The bear is back.
No, not Banjo, Naughty Bear!
Naughty Bear is a game that, when originally released in June of 2010 I was extremely excited for. I do not believe I ever completed the game because I, for lack of better terms, sucked at it. While the game was critically received very poorly, it had a decent AI that held it together.
Now, Naughty Bear is back as a solely downloadable title and stripped of its multiplayer. Naughty Bear is a game where you play as the title character Naughty Bear who, quite frankly, is pretty naughty! Nobody likes him, and all they want to do is run, hide, and occasionally kill him. This made naughty angry and now Naughty wants revenge for all the times he wasn’t invited to parties and left to sit at home alone sulking in his shack.
Admittedly, this game plays a bit like my childhood*.
Naughty Bear: Panic in Paradise plays exactly like the original, just with slightly reworked mechanics as well as a new mission system. The mission system tells Naughty who the target bear is, what they did to deserve a punishment, as well as bonus points for wearing a special outfit when you kill them or punishing them with a special object.
Each mission takes between two and ten minutes to complete, and after a few missions I found the game becoming crushingly repetitive. Go here, kill this bear, run away, and repeat. This isn’t helped by the fact that the game has difficulty spikes like no other. I’d play a level where every bear would be separated and unable to see me, finish it in about two minutes, then go to the next mission and find all the bears huddled together, able to see my every move. This wouldn’t be a problem if the difficulty weren’t so shallow. You see, bears have different fields of view that you must avoid. If a bear sees you, he’ll run, tell his friends, and they’ll try to escape or come hunt you down. Once a bear spots you, it’s basically game over if you can’t catch up with them in time, as every bear will soon be running around looking for you, and there’s very little you can do to avoid them other than hiding in the woods.
Oh, did I forget to mention walking into the woods immediately makes them unable to see you?
Yet where Naughty Bear has its flaws, it also has its saving graces. The game allows you to pick up, carry, and kill people in the woods, or steal their costumes and pretend to be them. If you’re wearing the fur of a well-liked bear, you may walk around without anyone noticing it’s Naughty. While this isn’t a complete game changer, it’s a well-welcomed addition.
I didn’t notice any specific glitches with Naughty Bear – which is amazing considering how most games have some sort of problem these days – but it did freeze up my Xbox once, causing me to have to turn it off, but that isn’t such a big deal.
For the 1200 Microsoft Points it costs, I’m not sure if Naughty Bear: Panic in Paradise would really be worth the time or the effort unless you were a true fan of the first one, but there are trials for a reason.
505: give me a Banjo-Kazooie skin for Naughty Bear, and then we’ll talk.