Tiny Tina Wonderlands - Review, D&D in Borderlands sauce

Author and references

Tiny Tina wonderlands, star of today's review, is a spin-off video game from the famous series of Borderlands, which has always amused a large slice of gamers. Qualitatively valid titles, no doubt, but perhaps Tiny Tina Wonderlands could be considered the least exciting: let's find out the reasons together.

The humorous D&D of Gearbox

When you think of RPGs in modern times, almost only video games of this genre come to mind, at least for younger users, and perhaps not everyone knows concretely what role playing was years and years ago. Before, RPGs were played with paper, pen, dice and a lot of imagination. Players created their own character sheet, with various traits and statistics, and a Master was in charge of carrying out the events and narrative of the ongoing RPG campaign. Tiny Tina Wonderlands starts with the one of an irreverent Dungeon and Dragons-style RPG campaign (D&D for short), the most iconic pen and paper, with Tina to be our Master.

With such a setting, the rule of “everything is worth it” applies, because since everything is the result of a crazy and ironic imagination (like Tina's) then there is really no limit to what can happen and what cannot. We impersonate the Tessifato, incarnation of the classic hero protagonist of a fantasy story, obviously all with a caricature and anything but serious mood. We will not lie, we found the setting and the narrative spirit to be the best elements of Tiny Tina Wonderlands, as we played it for the review, with many moments where we laughed heartily at the absurdity of what we were facing.

The classic Borderlands gameplay

If you've loved Borderlands for its gameplay it's nearly impossible that you won't like Tiny Tina Wonderlands as well. If you've played them all, on the other hand, you may somehow feel the heaviness of the exact same patterns seen and reviewed. If we were to then make a comparison with the latest release, that is Borderlands 3 (here our review), the pace of the game and the design ideas had in Tiny Tina Wonderlands do not really stand up to comparison, and indeed they are nerfed components, always in comparison with the most recent Borderlands, and honestly this thing has us a little off-putting for a whole variety of reasons.

Being Tiny Tina Wonderlands a spin-off also the longevity is that of a project of this type, resulting in significantly less long-lived than Borderlands 3. But it is not a new scenario in fact, so a surprise us more than the total hours of play, it was the how they were filled. When a game lasts less, a greater condensation of the game phases is expected, therefore a more intense and above all diversified experience. None of this can be attributed to Tiny Tina Wonderlands: you never really get the feeling that you are doing something different. The feeling is that of a strong repetition, without real flashes of Level Design or progression that go to renew the interest in the main mechanics.

Regarding the gaming experience, we must also take into account the loot component of this title. The Borderlands are always chock full of loot, it is the series that has brought the L0ot and Shoot genre (Shooter branch) to its highest peak. For the less accustomed, it is a type of Shooter where you get avalanches of new weapons and equipment in general, with different types, damage and effects. Borderlands has always leveraged this concept a lot, to the point that one of the weapons in Borderlands 3 shoots other weapons! Tiny Tina Wonderlands, however, is less interesting, it seems to have the handbrake pulled under the aspect of the loot, also due to a choice of game design in contrast with the past.

Like the Borderlands series, Tiny Tina also has classes, and even in this case we will have to choose one for our character. We cannot express ourselves specifically on the Tiny Tina Wonderlands classes, since we only did one run for this review, however balancing would appear to work as it is. So where is the difference? Simple this time the loot will not be generated automatically based on the player's class, which in the past was very functional to always have useful drops from enemies and bosses. Indeed, it pushed the player more to co-op, because if he is "bound" to one or a maximum of two styles of play, he is more incentivized to play with others, even if only to get duplicated weapons that he would get with much more effort without (if ever). Without this component, being able to obtain everything, it is very difficult for equipment that is really useful for us to be “extracted”. This thing also affects heavily in weapons distributors, where we have almost never found really interesting weapons for our build.

Another big difference lies in the system of surprise: in the game, accuracy is not a parameter, it depends solely on the skills of the player, and on paper it would work. The problem lies in the not having rebalanced weapons accordingly, leaving the characteristics unchanged. The result? Guns with the range of sniper rifles and - albeit obviously with lower damage - with an enormously higher rate of fire. Of Tiny Tina Wonderlands in the review we tried as many weapons as possible to talk about it with knowledge of the facts, but if we had been in a personal and unconstrained run, we would never have used weapons other than pistols: if you are able to aim perpetually at the head , these completely "break" the game, and even playing at maximum difficulty the result is the same. Assault rifles or submachine guns are useful just if you have to shoot a boss in bulk, otherwise there is no comparison with the damage and effectiveness of guns.

Against, the feeling with the controls is great, in some ways it alone is worth the price of the ticket and it was enough to make us carry on the game with pleasure. Both with the pad and with the mouse and keyboard, having played it on PC, we had a great time playing.

Obviously with the mouse you gain precision, but the pad commands are very well calibrated and remain very fluid, responsive and precise. We found it spot on the magic, which act as Equipped secondary skills in addition to the primary one of the class. Even if you do not have to aim for the build of this type, they are very useful even for just rounding off the damage. Magic and weapons coexist very well, alternating them is immediate and does not break the rhythm of the clashes. Solid too the progression system two parallel phases, where you can increase both skills and stats hand in hand, providing great freedom of customization for your build. Nothing revolutionary, mind you, but still perfectly functional. As you progress through the game it is also possible expand their builds, with more slots for weapons and spells, increasing our offensive options. All perfectly in line with the main titles of the series.

The play areas can be reached through a sort of board, where we can move with a miniaturized version of our character. Inside we can also find small explorable places, encounters with random enemies, various types of objects and even some side quests. This is the real and concrete novelty compared to the classic Borderlands, which have always had events and quests in the classic game maps (which we also find in Tiny Tina anyway).

In general, the gameplay of Tiny Tina Wonderlands convinces, especially in terms of feeling, but it is absolutely nothing new. The system is fully taken from that of Borderlands, and it was inevitable as are the various comparisons considering its spin-off nature. Despite this, however, it also shows some setbacks that make the experience less captivating, on all those discussed a little while ago. A good result but nothing excellent.

A technical sector that is not very convincing

When we talk about the technical sector, we do not refer only to graphics, but to all the technical solidity in general and, in both things, and Tiny Tina Wonderlands is not entirely convincing. Graphically obviously we do not aim for realism, with rather the very caricatural cell shading that has always distinguished even the Borderlands. There are design solutions that work very well and others that work a little less, but you go a lot to taste in this case.

What is not questionable is the not very solid technical grip, with some little ones bug scattered from time to time, defects obviously not omnipresent but not rare either. However, we specify that this is not something that leads to the gaming experience to be ruined, there is simply not full solidity. Closing with the audio sector, there are no noteworthy music, if anything, the sound design of environmental noises works very well. Nothing futuristic, but if you play with headphones you always have enough clear where the enemies are coming from, and that's enough for a first person shooter.

Tiny Tina Wonderlands is definitely a particular game, but definitely nothing memorable. A good first-person shooter in terms of pure gameplay, which if it were to be supported in the near future with some rebalancing could also improve. Right now it is especially recommended for those who have already played the other Borderlands, but compared to 3 it is a step backwards.

  • Tiny Tina Wonderlands (Tested on PC) 7.5 Final grade

    Tiny Tina Wonderlands, a spin-off of the Borderlands series, is a video game that fully reproduces what was seen with the main series. Despite good setting ideas and great gameplay, there are various components that have taken a step backwards from the last Borderlands. A good FPS with some interesting twists, but nothing more.

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