Pucker Up for a World Gone Sour (Review)
This game was reviewed on the Xbox 360.
World Gone Sour portrays the little candy men from the popular treat as living entities with one goal in life: to wind up in the belly of a human. Yet sometimes, through no fault of their own, they just don’t make it. Be they dropped, flung, or otherwise discarded, some Sour Patch Kids wind up uneaten and left to go mad. But one little lime-flavored kid who wound up in the trash simply won’t let that happen to him. So after being thrown out, he sets on his quest to be consumed. And with the help of you and a dirty old narrator, he just might catch his dream.
I’m not much of a candy lover, but I do love platformers, and the minds at Capcom have done an excellent job with this creation. The premise is simple: traverse the obstacles, defeat enemies, and save your fellow candy men. However, there is a bit of a twist as your confectionary kinsmen aren’t just to be saved; they’re to be used as weapons or as a means to pick up candies and stars scattered throughout the levels just beyond your reach– and in deadly places, I might add. Yes, instead of putting yourself in danger, you’re throwing your friends to the wolves; or rather into stove elements, fan blades, nail boards, puddles of soda, and more. But fear not, as they’ll respawn soon after, and be no worse for the wear.
These mini-me’s that follow you around so dutifully have an additional purpose: make you grow bigger so you can jump higher, perform special moves, or carry out attacks such as charging up one of your minions to throw through a popsicle stick wall or bubble gum monster. If you get to an area that requires you to shrink back down, a quick tap of the shoulder button pops you down one size to squeeze through the more narrow areas.
World Gone Sour has a number of areas or “Acts” in the game that you’ll progress through, starting off in the movie theatre where you’ve been inadvertently discarded by a careless human who wasn’t paying attention when he popped open his bag of Sour Patch Kids. From there, you’ll make your way through areas filled with the aforementioned pitfalls as well as various enemies such as bubble gum blobs, dust bunnies (yes, bunny-shaped dust balls) and more. At the end of each act, you’ll encounter a candy-themed level boss.
The level bosses are in fact other Sour Patch Kids who’ve been discarded and gone insane from not completing their journey to the belly of their human. Many of these bosses are exceptionally creative in design, although not terribly challenging once you’ve figured out their attack patterns. A personal favorite was the twisted bubble gum creation who was stuck to the bottom of a sneaker, which acted as the chariot of your Sour Patch foe. The beast, if not made of pink bubble gum with a shoe riding on its back, probably would have been quite a grotesque creature to encounter, which leads into the nature of this game.
At first glance, you might think that a game about a bunch of sugary sweet-n’-sour candies might be cute and fluffy in nature. This, however, is not the case. The game actually contains quite a bit of lewd and macabre humor which, from the perspective of an adult, adds to the charm of the game. But if you think, by looking at the cover or the name, that this game is appropriate for anyone under 12, you might want to reconsider.
If the twisted candy creations, disturbing one-eyed dollies, and the fact that you earn points and achievements for flinging your buddies into nail boards or vats of frying oil don’t deter you, perhaps the equally demented narrator (who refers to women’s breasts as “jigglies” and says, “oh yeah, jump again” the first time you hit a trampoline) might shy you away from things that you wouldn’t necessarily want your pre-teen to learn. They’ll learn enough from school without a tutorial from a game starring their favorite candy.
The game does have a few snags that take away from the otherwise excellent gameplay. Music, for one, is repetitive as it seems they’ll use the same song for a single act, which can be up to two or three levels long, making you want to kill the in-game tunes altogether in favor of your iPod or the MP3s stored on your console. Physics and character glitches pop up occasionally too. At one point in the game, my gummy hero was stuck without any obstructions – just frozen in place. However, I was able to break loose by shrinking him down and growing him back up a couple of times. The occasional oddity in the physics will rear itself with trampolines that will bounce on their own and other similar events.
In the end, World Gone Sour is a delightfully humorous game with some fantastic gameplay elements if you can appreciate a distorted sense of humor. A few technical glitches blemish an otherwise flawless execution in a platformer. Take a look at the demo if you’re not sure you can enjoy this type of game; I think you’ll be quite surprised at how entertaining it really is.
World Gone Sour receives a 4.25/5.0.
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