Some games look just plain awful. However, Epic Dumpster Bear's unexpectedly tight 2D platforming gameplay is actually quite impressive. So, get your head out of the dumpster and let's carry out some grizzly vengeance.
Epic Dumpster Bear stars a disenfranchised bear who's forced to leave his home by an evil corporation and therefore has to eat out of dumpsters. Honestly, I don't understand it completely, but I'm almost certain it's nothing but a big pile of nonsense. Now that I bring it up, I sure hope the developers created this game as a joke. If so then they're geniuses because it's one of the funniest games that I've ever played in my life. If not, well... let's just say that I hope they're taking their medications. Anyway, the graphics are simply awful but that makes it all the more ridiculous. You'll come across enemies such as drones carrying cows, bees that are four times the size of the bear, and crocodiles that emerge from barrels. Nothing fits into the game world and as you listen to the absurdly upbeat music, it all makes sense. Overall, I haven't laughed this much playing a game in a long time yet I can't help but feel a little worried about the developers' sanity.
When it comes to gameplay, you control the bear a lot like Mario or Sonic. You hold a button to run and push another to jump which is basically what you'll do most of the time. However, some portions allow you to throw bombs or use the GamePad to control parts of the stage. While you jump on enemies' heads and grind on rails, you'll realise that there's a lot of fun to be had here. It's rather surprising how tight the controls are and how satisfying it is to complete the campaign's many challenging levels. Upon completing a stage, you fall down onto a target and are rewarded points according to how centered the bear lands. This is silly on its own but when you look at the seemingly lifeless bear after he lands, how could you not laugh? The solid platforming with sprinkles of unique moments that feature different mechanics such as the boss fights adds up to one impressive adventure.
The campaign boasts a handful of worlds with seven main stages in each and oodles of bonus ones to unlock. Merely completing each stage won't be enough for perfectionists because collecting all of the red coins and trying to get a perfect rating on every target mini-game is quite the endeavor. Doing so will award the bear with more salmon which act like Super Mario 64's stars. The campaign gets very challenging and you can only take two hits before you meet your demise. That being said, you can spend 50 coins to retry with an extra hit point. In the end, you'll likely play for hours trying to master Epic Dumpster Bear's lengthy and tough campaign.
Obviously, Epic Dumpster Bear has its problems. The most frustrating of which is that one-hit deaths are frequently unfair. For starters, you can't pan the camera so when you descend part of a stage and accidentally fall into a bottomless pit, it's hard not to throw your controller. Also, a pet peeve of mine is when games repeat sections of stages just to lengthen them. After I make a tricky jump and avoid a tough enemy, I don't want to do it again a few more times back-to-back. This doesn't happen constantly, but it occurred often enough that I got annoyed. Finally, I've already mentioned that the graphics are (hopefully on purpose) very bad. Although Epic Dumpster Bear is undeniably funny, it's frankly hard on the eyes at times.
Epic Dumpster Bear may be a joke but it's one that's actually very funny and features some tight gameplay. Although he has his shortcomings, you can't go wrong by inviting this down-on-his-luck bear into your home.
- + Ridiculous premise is absolutely hilarious
- + Surprisingly solid 2D platform gameplay with many stand-out moments
- + Lengthy campaign plus lots of bonus stages
- - Pitfalls can be downright unfair
- - Whether they're funny or not, the poor quality visuals are hard to look at
- - Many sections are repeated too often