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Review: Naughty Bear: Panic in Paradise

23 Oct 2012

Naughty Bear was the cute little kid’s game released in 2010, featuring many teddy bears in the forest living in harmony.

That was until they kept ignoring Naughty Bear and treated him like her never existed. So from what appeared to look like an innocent kid’s game turned more into a Hollywood slasher movie as Naughty Bear seeked revenge on all the bears that ridiculed him over the years.

The first Naughty Bear introduced some humorous and unique gaming ideas, although the execution of the entire game was very poor.

The graphics were very simplistic and the entire game was only set in ONE location. Not to mention the game was released as a full disc-based retail game that you had to pay full price for!

Naughty Bear: Panic in Paradise is the sequel and improves in a lot of ways from its disappointing predecessor.

First off, the game is released digitally on the PSN and XBLA so you don’t have to pay as much money as you did for the first game and secondly, the graphics have been improved plus there is more than just one level to play.

Whereas the first game was set in only one location in the forest by the beach, Panic in Paradise features a lot more locations set in an exotic island. There are 11 different levels in total with 36 different missions for you to fulfill.

If you are not familiar with Naughty Bear, this game plays like a Hitman game where you have to kill a specific target but the only difference here is that is features a bunch of cute teddy bears instead.

There are many creative ways you can kill off bears in this game which makes the gameplay a lot more fun than in the repetitive original. One of the first things I did was place a bear beside a gigantic Venus Flytrap plant while on another level I chucked a bear into the sea where a shark was waiting for him.

There are many other humorous and creative ways to “defluff” bears in this game and it’s always entertaining to see the results.

Another change seen in Panic in Paradise is that you can now steal other bear’s costumes so you can blend in with the rest of the crowd, becoming a helpful feature if you want to scout the area first and to also evaluate the best way to eliminate the target bear you have to kill.

It’s darkly funny approaching bears who think you are their friend only to then suddenly grab them by the throat and dispose of them.

Sometimes target bears are cowardly and will try to escape from Naughty Bear as best they can, fleeing by boat or car. Chasing them down became a very hard task to do in the first game because that game lacked a sprint button.

Luckily in Panic in Paradise, you can now sprint to chase down those cowards, making the game much easier than the first and it saved my life on more than one occasion when the bears started to fight back.

The visuals in Panic in Paradise are a vast improvement over the PS2-like graphics seen in the first Naughty Bear game with the colours much brighter and the level design bigger and more impressive.

One of my favourite levels in the game is where all of the bears are partying on the beach with a dance floor full of lights and even a DJ playing music. It almost seemed cruel that I had to go in there and spoil their fun by killing them all…

There is some relay value offered also, despite the game lacking any multiplayer modes to speak of. This is by trying to better your high score in each of the levels by completing many of the side-quests that are on offer in each of them.

Completing side-quests earns you more money that allows you to buy more costumes and weapons for Naughty Bear to use. With 36 missions in total, there is hours of fun that can be had in this game.

Panic in Paradise is a fun game, but it’s not without its own faults. The stealth aspects are enjoyable although it’s incredibly easy to avoid being detected in this game, even if a bear spots you and tries to chase you down, all you have to do to evade their sights is to hide in the bushes.

Hiding in the bushes makes Naughty Bear immediately invisible to everyone even though they saw you running to the bushes just a second ago. To me, this didn’t make too much sense and made the stealth aspects of the game too easy in my opinion.

Another fault to the game design is that Naughty Bear himself is unable to use any guns which wouldn’t be too much of a problem if the game itself didn’t have guns at all, but they do. Some bears annoyingly blast you with guns killing you instantly.

It’s unfair that Naughty Bear himself is unable to use guns considering some bear carry guns all the time. I guess the developer wanted gamers to find other ways to kill bears and shooting enemies is something that is too common in the video game industry nowadays…

The biggest problem I had with Panic in Paradise is that the game freezes up my PS3 all the time, each time I played the game for more an hour or so, the game freezes up completely. I have to constantly turn off the power in order to restart both the game and my PS3.

I did a bit of research on this and both the PS3 and Xbox 360 versions suffer from unexpected freezing issues. A patch should be released ASAP to address this issue as this is one glitch that is sure to annoy anyone who decides to play and purchase this game

Naughty Bear: Panic in Paradise is a huge improvement over the first game. The dark humor from the first game is retained, but there are more levels and content on offer that make this sequel so much better. The game may not be to everyone’s taste but if you find it vaguely humorous that a bunch of teddy bears are trying to kill each other , you will certainly enjoy playing this game.

Graphics: 7.5

Sound: 7.0

Gameplay: 8.0

Lasting Appeal: 8.0

Overall: 8.0