I'm sure a lot of people are familiar with the meme quality of Balan Wonderworld and how it's universally panned and underperformed.
I'm curious if there's a chance it will land cult status as copies get bought up or destroyed, and time and nostalgia come into play?
There are plenty of flawed quirky games that have shot up both in perception and value years after release and seeing so many people tank on it seems like it's ripe for a HOT TAKE in about 5 or 10 years.
Will Balan Wonderworld be the next Godhand??????? /s
I find it interesting how there haven't really been any outright panned mass market games anymore. At least it doesn't FEEL that way. Games like Cyberpunk are panned for technical issues sometimes but it's not quite hated or dismissed. And sure there are bad games still, but usually it's because they are broken or simply generic.
Balan is pretty distinct in both it's flaws and art style which could make it something that lands with a certain evangelical audience over time.
The only game I can compare it to in my most recent memory is Mighty No 9 and Yooka Laylee, but those were rehashes on tried and true formulas that failed to recapture their built in audience. Balan is honestly the most recent example of a big budget platformer trying to make a new identity and game loop for itself.
My questions in short are:
Is it possible for "cult" hits to come out in this era? Are we too aware of how games function and perhaps better at critiquing now than we were when older games slipped under the radar and missed their audience? Can a game as widely covered as Balan find soil to grow in? Should I buy a copy of Balan Wonderland and bury it in my backyard so I can sell if for 700 dollars in 5 years?
EDIT 2: I also want to clarify I have not PLAYED Balan Wanderwand myself. I just find a lot of enjoyment in underdog stories, and curious if people ever think about this
- I don’t know why there aren’t more short, focused high-end AAA style games
- Nintendo’s pricing structure up leaving a lot of casual gamers out in the cold, and I think that’s the point.
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