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Director Shares How Balan Wonderworld Characters and Abilities Will Shine on Next-Gen Systems


Yuji Naka, who is primarily known for games like NiGHTS, Billy Hatcher, Phantasy Star, and Sonic the Hedgehog, recently spoke to IGN Japan about the project he is directing for Square Enix, Balan Wonderworld. In that interview, he revealed some of the ways in which next-generation consoles would enhance the game, which is set to release across generations. [Thanks, IGN!]

Balan Wonderworld is a 3D action-platformer in the spirit of many of the other games Naka worked on with Sega. The original pitch for the project and its original announcement trailer highlighted the fact that the game would contain 80 different costumes that would allow the player to access different actions and abilities. Naka thought this pitch was, perhaps, overly ambitious but the goal was reached and he seems satisfied with how the feature has been implemented. The PlayStation 5 will be designed to make them stand out.

This is because the PlayStation 5 DualSense controller has something called adaptive triggers. These triggers make it possible to assign different levels of resistance to different actions in games. Essentially, this means that all of abilities used by the Balan Wonderworld characters could have their own distinct haptic profiles. Naka said, “I think players will be really surprised by it.”

Then there’s the simple matter of the hardware itself, which will facilitate higher frame rates and resolutions. Commenting on this aspect of the next-generation consoles, Naka said, “An action game in 4K at 60 frames per second is incredible. It feels so smooth.”

Naka also said that the game’s story will be part of the focus in accordance with Square Enix’s management philosophy, which Naka learned about after joining the company. Reportedly, the company’s philosophy is “to contribute to the well-being of people all over the world by providing the best stories.”

Balan Wonderworld is expected to release on March 26, 2021 for the Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S, and PC. It will offer a cooperative multiplayer mode and the Balan Wonderworld Isle of Tims, which is a feature that sounds a bit like Sonic Adventure’s Chao Garden.

Benjamin Maltbie
Benjamin is a writer from Upstate New York who has spent the past five years learning to survive the summers of Phoenix, Arizona. When he isn't playing video games, he is rambling at length about tabletop RPGs or diving down rabbit holes on Wikipedia. He has been writing about video games for the last twelve years and can't imagine stopping anytime soon.