scheds's World Gone Sour (PlayStation Network (PS3)) review

Sour taste indeed

World Gone Sour has an alright premise, but any good will from it is lost in its crummy gameplay and lack of care.

Licensed video games are usually pretty lousy, and World Gone Sour is no exception. It at least it tries to branch out and be a different with an amusing premise and inexplicable Method Man tie-in, but token gestures like these can't make up for the lousy gameplay, muddy graphics, broken controls, and general lack of follow-through it exhibits.

The game's story places you in the sugary shoes of a Sour Patch Kid who has fallen out of its bag and into obscurity on the floor. Motivated by a piece of candy's only goal - to be eaten - you work your way through a few different types of themed levels, jumping across gaps, avoiding hazards, and waiting for evil boss Sour Patch Kids to expose their weak points. A game can be excused for unoriginality if its underlying systems are solidly built and fun to mess around it, but World Gone Sour is so unoriginal - and so middling and occasionally offensive in its execution - that it has no such luck. The hook of having a bunch of smaller Sour Patch Kids trailing behind you to serve as resources for growing larger and more powerful as well as pincushions for throwing into switches and other unsavoury traps doesn't pan out either. It's mildly amusing to see a thrown Kid land in a pool of soda and have his sugary body dissolved while he lets out one last peep in his existence, but it grows old fast.

What's worse, it doesn't take long for the game to cross over from uninteresting to flat-out poor and borderline broken. Creed from The Office provides some snarky voice-overs for the game, but clips repeat endlessly and annoyingly. His quip about how your co-op buddy will respawn at the next checkpoint repeats every single time somebody dies. Maddening.

The controls are the worst offender, though. Movement is stilted and rough, and the jumping is janky to the point that many a death will be caused by the chunky animation not reliably showing you where you are in the arc of your jump and general unresponsiveness. The wall-jumping in the game barely works at all, and it's a daunting prospect each and every time you need to do it to move on. Collision detection also proves to be an issue, especially during the game's boss fights. When you're making a platformer, control is the absolute most important detail of your game, and no effort is made even on this detail in World Gone Sour.

If that all sounds pretty damn unremarkable, it's because it is. World Gone Sour has some interesting conceptual groundwork and a few chuckles spread across its brief run time, but that's all it has. There's no interesting gameplay or even competent execution here. The game is a blunder in just about every way, and although it comes in at one of the lowest price points around the PSN these days - five bucks - that's no excuse for sloppy, crummy gaming. Buy a bag or two of Sour Patch Kids instead.


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