Willis Stroud posted an update 6 months, 3 weeks ago
It’s sad to saybut I’ve gotten Accustomed to disappointment If it has to do with religious successors of iconic games made with their original creators. For every single return as remarkable since Bloodstained, there looks like a far less successful attempt including Mighty No. 9. So, I’m disappointed but not surprised to see that Balan Wonderworld, the most recent 3D platformer from Sonic the Hedgehog co-creators Yuji Naka and Naoto Ohshima, is a fundamentally flawed shadow of its temptations. Its character layouts, cutscenes, and songs are definitely magical, but charm alone isn’t sufficient to make this half-baked platformer any less dull to really play.
When you are hopping around Balan Wonderworld’s Simultaneously imaginative yet bland phases, it doesn’t always feel like a complete trainwreck. Some of its barebones obstacle classes can sometimes produce hints of what I would call fun, and it is not much more than a total bore the rest of the time. But while you choose Balan Wonderworld as a whole, it sinks lower than the rudimentary platforming that barely props it up. From the misguided one-button control scheme, to its random changing costume mechanic as well as the amounts that utilize them, to the half-hearted Chao Garden-like hub world between these, it receives a great deal wrong — and hardly any of what it becomes right will help to balance the scales.
This is usually the part where I’d break down Balan Wonderworld’s story for you, however there is not a lot to tell about the rotten crap it requires a plot. You play as a boy that moves from thankfully breakdancing to become super bummed out in record time, or even some woman whose housemaids whisper about her behind her back for no apparent reason. Your choice means very little, however, since either way you are quickly abducted by a magical tophat guy named Balan and fell to a dream land full of bizarre birds and crystals or something? It is unclear, but that’s all the setup you will get before it starts parading you through 12 different worlds (each with just two degrees, a supervisor, and also an additional level when you overcome the narrative ) that are each structured around another sad person, all of whom appear completely unrelated to anything that is happening.
I’ve enjoyed lots of games with incomprehensible Stories, however Balan Wonderworld’s inanity is particularly disappointing when its own animated cutscenes are so well made. They’re full of energy and life, and may even tell some genuinely entertaining bite-sized stories about each planet’s subject. Cutscenes chiefly play before a boss to swiftly present the person for that world and also a problem they’re facing — be it a boy hoping to construct a flying system or a scuba diving girl whose dolphin buddy maimed her and left her to die — but another cutscene straight after the boss then immediately resolves it (don’t worry, she and the dolphin are cool today ). That pacing not just makes each character’s narrative feel disjointed from everything else, such as your protagonist, it means the amounts you perform before fulfilling them will be devoid of context. If the very first cutscene had played at the start of earth, then maybe I would have connected with those characters as I played through their reference-filled amounts, like a baseball player’s planet being littered with chess pieces. But by holding their entire story to the end, Balan Wonderworld becomes more than a jumble of endearing but incoherent thoughts.
Irrespective of its story, the festering decay in the heart of Balan Wonderworld is the inexplicable choice to ensure it is a one-button match. Aside from using the joystick to maneuver and also the shoulder buttons to switch between ability-altering costumes, almost every other button on the controller does the identical thing. This concept is accepted laughably too far by making them the exact same from the menus too, forcing you to scroll into specific"back" buttons rather than just being able to hit B/Circle, which could be amusing if it were not so dumb. When you’re not wearing a costume (which is extremely rare), the only real button is a very simple and underwhelming jump, but each of Balan Wonderworld’s more than 80 different outfits change that serve to something else.
multiplayer gun games -o-lantern costume makes the only action a hit attack, though a sheep match enables you to hover leap, and you will find a needlessly high number of different choices to stumble across.
The Concept of a one-button control strategy is not an inherently Bad one, however Balan Wonderworld does not offer a single good reason for why it limits itself this way. What it can do, however, is provide countless examples for why it shouldn’t have — most seriously, it prevents particular outfits from doing that most basic of platforming tasks: leap. Some suits work good with one button, especially the jumping-focused ones (who’d have figured?) , but others range from perplexing to downright horrible as a result. Matters like a clown that can only jump by slowly charging an abysmal small explosion, or a flower that could extend up a yearlong brief space. When a costume uses its button to attack then odds are you can not jump all while wearing itwhile others might still let you jump but at the price of making their ability activate only when you are standing — or worse, entirely randomly. Why in Wonderworld is that the better choice?
Balan Wonderworld isn’t necessarily a dreadful platformer, but It’s a consistently Dull one. It’s full of enchanting character designs along with the occasional With heaps of needlessly overlapping skills that are thrown aside Just as quickly as they are introduced rots it into your core. It is a mess of Undercooked theories and clunky mechanics that slow it to a crawl, and It appears to take inspiration from better matches without properly Recapturing what makes them fun. Its platforming never evolves Beyond the most basic potential hurdles it can throw at you, but it’s The basically flawed choices behind this mediocrity that require Balan Wonderworld from unamusing to bad.