Naughty Bear

How exactly does one fuck up a premise like Naughty Bear? Essentially Friday The Thirteenth with teddy bears, Naughty Bear sounds on paper like the Best Thing Since Ever. In reality, it isn't. It's actually one of the worst games I've ever played. What should be Manhunt with teddy bears ends up as like Rugrats (that version for the PS1) with teddy bears. Naughty Bear, despite its adult ambitions, is every bit as facile, boring, stupid and essentially unplayable as a children's game.

Disclaimer: Naughty Bear is nothing like Rugrats for the PS1. I actually really enjoyed Rugrats on the PS1. Especially the golf minigames. And I was something like 15 at the time (what, mother wouldn't let me play Resident Evil). What I'm saying is that Rugrats was good and this isn't.

I played the first two levels of Naughty Bear and gave up after that. In the first level, you discover that all the teddy bears on, idunno, Teddy Bear Island, are holding a party and Naughty isn't invited. Despite Naughty Bear being a naughty ol' bear, the other bears treat him pretty shitty. So they got it coming. Anyway, the purpose of the game is to punish the bearstards who've wronged you by terrifying them out of their fur and killing them one by one. Like Arkham Asylum except not good or fun or playable.

So you're encouraged to stalk your victims and scare them into either insanity or suicide. You do this by breaking windows, sabotaging their teddy bear electronics and screaming in their faces. Actually, the screaming is the best bit. You sneak up on someone, grab it (occasionally even holding a blade to its neck) and scream into its face. Makes me LOL every time, despite the amount of shit you have to put up with to get to that point.

The graphics are pleasant but unpolished. The voice acting and animations are amusing but in no way worth sitting through for the repetitive, dull and glitchy gameplay. It's frustratingly difficult - or at least, you won't want to give the time it takes to become good at it - and the levels are linear and samey. You'll spend about half an hour trying to force yourself to like Naughty Bear, but all in vain. It defies likeability.

Do not let anyone or anything fool you into thinking otherwise: Naughty Bear is not a good game. Don't listen to that nagging thought in the back of your mind that says "it's got a teddy bear murdering other teddy bears with a fucking axe". Don't even let the fact you can unlock a hockey mask sway you. I really wanted to love it, but Naughty Bear is just unBearable.

1 comment:

  1. Oh, I was briefly really excited there, it did sound like the best thing ever, then I got to the third sentence. Guess Naughty Bears isn't what I'm going to be doing with my summer. Hey ho. (The last sentence of that review quashed any game related disappointment. Priceless!)