A Critical Appraisal of Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands: More Borderlands, Whether for the Better or the Worse
Tiny tinas wonderlands review: If the idea of “What if Borderlands, but D&D Borderlands!” seems disturbingly familiar, that’s because it is. The two ideas are essentially the same.
This is a practically direct sequel, taking place not too much longer after the events of Tiny Tina’s Assault on Dragon Keep, which was a piece of downloadable content for Borderlands 2 constructed around the same concept.
In point of fact, Tiny Tina’s Assault on Dragon Keep: A Wonderland’s One-Shot Adventure, which is a re-release of the original Assault on Dragon Keep, was just recently made available as a stand-alone video game. It doesn’t really important because you don’t have to play it in order to better understand what’s going on.
Available on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and Microsoft Windows
Reviewed On: PC
Designed and Created by: Gearbox
Originally Published By: 2K
Speaking of which, let’s talk about the basic premise of the game: Tiny Tina, two of her friends named Valentine and Frett, and your own character have crash-landed on a planet.
While they wait for rescue, Tiny Tina decides to bust out Bunkers & Badasses, a roleplaying fantasy game that just so happens to feature a lot of guns.
While playing the game, Tiny Tina, Valentine, Frett, and your character all become involved in various Tina, who plays the role of the nameless rookie, makes the decision that you will have your very own awesome campaign to participate in.
In this campaign, you will be pitted against the evil Dragon Lord, who is voiced by the incredible Will Arnett, who provided Batman’s voice in the Lego Batman movie. How do we know that he is a bad guy? So, he lops off the head of Queen Butt Stallion, the most magnificent, most spectacular, and most gorgeous diamond pony in the entire planet. Evidently, the jackass needs to meet his maker.
It didn’t take me long to realize that Wonderlands didn’t have the same kind of edgy and dark humor as its predecessor, Borderlands, because it avoided the kinds of topics that the Borderlands brand is known for delving into.
Behind all of the fart jokes and outlandish antics in Borderlands lies a serious sense of humor that has always been present. Tiny Tina is a great example of this because she was a severely damaged child who had been through a great deal of adversity in her life and as a result, she ended up dealing with it by inventing a crazy persona for herself.
Despite the crude nature of the jokes, there is not a single fuck, bitch, or bastard to be found in Wonderlands, and the more tragic aspects of Tiny Tina have been pushed further and further into the background over the course of the years.
Because of this, despite the fact that all of the previous Borderlands games have been given the Mature classification, Wonderlands has been given the Teen rating.
Let’s be honest here: a game’s writing and humor won’t magically transform just because it has a different age rating. Being rated Mature does not mean that Wonderlands is funnier than it already is; rather, it indicates that the jokes are more…constrained.
The authors make light of it on multiple occasions, such as when they quip that the hundreds of pirates you face off against drink soda rather than rum. This is a far more enticing game for a younger population due to the gentler jokes and barbs, as well as the bright, cheery settings, and the spectacular craziness of Tiny Tina.
Consequently, with that in mind, I do comprehend the shift. However, as a long-time fan of Borderlands, I did find that I missed the adult jokes and the dark comedy. My appreciation for Borderlands stems in large part from the fact that it is an offensive and nasty game.
However, the good news is that despite being handcuffed by the rating, the writing is much stronger than the cringe-inducing attempts that were made in Borderlands 3, although it’s still a long way from the highs that were reached in Borderlands 2.
The atmosphere is light-hearted and enjoyable, and the majority of the jokes are funny; however, much like in the third game, you get the impression that the writers are just throwing joke after joke at you without giving you any space to catch your breath in between each one.
It is a reference heavy story, as well, managing to fit in subtle and not-so-subtle nods to just about everything, from the Monkey Island games to various role-playing tropes. It is also a story that is heavily based on role-playing games. In point of fact, it relies on it far too heavily, seemingly forgetting that referencing something is not funny in and of itself.
Tiny Tina is performing at her absolute best as the wacky, unpredictable, and obnoxious Bunker Master. The voice of Tina is once again provided by Ashley Birch, and the differencebetween her role as Aloy in Horizon: Forbidden West, which was rather one-dimensional, and this one is absolutely astronomical.
She gives her all when voicing Tina, and if I hadn’t known that it was the same actress doing both characters, I never would have been able to guess that they were voiced by the same person. She is that good.
Tina is likely to continue to polarize opinions just as she always has. Her zany antics, her general loudness, and her habit of ending every sentence with a YELL can either be extremely endearing and fun, or they can be bloody annoying. Her voice is a constant companion in her role as the Bunker Master, guiding you through quests and even altering the entire world in front of your very eyes on occasion.
If you found her to be incredibly irritating in previous games, you may want to avoid playing Wonderlands entirely, or at the very least, turn the volume down. This game, on the other hand, is perfect for you if you are one of the many people who found her particular brand of insanity to be fascinating.
Both Valentine and Frett are satirical representations of Dungeons & Dragons (D&D) players, and they play a reasonable supporting role in the story. Valentine isn’t the brightest tool in the shed, but he has a tendency to be directed by his emotions, in contrast to Frett the Robot, who is a stickler for the rules.
Valentine loves the concept of getting to be a hero, but he isn’t the sharpest tool in the shed. There is a fun subplot about these two coming to terms with their two very different play styles, which teaches a valuable lesson that all D&D players could benefit from remembering: there are times for following the rules, and there are times for going with the flow.
I had a good time with Wonderland’s story in general, and I particularly enjoyed the Dragon Lord, who is given a satisfactory amount of dialogue and a comprehensive backstory. It is clear that Will Arnett is having a great time voicing the character, and this can be heard in each and every one of his lines.
When I say that the story does what it needs to do, what I mean is that it provides a basic narrative excuse for everything and elicits a couple of laughs, like when Torgue literally blows up the entire ocean. What I’m trying to say is that the story does what it needs to do.
The premise of Dungeons & Dragons appears to have been a boon for the artists and animators who have exercised their creative muscles and rummaged through the coloring box. The settings are filled with vivid, deep colors and feature some seriously cool views, such as shattered pirate ships or villages that have been transported to great heights by a magic beanstalk.
In addition to some entertaining foes, the levels feature a wealth of aesthetically pleasing details to discover. Having said that, the enemy variety is a little low for the size of the game, with basic skeletons constituting the majority of the game’s content.
My Ryzen 3600 processor and my GTX 1080 Ti graphics card, both of which are getting on in years but are still more than capable, delivered mostly consistent performance throughout. I had everything ramped up to the max and didn’t notice any major framerate drops.
My only problem was stuttering in windowed mode, which the game would occasionally and at random switch to when I first loaded it up. Other than that, the game ran smoothly.
In spite of the fact that the Borderlands name is not included in the game’s title and that a thick layer of D&D coating is present, this is a Borderlands game all the way through, which ultimately ends up being just as much of a limitation as it is a benefit.
On the one hand, shooting is still a ton of fun, and the guns have a fantastic weight and balance in the hand. Cannon fodder in the form of legions upon legions of skeletons, pirates, and other enemies will joyfully charge at you with all the intelligence of a goldfish attempting to solve a math problem.
These enemies are eager to be gunned down amidst a barrage of colors, explosions, and special abilities. There are still untold quantities of firearms to scavenge and obsess over. There are still a ton of references to popular culture, stupid jokes, and randomness throughout.
It was a little disappointing to me that Gearbox chose to stick to their guns despite the abundance of fantasy tropes in the game. In point of fact, quite literally. The majority of your fights will be fought with either an assault rifle or a shotgun, despite the fact that you might face goblins, climb beanstalks, and engage in a conflict with an evil Dragon Lord.
I think there was a lot more room for Gearbox to get creative and lean into the fantasy aspect more, rather than sticking with the franchise’s usual fare, and a few weapons get slightly dressed up, like how pistols will have crossbow parts or how a shotgun has a bubbling cauldron of crystals.
However, a few weapons get slightly dressed up, like how pistols will have crossbow parts. A trebuchet that can be held in one’s hand and that throws flails, perhaps?
Regardless, using the guns is always a delight, and there is a fair variety of them. There is still no way to improve a weapon, which means that if you find something you love, it will invariably end up in the trash after an hour or two.
On the other hand, there are so many different gun variations being thrown at your face that you will invariably find something else to fill the yawning void in your soul. Then, taking that boom-stick and utilizing it to mow down stupid foes is cathartic and quick joy to do so.
By using spells rather than grenades, the new spell system is able to introduce some variety into the game. Due to the fact that this is a D&D reskin, you will have the opportunity to acquire a diverse selection of magical spells, such as meteoric fireballs and powerful auras.
It’s not like these contribute much to the game mechanically – it’s just another power with a cooldown – but casting spells is still really fun, and when combined with your class ability, it provides you with a lot of things to keep you busy. If you go with a class that focuses on spellcasting, you’ll be able to cast magic extremely swiftly and will even have the ability to equip two spells at once.
In reference to the class system, this aspect of the game has also undergone some welcome revisions, the most significant of which is that you are no longer required to choose a predetermined character with a predetermined class.
You have a choice between six different classes when you first make your character, but later on, you’ll have the opportunity to take on a second class as well.
It is not feasible to gain enough skill points to max out both skill trees at the same time, but it is a lot of fun to switch up your class and choose which powers work with the best.
And then, when you’re getting close to the finish of the story, you’ll have the option to change the secondary skill tree whenever you like, giving you some leeway to experiment.
This adjustment to the system is one of my favorites because it paves the way for a lot more experimentation and a wider variety of playstyles.
For example, you can choose to focus on your companion dealing more damage, you can choose to buff spells, or you can choose to chase elemental damage. All of these options are valid.
The melee also receives some more attention as a result of this. You can now acquire new swords, hammers, and axes, each of which has its own statistics and special bonuses. In addition, the skill trees offer a variety of perks that will make it easier for you to bash your foes in the face. As far as I can tell, it is not impossible to make progress toward a build that is focused entirely on melee combat.
However, that would be a dull way to play because there is only one button for hitting things. As a result, doing that for more than 15 hours is probably going to become as monotonous as Kim Kardashian’s personality. Why would you want to do that in a franchise that’s built around stockpiling weapons like some sort of militaristic dragon? Besides that.
The barebones mission design is exactly the same as what we saw in the first game, and it has barely changed in the years since then, which is probably the biggest problem with adhering so closely to the established Borderlands template.
It’s a little disheartening that Gearbox hasn’t changed the way that they design quests, because after so many games, we’re still required to run around, endlessly shoot enemies and pick up items while a character narrates at you over the radio.
There is a terrific moment in which Tiny Tina is attempting to rush through a mission while Valentine and Frett keep getting sidetracked by an irrelevant NPC while Tina’s anger level continues to rise.
The writing team tries a lot to hide the quests with interesting themes or ideas. These moments are wonderful, and in fact, the vast majority of the side quests are worthwhile, but I did found that I was growing weary of the game’s fundamental framework because it remained the same the entire time.
However, there are none of the creative set pieces or twists that could have gone a long way toward maintaining a sensation that everything is new and interesting. Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands left me with the impression that I had a good time playing it, but I am unable to recall any particular moments from my time spent with the game.
To continue with the Dungeons & Dragons motif, there is an exciting new overworld for players to explore, which links all of the quests together. There are shortcuts to unlock, and even a few skills that allow you to go back and explore new places or go to the unique Loot Dice that boost your chances of discovering valuable gear.
Your character will become a bobble-headed version of yourself. A significant portion of the overworld side objectives entail participating in the newly added Combat Encounters.
These are self-contained arenas that are brimming with foes to battle, and they practically condense the entirety of the Borderlands experience into a handful of rounds of combat.
I also really dig some of the smaller overworld aspects, like as the fallen Cheetos that act as walls or the soda rivers; these help sell the impression that the overworld is a real Dungeons & Dragons map, which is one of my favorite things about the game.
Even if it can’t be stated that the overworld contributes much to the game in and of itself – after all, it’s just a hub world with a different camera angle – I still enjoyed its inclusion for what it was.
Shooting and looting are the foundations around which Borderlands was created. The first game made the promise of millions upon millions of guns, and since then, that number has only increased thanks to the game’s ability to piece together different components to form new pieces of weaponry that can shoot bullets.
The majority of the time, this will result in minute changes to a character’s statistics or effects related to a particular element; however, on occasion, it will produce awesomely bizarre outcomes.
There are also the one-of-a-kind Legendary artifacts, such as a Banshee blade that screams when it is swung or the Queen’s Crey, which can call out icy meteors.
Finding valuable loot, discovering slightly better gear that matches your build, and experiencing the excitement of a Legendary item appearing from a chest are all as gratifying, exciting, and addictive as they have always been.
Even though I absolutely like the rainbow showers of weapons, armor, spells, and trinkets that Borderlands has to offer at this time, I have to confess that the game may have gone a little bit too far with this aspect of the game.
With the addition of new spells, armor, and cosmetics that may be looted, there is likely more gear than ever before flowing out of opponents and chests alike. Each piece of gear offers minuscule percentage variances and the most minute of adjustments.
Because there was so much to go through, I realized that I was fast dismissing practically all of it, pausing only to explore purples and legendaries, with the occasional blue thrown in for good measure.
The remainder was left on the ground, where it remained until it was picked up and flung away like a handful of Skittles that had been dropped carelessly.
I have no doubt that there will be some die-hard fans who will go through each and every drop, but I think the ordinary person will be like me and disregard the most of it in order to avoid wasting dozens upon dozens of hours of their lives sorting through pointless nonsense.
It’s possible that by making this comment, I’ll find myself in the minority, but I think Gearbox needs to dial back the amount of loot a little bit so that it starts to feel as essential as it once did.
I also dislike the way the game handles the customization of appearance. It’s nice that different patterns and colors are continuously being dropped by foes for your personalized character to employ. If you don’t remember to go in and open them up, though, they will continue to take up space in your inventory, which can be a nuisance.
In addition, you are unable to sell duplicate cosmetics, which means that they will continue to take up space until they are finally discarded.
It’s a silly bit of game design that wastes crucial inventory space in a game that’s all about snatching things up like a raging vacuum cleaner, so it makes no sense. The obvious answer is to simply incorporate cosmetics into your existing collection; this is the easiest way. Simple.
The primary objective of the game should take you between five and ten hours to complete, but if you want to complete all of the optional missions and challenges that are dispersed over the overworld and larger places, you should plan on spending at least twice as much time on it.
After that objective has been accomplished, there is a large portion of the game’s conclusion for you to complete before you can move on to the battles in the Chaos Chamber.
You will engage in a series of arena battles against a variety of foes, and in between bouts, you will have the opportunity to acquire either curses or blessings.Along the journey, a money is gained that can be spent to get loot, and along with it comes new forms of equipment that have not been seen in any other part of the game.
It’s a good method to get a little bit more time out of the game, and it’s easy to imagine some players spending a significant amount of time trying to get the game’s rarest stuff.
If you like Borderlands then Tiny Tina’s wonderlands is the finest one since Borderlands 2. Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands is something you should steer clear of if you aren’t a fan of Borderlands or have become bored with the gameplay it offers.
I am fully aware that it is a cop-out to suggest that you will enjoy something if you enjoyed a previous iteration of the same item. It is a low cost. It is still still the case, and especially so in a series that continues to adhere extremely closely to the fundamental design tenets it established in the beginning.
I do believe that Gearbox needs to start truly considering where they want to take the series at this point, but I can’t lie and say that I won’t still show up for another sequel even if it hasn’t changed much.