Fat Princess PSP Comic-Con 2009 PreviewBy Sterling McGarvey - Posted Jul 24, 2009
Once the Fat Princess beta opened up a few months back, legions of PS3 gamers got to try out Titan Games' hyper-exaggerated approach to Capture the Flag. Since then, I've played quite a bit of the game, and seen my fair share of blood-spattered fun. Like many gamers, I was quite surprised to see a handheld version of the game pop up during Sony's E3 press conference. During the show, I didn't get a chance to see it in action, but fortunately, SCEA had it on display during a Comic-Con event. I can think of a variety of awful puns involving shrinking down fat, but I'll refrain. Suffice it to say, the handheld version aims to pack some punch in its own right.
I talked to SCEA's Matt Morton, who walked me through some of the big differences between this game and its console cousin. Although Titan is working on the console game, Orange County-based Supervillain is translating that action to handheld. Supervillain also worked on the excellent PSP port of flOw prior to this project. For the most part, the controls feel rather similar to the PS3 game, so it shouldn't be a bumpy transition for most gamers. Plus, it seems that this version touts several more modes than the upcoming PS3 game.
For starters, there's a heavier emphasis on single-player. The PS3 version touts ten chapters of cake-stuffing fun. The handheld game boasts 15. Supervillain took some small liberties with the plot -- there are some wacky forest creatures involved -- and extended the story beyond what's in the HD game. In addition to the PS3 game's modes, the handheld game also includes some exclusive games. In Demolition, you're not saving a princess; you're working with your compatriots to build a huge bomb and use it to penetrate enemy defenses. In Dilapidated, hat machines -- the building block of class-based fighting in Fat Princess -- come pre-broken, so you have to build up the hat machine to mount a real attack against your opposition.
Fat Princess PSP also includes translated versions of all of the PS3 game's packs. I also discovered that, like the PS3 game, you can expect online multiplayer, albeit with some caveats. The game supports 16 players, but half of them are AI-controlled. Fortunately, you can play eight-person games online with bot support. Morton also confirmed that the handheld version won't support headset chat. I also grilled him about the fall release and whether it means that we'll see a digital-only version in the wake of PSP Go. He said that he's not sure about a downloadable game, but with Sony's timeline for releasing the handheld, I wouldn't doubt that we'll see a UMD and a downloadable version when it comes out.
There's little doubt that Sony has some bigger plans for the PSP later this year. Though many hardcore gamers haven't warmed up to the idea of PSP Go, the huge wave of upcoming PSP titles certainly points to a bright holiday season for the platform. Of the many games coming to the device this year, Fat Princess is certainly a big one.