While it’s something of a surprise to see cutthroat sociopath Naughty Bear making a return (considering the critical lambasting the original game was subjected to), it’s less surprising to learn that this time out he’s sailing up to the shores of Xbox Live Arcade. Uh-oh.
In case it flew over your radar. Naughty Bear was a 2010 retail release that promised plenty but delivered… well it didn’t really deliver anything beyond facile humour. It starred a warmongering bipedal teddy-bear that spent the entire game butchering his cuddly neighbours on Perfection Island. Why? Well because they forgot to invite him to their party. Boo-hoo. It was a stealth game where the stealth never evolved far beyond hiding behind a big leaf and a score-attack game that demanded you were never seen but also perennially hurrying about Perfection Island under the clenched iron fist of a pitiless timer.
But hey, they say things can change.
Naughty Bear: Panic in Paradise, out later in the year on XBLA, brings with it a renovated combat system, a brand new levelling mechanic, equipment customisation and more than 30 missions. There’s not a great deal more information than that for now, but it all sounds reasonably familiar. Naughty Bear’s in a huff this time because, having assassinated all their friends with the business end of a fire-axe two years ago, the other bears have voted in favour of not inviting Naughty on holiday to Paradise Island. Who’d have thought? We’re not convinced strapping a red dot scope to a baseball bat is going to absolve Naughty of his many, many sins, either.
“Naughty Bear really struck a chord with gamers looking for something more than the same old gameplay.” claims David Osborne of Behaviour Interactive. Did it though?