Veteran Yuji Naka, known worldwide for creating Sonic, Sega’s mascot and one of the most beloved characters in our industry, brings to life a disappointing 3D platforming adventure that will only satisfy the smallest of the house.
At this point in the party, I suppose it is totally unnecessary to go over what the sonic breakthrough in our industry in the early 90s. An incredibly charismatic character who has been one of the few capable of competing on an equal footing with the great Super Mario in terms of popularity and who, over the years, continues to be in full form. All this helps me to give way to Yuji Naka, one of the parents of the creature, who left Sega many years ago … and to be honest, the truth is that since those days of glory the truth is that he has not returned to us. give away anything nor moderately similar.
Unfortunately, it seems that we are going to have to continue waiting for the inspiration to return to this Japanese guru because his new bet, Balan Wonderworld, is a new disappointment for all those who, like me, had the hope that, finally, Naka- san will meet again with success. And more considering that for this occasion he has also had nothing less than the help of Naoto Oshima, the designer of said blue porcupine. But I confess that as soon as I taste the dire demo of the game that was recently seen in each of the download services of the platforms in which the title appears (in all, really), the jug of cold (or frozen) water that the experience suffered with it was enormous : The farmer’s dance thing hurt my soul.
A platform just for kids
I’m not going to beat around the bush and I’m going to be as direct and concise as possible to clarify the most important aspects that have to do with this 3D platform adventure starring two kids, Emma and Leo. Some characters that are transported to the multicolored world of a curious guy called Balan … and that, in reality, is made up of a dozen different levels or underworlds from the ones we are going to stop. And the way to do it is through an old-fashioned center stage and how fashionable Super Mario 64 made it. An odyssey full of joy and cloying sympathy that is hardly interesting unless you are a staunch passionate about any title in which the protagonist jumps or, the most realistic circumstance, that you have a son (or nephew, grandson, little brother, etc.) that does not exceed 8 years or so .
The reason to encourage me to make this statement has to do with multiple aspects both playable and, the most obvious and on which I will focus later, aesthetic. To start with, Balan Wonderworld’s difficulty level is really low. The transit through each of the worlds is a military walk, and not even the battles against final bosses vary this the least. The control has also seemed exaggeratedly simple, to the point that it is possible to control the protagonists with just two buttons, jump and special action, which have to do with the costume that Leo or Emma are wearing at that time. Special costumes? Indeed. The most important characteristic that this platform adventure possesses in principle lies in the immense amount of costumes that the protagonists can obtain. There are more than 80 different costumes, very varied, although it is only possible to carry three of them at the same time … which seems to me a gross design error. This is due to the fact that certain areas of the scenarios can only be reached thanks to the turn ability (climbing walls, stopping time, etc.) granted by a specific suit, a pattern that in other games works perfectly but that, in This case and due to the limitation that I have just mentioned, it is much more tedious.
The pace at which the adventure takes place is very calm except when it comes time to fight against the aforementioned final bosses, battles by the way merely passable due to the little imagination poured by the developers when setting their attack patterns and movements in general. I have nothing against relaxed mechanics games, quite the opposite (I love exploring, contemplating the scenarios and doing the Indian in general), but in this case sometimes it is necessary to almost play with the alarm clock next to it. There is nothing particularly attractive and that encourages you to continue playing in this work, since collecting objects of all kinds is a somewhat anodyne task and the bonus phases and mini-games that have also been included … are so lazy that it would have been almost better to been discarding them.
There is nothing particularly attractive and encouraging to continue playing in this playBut is there nothing good or drinkable to scratch from Balan Wonderworld? Fortunately, yes. Best of all is your double cooperative mode locally, a modality that can give a lot of play if, as I mentioned before, you play with your son, nephew, etc. The graphic section is not negligible at all and although it does not squeeze the potential of any console (and less than PS5 and Series X, of course), at least the scenarios are full of life and joy and the aesthetics of the characters is quite successful … And in some cases, like the figure of Balan himself, he has reminded me a lot of that great game somewhat underrated that was NiGHTS: Into Dreams by Saturn. And to finish with its best qualities, the sound is also quite good, with well recreated effects and a really interesting soundtrack, remarkable even.