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Forums - Gaming Discussion - Balan Wonderland Demo thoughts.

Played the game on my Xbox Series X today, my thoughts:

The Good

  • Yuji Naka did what Sega has thus far been too stupid to do, he essentially brought back the Chao Garden, that's a big positive in my book
  • The music is good, props to Ryo Yamazaki
  • I like the art style, Naoto Ohshima still has his mojo
  • Lots of cool ideas for the costumes
  • Framerate seemed solid, fast load times

The Meh

  • The movement mechanics could be better. I don't like how much time it takes to reach max speed, I think the max speed is too slow, and I don't like how jumping slows your momentum.
  • The graphics. The opening cutscene looked great, but the in-game graphics are kind of meh.

The Bad

  • Alot of the design feels quite dated by modern standards, it seems to follow the old philosophy of making players lives as difficult as possible, rather than taking advantage of more modern quality of life advances in game design. In many modern platformers, falling to your death respawns you nearby, but you get sent all the way back to the start of the level here. Taking damage causes you to lose a costume, which really sucks because you have to run all the way back to that costumes pick-up location. If you accidentally destroy a block that you need to reach a location with hidden treasures, there is no way to get said block to respawn without restarting the whole level. These sorts of pebble in your shoe type problems can really add up over time and negatively impact your overall enjoyment of a game.
  • Clunky menus due to there being no back button
  • The camera control feels quite dated, maybe it's better if you turn auto camera off, didn't try that.

If the game releases in it's current state, I don't look for it to review all that well honestly, maybe a meta between 55-65 on the best performing platforms, lower on Switch. If I was Yuji Naka and Square Enix, I would delay the game to later this year and use the extra time to try and improve the movement physics, costume loss issues, cliff death respawning, menus, and the framerate issues on Switch. It will review better if they do, maybe not a ton better, but better.

Last edited by shikamaru317 - on 03 February 2021

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Dulfite said:

Ok I tried the demo for a bit and wow... Just wow! The CGI intro trailer was decent, but the visual dropoff when you actually are in the in-game engine is insane. And the controls are so bad and limiting. Why did Square greenlight this?

I hold Duke Nukem Forever, Cyberpunk 2077, No Man's Sky (at launch) higher than this game. Garbage so hot it burnt my hand.

This sounds like a strange suggestion... but I think they would have been better off if they lowered the quality of the cgi before the run into the game, it just makes it look so much worse by comparison, like.... if they had went with a lower bit rate it would lower the file size of the installation and make it more suitable to the switch and the handover would be less jarring. I'm not saying it would be a pretty game by doing this... but it would remove that "whoa" moment when you see the difference.



Fancy hearing me on an amateur podcast with friends gushing over one of my favourite games? https://youtu.be/1I7JfMMxhf8

Ganoncrotch said:
Dulfite said:

Ok I tried the demo for a bit and wow... Just wow! The CGI intro trailer was decent, but the visual dropoff when you actually are in the in-game engine is insane. And the controls are so bad and limiting. Why did Square greenlight this?

I hold Duke Nukem Forever, Cyberpunk 2077, No Man's Sky (at launch) higher than this game. Garbage so hot it burnt my hand.

This sounds like a strange suggestion... but I think they would have been better off if they lowered the quality of the cgi before the run into the game, it just makes it look so much worse by comparison, like.... if they had went with a lower bit rate it would lower the file size of the installation and make it more suitable to the switch and the handover would be less jarring. I'm not saying it would be a pretty game by doing this... but it would remove that "whoa" moment when you see the difference.

I agree!



I'm late to the punch but there's another problem with the Switch version of this game; it's releasing on the same exact date as Monster Hunter Rise, which is likely going to bury this!



Didn't know this thread existed but I recently posted my thoughts in the Xbox Empire

in summary: it's bad



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AHYL88 said:

I'm late to the punch but there's another problem with the Switch version of this game; it's releasing on the same exact date as Monster Hunter Rise, which is likely going to bury this!

At least they can blame it on something other than it being a poorly made game when the investors ask.



Damn, reading these impressions doesn't exactly fill me with hope. Oh well, my Switch just got done downloading the demo so I can see for myself if it really is that bad.

Edit:

Tried it and...yikes. This is bad.

  • The framerate is poor, and visuals aren't even that good
  • Movement is indeed very slow
  • Having to switch costume just to have the ability to jump is very annoying.
  • Losing the costume when getting it or falling is frustrating. This actually made me ragequit the demo and uninstall.
  • Having to constantly change your set of costumes is tedious, and having to be at a checkpoint to do it makes it even worse.
  • Uninspiring level design.

Conclusion

This game is foobar. Having to switch costumes to get certain special abilities is fine but when even the most basic abilities are provided by costumes the I have problem. It's like playing Mario but having to switch costume to be able to jump, long jump, run, ground pound, wall jump, etc. and be limited to three of these abilities at a time. As others have pointed out making a few fixes won't cut it. The game needs a complete makeover.

Last edited by forest-spirit - on 06 February 2021

I didn't see anyone mention the in-game animations. Jesus Christ, they are so terrible! Not only do all the models keep moving in a perfect synchronized fashion, the way they mocapped the characters makes them look absolutely weightless and it doesn't work at all with this art style. Actually reminds me a lot of Foodfight, one of the worst movies ever made.

This game makes me think of Mighty No. 9: A big name that everyone associated to one beloved character trying to make a modern game and failing miserably.

I don't like the character design either. The human characters look like monsters with huge hands and feet, and most other characters look like Sonic rejects. The music also sounds very unoriginal and out of place.



G O O D B O I

LuccaCardoso1 said:

I didn't see anyone mention the in-game animations. Jesus Christ, they are so terrible! Not only do all the models keep moving in a perfect synchronized fashion, the way they mocapped the characters makes them look absolutely weightless and it doesn't work at all with this art style. Actually reminds me a lot of Foodfight, one of the worst movies ever made.

This game makes me think of Mighty No. 9: A big name that everyone associated to one beloved character trying to make a modern game and failing miserably.

I don't like the character design either. The human characters look like monsters with huge hands and feet, and most other characters look like Sonic rejects. The music also sounds very unoriginal and out of place.

I promise you there is nothing in this game that is mocapped. Just animated and animated badly. Might just be me but the music sounded like an offbrand version of the Wii Sports theme.

Last edited by Leynos - on 19 February 2021

Bite my shiny metal cockpit!