BADGP Reviews: Tearaway
Tearaway (Sony, Media Molecule)
Released: November 22, 2013
December 6, 2013
Review: Tearing Down the Competition
Paper and imagination go hand in hand in telling a story. This is true with Tearaway, but the main difference is that the paper and imagination makes up their physical world. Inside this beautiful origami world is a messenger named Iota who needs your help to deliver his message to your world. Whether you are aiding Iota in combat or altering his world it is your mission to see that the messenger arrives at his goal. While on this visual journey both Iota and you will meet new friends, make enemies and hopefully share a few smiles along the way.
Tearaway’s environment brings a scrapbook to life. Everything from enemies to the special effects are all made from paper. With the use of just paper, Tearaway uses a stop animation movement to the whole world making it look and feel that this world could be tangible. The lack of a heath bar or any type of HUD icons lets the player fully enjoy what this game brings to the PS Vita. With its charming characters and playful music this is easily one of the greatest games that have been released this year. As you play through the story you are able to alter some of the environments and characters any way you can dream up. From elk pelt to snowflakes you can use your imagination to create anything. One problem out of the few issues with this game is that it is really short. The game only took me around five hours to complete, and when I was finished I just craved for more.
The PS Vita has a few games in its library that uses its many capabilities such as the touch screens and motion sensor. However, most of the games that do use these functions usually end up using them as gimmicks or just a side task that has nothing to do with the core game play. Tearaway puts all of these games to shame and incorporates them in mostly everything it does. Using both touch screens, you are able to help Iota traverse his landscape and defeat the evil Scraps. Whether it is to make platforms or roll out pieces of papers to create bridges, everything you change seems like magic and is very intuitive. One of my favorite game mechanics is the “craft table”. At this table you can draw and cut out designs that you create. The best part about these designs is that you can create anything that you can draw. You are able to layer the pieces of paper and use many different colors. After you are done creating an item it will save it for you so you can reuse it again later. Another cool feature is that you can fully customize Iota. Besides his size you can add or remove items from Iota to make the character unique.
Another major game play mechanic that this game focuses on is the camera. Iota will carry around a camera, and with the touch of a button you will be able to take a picture from anywhere. As you play through the story you can unlock many different lenses and filters for your camera. These filters and lenses just make the pictures look different and have no main benefit besides that. The main purpose for the camera is to take pictures of items that have lost their colors in the world. Once you take the item’s photograph you will be able to go online and download the printout that will show you how to actually create that item with origami. I have not messed with this feature of the game but it gives you something more to strive for and collect in this fantastic world of Tearaway.
The only problem that I had with the gameplay is the combat. Throughout the game you will have encounters with little boxes called Scraps. These minions are really easy to dispose of and the game uses them quite often as area progressions. All of these combat sequences just felt really out of place from the platforming adventure. All you really want to do is solve puzzles and explore the unique environment to find all of the hidden gifts and complete all of the side quests. The combat does not hurt the game too much, but it felt like these enemies were thrown in at the last second and seems unneeded.
Tearaway is a visually fantastic experience that is unique and fresh to play. Not many games allow the player to actually be in the game to help out the main character. With a colorful world and charming characters, it is hard not to smile at some of the experiences that you will see. The music and voice acting fits the game perfectly. The platforming and controls are responsive and are intuitive. With only a few issues with the combat system and length of play, I found myself enjoying every minute of this fantastic game. I would highly recommend this game to anyone.