Tiny Tina's Wonderlands - Before You Buy

Tiny Tina's Wonderlands - before you buy wonderlands

we're back with another episode of the Before You Buy That Show where we give you some straight-up gameplay and our first impressions of the latest games released, and, as usual, it's me. Jake here, and we've been really busy around here because today we're going to talk about Tiny Tina's wonderlands.

Now it's essentially a Borderlands game dropped onto a fake fantasy Dungeons and Dragons tabletop game, with the Borderlands character Tiny Tina serving as the DM. It's just her weird world and you're just playing in it, and I came away pretty surprised on this one. Let's jump in now. This footage is spoiler free, so you know for me personally, I'm a casual Borderlands fan.

I thought three was a nice update with a story and vibe I didn't really care about, but I liked the gameplay. Ultimately, Borderlands 2 is still my favorite. I didn't have crazy high expectations for Tiny Tina's Wonderland or anything, but I came away really enjoying it. I think it's a good breath of fresh air for the franchise, as cliche as that sounds.

Tiny Tina's Wonderlands - borderlands 2022

It's a little bit of a hot mess in spots, and it doesn't like blow me away or anything, but I had a lot of fun playing this one and have easily sunk tons of hours into it now right from the start. One of the big wins for me is the fact that you create your own character. You don't choose a set of characters.

It's not just like pre-selecting, and I was really happy to see a lot of options, including And then there are like a bunch of classes to choose from, six I believe, and they all have their own special passive and active abilities and bonuses that seem fairly unique, and then you choose a character background with some stat presets and you go from there, leveling up and dumping points into strength, dexterity, intelligence, and traditional RPG stuff like that gives you, say, critical hit chance bonuses, health and shield stuff, faster cooldowns, you know.

Borderlands It's a good mix. It works pretty well translated. The game is leveling up really nicely, like genuine, good-old-fashioned RPG character building and growing feels good here now. The actual gameplay itself is a new kind of update faster than Borderlands. 3 shooting and sliding with some new twists.

Tiny Tina's Wonderlands - borderlands tiny tina

Now, shooting and aiming feel as good as expected on PC mouse, keyboard, and controller, with it being zippy and reactive with good feedback despite the various different weapon types. The weapons themselves are pretty cool. It's still Borderlands, so there's a big focus on guns, but they feel less sci-fi overall.

At times, they feel more like over the top magic, fantasy, or medieval. There are a lot of crossbow-style weapons of various different shapes and sizes, but plenty of weird shotguns and machine guns that still go bang now. Like I said, they usually have a bit more of a magical or fantasy twist to them, and sometimes it takes a second to figure out if a gun is a shotgun or a long range rifle or whatever, but it just kind of adds a fun element.

In this new little level of discovery, in the endless weapon loop, you know there are still category manufacturers. I just had fun picking up new guns, which is like the whole point of Borderlands. Along with that, there's a dedicated melee weapon, and you can really kind of lean into that as a build.

Tiny Tina's Wonderlands - gameplay

Although the melee itself is really just clicking the stick or pressing a key to slash, there's not much to it. I wish there was a bit more to it. I actually found that a little bit disappointing, but it still has some stats behind it. Having different weapons to pick up for it and different swinging speeds is pretty cool.

It's a good changeup. Along with that, the magic and casting are great. It shakes itself out of the Borderlands framework a little bit with a couple of magic abilities that just really impressed me. I loved leaning into those abilities in my build and picking up new spells and things to test out.

The game encourages it too. So you're not always shooting, you're also doing these crazy things pretty consistently in any type of fire fight, and I really think Totino's tops that like a looter shooter addiction, but the new presentation and spin really helped sell me on falling back into it. You know, endlessly scrounging for loot, weapons, spell abilities, and even armor.

Tiny Tina's Wonderlands - gameranx

The actual menu screens for the loot, however, are like really freaking messy there. There are a few glitches with it here and there, and it all just feels cluttered, and navigating it even with a mouse feels impossible. It's usually really old and unintuitive. I don't really give a damn, but it's a game where you spend a lot of time looking at and pondering over stats and tossing things in and swapping things, so it does make a difference that the menu and layouts are kind of annoying.

The same goes for the map. It's pretty rough. But speaking of maps, the game structure is pretty cool. There's a top-down overworld where you go from location to location now. You can find side quests in this overworld you can explore. After a bit and getting more loot, you can come back to spots and turn in quests.

Tiny Tina's Wonderlands - new borderlands

Later, you can unlock shortcuts. Also, there are actually patches of grass that you can walk through that act like triggers and load you into a random enemy battle. I was really into that. You know, from the Overworld you can load into bigger areas and engage in the full 3D missions and regular exploration stuff, but I really like this Overworld thing.

It's charming and simple and does a good job of helping keep the game really focused while also being a bit charming and endearing at the same time. It basically proves that they really committed to the bit, and I got 'em to commend them for that. The actual missions themselves are your typical Borderlands fare, but with a fantasy twist.

An area will transform or something funny will happen, and it all works really well thanks to the supporting cast chatting to you while you're questing. Andy Sandberg as Valentine is decent. Wanda Sykes has some really good moments. I like her as kind of a cartoon voice actor these days, and Will Arnett as the bad guy totally works.

Tiny Tina's Wonderlands - tiny tina before you buy

I was really entertained. I think Tiny Tim's Wonderland's made up for the weak villains from Borderlands 3 big time now. The actual humor and writing is completely subjective. It's down to personal taste, so take that for what you will. People will either love Borderlands' writing or find it completely grating and annoying.

Tiny Tina's Wonderlands PC, PS5, PS4, Xbox Series XSOne is a Borderlands spinoff with a fantasy twist.
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