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Hands-on: Fat Princess: Fistful of Cake (PSP)


Fat Princess: Fistful of Cake is a great match for the PSP. The game's structure, its very nature, means it can be segmented in a very effective way on a handheld platform -- a quick match during your morning subway ride or while taking a break from work is when Fistful of Cake works best.

[Note: Be sure to check out our video preview, as well. We spent all night slaving over a hot stove to bake it just the way you like it!]

Gallery: Fat Princess: Fistful of Cake (PSP) | 10 Photos

For the uninitiated, Fat Princess: Fistful of Cake adapts the formula employed by its cousin on the PS3: a simple red-vs-blue capture the flag-type setup, with some light combat, platforming and resource management sprinkled in. Most of the time, you're tasked with capturing, building or preventing the enemy team from succeeding in their goals. It's not a tough concept to grasp and, through the chapter-based single player campaign that progressively unlocks more advanced units and features, I was successfully trained in pudgy princess protocol with ease.

You gain access to these units by wearing the appropriate hat. At the beginning of each match, you'll notice several structures spitting out head garb, and applying one to your cranial space will change your character's behavior. Applying the helmet turns you into a warrior, the basic attack unit sporting a sword and shield. Then there's the feathered cap, which turns you into a ranger -- the game's basic defensive unit, whose bow and arrow keep assaulting enemies at bay. There are mages and priests and let's not forget the worker, the game's most basic unit who gathers resources to upgrade units.

Here's where the real-time strategy comes in. You can either just rush the objective, or put on your bandana and get to work plucking resources from the game world. Placing collected logs or minerals onto structures allows you to upgrade that specific building, which will then spit out better hats -- warriors can lose the sword and shield for a spear-like polearm, while workers themselves can be upgraded to demolition masters, bomb-throwing units that can effectively take down structures or walls and the like. It's this depth and choice that made each match so unique and fun for me.

Outside of the single-player campaign, there's also a "Gladiate" mode, which allows you to choose one of the game's units and fight waves of enemies in an arena setting. This is straightforward and the incentive for unlocking items to customize in-game characters provided me some initial joy, but overall I got bored with it pretty quickly. (And 8-player Ad-hoc multiplayer was not enabled in the preview build.)

You probably have a good idea of what you're in for with Fat Princess: Fistful of Cake if you played the PS3 game -- it's basically a more gluttonous version of that -- but if not, there's plenty of depth to discover for RTS fans on the go.

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