Naughty Bear - Cheat Happens Game Review
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Naughty Bear
XBox 360, Playstation 3

Reviewed on: XBox 360

Developer:
Artificial Mind and Movement
Publisher: 505 Games
Rated: "T" for Teen



CHEATfactor Game Review
by Joe Sinicki

   
   
   
Audio/Visual: 6
Gameplay: 5
Lasting Appeal: 5
Overall: 6
   
CHEATfactor: 6
   
     

I really wanted to love Naughty Bear. You see, I spent the better part of two years working for the Disney Company. During this time, I was constantly surrounded by happy music, fairies and princesses. The thought of one renegade character running through the world with a violent vengeance is something I can identify with.  For months and months I watched and hoped that Naughty Bear would be the sleeper hit it had the potential to be.

It’s not. Not only does Naughty Bear not live up to what it could have been, it doesn’t even feel finished.  It’s a sloppy and bland game that feels unfinished and cheap.  The novelty of playing as a stuffed teddy bear with a violent side is just that, a novelty, but it gets old very quickly. Naughty Bear is the video gaming equivalent of that one joke that’s funny the first time you hear it from a friend, but gets less funny every time you hear it.

Naughty Bear takes place in the serene land of Perfection Island. You control the titular Naughty Bear, social outcast from the other bears for his grumpy demeanor, Naughty snaps after not being invited to a birthday party and thus begins his rampage. Your task throughout the entire game is to earn “naughty points” by either scaring or mutilating your happy tormentors. How cool is that? I mean, on paper the idea is a solid one, but sadly the folks at 505 games have managed to do so little that it’s a bit insulting to play through. One of the main problems throughout Naughty Bear is just how repetitive the game is. I honestly don’t remember much novel or even entertaining content after the first five minutes.

"...they all feel the same and offer no difference in gameplay."

 
   

The idea behind Naughty Bear’s combat system is that the more varied attacks you use, the more naughty points you achieve. There’s a substantial amount of weaponry here, from bats and knives to the more inventive legs of meat and bear traps but the problem is that they all feel the same and offer no difference in gameplay (besides the animations that is). In fact, the combat itself suffers from the same problem. There’s one button, yes one button to attack and it can be mercilessly pounded to no end to perform combos. There’s some contextual kills and Ultra Kills (think much more violent) thrown in throughout the game that make things feel more varied, but even those get old rather fast.

Don’t feel like killing? Besides playing another game, your other option to unlock naughty points is to scare the other bears. You can do something as tame as roaring “boo” within earshot or you could be brutal, catch them in traps and intimidate them so bad that they eventually run off and kill themselves. Yes, you read that right, you can force teddy bears to commit suicide. At best, the fear mechanic is the best part of Naughty Bear, but don’t expect anything to the level of Batman: Arkham Asylum. No, this itself is a rather rudimentary system that’s going to get old fast too.

The main single player experience of Naughty Bear isn’t linear, nor is it open world. Rather, you’re going to unlock new chapters by being awarded bronze, silver or gold trophies respectively. While it may sound like a challenge, it’s more often than not a major frustration as you’re going to have to replay the same levels over and over again to get the rating you need. Why they decided that this was a good fit for this game is beyond me; I’m already annoyed at just how repetitive the game is, and now I have to play the same section over again? No thank you.

"...the same environments throughout your entire time with the game."

 
   

Let’s do some math shall we? There are just over 35 levels throughout Naughty Bear, but only about five or six maps.  Yep. There’s a bit of difference with weather and time effects, but for the most part you’re going to be looking at the same environments throughout your entire time with the game.  Even when there’s the chance for a varied experience, the game never takes advantage. Take for instance, the level where a cook-off inadvertently leads to raising the dead. The idea of fighting off zombie teddy bears is an intriguing one but the game never fully realizes the potential as besides a few differences, it’s the same core visuals and feeling.

When playing Naughty Bear, I wasn’t looking for evidence in the games as art debate, I was merely looking for an entertaining game with a few novel ideas. What I got was a broken and flawed title that gets old way too fast. Perhaps if it was a downloadable title it would be more tolerable, but as a full retail title, asking for $50, it’s nowhere near worth it worth it. Do yourself a favor, go dig out your childhood teddy bears from the attic and save your money. 

 

CHEATfactor

CHEATS USED: Unlockables, Achievements/Trophies Lists

There’s a ton of unlockable content littered throughout Naughty Bear including bonus costumes and content, but to get them – you’re going to have to get a specific amount of Naughty Points on certain levels, which in turn means that you’re going to have to play a ton more Naughty bear that anyone should be able to stomach. 

With Naughty Bear, the ends of getting new costumes certainly don’t justify the means of having to play this game anymore than you should.

 

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