February 3, 2023

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Roll Your 20 Dice and Pick Up Your Gun

5 min read
Roll Your 20 Dice and Pick Up Your Gun

Roll Your 20 Dice and Pick Up Your Gun

Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands is the new game from Gearbox Software, the developers behind the cult Borderlands series. “The Wonderful World of Tina” is a spin-off from the main series that was starting to take some wrinkles. It must be said that Borderlands 3 had been received halfheartedly with on the one hand: the unconditional fans delighted to be able to continue to loot for whole hours on a new playground, and on the other: disappointed people who were pointing finger that the series was going around in circles. In reality, Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands is inspired by the Borderlands 2 DLC: Tiny Tina and the Dragon Fortress released in 2013, which had delighted fans with its originality. But is this opus in the end a real game in its own right or a simple improved extension?

The quintessential role-playing fantasy

For those who do not know the world of tabletop role-playing games, a little reminder is in order. The tabletop roleplaying game or paper roleplaying game is a kind of board game that is played with several people, and in which you have to create your own character, your statistics, choose your class and your skills. The master of the game, the one who tells you the story, will then put you in front of situations, problems that you will have to solve with a roll of the dice. Despite the many adaptations of the tabletop role-playing game that have existed for more than 30 years, one of the greatest effigies remains Dungeon and Dragon, from which Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands was obviously inspired.

In this spin-off, we literally play a game of paper role-playing game called Bunker and Badass , and everything we experience is in our imagination. Tina acts as the game master, and transports us to a slightly modified Dungeon and Dragon world: swords give way to firearms. In Bunker and Badass, we go on the hunt for the dragon lord, who rains down his armies of skeletons on the world. We will therefore have to create a character from scratch as in a real role-playing game, with a truly original choice of class.

Who says medieval role play, says spell, sword, shield, and above all gun (maybe not). Compared to the Borderlands series, this time you can equip spells (up to two if you take the Défouromage class, the mage who défouraille) and swords as melee weapons, and the There are so many different variations available that it can make your head spin.

But like any tabletop role-playing game with a big game system, there’s a lot of information, and there’s a lot (if not too much) to digest. Between the statistics of all the weapons, the names in English of the latter (the only element not translated), the skill trees and the character points to distribute, the beginning of Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands is harsh, especially if you don’t have the habit.

But no issue

The real problem with this Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands is its “fun game” aspect taken to the extreme. We obviously knew the cartoonish paste of the Borderlands series, which is entirely the identity of the license, but there were still certain issues to cling to. In the Borderlands 2 DLC from which Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands is based, Tina has been traumatized by the deaths of her friends, and to grieve, she locks herself in a paper role-playing game as a catharsis. Despite the fact that we are in our imagination, we were in a way accompanying Tina in her mourning.

Here, none of that, and that’s a shame. Nothing is at stake and we are very rarely involved in the story, especially since everything is subject to change. We live Tina’s story in our imagination: if she wants to change an element to make the player’s life easier, even if it’s not coherent, she will do it. For example, in one of the first quests of the game, we have to destroy catapults that besiege the castle of Stallion of the ass (finesse when you hold us), except that one of the catapults could have helped us cross a completely impassable precipice other. Then Tina arrives in the story like a Deus Ex machina to make the catapult reappear.

There are many similar examples and despite the fact that this way of approaching the issues brings a breath of fresh air to our habits as players, all our actions are constantly questioned, and we don’t really have an impact on what we finally do.

To return to the theme of humor, Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands often crosses the line of too many jokes. It even seems that the game wants to talk to players too much by using terms that are starting to get a little old, based on “noob” or “geek”. We don’t know if it’s only the French translation that’s like that, but despite a French dubbing of rare quality, with Isabelle Volpe (Tina) very fair in her acting, the humor unfortunately weighs down the dialogues.

We have things to do

Despite everything, we still think that Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands is a real game in its own right that is worth exploring. The replayability is there, and the online mode is provided enough to allow us to have fun for a good ten hours without getting bored. Although the game system is slowly falling into place, you will gradually fall into the excitement of a doom-like, with all the possibilities of gameplay available to you as you go.

Small novelty of this spin-off: the possibility of combining two classes to create the ultimate character . The game only gets stronger, despite its admittedly repetitive, but completely addictive gameplay loop. Special mention to the interactive map of the world that allows us to move between all the game areas. Admittedly, this cuts the title’s sustained dynamics, but a little rest in this world of brutes can’t do us any harm.

It is obvious that the game will take its full potential in co-op, with friends or online. There’s even a procedurally-generated dungeon-based post-game to spend dozens of hours looting over and over again, to the delight of all those who enjoyed the main adventure and want more .

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