Ok so, I’m not exactly sure what sort of reputation “Naughty” the bear has built up for himself, but I’m beginning to suspect there is a reason the other bears didn’t invite him to their island party getaway.
Naughty Bear: Panic in Paradise puts players in the stuffing filled shoes of Naughty the stuffed bear. When a huge paradise island party is set up for all the bears, Naughty finds himself uninvited to the festivities. Naughty is not happy about that.
The game progresses through an unlockables system for pretty much everything. Starting with one open level, players jump in and select targets from a list of available teddy bears in that level. Killing your targets and other by standing bears awards you with points, and unlocks additional targets. Killing enough targets will then unlock a new level, and so on and so forth.
There is never really much of a left turn at any point in NB:PiP. You pretty much experience the bulk of what the game has to offer within the first ten or fifteen minutes. Your objective in the game’s first target of the first level is essentially the same as the following targets on the following levels.
Each level is populated by a series of innocent bears standing between you and the target. In traditional Metal Gear Solid fashion, each one has a cone representing its field of vision on your minimap. You need to either sneak around or eliminate each of these bears to raise your score, and then go in for the kill on your main target. Fighting is done through very simple combat mechanics reminiscent of the various Lego games. Weapons are scattered around the environment as well, but don’t really offer up much of a difference in combat, aside from featuring their own unique execution moves. Honestly, executions are where the games humor comes out, and it’s disappointing that these brutal kills are just as repetitive as everything else in the game. It’s hilarious to see a teddy bear struggle as you jam its head into a running lawnmower…for the first time. It gets pretty old after the 30th time.
As you progress through the game, you also unlock various equipment for Naughty to wear. Earning experience can level up these items and, when mastered, it’s time to swap them out for something new. Admittedly I didn’t have enough time to delve too terribly deep into it, but from my experimentation I also wasn’t discovering any wealth of depth here that changed my opinion on the experience so far.
I didn’t have a lot of time to play Panic in Paradise, and I really don’t feel like I needed much more. I will commit some more time to the game and give a full review as soon as time allows, but given the repetitive nature, poor framerate, bland and inconsistent combat, and the wealth of high-quality titles bombarding us during the holiday gaming season, I’m just not finding much of a reason to recommend purchasing this title to anyone, even with a $15 dollar price tag.