Five Nights at Freddy's World - Broken Animatronic Mascots

Angelo M. D'Argenio | 25 Jan 2016 17:20
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So there's a nugget of really interesting JRPG gameplay in Five Nights at Freddy's World, but unfortunately that nugget is buried in heaps and mounds of sloppy design. Let's be clear, Five Nights at [email protected]#*kboys' poorly written script and mechanical voice acting were sloppy, but that was played up for narrative camp. Its gameplay never felt broken, and it was hard but fair. As long as you knew what you were doing and had a decent strategic mind, you could win.

Five Nights at Freddy's World inherits the difficulty of its predecessor, but the gameplay itself is much harder to grasp. This is largely because the does an poor job of presenting crucial information to the player. For example, there is no ATB bar in battle, so you don't know how close you or opponents are to attacking. It also doesn't tell you switching parties resets your ATB, leaving you wondering why opponents seem to attack much more often than you do.

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The HUD only shows your current HP, not your maximum HP. The game doesn't tell you that if you switch parties while an ability is being used, it affects the other party instead. Bosses have HP bars so you can track damage, but random enemies and animatronic fights do not. The game's equipment and leveling systems are also poorly explained. You are given no indication which characters are your best healers, attackers, or defenders. There is no status menu to speak of. You can buy items and upgrades that assist in battle, but can't read what effects they'll have on your party.

Preparing for battles in advance was almost impossible, but thankfully many issues have been fixed in the latest patch. All the same, without a status menu the only way to view descriptions is by holding the mouse over items, which is too chaotic for on-the-fly strategies.

There is a color coding system that helps a little, but Five Nights at Freddy's World never explains it to you. By the time my game ended, I thought pink meant heal, white meant buff, and black meant instant death. Yet some pink abilities also buffed, and some black abilities dealt damage. And I never figured out the difference between a yellow and red attack.

Visually-speaking, the battle graphics are way too frenetic. Each attack produces a ton of graphical effects, and gameplay is so fast-paced it all tends to overlap. Flashing sprites zip around the shaking screen, and damage sound effects are played so quickly you can't tell where one ends and another begins. Animations can also obscure the timing of your attacks, botching entire actions. On top of that, the game is painful to look at, and I don't mean garish or tacky - it caused my eyes physical pain. If you suffer from epilepsy or seizures, stay far away from this game.

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I can go on about the flaws in this game, from uninspired stock fonts, to dialogue boxes not text wrapping correctly, to incredibly hard-to-navigate dungeons. But I don't have to: Cawthon agrees with me. In a launch-day post on Steam, he admitted the game was released in an unfinished state, and promised many problems will be fixed in the near future. To his credit, the latest patches are helping, but I'm still waiting on a functional status menu. The Five Nights of Freddy's World we get in three months may be a much better game, but as it stands, I prefer Five Nights at [email protected]#*kboys - warts and all.

Bottom Line: Five Nights at Freddy's World is a retro parody JRPG that feels incomplete now, but is steadily getting better as patches come out.

Recommendation: Only FNAF fanatics and JRPG fans with money to burn should pick this up right now. Otherwise, wait for patch support.

The author's references to Five Nights at [email protected]#*kboys do not constitute The Escapist's endorsement of the game.

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