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World Gone Sour Review

KevinS By:
GENRE Action 
DEVELOPER Beefy Media 
T Contains Cartoon Violence, Language, Suggestive Themes

What do these ratings mean?

Just play with the candy.

I know I'm the "retro" guy around here, and I love a good side-scroller, but this is ridiculous. Whose bright idea was it to create a game based off of the Sour Patch Kids commercials? There's very little to go on there, just the oddly large bastards doing something sour, then something nice, and it's more than a little creepy. If there had been some interesting mechanic to bring out how to be more sour than sweet, maybe there would be something of note here.

Instead, we get World Gone Sour, a bland side-scrolling uggo as muddy as a game can get, light on both action and extras, and leaves with just the sour taste on the tongue. The only thing sweet about it is the fact that I don't have to play it anymore, and it won't take up too much of your time should you decide to burn money pay the five smackers on the download.

You play as a rogue Sour Patch Kid that wants only one thing in life: to be eaten. Yes, your ultimate goal is to be eaten by someoneanyoneand end your miserable sugary existence. In searching for a suitable belly you're stopped and forced to fight not only what look to be sentient blobs of chewed-up gum and evil… batteries… but also other Sour Patch Kids who were dropped or misplaced and have gone insane. They join forces with what I suppose are the usual suspects, like angry soggy pumpkins and the lost shoe of a toddler, that attack you because it's obviously your fault they were dropped. So the whole point is to collect the tiny, colorful versions of yourself stuck along the path forward and then take on the ones that went crazy… all four of them.

The actual gameplay is about as entertaining as that storyline sounds. The controls are more than a little slippery and the platform edges are off, enough so that some will make your sprite look like it's in eternal freefall and will cause irritating and normally avoidable deaths. There are only three attacksjumping on a bad guy and heaving a tinier version of yourself two different waysand a tiny handful of bad guy types to worry about, so every area is just boring as hell.

There is a bonus of killing either yourself or one of your tiny followers in all eight different ways, but even this mechanic gets incredibly tedious after one playthrough. I'd rather try to think of eight different ways to kill a Sour Patch Kid with my controller.

And aside from the SPKs themselves, there's no color. Everything looks like a muddy mess. Maybe that's how the floors of tool sheds, movie theaters, and kids bedrooms look, but it doesn't make for interesting playfields. The levels look and feel huge and empty, like the designers built a model to show what they could do and left another team to double-check their work to add baddies. They're teeming with mediocrity, with little thought put into them. There are so few bad guys scattered about that one would think this is a puzzle game, and even then, a puzzle game only the most blind of us would ever find the slightest bit difficult.

On top of it all, the whole thing is way too damn easy. The world is so wide open and badly designed that nearly all of the "secret" spaces are blatantly obvious, so thankfully it's not something worth slogging through a second time (even though the first won't take you very long). The songs don't fair much better, with a terrible finale tune and a rap video that, put lightly, is not worth the effort. Just who is this game for?

I really do find enjoyment in bad games, like the Burger King titles released a few years back. At least those games had a point, the perfect example being Sneak Kingeven if not very fun, at least it felt somewhat inspired by the ad campaign it was based on. World Gone Sour just goes to remind us all about the reputation licensed games have earned over the past decade or two: They suck. And this is a sweet-and-sour steamer.

Review based on PS3 version. Code provided by publisher.
World Gone Sour
  • Controls are super-basic and slippery
  • Story and presentation are lackluster
  • Looks like a mud puddle
  • Limited "extras" are extra lame
  • Way too easy to breeze through
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Tags:   XBLA, PSN

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