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Sunday, May 26, 2024

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Review: Buddy & Me Dream Edition (Wii U)

Well, this is awkward. This game and Hot Rod Racer are both titles that rely on high-scoring as the premise of the package, and they both come out on the same day on the same console. In the meantime, during my review of the latter, I stressed that developers should move away from trying to only focus on scoring since there’s little to no value in it compared to games that have levels and a sense of progression as you clear them.. The big difference here is that Buddy & Me at least makes an attempt to compromise, and flourishes itself with a professional presentation.


As can be seen right above, the graphics are composed of clean 2D cartoon-like wonder. While there is the downside of running at just thirty frames-per-second instead of the much smoother sixty, it is nevertheless difficult to brush off the artistic vibes the backgrounds and perhaps the environments as a whole give off. The characters onscreen are also very well animated and feel alive as a result.


Of course, it isn’t like the music or sound would be all that out of place from something like this. They are as whimsical as they can be expected. They aren’t the most memorable pieces you will ever hear, but they suit the mood appropriately.


Okay, so there is still no campaign made of levels to play through and beat, but Buddy & Me: Dream Edition has a number of little nooks and crannies to unlock. They are unlocked via spending Star Seeds that are obtained by scoring throughout the course of the game’s duration. Scoring is done by collecting stars as you run and jump your way across an endless not-really-a-gauntlet of wooden pillars and trees.

What makes the game enjoyable is that despite the level terrain being kind of repetitive, it does make an attempt to keep the action interesting as the timer ticks. There are portions where you get to ride Buddy as he flies in the sky for a brief period of time, and there are items that, for example, can make stars worth more points or add seconds to the timer. The character you control is also fairly flexible, as he or she can double jump and glide with his or her sweater, as well as swing across vine-like objects should there be any.

Basically, while there isn’t too radical of implementations in the formula, the game at least carries substance and a legitimate addictive sense to it.


In the grand scheme of things, it’s an acquired taste. Once again, this appeals best to the highscoring crowd (although for some strange reason, there doesn’t appear to be Miiverse functionality for sharing highscores). From what there is, though, Buddy & Me does offer a fun little romp through the imaginary forest, and there is at least an actual incentive to do so in terms of whatever in-game content there is to look forward to. But even when 100%-ing the game, it’s best to play the game in small bites as the in-game timer suggests. Otherwise, you’ll think “Deju vu” when journeying through the terrain too often.


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