”What the heck am I doing?” I couldn’t help but mutter that to myself constantly after 20 minutes of Naughty Bear. If I wasn’t reviewing the game, I would have ran then and there, but as it turns out I continued to the point where I was ready to smash it with a hammer. Yes I played for a grand total of two hours. There’s two hours of my life I’m never getting back.
You’ve been a bad, bad girl. Actually no you haven’t, rather you’ve been a naughty stuffed bear – much less exciting. Your fellow bears didn’t invite you to a birthday party, even though you wrapped a nice present and everything. Naturally, that triggers a killing frenzy as you decide to smash everything. It’s so obvious! That’s Naughty Bear in a nut shell. I guess that sounds kind of cool on paper (or screen), but in practice everything’s broken and the gameplay is a catastrophic mess.
I admit I only spent two hours playing the game, which seems extremely low for the leg work of a review. However, after 10 minutes I could have told you it’s not a better alternative to watching grass grow. In fact, cleaning gutters and a prostate exam might be more enjoyable uses of your time.
At the start of each level you’re presented with a task: to kill everything. Killing other bears and destroying everything in your path, generally their houses and balloons, will earn you points. When you get enough points a bridge will open up and reveal a new area for you to do it all again. Once that’s complete, you’ll earn trophies which open up new challenges and levels. Although, when I say new levels, I mean the same level to play on again. In total there are only three different environments and even then they have the same general setup comprising of three areas. Considering there are only seven levels, each consisting of multiple challenges (although, they’re all variations on kill things) having only three different environments isn’t just plain lazy, it’s pitiful.
Such mayhem can be accomplished using a handful of weapons including: machetes, swords, guns and baseball bats. Killing alone will only earn you so many points. Setting up traps and sabotaging items such as BBQs to incinerate unsuspecting bears will earn you big numbers. Bears can escape the islands, unless you destroy the boats first, and will call in reinforcements if you leave the phones in working order. Funnily enough, that’s actually good news for you as it means more bears which equates to more kills. Making bears suffer, to the point of suicide, is worth more points than a clean kill, which is really just kind of sad and tasteless.
The camera is deplorable and combined with the controls, doesn’t work. Moving the camera is a chore, because it just doesn’t agree with you and isn’t in sync with the Bear’s controls. If I want to turn left I must not only turn left on the control stick, I have to angle the camera so I can see where I’m going and take it all very slowly as anything other than a straight line is much harder than it needed to be. Attacks are just a button-mashing mess. It doesn’t matter what weapon you have as they all act as clubs, besides the gun, and the one killing animation each has gets old after the third death.
Despite several adult themes, and Naughty Bear being a game that should never be played by children, it isn’t really all that mature. It’s a fairly colourful upbeat button masher, with one evil bear on a killing frenzy. The graphics themselves, however, are horrid. Naughty Bear is passable, but everything else is bloody awful. Items are cloned, the bears all look the same in a handful of different colours and everything is rough around the edges. To top it all off there are severe frame rate issues which I’m informed are much worse on PS3, but they’re bad enough on the 360. The sound is even worse. Wait, scratch that. It’s the worst sound in a video game I’ve heard this generation. The announcer talks as if he’s trying to teach a 3-year-old how to say big words and has one of the most annoying voices I’ve ever heard. I can’t even remember the soundtrack, but that’s probably because I had to avert my ears to protect myself from the monotoned hell. His puns are so bad they wouldn’t even get a laugh from his mum if this was a live show, in which she would be the only remaining audience member, albeit with suicidal tendencies.
There’s four player online, but it’s just as bad as the single player – in absolute shambles. There’s some rubbish involving only the bear with the golden uzi being able to get kills and something about collecting junk, but nobody will ever play it. Chances are everyone that unfortunately buys Naughty Bear will have smashed the disc with their largest hammer long before they even try the online.
Naughty Bear is catastrophically bad. The general idea is kind of cool, but nothing works and the points system is distasteful. There’s absolutely no reason for anyone to buy Naughty Bear. The only way for you to get a copy is if your girlfriend foolishly purchases it by mistake as a gift because she doesn’t know any better. At this point you can either run or shoot her. Naughty Bear is bad, unbearably bad.