Update #2: Here's a reminder that the demo goes live today, along with a lovely new trailer to promote it.
Update #1 [Tue 19th Jan, 2021 14:00 GMT]: The Balan Wonderworld demo has now also been confirmed for the west. It'll be releasing on all platforms, including the Nintendo Switch, on 28th January - the same date as Japan!
Liking what you've seen so far of Balan Wonderworld? Wondering whether it might be up your street? Well, you're in luck, because the game will soon be treated to a free demo on the Switch eShop.
That's right, from 28th January, you'll be able to jump in for a taste of this brand new 3D platformer at no cost. The demo will allow players to check out the game's first, fourth, and sixth chapters, and Nintendo Wire reports that two-player local co-op will also be supported. The news was announced on social media today:
At present, the demo has only been confirmed for Japan, meaning you'll need to set up a secondary Japanese eShop account to download it to your system. Hopefully the demo will also launch in the west, but setting up a Japanese account isn't too much trouble if you're keen.
If you need a quick catch up, Balan Wonderworld is a new platform game from Sonic the Hedgehog creators, Yuji Naka and Naoto Ohshima. Themed around a mysterious musical theatre, the game will be published by Square Enix and is set to launch on Switch and other platforms on 26th March. Here's a quick description:
The stars of the show will use special abilities from a multitude of characterful costumes as they adventure in the bizarre and imaginary land of Wonderworld. Here memories and vistas from the real world mix with the things that people hold dear.
Twelve different tales await our stars in Wonderworld, each with their own unique quirks. They will explore all corners of these labyrinthine stages, using all the tricks and gimmicks hidden along the way, to get to the heart of each touching story.
Looking forward to checking this out? Let us know if you'll be giving the demo a whirl with a comment below.
[source twitter.com, via nintendowire.com]
Better than a paid demo for sure.
I wish they'd do an upscaled port of Billy Hatcher and the giant egg. I rented that game from blockbuster and it weren't too bad! I'd buy a remaster at a reasonable price
I want to be excited for this but it looks more let down like Rodea was rather than a Sonic or Knights successor.
I hope it sticks some kind of landing....I just don’t want Yuji Naka to crash and burn 😥
Excellent I’m looking forward to trying this
Good, I'm interested in this, but I need something tangible to get me excited. Interested in seeing how well this runs on the system, too.
@TheFullAndy You jest, but didn't people buy Zone of the Enders on PS2 primarily to gain access to the MGS2 demo? Ditto with FF Type-0 HD and the initial demo for FFXV.
MGSV as well of course!
My main concern for the game is how well it'll perform on the Switch, given it's a multi-platform release.
Hopefully this demo would put those concerns to rest.
Edit: My other concern is that the game is being developed in part by Arzest (formerly Artoon), which have a really, really poor track record.
It includes Hey! Pikmin, Yoshi's New Island, the 3D battles features in the Bowser's Inside Story Remake, Pinobee Wings of Adventure, Yoshi's Island DS, and Yoshi's Topsy-Turvy.
Yay, love free demos!
Yay, been waiting for this game!
I had been exciting since its announcement till I saw some gameplay videos aaaand ....well...meh? The biggest problem for me was the clumsy movement of the main character
I don't think the game looks that good so I'm glad they're giving us a demo to try it out. It might be pretty good.
Just watched the video and you’re right. Looks like you’re running on ice. Could be nothing and play great though... I’ll check out the demo and go from there. Always in the mood for good 3D platforming.
Games shouldnt be allowed on the eshop without a demo. XBLA had the best console store to date (and the XBLIG too).
Hope we get the Free Demo in the West! Yuji Naka's era as head of Sonic Team was its Golden years for me. Never the same when he left. I am looking forward to it
@RupeeClock Except those Nintendo games that you mentioned (minus Bower's Inside Story 3DS as well as Yoshi's New Island) were some pretty highly praised games from Nintendo!
Mario Odyssey, mixed with Zelda, mixed with pokemon
Looks kind of weird, but yes, I have been interested in this game. So, a demo is good news. Thanks.
@TheFullAndy Paid demos are the worst
@jump "Let down like rodea" You didn't play the 3ds/wiiu versions of rodea have you?
Yeah, I forgot about this one... looking one more tome at trailer, it’s no wonder why...))
Dont know about anybody else but is it me or does this felel abit like nights into dreams the character even poses like nights
Good news so far, today. Trump’s last day in office, Balan Wonderworld demo announced, let’s keep it going.
@Mattness85 Yup. Part of why I’m so excited.
I don't really know a lot about nights, or it's creator. But this looked like a pretty cool platformer, definitely giving it a try!
I wonder how story progression will be handled, given the demo presents us with 1st, 4th and 6th chapters (??)
Looks like the demo will be released worldwide, if thats the case. Best chance though, but my dad pre ordered the Showtime set, the anticipation is building up at a rapid rate
PLZ come to US.
omg it's wonderworld? I've been calling it Balan Wonderland forever...
Not familiar with the game, but maybe the 'top hat with eye holes' will catch on.
@ryancraddock could u update the article it was reavld for the demo would come to the USA My sorce is from here
@Captain_Toad I would wager he did play either of those versions, which would be why he thought it was a letdown.
@Ocaz I find I keep doing that myself too.
It’s worth noting that Naka is the director of this... how long has it been since he directed a game?
@Snatcher Thanks for the tip! I've updated the story.
@Liam_Doolan Thanks It was bothering me that some people might miss it.
The game has piqued my interest, so I'm definitely looking forward to checking out the demo, before purchasing the game in March.
I can't really be bothered checking out the demo for myself at the moment as I have so much else to play but I'll keep an eye on opinions of it in the off chance that it turns out to be better than it looks.
video looks good! Might be a decent game so will keep an eye out
I will check out the demo! I am excited for it. But I have watched a few mins of EmuEmi streaming it. Like the music a lot, and there appears to be a Chao Garden inspired aspect to the Hub World.
Gonna try it out,but i doubt i will like it as much as NiGHTS and Rodea.Since its basically an expansion of the least interesting part of NiGHTS Into Dreams,playing as the kids,without ever flying.
I tried out the PS5 demo and it looks awesome. The graphics look amazing. The game has a lot of charm, but it seems a bit simple
I’ll pick up the demo. To be brutally honest, I find most of his work overrated so I’m quite grounded.
Strangely not very prominent on the eShop.
Feels like a PS1 platformer in HD.
And really needs a run button.
This is a steep drop from Rodea...wow. Children would be bored by this 😟
This is a very weak platformer, it'd be thoroughly unimpressive 20 years ago.
I think it's the 80 different costume abilities. Instead of polishing 1 control style they've split focus into loads of different half-baked ones. The levels are somehow both linear but aimless collectathons with items strewn about rather than focused designed challenges you could find in games as old as Super Mario 64.
The production on the reveal cutscenes got me interested, but I was sort of expecting equally bombastic gameplay, but it's about as limp as one of those 2000's licensed movie games.
I'm struggling to get on board with the protagonist design, but I'll give the demo a go, hopefully it'll sway me!
Great visuals, dull gameplay.
Graphics seem ok for a Switch game, jagged edges etc., but nothing awful. Gameplay seemed a bit on the slow side though, I can imagine young kids having fun with it, but I don't think it would be for me. I think the movement speed needs to be increased a little. The cut scenes and intro video all very pretty, presentation generally is quite good, but definitely feels like it's a game aimed towards children, so will be passing on this.
My 5 and 8 year old kids are liking the demo A LOT. Target audience might be kids and not 20-30 year old males that live at home.
@BenAV Apparently it plays way, way worse than it looks. Oh well.
@The_Pixel_King Must be pretty bad then as it always looked pretty janky from the trailers.
Nice when I can play the demo on both my Switch and PS4 to see if I notice any differences after 5 minutes.
Once Nintendo get sight of "that" hat, cease and desist time, can't be going around stealing Cappy (tut tut)
For me the game felt unplayable when undocked. Had many slowdowns and controls did not feel good, it felt like I was playing with a 8 directional d-pad instead of a control stick. Did not played it docked though.
But I really wanted to try the game properly so I downloaded it on my PS5. Looks way better (no ***** sherlock), but the controls also felt way better and less as a directional pad.
But after playing I while I felt nauseous, the paralax effect* (or what else it is named) is really iritating and disorients me quite a bit.
*I mean the way the parts futher back in the level go up and down slowly to make it visible.
Tried it this morning undocked and it’s not fun, it looks like a creepy japanese 3d platrormer with poor visuals and poor frame rate. Will pass on this crap.
If it had more appealing playable characters then generic children and better story it would have been something to check out, I feel Square Enix could have been more original. Will pass on this one.
This is exactly what we need. I’m seriously considering this game even though I expect a flawed product. The mere fact that it’s a new, original 3D platformer from an established studio has me interested. We’ll see if I can overlook crappy framerate or repetitive missions, etc. (I don’t know yet, could be really engaging.)
Just downloaded the demo and will give it a try after some nice dinner.
Yeah, this game is very poorly optimized. The movement is too slow and stiff, there's a lot of pop in and disorienting visual effects (I did not like the world "folding down" in Chapter 1), and I even had the sound completely cut out while I was playing. And the gameplay and level design is fairly dull and simplistic. It's not downright terrible, but it's not that good either. I'd only get this if it was heavily discounted.
@Bolt_Strike That’s sad to hear. My expectations are already pretty low, so I might have some fun with the demo. (And then maybe buy it on sale if it gets some post launch support.)
@AbejaGrande So would these 20-30 males' opinions be any more or less valid if they lived on the road as opposed to at home? Seems like an awfully broad swipe at an entire demographic just because their opinions dont align with yours.
I opted to download this on my PS5 and it’s a really fun demo there. The controls are tight and the gameplay is very similar in spirit to Mario Odyssey, or even a distant Kid Chameleon (since there’s like 80 costumes in the full release). Exploring the colorful world was relaxing (not too many enemies so far) and bosses felt very Sonic like. Cutscenes are pretty and the music is well done. I actually thought the “rolling” effect of the background elements was a clever visual trick to hide the loading, but I guess it’s disorienting to some here. The little chubby bunny-chick animals you babysit are really cute too.
In short, I’m sold! But I’ll be getting it on PS5
The minigame to earn bonus gems is pretty repetitive though
If you think Ark on a switch was bad, wait till you play this. 😂
Ermm... why are Square Enix putting their name to this game? If you combine the reputation of the dev, the publisher and those early trailers then I have no problem on saying that it's quite literally the worst thing I've ever played. Utterly shocking.
Shame on SE for releasing this game.
I played the demo and I gotta say, the first stage being a beach kinda threw me offguard but I guess that's just a design choice. I also think that certain characters' models move very weirdly, especially their mouths. In addition, the newly added homing attack feature is a welcome addition but I prefer the classic style of jumping on enemies or spindashing.
@Peteykins nice! Yeah I kind of regret not buying a lot of the top GameCube games when I was a teenager because they are so expensive now! I think the last GC game I bought was MGS The Twin Snakes a few years back for around £40. I had to eventually play the remake though because I love the MGS series!
@TijuanaTacoToker When adults complain about a game obviously aimed at kids yeah their opinion doesn't matter at all.
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