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LG V60 ThinQ 5G Dual Screen review: 2020’s most underrated phone

Zero gimmicks, plenty of practical features

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Two months ago LG unveiled its third phone to come with the Dual Screen case. With foldable smartphones sold at a premium and Android flagship smartphones retailing for over US$1000, the V60 ThinQ has become a compelling choice, now more than ever.

The phone’s full name is LG V60 ThinQ 5G Dual Screen, but for the sake of brevity I will refer to it as the V60 from here on out.

Outdated but solid looks

The V60 comes in a rather large package. It’s one of the biggest phones we’ve had the opportunity of reviewing this year. Its size is not for everyone and I personally prefer smaller form factors.

Since it’s not pretending to be a pocketable phone made for one-handed use, I found that my behavior and habits when it comes to using a smartphone changed with the V60. I no longer hold my phone in one hand when I go out for a supermarket run and instead keep it in my tote. I found myself being less glued to the screen — no longer mindlessly scrolling Instagram and Twitter — and only picking the phone up when I do need to use it.

Size and heft aside, the phone looks and feels premium with its glass and metal build, chamfered edges, and light gold accents around the camera and around the phone. They are subtle but make a world of difference.

The phone also comes in Classy White, with silver accents.

Volume buttons and Google Assistant button are found on the left, while the power button is on the right. I had the Google Assistant button turned off from day one since I don’t use voice assistants but I really wish that this was remappable to something else.

I did turn on the option to open the camera by double pressing either the power or volume down button. I also turned on the option to launch Screen off memo by double pressing the volume up button. This way when I’m making coffee in the morning and find out I’m out of milk, I can quickly take note of it without getting distracted by the notifications on my phone yet.

There are four microphones, double the number than on its predecessors. Having four microphones allows you to record natural ambient sound from various directions. There is also a new feature called Voice Bokeh, that minimizes background noise and boosts the user’s voice. There’s also ASMR mode in case anyone finds that useful.

At the bottom there are speaker grilles, USB-C port, and a 3.5mm headphone jack! Just when you think brands don’t care, LG actually listens or at least they insist that it’s a feature that’s always going to be there.

While we’re on the subject, just like its predecessors the V60 still has Quad DAC support. This means you can enjoy high-quality sound closer to the original. It’s a shame our unit does not come bundled with headphones. I remember getting a pair of Bang and Olufsen headphones from LG flagships before.

“This has the most impressive battery life of a phone that I’ve ever used.”

When you turn the phone around, you’ll see that the phone looks nothing like a 2020 flagship smartphone. When you think of the best phones other brands have on offer this year, what they all have in common is a great emphasis on immersive displays that curve on the edges. Some even fold or unfold to become bigger devices.

For LG’s top of the line smartphone, that’s not the case. It doesn’t have a smooth refresh rate that every Android flagship we’ve reviewed so far has.

Even though it looks a bit dated and not eyecatching, I don’t mind the flat display, bezels, and the notch. None of those take away from the experience. It’s still a solid phone with a good display, just not the best one out there.

“More importantly, LG opted to let go of those rather gimmicky features so that it can keep the one feature that every other manufacturer seems to have compromised on this year: price.”

If Apple bringing back the iPhone 8 chassis in 2020 is any indication, not everyone needs a phone with new looks and the latest and greatest display technology can offer.

The Dual Screen I never knew I needed

Despite the display and design being ordinary by today’s standards, what sets it apart from competition is the Dual Screen case. If you’ve seen our videos on the V50 and G8X last year, you’d know that we are fans of the idea.

The huge 6.8-inch Full HD+ OLED display doubles when you use the Dual Screen case. You also get a third 2.1-inch Cover Display that shows the time and notifications. When you’re getting a call, it would show up here as well.

The back is more rugged than previous iterations. Its ridges reminds me of a Rimowa luggage.

Just like on a foldable phone where you get a phone that expands to a tablet for things like multitasking, there are many practical use cases for the Dual Screen. I enjoyed using it for every possible scenario and see myself using this form factor in the long term.

I typed more than half of this review on Google Docs while the phone is in what I’d like to call laptop mode. LG’s Smart Keyboard converts the phone into a mini laptop — when you move a document to the second screen by swiping three fingers, the keyboard shows up on the main display automatically as soon as you tap edit.

It’s obviously not an ideal or long term work setup. I made so many typos and probably took longer to write than I would have on a laptop.

When we first tried this on the V50 last year I thought it was just a cute novelty. Now, I think of it as a practical backup for when my laptop is about to die and I don’t have access to an outlet to charge. It’s also a good alternative when I’m flying economy and the tray table is too small for my 13-inch Mac — for when travel becomes possible again.

Of course you can always do all of this typing without the dual screen but I especially love that I can easily access the formatting tools that I use heavily when writing scripts.

Since the V60 screen is larger, typing also feels a bit more comfortable compared to the V50 and G8X. It would be a lot more comfortable if the keyboard was extended a bit more horizontally since there’s actually plenty of space on the edges.

If Microsoft Office is what you use, the Dual Screen supports that too. Creating Excel sheets is manageable and it allows you to open documents simultaneously, which is especially helpful when you want to make cross references.

Oh and because all of us are in quarantine, there is something for those who are having virtual meetings that will appreciate. You can use the V60 for your zoom meetings or happy hours like you would a laptop, while still being able to take some notes on the second screen if necessary.

One of my favorite features is one that’s also built-in on the LG Smart Keyboard. When browsing Instagram and Twitter, or reading an article on one screen, I can easily send a screenshot using another chat app on the other screen, without it every being stored on the phone.

I can always do this without the case, by taking a regular screenshot, switching between two apps, then attaching the screenshot but with it built-in, screenshots will cease from taking up space in my gallery and instead will go directly to their intended recipient. This feature is especially helpful since I am guilty of taking a lot of screenshots that always end up as clutter in my gallery.

There is also pen support for the V60 and the dual screen. Any Wacom AES pens will work for a more traditional note taking or document signing experience. This makes the V60 the only “foldable” to have pen support.

But enough about work and productivity, that’s not all I use my phone for.

For people like me, nothing beats holding and turning pages on an actual book. Since we’re in isolation and bookstores are closed, the Dual Screen is the closest thing I can get to that experience. Document reader app Librera can mimic that by splitting two pages on each screen.

When you open an e-book, use book mode and switch to two pages. You also need Wide Mode for LG, a third party app that you can get on the Google Playstore. This way you can have the view of two pages on both screens just like you would on a real book. More than anything, this is what I see myself using the V60 for the most.

The case also makes watching Netflix a lot more convenient. I can just prop it up like I would a laptop or put it in tent mode so I don’t have to hold it when I’m in bed. I do this as well when I’m catching Governor Cuomo’s daily briefings while having coffee in the morning.

When I’m cooking in the kitchen and following a certain recipe, I can have both the video and the website open at the same time.

I am the most casual of gamers, if I could even be considered one. For the purposes of reviewing the V60, however, I downloaded a lot of games so I can try Game Mode. This gives me a virtual joystick that I can customize whichever way I want to depending on the game I’m playing.

I used it on one of my childhood favorites, Street Fighter, and reached the fourth and final free stage — something I could never do without the virtual joystick.

With a little bit of tinkering, I was also able to replicate the Nintendo DS experience on the V60. With third party apps Drastic DS and Wide Mode, I was able to play games like the Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass, Pokemon Diamond, and New Super Mario Bros.

Selfie monitor is perfect for Instagram boyfriends and girlfriends. Being single and in isolation, this is not something I was able to take full advantage of at the moment but I see myself using this when taking photos of my friends when we can travel again one day.

There’s also reflective mode, which changes the color tone of the second screen from white to warm. It acts as an additional light source when your selfies are a little too dark, which I’m sure SuperSaf will appreciate. 😝

Three lenses, zero gimmicks

Speaking of selfies and photos, the V60 has three rear cameras: A 64MP wide angle lens, a 13MP ultra wide angle lens, and a time of flight sensor. Up front is a 10MP selfie camera.

Now you’re probably thinking, where’s the zoom lens?  Newsflash: unlike other Android flagships that have insane zoom capabilities, LG didn’t include a dedicated lens for it. Instead, when you zoom in, the V60 crops the 64MP image into a 16MP one.

Here’s what it looks like at 1x, 2x, 5x, and 10x.

Some of you would argue that ultra wide angle is more useful than an optical zoom lens so if you’re on the other side of that argument, you should look elsewhere; the V60 is not for you.

Otherwise the V60 takes great photos during the day outdoors and indoors.

I am a fan of the V60’s color reproduction. Oranges and reds on other smartphones tend to be oversaturated, but the V60 photos look as natural as possible and closer to real life.

The ultra wide angle camera, which LG first put on the G5 a few years ago, takes excellent photos as well.

At night the V60 also takes pretty good shots, especially when you switch to Night View, LG’s version of night mode.

Just note that when you take photos at night with the case on, it will create these line streaks from lights.

The front-facing camera also takes decent selfies as long as you have ample lighting.

Impressive battery life

The LG V60 comes with a huge 5000 mAh battery. That’s necessary because the secondary display actually draws power from it when it’s in use. When the phone’s battery is below 15% you won’t be able to use the dual screen anymore.

Battery life of course varies depending on usage; some apps just consume more juice than others. With the dual screen attached the V60 lasts an entire day of heavy use or about 9 hours of screen on time. That’s an hour of Netflix, Instagram, and Words with Friends 2, half an hour of YouTube, browsing, and reading Becoming using Librera, 2 hours of writing this review on Google Docs, and more.

Without the dual screen case, the 5000 mAh battery lasts more than 2 days — one time I got a whopping 12 hours of screen on time.

When it finally conked out, the bundled charger takes less than two hours to fully charge the 5000 mAh battery. The phone also supports Qi wireless charging and it works even with the case on. It’s just not as fast as those we’ve seen on the Mi 10 Pro and the OnePlus 8 Pro.

Needless to say, this has the most impressive battery life of a phone that I’ve ever used.

Disappointing biometrics

On a quick and more negative note, my biggest gripe about the V60 is its slow and unreliable in-display fingerprint scanner. This is also the only biometric security option available on the phone.

Is the LG V60 ThinQ your GadgetMatch?

First, let me get this out of the way: to my knowledge no other flagship smartphone has a 3.5mm headphone jack and Quad DAC support. So audiophiles, if those are important to you, the LG V60 is your GadgetMatch.

For everyone else, consider what’s important to you and your needs. LG did not included features that a lot of 2020 flagships are prioritizing like the edge to edge curved display, high refresh rate, and out of this world zoom camera capabilities.

The Korean company did, however, keep the things that other folks find to be essential: a big battery, the headphone jack, an ultrawide angle lens, water and dust resistance, and wireless charging.

More importantly, LG opted to let go of those rather gimmicky features so that it can keep the one feature that every other manufacturer seems to have compromised on this year: price.

You can get the LG V60 at US$ 799.99 from T-Mobile and US$ 899.99 if you want the Dual Screen case included. The T-Mobile version of the phone is optimized for Sub-6 5G networks, while Verizon offers the version optimized for mmWave networks which have faster speeds starting at US$ 949.99.

Do you need two screens? Nope. All of us can do virtually any mobile computing task on one slab of glass. You can do almost anything on the V60 too even without the case.

The add-on experience — the option to add a secondary screen, use your wired headphones, as well as a third party stylus — plus its top of the line specs, are things that you will not get from any other phone.

What you’re buying when you get the LG V60, is the choice to take your multitasking, productivity, and entertainment to another level whenever you want to.

Gaming

NieR Replicant ver.1.22474487139… Review

Playable Anime

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NieR Replicant

An earnest protagonist, a “tsundere” who’s also kind of there for fan service, an almost fourth-wall breaking character, and a world dealing with an underlying crisis; NieR Replicant ver. 1.222474487139 (which we’ll refer to as NieR Replicant henceforth) has all the elements of a wonderful anime. Except, it’s a game — one that goes out of its way to offer multiple types of play.

After getting through a single playthrough of NieR Replicant, I found that most of the things I said I liked in my first impressions (music, gameplay, combat, dialogue) were the ones that will endear me to the game even further.

Everything for your sister

As the protagonist, you play the role of a brother who will do just about anything and everything for your sister. The game starts off with you looking for a way to cure the mysterious illness that’s befallen your sister.

This is the main driving force of the main character. All his actions in the main storyline are all in the service of doing what’s best for his sister.

A memorable cast

Along the way you meet the rest of the main cast. This includes a magical, talking, floating book named Grimoir Weiss who serves as both a helpful ally and a backseat protagonist who never fails to point out the obvious in every situation in a way that almost feels like it’s being directed at the player.

You’ll also build a certain level of kinship with people in your town as well as key characters in every main area of the game. This includes the two other members of your party: Kaine and Emil — both of which also have interesting backstories which I will not spoil here. Just know that all these relationships and it resonates with you, the player, will determine much of what you’ll feel about the game’s story.

NieR Replicant

“Fan Service” Kaine

Dealing with loss

One thing that you will constantly encounter in the game is the feeling of dealing with loss. It already feels heavy on its own, but if I may step back a bit. Having to deal with loss in real life recently and feeling the collective grief of people in my circle also having to deal with the same just amplifies the general feeling of hopelessness and emptiness of experiencing loss.

This feeling, however prevalent in the game, is perfectly balanced by the injection of humor from Grimoir Weiss and the happy memories you have with the ones you’ve lost. Memories also play a part in key points of the story.

Multi-faceted gameplay 

Shifting the tone a little bit, the overall gameplay of NieR Replicant will keep you on your toes.

It’s not just a mindless hack and slash game. There are sections where it’ll turn into a 2D platformer with some sprinkles of puzzle solving.

The level designs are fantastic. One thing that stood out to me is how the Square Enix and Toylogic very intentionally frames certain levels. Since this is, after all, a sort of remake of game that was first released in 2010, it is free from the burden of giving the player full camera control. This results in beautifully framed scenes as you play.

There’s one particular area that reminds me of the camera work on the original Resident Evil games on the PlayStation One.

Later on in the game, you’ll enter a deeper portion of that area and it will give you an entire section of the game that looks and plays like Diablo II. 

These areas are all perfectly placed in different sections of the game that certainly adds to the overall pacing. It can feel draggy, especially when you’re doing side quests, but having levels and areas like this make it all better. Oh and yeah, take some time to do side quests, it’ll help with getting gold (the game’s currency), some useful items, and immerse you further in the game’s world.

Here’s a quick look at the combat in the early part of the game.

The music is just… *chef’s kiss

I’ve already talked about this at length in my first impressions. But even then, it would be a disservice to not mention it here again. The music in this game is just my cup of tea.

It’s the kind of music that really transports you into the game world. If you’ve ever had fantasies of being whisked away to a different reality, the music in this game is what you would imagine to be playing.

It perfectly evokes the proper mood in every area of the game. The main village gives off this “going on an epic adventure” vibe, the area filled with robots sound robotic, and the aforementioned Resident Evil-like area fills you with horror. You can even say it almost foreshadows the fate of some levels and locations. That’s how good the music in this game is.

You can listen to the 2010 versions of the music here. Bear in mind that most of these were re-done/re-recorded for NieR Replicant ver. 1.222474487139.

Should you play NieR Replicant ver.1.22474487139… ?

Anyone who’s into narrative-driven games should give NieR Replicant a whirl. That’s also especially true if you’re an anime fan. It will feel familiar because of certain tropes, some fan service, and a time skip.

It’s a fantastic entry point into the whole NieR franchise. It will get you curious about the NieR world at large and will certainly make you want to explore or replay the 2017 hit game NieR:Automata. But of course, not before you give NieR Replicant ver. 1.22474487139… all the playthroughs it deserves.

NieR Replicant ver. 1.22474487139… is available April 23 on PS4, Xbox One, and PC on Steam.

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realme C25: Your budget content creation companion

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realme C25

During this pandemic lockdown, many of us maximized the advantages of being online and ventured into selling our products or creating vlogs and podcasts to keep us sane and productive.

In these unprecedented times, it is highly essential to have a smartphone that is reliable not just for your day-to-day activities but also for your digital content creation. 

And truly, realme commits to providing us with amazing options for that, such as their new follow-up to the C series, the realme C25.

For starters, let’s check out what this smartphone has in store for us.

Pleasing to your senses

Similar to realme’s budget gaming phone narzo 30A that they recently launched, the C25 flaunts a large 6.5-inch screen but with a 1600×720 display.

Despite it not being in full HD+, the phone’s resolution actually shows pretty accurate colors and good viewing angles. The screen has peak brightness of up to 480 nits which is already bright but could’ve used some improvement especially if you’ll be using it outdoors. 

Up front, you will notice the selfie camera at the center which is a bit intrusive for my taste. Luckily, the bezels surrounding the screen are not thicker than today’s standards.

realme C25

The C25 comes in Water Blue and Water Grey and I was actually glad to unbox the Water Blue variant since I can see the details clearer on the back cover.

When it comes to its construction, realme put this phone a notch above the rest. They processed it using the industry-leading German fixed-axis precise radium engraving machine, making the device more appealing, comfortable to the touch and less susceptible to fingerprints and smudges.

 You can also see its square camera setup cut-out and a rear-mounted fingerprint sensor at the upper middle part.

realme C25

While on the right side of the phone are its volume rockers and power button.

realme C25

Gives you enough space

As someone who is largely dependent on my phone for casual photos and preview for my shoots, one thing I really liked about the C25 is its large storage. You have 4GB of RAM on this phone and have two storage options, 64GB and 128GB.

And when you check the left side of the phone, you’d see that there are two nano SIM card slots and a dedicated microSD card slot to bring you more network and storage freedom as you can expand it by up to 256GB.

Snap and create

One big advantage of the realme C25 is that this is their first phone belonging to their C-series that features a 48MP AI-triple camera. Its camera setup consists of a 48MP primary camera, 2MP monochrome lens and  2MP macro lens.

realme C25

I tested all cameras and noticed that its main camera produced vibrant colors but isn’t very detailed. You can also notice the graininess on this photo.

As for its night mode, the camera produced decent exposures but its processing is not at par with flagship phones.

Its macro lens on the other hand, showed great details which would definitely be helpful if you have an online business and you’d be using your C25 to take shots of your products.

Power under the hood

One amazing feature about the realme C25 is that you can find the MediaTek Helio G70 processor at the core of this device, ensuring a powerful and swift performance for content creators and gamers alike, giving people another reason to compare it to its brother, the narzo 30A.

realme C25

Another big advantage of this phone is that it runs on realme UI 2.0 on Android 11, making its interface pleasant and easy to navigate.

Battery that you need

The winning feature for the realme C25 is that it is equipped with a whopping 6,000 mAh battery that can let you do your daily tasks, watch videos, play your games and even do your shoots for your content all day long without worrying.

On the first day that I had it, I fully charged the battery and left it open for 24 hours without much activity and its level just went down to 98%. For the next couple of days, I used it for my usual activities, and it just went lowbatt after 3 days.

This phone even has some helpful battery settings such as App Quick Freeze which can minimize your battery use by background apps, and Screen Battery Optimization that can tone down some of the phone’s display effects to save power.

realme C25

Complementing this huge battery is a 18W fast charger which can fully charge it in two hours. Another bonus is that despite it being a budget phone, the realme C25 has reverse wired charging in case you have an emergency and you forgot to bring a powerbank for your other gadgets.  

Unrivaled durability and reliability

Though in denial, I must admit I can be really clumsy that I tend to drop my phone or splash it with water from time to time. With the realme C25, I don’t have to worry too much about these situations as it is the first smartphone that passed TÜV Rheinland Smartphone High Reliability Certification. 

This means that this phone encompassed daily use test scenarios such as drop, wear and tear, extreme environment test scenarios and component reliability test scenarios based on the three- year life cycle of smartphones.

For realme to take this further step and invest on such an upgrade for the C25 definitely sets higher standards for other budget phones.

Is realme C25 your GadgetMatch?

This phone is really targeted for people on a budget but are looking for a smartphone with a high battery capacity, good cameras, performance, latest software and durable and reliable for your day-to-day tasks and content creation.

If all these features tick all the boxes on your checklist, then the realme C25 is definitely your GadgetMatch.

But if you’re looking for a smartphone with a better screen, faster charging and other camera features such as an ultrawide lens, you may opt for a higher end smartphone.

The realme C25 is available in Water Blue and Water Grey variants and is priced at PhP 7,490 for the 4GB RAM + 64GB internal storage and PhP 8,490 for the 4GB RAM + 128GB internal storage.  

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Balan Wonderworld review: A theater for young ages

Facing the reality behind the curtains

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Balan Wonderworld

Have you ever had those moments in your younger years that hurt you a ton? Have they also happened as you got older and a bit wiser? Such is life on our own planet Earth: full of ups and downs. With each moment, we learn new things about ourselves and from our own shortcomings to become better people. However, there are times when things get too overwhelming.

We all need an escape, no matter how young or old we might be. For the older ones, it’s having some time alone, watching movies or TV shows. With the younger generation, it’s playing video games or window shopping online. For our good friends Leo or Emma, their daring escape from their problems led them to the mysterious world of Balan Wonderworld.

I decided to give this game a shot, seeing as it’s one of those less-hyped titles from Square Enix. I want to know what it could offer to a semi-casual player like myself when I need stress relief. Also, Square Enix loves to draw you in with some lore in between to keep you hooked from start to end.

So, what exactly is happening here?

Balan Wonderworld starts off with a story that provides little context to the main characters. Essentially, you play as either Leo or Emma, two children experiencing some personal troubles. I decided to play as Leo mostly because his opening cutscene was him dancing on the street, which is quite relatable. Apparently, in Leo’s case, a group of equally skilled dancers took notice, but he just shunned them away for unexplainable reasons.

Eventually, he and Emma find themselves in this mysterious theater guarded by Balan, a magician-like figure. According to the game’s lore, the theater only shows up to those who are experiencing troubles in their lives. I guess you could consider Leo/Emma extremely lucky, but they’re also confused as to why they’re in the theater. A few moments later, they find themselves in a magical world behind the theater — essentially pulling a Narnia on you.

Balan Wonderworld

Leo in the Island of Tims

You may be wondering how all of this just happened, and I’m here to tell you that I have no idea. In its early stages, the game doesn’t explain to you a lot of details in hopes of putting the pieces of the story together. As I progressed through the story later on, I’m still trying to understand how these things happened. Not the kind of start I was expecting.

The simplest gameplay mechanic for Square Enix

After the intro cutscene, you find yourself on the Island of Tims, which is pretty empty to start. It’s mostly just grassland with some flowers, lakes, and bridges. Eventually, you will slowly rebuild the Tims Tower, which doesn’t seem that important initially. Part of the rebuild involves the inhabitants of the island: the Tims which aids you for the main completion quest.

Now, this platforming game features twelve Chapters, each with two levels and a boss fight. In all the levels, you only ever need to press one button to get through the entire game: the X button. See, every other button and trigger on your controller allows you to jump and platform around — something the X button does anyway. However, the X button is this game’s primary action button because of another gameplay mechanic.

Collect-a-thon Platformer

In each level, Leo/Emma will collect a set of costumes that grant them special abilities. From jump attacks to increased air time, these costumes allow you to explore the game’s vast stages to look for collectibles for completion. As mentioned earlier, almost all of the abilities are bound to the X button — something you don’t really see with Square Enix’s other prominent titles.

Balan Wonderworld

Some of the costumes you will collect throughout the game

Apart from the costumes, you will also collect Drops, Tim Eggs and Balan Statues in each stage. Collecting Drops allows you to grow your Tims to grant you boosts when playing every stage. Meanwhile, collecting a certain number of Balan Statues opens the next set of Chapters and worlds to explore.

As somebody who is fond of stage-by-stage platforming, this was pretty standard stuff even in an open-world setting. Personally, I found myself getting side-tracked with all the collectibles if I wanted to progress further into the game. However, it also makes the game roughly easy to breeze by when you’re not out to complete it. In essence, I felt it doesn’t motivate you enough to complete it 100 percent.

Uncovering your troubles and rising above them

Let’s tackle what I think is the main reason why you found yourself platforming in Balan’s magical world. I mentioned earlier that the character you control is going through some personal issues, and that the magical world showed up for them because of it. With each Chapter, Leo/Emma encounters people who also have undergone some life problems, as well.

Balan Wonderworld

One of the main boss fights in the game

Before each boss fight, a cutscene introduces you to the main story of each person you encounter in the Chapter’s stages. Essentially, it highlights the following aspects: how they started, the rise, and the fall (and eventual shift to the dark side). You are basically tasked to free these people from the Negati, a demon-like presence that is the manifestation of their troubles.

The happy ending in one of the early chapters of the game

After beating each boss, another cutscene starts that shows an epilogue of sorts, detailing the events that happened after you free people of the Negati. You see people get back on their feet, or become more open to other people about their interests. Also, each ending cutscene starts off with a performance with the AI versions of the costumes you collect. I found it quite cheesy and a little extra in some instances.

A game that doesn’t explain much when it should

Everything about Balan Wonderworld made me ask myself, “why is this all happening?” To be honest, I felt that nothing about the game was explained properly the moment you start playing. From the simplistic gameplay mechanic to the storylines in each chapter, it all feels like it lacks purpose. Furthermore, even your role in lifting these people up from their troubles isn’t explained properly.

While playing through this game, I got the feeling that this was intended for kids even if some of the issues tackled here applied to adults. In its raw gameplay alone, it’s simple to understand and easy to navigate that even five year olds will get through the mechanics easily. The collect-a-thon element only somewhat adds a level of depth to the overall gameplay.

Gameplay mechanics aside, the entire story behind Balan Wonderworld just happens with little to no context or purpose. You aimlessly go into each Chapter, uncover the story behind each character, beat the demon inside them, and they’re freed of the negativity inside them. If you’re a child playing this game, it’s something that you’ll enjoy. As an adult, however, it doesn’t do much to draw you in for long.

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