World Gone Sour review (XBLA)
World Gone Sour is a fun and sweet little platformer with a weird story to tell. What we find is a dangerous world that exists for Sour Patch Kids as they journey toward their ultimate goal: The human stomach. During your journey you’ll find lots of lost friends who will help you along your way. Like any good platformer there are bosses, and in World Gone Sour they are integral to the story. Many aspects of World Gone Sour will immediately feel and look like games you know and love.
Feeling like games of the past isn’t always a good thing, but for the most part World Gone Sour keeps things simple and sweet. Double-jumping and wall bouncing are an absolute joy. You’ll find additional Sour Patch Kids who will follow you on your journey. They can help you swing, Indiana Jones-style, or sacrifice themselves to help you complete the level. The first time you impale yourself or throw one or your little minions into a fan blade and he is chopped to pieces, you can’t help but laugh. It’ll put a smile on your face that will stay with you the whole game.
Here’s what we liked:
Story – The story is all about the Sour Patch Kids and how they have failed to reach their ultimate destination, the human stomach. Each character has a story as to where he is and how he got there, giving you an insight into a deranged sugar-covered mind. Each piece of the story is a little funnier than the last and is delivered by a narrator that could only have been better if he was Logan Cunningham (the narrator from Bastion).
Gameplay – From bright colors to cute candy characters, World Gone Sour jumps out as a fun romp in an over-sized world. Playbrains definitely pulled inspiration from several places and mashed it into one game. World Gone Sour gives you an amazing list of moves to use: double-jump, ground pound and wall bounce; the game even allows you to use your gummy-like friends as rope swings or throw them as weapons. The game is a fun and slightly challenging adventure – from avoiding fan-blades to jumping on gum monsters, sliding down straw slides and shooting from cannon to cannon, you never quite know what to expect next.
Boss design – Each boss is essentially just a Sour Patch Kid, though each one has definitely gone to the dark side. Through the whole game the Red Sour Patch Kid is the main villain, appearing many times as a mid-level boss and finally at the end in a giant tank. He’s not the only boss though, and each boss – just like Red’s tank – will have a ‘vehicle,’ although they vary from a baby shoe and gum monster to a floating pumpkin.
Co-Op – World Gone Sour can be completed 100 percent on your own and that is all fine and dandy, but we all know two is better than one. Allowing you to play with your buddy really helps change the feel of the game. You can, of course, play fair: Splitting all the gummies, stars and lost kids you come across…or, you can go on a fast-paced frenzy trying to collect everything yourself. Why play like this? It gives you a higher score at the end and the ability to laugh your friend as they fall to their doom time and time again. No worries if you die; you will only be dead until your friend reaches the next checkpoint.
Here’s what we didn’t like:
Precision – The controls are rather loose, which is okay most of the time. Those times that it’s not, it can prove to be a real pain in the you-know-what. Not only does it cause a few untimely deaths, it’s also is the only thing – repeating the same part over and over – that leads to frustration. Worst of all, there seems to be no rhyme or reason as to why this happens; sometimes not registering your wall bounce and others counting your light tap of the jump button as a hard double-jump.
Boss battles – There is nothing original here: Just the classic rinse and repeat pattern formula. Though this ‘use what other games used’ tactic worked very well for the rest of the game, it just stinks here. Each boss is very predictable and easy to beat. If you fail, it is probably not due to difficulty of or surprise; more likely, it will be from the aforementioned control issues. Although each boss battle is different than the last, it really never feels like a new battle, just an extension of the last one.
When all is said and done, World Gone Sour lives up to the motto of the Sour Patch Kids quite well, leaving a sweet and sour taste in your mouth. Fortunately there’s a lot more sweet than sour, allowing this to stay a pleasant experience overall. Cute characters, a fun story and narration that you have to hear to believe all help keep this not-so-original idea feeling fresh – oh, and did we mention it is only 400 MSP? So grab something: the kids, your lady, a buddy or just your favorite drink, and sit down for a quick ride you will be glad you took.
Score: Buy It