Naughty Bear: Panic in Paradise (Xbox 360) review: Naughty Bear: Panic in Paradise (Xbox 360)

The Good The focus on stealing costumes adds a new level of complexity
Tons of gear with stats to choose from

The Bad Repetitive
Frequent crashes

The Bottom Line Naughty Bear might have more ways to kill in Panic in Paradise, but the overall experience is barely more entertaining than the original.

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5.5 Overall

If you weren't expecting the psychotic teddy bear Naughty to make a return after 2010's disappointing Naughty Bear, you're not alone. If anything, his comeback in Panic in Paradise comes as a greater surprise to his legion of fluffy companions, who made the woeful mistake of booking a trip to Paradise Island without inviting Naughty--for what may be obvious reasons. The story never gets any more complex than that, and with that simple premise out of the way, it's not long before Naughty is up to his old tricks, such as ramming the nozzle from a gasoline pump down the throat of one of his cuddly friends and then flicking a burning match on him. Panic in Paradise makes strides toward being more appealing than its forebear, but it ultimately offers more of the same.

Serves you right for leaving your umbrella at home.

Each level still involves stalking ursine bystanders and subjecting them to cruelly detailed punishments with weapons and environmental perils like bamboo sticks. Panic in Paradise aims to enhance the experience with an emphasis on costumes, similar to the Hitman series. Not only do you have the option to sneak up on unsuspecting bears and bash their stuffing out as before, but you can also drag them into nearby woods and steal their duds. It's a smart move that adds some much-needed variety, both in the way specific costumes let you get close to targets without being noticed and the way you can unlock them for further use after completing a level.

Buying costumes piece by piece with the gold you've accumulated from your sprees now determines how quickly you level up. Each costume piece for the slots available for Naughty's head, face, torso, arms, and feet levels separately, and thus you need to switch out maxed items if you want to continue leveling up. The costumes are worthwhile investments in themselves since some grant massive boosts to Naughty's stats, allowing him to withstand a few more hits when his target is surrounded by bears. Naughty's vastly improved arsenal benefits from this system as well, although it's disappointing that many of the weapons use the same animations despite their differing textures. All this takes place in a much larger world than we saw before, complete with a vastly improved camera and 36 new bears to torture spread across 11 separate levels that should last well over 15 hours for completionists.

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