Hello everyone and thank you for visiting this blog. We are excited about the upcoming Balan Wonderworld demo release on PlayStation 5 and PlayStation 4 tomorrow, January 28th. This is Naoto Ohshima from Arzest, and I worked on the development and production of Balan Wonderworld. I’ve been involved in many different stages, from the initial ideas of the game and the characters to the general direction of the story. There were a lot of challenges along the way, but thanks to the many talented people I’ve worked with, I had a lot of fun during development. I hope the demo gives you a taste of this fun!
In Balan Wonderworld, the player explores different worlds born from the hearts of people troubled by all kinds of worries. In the hearts of these people, there are negative emotions (the Negati) and positive emotions (the actors). The idea was that by wearing the costumes of the cast – the manifestation of positive emotions – the player would gain positive powers, which would allow him to overcome negative emotions.
When we started to develop the game, the main characters for each chapter were designed first. For example, in the first chapter, it would be Jose Gallard. The story and the character were designed at the same time. Once these were established, the corresponding world of the character and the actors representing their positive emotions were designed side by side.
Some of the costumes that you will come across in the demo are the Tornado Wolf, the Aero Acrobat, and the Pumpkin Puncher.
The Tornado Wolf costume allows you to wrap yourself in a tornado when you jump and you can use it to attack. He can destroy blocks as well, so I think this one will come in handy early on. When designing the costume, I envisioned the strength to weather a storm.
The Aero Acrobat costume can lock onto enemies and balloons in the middle of the jump, then perform an attack. I think among the attack type costumes this one is quite easy to use. This costume was born from the character in chapter four; Haoyu Chang and his hopes of flying in the sky. It incorporates a mechanical style and a pilot as a motif.
And finally, the Pumpkin Puncher fires a rocket hit and repeatedly firing it increases the range of your punch. Using it to defeat enemies is a no-brainer, but you can also use your punches to get items. Because the Pumpkin Puncher’s arms fly like rockets, I envisioned something like a Halloween ghost when I designed it.
The costumes I have featured here are all attack type costumes, but there are also a lot of costumes that have high mobility abilities. By combining them well, one of the things you will be able to do is reach places that you couldn’t reach before. Another example is that initially unobtainable items will become available with a costume found later on, so hopefully you try various things and make your own discoveries.
We have created 12 chapters, each with its own unique character. For this reason, we’ve created over 80 different costumes for players to experience on their journey through Wonderworld. Each costume has its own unique ability to aid players on their journey. When you challenge the boss in the demo, I encourage you to try out the unique power of each costume to defeat your opponent. And don’t forget to bring the costumes you find on each level to the stages you have already visited to see what else you can discover!
If you live with friends or family, you can also enjoy the game with a second player. As you explore each stage, there may be an obstacle both in your way and out of reach. When you find yourself in this situation, you can count on the help of others. By using Joint Mode, you will be able to combine the powers of two different costumes and use them at the same time. There are hidden spots in the demo where you can try out different combinations of costume abilities, so watch out for them. With over 80 different costumes to check out, I hope you try all of the different combinations. Of course, even in single player mode you will be able to navigate new areas hidden in the previous stages once you have more costumes at your disposal, but exploring those areas more immediately with a friend will surely be exciting. Additionally, while the development team has looked at how the different costumes will interact with each other, there is certainly room for some unexpected combinations, so the team can’t wait to see what players come up with. Let us know which ones are your favorites.
In the demo, you will be able to play through Everyone 1 and parts of Worlds 4 and 6. Players will also have access to Tim’s Island – a gateway area to the Three Mysterious Worlds. Here, players will encounter magical creatures called Tims. These adorable allies will aid players on their journey by fighting the Negati and collecting items. You can also feed the Tims to help them increase and evolve their abilities. Use the power of each costume you find to collect Balan statues at each stage and find Balan’s Bout hidden mini-games.
There will be so much more to explore once the full game launches on PS5 and PS4 on March 26. Until then, we hope you enjoy playing the demo.