As I write this review, I am considering forever leaving the gaming world. Wondering why? Let’s just say that it had a little something to do with the abomination called Naughty Bear. Truly, the ‘naughty’ aspect of the game is the fact that it lures gamers into a false sense of gaming pleasure, and then proceeds to tear apart the very fibres of your sanity. Yup – that about summaries my feelings about this game without resorting to expletives.
Naughty Bear is set in some random fantasy land inhabited by – teddy bears. Apparently these barf-inducing blobs of fluff are throwing a birthday party on the island, and Naughty Bear wasn’t invited. This of course irritates him greatly, so rather than sit down and talk about his feelings to the other bears, you get to instead parade around the island and kill everything in sight. While this might sound like a truly delicious idea, it never really works out. After about 15 minutes of gameplay, I had to put down my controller in the fear that I would shove my hand into my Xbox and rip out this insulting game. But seriously, back to my review.
As Naughty Bear, you have to get to as much mischief as possible around the island. You can break statues, vandalize equipment, destroy items, and break into houses. Doing this will earn you ‘naughty points’, which you can use to unlock other areas of the island, initially blocked by bridges. You can also pickup weapons to maul your fellow bears with, such as sticks, guns, clubs, and plenty more. Each weapon has a unique kill move, so if you pick up a knife you can finish off your victims with a clean stab to the chest. The first time you do this, it’s a riot. The second time, you get a few giggles. The time after that, it’s an absolute snore. What makes the game really frustrating to play is the fact that you can’t lock on to your targets, so as soon as you start whacking away at an enemy, it turns and flees in the other direction with you in hot pursuit. Of course it doesn’t get very far before you pummel it into the ground, but it is seriously annoying to have to play this cat-and-mouse game when all you want to do is bust open their heads and watch the fluff pour out.
I might be able to forgive the mind-numbing repetitive gameplay if it was presented a little bit better. At least the graphics would then distract me from the terrible gameplay. But it seems that even here the game suffers tremendously – the camera pans and zooms around to all kinds of obscure angles, so you’re constantly trying to battle both fleeing bears and a stuttering camera. The visuals themselves are awful again, presented in bright garish colors throughout as if painted by Elton John himself. Not to mention the constant clipping that occurs with bears getting stuck in floors and other objects. The sound here is also enough to make you cringe, with the narration being done by some reject from the Tellytubbies show.
There’s seriously nothing here to even give you a glimmer of hope that Naughty Bear will turn out better as you progress. There appears to be some sort of multiplayer mode available, but only someone with questionable sanity would make someone else endure this torture. Naughty Bear could have been a cute and fun game to play, but instead turned out like an experiment with the Carebears and Tim Burton. Avoid this game at all costs, unless of course you want to be driven insane.