Sunday, April 15, 2012

Playsation 3 Game Review: World Gone Sour Review

We've all experienced the shamelessness of product crossovers, but not all of them make us slap our foreheads in disbelief and disgust. World Gone Sour is one big advertisement for the candy brand Sour Patch children, and believe it or not, it holds its own as a fairly priced, satisfying side-scrolling platformer. it is absolutely not a fantastic game, and it would be difficult to recommend it over the deluge of apparently wealthy adventures on your console's downloadable service. But World Gone Sour's low monetary barrier to entry makes it a guilt-free -- yet short -- romp that may be worth your time if you have an night to kill and five bucks burning a hole in your pocket.

The whimsy and humor of World Gone Sour will strike you as soon as you begin playing. A well-acted narrator who accompanies you throughout the game provides an interesting premise at the outset: what happens to Sour Patch children that are dropped on the floor, lost between couch cushions or otherwise discarded? By playing through three separate worlds (each consisting of three lengthy stages and a smattering of boss battles), you'll find out.

Gameplay consists of the typical mechanics you may come across in any side-scrolling action-platformer. Your little gummy character can jump and use a selection of special moves. He can also recruit other small 'little people' as he ventures through the quest, which allows him to buff himself out into larger, more robust sizes, thus giving him new, exclusive moves. While the smallest version of the character is spry and agile, he can also be murdered in one hit. Consuming your colleagues when you find them will make you larger, able to withstand more damage, and will empower you to execute special moves, such as smashing through weakened floors or tossing energized candies at armored enemies.

World Gone Sour totes mechanically sound and extremely familiar gameplay, but not all of it works well. Running, jumping and fighting (the latter done in Mario-esque jumping-on-heads fashion) functions fine, but you'll find that some of the minutiae that becomes important later in the game -- especially wall-jumping and to an extent using grappling hooks -- proves to be more fickle and outright non-functioning than you may have preferred. This takes good overall gameplay and drops it down a peg. Just wait until you get to the game's last world, where traps are everywhere and you constantly die while wondering why your character isn't wall-jumping properly even though you're executing on the control side.

Speaking of traps, part of World Gone Sour's charm is its exceptionally dark humor. Both your character and your companions can be killed in any number of ways, and the game in fact encourages it. along with finding point-producing stars, scouring for hidden collectibles and killing enemies, your score can be catapulted into the stratosphere by mutilating your friends. Skewer them, burn them, catapult them; all of that's fair game in World Gone Sour, and at times, sacrifices like these will be certainly integral to your achievement.

The look of World Gone Sour certainly screams LittleBigPlanet, though you shouldn't go in expecting a game even remotely on the level of Media Molecule's highly respected series. Still, treading through human-like environments as a tiny character with a high gloss of fantasy painted over everything certainly seems inspired by LBP, and it is something perhaps four or five people commented on when they watched me play it. Chances are you, too, will notice.

The aforementioned voice acting works ultimate within the confines of World Gone Sour's sardonic, pseudo-morbid delivery, but sound effects can get a bit repetitive and the music isn't all that memorable, either. Still, the game's cutscenes will make you laugh out loud, though you still may be left scratching your head about how such a little, concise downloadable title could have such epic load times. Is World Gone Sour running off of my hard drive, or did someone sneak a disc into my console?
Whether alone or with a friend via local co-op, World Gone Sour can be strangely satisfying. While it’s a game that has its own set of problems, and while those problems hold the overall experience back, we’re talking about a five dollar download here.

If anything, World Gone Sour proves two points: that product crossovers don’t have to suck (right, Yo! Noid?!) and that games on console downloadable services can be both cheap and fun. World Gone Sour won’t bend your mind with what it brings to listing, but it won’t break the bank, either. There’s definitely something to be said about that.

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