand to hand combat, blunt and bladed weapons, ranged weapons, deadly potions, magic wands and more. From axes, swords, daggers, fish hooks and pins to newspapers, mallets, wands and acid/transformation potions you have the ability to slaughter, mutilate, and maim your enemies in a number of torturous ways.
When all is said and done, however, other than a few interesting boss battles, the body grinding gets a little old and repetitive after a few levels.
The multiplayer mode of the game can hold your interest for a bit but is clearly not something you can do for hours on end. You can fight your friends both on and offline with drop in drop out game play, battling it out for the best weapons and collectables in story mode, or playing to the death in a series of PVP battle arenas.
Ultimately, Fairy Tale Fights is a game that could have possibly had some serious potential but will instead for most gamers likely turn out to be a half-baked experience and possibly leave you with nightmares of your favorite story book heroes.
Mediocre visuals, repetitive gory game play, and a concept that could have been a little more thought out will ultimately leave this fairytale collecting dust on the lower shelf of your local game store. Thus we close the book on this not-so-happy ending story that should have more appropriately been called "Fair Tale Frights."