Whoever They Have Directing These Deserves a Medal
We’ve been hyped about Balan Wonderworld ever since that first announcement trailer. It reminds us of NiGHTS, sue us. These new promo videos which just dropped, advertising chapters 2 and 3 of the game, are only getting us more excited. Just look at the adorable character models! The amazing soundscapes! The way the camera moves fluidly through the water! Without a single line of dialogue or even written words, the Balan team have conveyed exactly what these new characters are thinking and feeling. We already know what their problems are and it’s easy to guess how the players will help. Also, can we just note that sudden swerve from happy fun time to surprisingly nightmarish imagery in the Chapter 2 teaser? That’s the first time a dolphin has scared us more than bugs.
Just look at that video direction! We’re actually looking forward to a water level! That’s completely unheard of, and yet here we are. Just look at Fiona, curled up in her hospital bed, even while her mind is still trapped on the ocean floor. Beauty turns to horror. A treasure trove of colorful corals and clear water sink into a dark whirlpool. It’s a perfect visual metaphor for the havoc anxiety can wreak. We just wanna give her a hug.
The next video trades in the surprise creepy factor for some even more heart-wrenching drama. Chapter 3’s promo vid focuses on a little girl called Yuri who is just the cutest thing you’ve ever seen. Unfortunately, like many of us, her interests cause her to be rejected by her peers. No, she’s not a gamer, but I think we can all relate to this budding entomologist. It really, really sucks to be the weird kid. No wonder Yuri deals with her rejection by shutting the world out and declaring that her insect friends are all she needs.
Even with just 40 seconds of screentime each, these girls are already loveable. We want to protect those smiles. Here’s hoping Balan Wonderworld is going to be the fun kind of magical adventure and not the kind that ends with tears and traumatized children. Though there’s probably nothing to worry about. Yuji Naka wouldn’t do that to us, right?
Balan Wonderworld will make its way to current and next-gen consoles and PC in the Spring of 2021.