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Balan Wonderworld ‘Spectacle’ trailer

What a spectacle!

Square-Enix has released a new trailer for Balan Wonderworld. This trailer is called “Spectacle,” and shows off some of the 80-plus costumes, bosses, and more. Give it a watch above.

Balan Wonderworld "Chapter 2" and "Chapter 3" trailers released

Welcome to the Wonderworld!


Two more trailers have been released for Balan Wonderworld. One trailer is entitled "The Dolphin and the Diver," while the other is for "The Girl Who's Gaga For Bugs." Check out both spots above.

Balan Wonderworld "Chapter 1: The Man Who Rages Against the Storm" trailer

Peek through the curtains of BALAN WONDERWORLD for a glimpse at the first of Twelve different tales that await our stars in Wonderworld. Meet Jose, a diligent farmer, and learn of his trials against the storm that swept away his life’s work.

BALAN WONDERWORLD arrives on 26th March 2021 for Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S and Steam!

Balan Wonderworld opening movie shared

Welcome to Balan Wonderworld!

The opening movie for Balan Wonderworld, Yuji Naka's next big title, has been released. The game has you take control of both Leo and Emma as they travel through 12 different tales in Wonderworld. Get ready for all sorts of tricks and traps, along with hundreds of abilities to help you along the way. See some of what Balan Wonderworld has to offer in the opening video above.

Square-Enix shares a close-up look at Balan Wonderworld, shares character profiles, locations, gameplay mechanics, and more

Welcome to a world of wonder

Square-Enix has shared a massive wave of new info on Balan Wonderworld. The feature includes a ton of screens and art, which you can find here. It also includes a breakdown of characters, locations, gameplay features, and much more. Check out those details below.

■ What is Balan Wonderworld?

Balan Wonderworld is a new action platformer based around the wondrous Balan Theatre.

You’ll help two young heroes adventure in the bizarre and imaginary land of Wonderworld—a weird place where memories and vistas from the real world mix with the things that people hold dear.

You’ll explore 12 different stages, and explore labyrinthine stages filled with tricks, traps and enemies. As you explore, you’ll find more than 80 special costumes, which imbue your character with special abilities—everything from freezing time to walking on air.

■ Meet the cast of Balan Wonderworld

The Wonderworld is filled with weird and wacky characters who’ll make your journey unforgettable. Meet some of its main players, including the two young heroes you’ll take control of: Leo and Emma.

Leo Craig

Leo is 15 years old, and always tries to act cool. He’s a bit of a lone wolf—several years ago he had a big argument with his best friend, and since then he’s preferred to be alone.

Emma Cole

Emma is a 15 year old girl who’s always quick with a smile. But that happy front masks insecurity—she’s always worried that people are nice to her face, but badmouth her when she’s not listening.

Balan

Meet Balan. This enigmatic maestro is Leo and Emma’s (and your!) guide to the whacky weirdness of Wonderworld. The consummate showman, his comical antics surprise audiences and leave them wanting more!

Lance

Finally, let us introduce you to someone a bit more… sinister. Lance traps visitors to Wonderworld inside their own hearts, creating monsters out of their own negativity.

■ A Quick Tour of Wonderworld

Wonderworld is divided into multiple regions, from the bright and cheerful Isle of Tims to twisted worlds borne from the land’s tormented inhabitants.

The Isle of Tims

This beautiful and vibrant area is influenced by positive emotions from people in the real world.

This is where Leo and Emma first arrive in Wonderworld, and it acts as the hub for their adventures. From here, they’ll be able to explore the 12 Worlds Inside Hearts, distorted and dangerous areas created by negativity and worry—more on those areas in a bit.

—Introducing Tims

You may be wondering: why is it called the Isle of Tims? Well, it’s because of these little things:

This is a Tim. These mysterious creatures are created from the happiness felt by people in the real world.

When human hearts lean towards positive emotions, more and more Tims are born. But if hearts become affected by negativity, there will be fewer Tims and Happiness Time will slowly grind to a halt.

And should Happiness Time end… that would be bad. Very bad—joyful memories and emotions will disappear from people completely.

—Raising Tims

Our heroes couldn’t ask for more reliable allies than the Tims. Or cuter—they come in all colors, have different personalities, and are happy to help Leo and Emma on their adventures if they accompany them into the worlds.

As you explore the 12 Worlds Inside Hearts, you’ll collect different drops, which you can give to the Tims. These drops will help them grow, change color and take on new attributes.

Different color Tims can do different things—for example, red Tims can attack enemies for you, while pink ones will find items.

So it’s in your interest to raise lots of differently colored Tims—make a veritable rainbow of Tims!

The 12 Worlds Inside Hearts

During their adventure, Leo and Emma will explore worlds born from the hearts of 12 tormented Wonderworld inhabitants.

These weird worlds are filled with tricks, traps, enemies and challenges, and our heroes will have to rely on all kinds of abilities to overcome them.

Fortunately, there are more than 80 different costumes to find, which will give Leo and Emma the tools they need to traverse and survive these risky regions.

As you explore, you’ll collect drops, and discover Balan Statues, planted by your enigmatic guide. If you find enough, Balan may congratulate you and reward you with new doors in the world to open and explore.

■ Enemies and Bosses

The 12 Worlds Inside Hearts are populated by shadowy creatures called the Negati.

These dangerous creatures are manifestations of the worry and weakness in the heart of the inhabitant whose heart is trapped. They’ll do whatever they can to stop Leo and Emma from completing their journey.

Inside each world, you’ll find the inhabitant themselves, possessed by the Negati.

They’ll put up a tough fight, and you’ll have to make smart use of costumes and abilities to defeat them, but if you do you’ll be able to free the inhabitants heart.

When you do so, it’s time for a celebration! Get down with a musical number—we can’t wait for you to see these!

■ Local Co-Op Mode

What could be better than exploring a magical place like Wonderworld? How about doing it with a friend.

We wanted to make sure that Balan Wonderworld supports local two-player co-op. One player takes the role of Leo, while the other plays as Emma. By working together and combining abilities, you’ll be able to pull off some very interesting maneuvers—and maybe even open new paths.

Co-Op in Action

First, let’s talk about our heroes’ costumes. In the following example, Leo is wearing the Pumpkin Puncher costume. It lets him shoot a Rocket Punch, and if he fires repeated shots, the range increases.

Emma is sporting the Air Cat costume. Its Floating Feline ability allows her to walk in mid-air for a short time.

As you can see in the above screenshot, our heroes’ path is blocked by an obstacle. Leo’s Rocket Punch would break it, but it’s out of range.

Unfortunately for Emma, her Air Cat costume isn’t enough to get over it either. So what will the two do?

It’s times like this it’s good to have friends. By working together, the two teenagers have everything they need to overcome this problem. But how?

By using her Floating Feline ability, Emma is able to carry her partner close enough for his Rocket Punch to be in range.

Using Rocket Punch, Leo smashes through the blockage, clearing the path! Trust me when I say, this is very satisfying.

Leo and Emma are now free and clear to continue on down the newly opened path. But what further challenges await ahead…?

Yuji Naka says Balan Wonderworld is the result of Square-Enix giving him "one chance" to make a 3D platformer

Will it find success?

Balan Wonderworld is quite the oddity in today's day and age. 3D platformers used to be the bread-and-butter of the game industry back in the late 90s, but publishers shifted away from them years ago. The genre still has millions of fans, but new games in that style are few and far between. Seeing a major third party greenlight a 3D platformer in today's industry, outside of Nintendo, is pretty much unheard of.

As you may know, Square-Enix bucked that industry trend by announcing Balan Wonderworld. It's pretty interesting to see such a big third party give a 3D platformer the go-ahead, especially one like Square-Enix. The company is known for RPGs, yet they're allowing developer Yuji Naka to create his dream project.

Naka is pretty happy about that, as he shares in an interview with IGN. Naka knows a thing or two about platformers, and he also doesn't think he'd be a good fit for RPG creation.

"I think Square Enix has an RPG image, but I don't think I'd be good at making RPGs."

How on earth did Naka convince Square-Enix to pony up for a 3D platformer? Naka spoke to the company's president about his idea, and the president told him that this is his "one chance" to make the game happen. In other words, if Balan Wonderworld isn't a success, you can expect the IP to be one-and-done.

Balan Wonderworld's "Isle of Tims" feature detailed

I don't think so, Tim

Check out more screens here

The official website for Balan Wonderworld has been updated with details on a new feature. The game is going to include an 'Isle of Tims' mechanic, which is detailed in full below.

Isle of Tims

A mysterious area that is influenced by the psychological state of the people in the real world.

This is where Leo and Emma first arrive, after being guided by the enigmatic maestro, Balan…

Using this area as a hub, they’ll explore the worlds born from the hearts of the inhabitants, freeing their hearts from torment and worry.

Tims

Mysterious creatures that live on the Isle of Tims. They are born from happiness felt by inhabitants of the real world.

There are Tims of all colors and personalities, and they’ll help you on your adventure by using their unique quirks.

What is Happiness Time?

When the hearts of the inhabitants of the real world lean towards positivity, more and more Tims are born. If people’s hearts lean towards negativity, there will be fewer Tims and Happiness Time will stop.

Raising Tims

The Tims will grow, changing color and attributes as you give them different drops collected from the worlds inside the hearts of the inhabitants.

Different color Tims are good at different things – for example, the red Tims will attack for you, and the pink Tims will find items. It’s important to raise lots of different Tims.

When there are more and more Tims…?

The Tim population increases as you give them more drops, or as you find Tim eggs in the worlds inside hearts.

As the number of Tims increases, the Tim Tower on the Isle of Tims grows larger. It seems like something might happen…?

Be the star of the show in Balan Wonderworld, coming March 26th, 2021

Straight up Balan

SQUARE ENIX® today confirmed a release date of 26th March, 2021 for BALAN WONDERWORLD – the all-new action-platformer from the creators of Sonic the Hedgehog. BALAN WONDERWORLD will be playable on Nintendo Switch™, PlayStation®5 console, PlayStation®4 console, Xbox One and Xbox Series X devices and PC (STEAM®).

As players explore the fantastical land of Wonderworld, they’ll be guided by an enigmatic maestro named Balan, who will help players restore balance to the world by clearing Wonderworld of Negati, physical manifestations of worry and other negative emotions. To accomplish this, players will jump, climb, fly, smash, and more, as they explore a multitude of unique areas, collecting over 80 unique costumes to assist on the journey. Each costume bestows its own special power, from the Pumpkin Puncher outfit that lets players smash through obstacles blocking pathways to the Air Cat costume that allows players to walk in mid-air for a certain amount of time.

The new trailer also showcases BALAN WONDERWORLD’s cooperative multiplayer feature. With this feature, two players can explore the game in local co-op, using creativity to overcome challenges by finding ideal combinations of costumes that work well together. Players can work independently, using the abilities of their respective costumes, or, if both players enter close proximity of one another, they can enjoy the “Joint Play” feature and use their costume abilities together at the same time.

BALAN WONDERWORLD is an all-new experience from renowned gaming industry talent including Director, Yuji Naka (Sonic the Hedgehog Franchise Creator, Sonic Team Co-Founder) and Character Designer, Naoto Ohshima (Sonic the Hedgehog, Doctor Eggman, Sonic Team Co-Founder). The game marks Yuji Naka and Naoto Ohshima’s first collaboration in 20 years and is the first game from the newly established BALAN COMPANY gaming brand. BALAN COMPANY brings together talented video game developers, visual artists, and composers to tell the greatest stories and provide the ultimate platformer experiences.

BALAN WONDERWORLD will be available for Nintendo Switch™, PlayStation®5 console, PlayStation®4 console, Xbox One and Xbox Series X with support for Smart Delivery and PC (STEAM®) on 26th March 2021. This title is not yet rated. Pre-orders for current gen platforms are available now from the SQUARE ENIX store, next-gen will be added soon. For more information, visit: www.balanwonderworld.com.

Yuji Naka talks Balan Wonderworld story, characters, costumes, development, franchise interest, and more

Words with the big man himself

Balan Wonderworld was announced for Switch just a couple weeks back, and now we have some new info to share. Director Yuji Naka sat down with IGN Japan to discuss the game, and you can find a summary of details from that interview below, courtesy of Redditor HeadBVSS.

- development started in July 2018
- Naka wants people all over the world to enjoy the story
- Naka used the "Nights" approach, and feels the game has slight ties to Nights as well
- the goal is to express the game's story without using words
- the gameplay is very focused on action
- costumes are assigned unique actions
- you could have multiple strategies for defeating bosses depending on which costume you use
- there are multiple stage gimmicks and puzzles to suit each costume
- there will be hidden costumes as well
- there are more than 80 types of costume designs
- there will be a panda costume
- Balan is a charismatic entertainer
- Balan is sometimes unpredictable, humorous, graceful, and mysterious, and never tires of viewers
- Balan invited the protagonists Leo and Emma to the Wonder World
- the story only changes slightly depending on which main character you choose
- with two controllers, one person can control Leo and the other person can control Emma for local co-op play
- it seems the Switch version will allow you to play with a single Joy-Con in co-op
- as this is a musical action game, the casts dances to the music throughout the stages
- when you clear a boss, all the characters on that stage will celebrate and dance
- the composer, Mr. Yamazaki, was told "I want you to give the soundtrack a sense of mystery"
- this could turn into a franchise depending on how this installment is received

Check out the Switch-specific trailer for Balan Wonderworld

A bit less sparkly

We shared the debut trailer for Balan Wonderworld yesterday, but now a Switch-specific trailer has been released. You can watch the original trailer below for a comparison between the two.

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