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Gummy Bears Magical Medallion - 3DS Download Review

Game Info
Gummy Bears Magical Medallion

3DS Download | Enjoy Gaming / Clockwork Games | 1 Player | Out Now (North America) | $5.99
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20th June 2013; By KnucklesSonic8

Safeguards make any hesitation over jumping from a fair height easier to bear, and with Gummy Bears Magical Medallion, that arises through its physical environment. Hearing that a world is overrun with candy references, props and set pieces should convey a soft and unthreatening outlook -- which it in some ways does. But it isn't quite like how you would interpret its impact had this been a more developed universe. When you get right down to it, Gummy Bears Magical Medallion is incapable of escaping the consequences of its poor design ideas, with any morsels of calm seemingly offered by its environment being utterly transparent. This is very much a case of calling a spade a spade, and sadly its weak state leaves little room to say much has gone right.

    Gummy Bears Magical Medallion is an exercise in basic platforming that takes you through three worlds of four stages, each ending in a boss stage in the form of a timed collect-a-thon mission. Level planes don't deviate too far off-ground, offering the occasional vertical climb and some extended underground portions that are neither labyrinthine nor entirely set on a single path. The more narrow methods of introducing platforming are accomplished through ropes, ladders and barrels, with enemy placement and protruding hazards lending to the creation of small timing windows. Otherwise, traversal is mostly on linear terms, with very little manipulation taking place in either the elements themselves or the level arrangements at large. It's all rather flat, if I must be frank.

Stage barriers principally come in the form of three types door puzzles that have you re-assembling a jigsaw puzzle on the spot, scouring the vicinity for switches or keys, or activating an alarm clock and racing to the opening before it closes. The only thing with having to unlock doors under the second context is that you often have to go out of your way to do so, and the follow-through is nauseatingly boring in some cases.

    The functionality of other stage elements present similar obstructions in that you must wrestle with uncomfortable, sometimes out-of-place hazards. Large rocks that presumptuously block your path can only be destroyed by sliding the stylus back and forth. The same goes for the awfully stiff, elevator-like platforms, while barrels have you pressing an icon on the Touch Screen. Each of these bring players to a halt in their own ways through shoehorned mechanics, which represents one of the early offenses the game makes. It extends to how your on-screen character engages with the less assuming elements -- ladders where your movements are more strict than need be, and ropes that can't be grabbed again until they come to a resting position.

    Looking that much closer at the design, Gummy Bears Magical Medallion's level arrangements are governed by an assortment of bad, ill-placed and lousy design executions, some having very clear problems on the flow where you're either forced to pursue unseemly alternatives or are locked out from the rest of the level because of poor trap placement. As an example, one area features a seriously cramped passageway with a ceiling that doesn't allow enough room to jump, thus making it needlessly difficult to evade incoming enemies and other traps. Elsewhere, the messy collision physics are the reason for your troubles, in close association with unresponsive jumps and other such glitches. On one occasion, I found myself stuck between two rolling enemies, and all I could do was helplessly watch on as my health supply dwindled.

The drab presentation only adds to the feelings of overwhelming tedium, and the amateur design lacking a healthy measure of skill. Encompassed in this is ineffective audio work, as well as light 3D use that doesn't do anything for the mood-dampening visual style. But among the game's additional, persistent faults are abrupt camera transitions that don't portray a very effective 3D environment; positioning foils that interfere with your discernment of surroundings; blurry cutscenes with fuzzy text; careless interactions, such as when instantly vanishing after falling into a pool of water; and environments with strange textures plastered onto walls or where there can be found little discernible background at all.

    Really in every way, from sub-par design to presentation that's greatly devoid of life, Gummy Bears Magical Medallion is one of the dullest platformers you could find, and its executions, both in broad and narrow terms, don't do a commendable job of captivating young audiences less exposed to this style of gameplay. The journey lasts about an hour's time, and the only thing keeping you around after that would be to grab every collectible or replay door puzzle and bonus mini-games -- neither of which offer worthwhile reason to return. Even if it had not been for its poor design soiling the delivery and child-friendly focus, its world still begs to have some form of energy. Gummy Bears Magical Medallion in an altogether limp and tiresome experience where the only thing kids will get out of it is an understanding that established platforming formulas and concepts aren't so easily replicated.

11/30 - Very Poor

Gameplay 4/10 - Amateur and linear design, unnecessary mechanics, poorly-considered hazard and enemy placement, physics and layout problems
Presentation 4/10 - Technical fumbles, ineffective audio, camera troubles, very dull and not especially clean, setting lacks life
Enjoyment 1/5 - Tedium dominates, flat level design with little manipulation, offers little over other platformers even with its attempted focus
Extra Content 2/5 - Short length, minimal replay value with its sources not offering enough reason to return, won't feel attached to the environment

Equivalent to a score of 37% (percentage score is approximate and based solely on the previously stated rating) - Our Rating System

Review by KnucklesSonic8

Gummy Bears Magical Medallion
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