Naughty Bear Preview
Okay, all right, get your laughs in now. Because while most of are you saying, “yeah, like I’m gonna buy this,” I urge you to at least learn about this one before dismissing it. Trust me, while I often try to search for previews featuring original titles (it’s nice to take a break from the standard), I’m not always convinced that some ideas will work. I’m not entirely convinced with Naughty Bear but you can bet I’m harboring this twisted, childish, oddly comical desire to give it a whirl next summer, almost regardless of other titles on store shelves. Where else can you wreak havoc in a village full of stuffed bears? Since when do we play video games with the express purpose of causing mischief and simply annoying - and yes, maybe killing – those around us? Naughty Bear exists for the sake of being naughty and that word can encompass some pretty horrific acts of violence, even though we won’t be seeing copious amounts of blood as we did in the mediocre Fairytale Fights. But that won’t stop your once-cutesy character from stabbing another bear with a wooden sword!
I read through plenty of information and details and that includes IGN’s eyes-on session with the game, and the author emerged with the same kind of strangely gleeful glow. This is where I heard about the wooden-sword-in-the-gut bit, but again, there’s no blood so instead, we’ll get flying fluff. However, it seems as if the primary goal doesn’t focus on combat; it’s really more about making every other bear’s life miserable, which means we go beyond knocking the stuffing out of brutally ripped seams. Naughty Bear will also sneak into homes and steal stuff and while he’s there, maybe he’ll decide to set fire to the living room. Or maybe he’ll have to silence the irate homeowner who’s threatening to call the police. And this is where things get a bit more interesting- due to the sandbox style of the gameplay, you will have lots of freedom to do almost whatever you wish. So this little world is loaded with plenty of possibilities and exploration will likely be a definite requirement.
Of course, there has to be a point to all this nonsense, right? Well, there is: you need to rack up as many “Naughty Points” as possible, which will in turn increase your “Naughty Rank.” There are a grand total of 50 ranks and the higher you rise, the more abilities you will unlock. There are also 28 total levels spread across 4 separate areas and I really like the idea of fresh outfits that grants my bear more skills; i.e., the Robo Bear suit will give him talents he never had before. The game will also notice how you play; if you go berserk and start slaying everything in sight without bothering with the consequences, you might be branded “psycho.” If you’re sneaking about, seeking to cause the most damage and mayhem possible without suffering through too much danger, you’ll be called “clever.” The more I hear, the more it sounds like some sort of cross between the aforementioned Fairytale Fights and Grand Theft Auto, which is unassailably cool…on some level.
Naughty Bear is one of those games that probably should hold a lower price point (it’ll retail for $49.99 but I was thinking more like $39.99 or even $29.99), but then again, it could really surprise us with its extended addictive gameplay. Four multiplayer modes will also be featured for those who need to take their deadly mischief online, and in this generation, such an option is basically essential. Will you soon find yourself striking out with your angry teddy bear, bashing on other teddy bears and stealing their crap? Will you be causing craziness in the streets? Will you up your “Naughty Rank” to unbelievable levels? Be honest now! A2M brought you Wet; this may be a complete departure from that type of game…or is it?
12/14/2009 Ben Dutka