Sorry y’all, I know I’m a bit tardy to the party. But better late than never! If you’re a fan of the Borderlands series, you’re familiar with Tiny Tina. She became a fan favorite in Borderlands 2 and her DLC: Tiny Tina’s Assault on Dragon Keep. Tiny Tina’s Wonderland is an expansion on the idea of her playing their version of Dungeons and Dragons into a full-blown game. I wasn’t sure what to expect when I picked up my controller, but what I got was WAY more D&D than I expected and I must say, they made it work.
You Got Your Table Top RPG in my Shooter Looter
The in-world D&D, called Bunkers & Badasses, is a welcome addition to the Borderlands formula. Here are still the tons upon tons of unique guns to find and added are magic spells and new class abilities. Crafting your character felt truly in-depth for the first time in the series. Seriously, I took about an hour just rolling up my character. The magic helps vary up the different play styles especially with bullet sponge bosses. It keeps things from getting old too quickly, but that also depends on which class you decide to roll up. Unfortunately, some classes are a little underwhelming and a little boring. Even so, it’s varied enough to want to try them all and figure out which one works best for you. Yes, it’s a bit basic, but I really enjoyed the Spellshot + Graveborn combination.
Another new addition is the tabletop style overworld. It’s fun to see your little character figure running around the map littered in cheesy puffs and empty soda cans. It shakes up the formula of “Go here, talk to them, kills tons of people” but not by much. Of course the standard Borderlands formula is definitely still here and strong, for better or for worse. And even though the story itself isn’t anything to write home about, it’s the humor that keeps the whole thing from sinking.
The Roleplay is on Point
Returning for the titular Tiny Tina is Ashly Burch and she is as funny as ever. The way she plays this manic, yet lovable character has me in awe. As for newcomers, there’s Will Arnett as the BBEG (Big Bad Evil Guy) Dragon Lord, Wanda Sykes is the battle hungry Frette, and Andy Samberg as the dorky but earnest Valentine. Everyone really brings their acting chops to the forefront in Tiny Tina’s Wonderland. The absurdist comedy and geeky culture references wouldn’t work if it wasn’t for the delivery of these comedy veterans. Honestly, I love the humor…but I also understand it’s not for everyone.
What’s Old is Still Old
Even with all the additions and changes, this is still very much firmly a Borderlands game. And whether or not that’s a good thing depends entirely on the player. The writing is still that Borderlands humor, there are still thousands of randomly generated guns with crazy perks to hunt for, and even with magic the gameplay is very much the same. You go from place-to-place fighting ever stronger enemies that level with you and at 20+ hours, it can get a little monotonous.
If you’re a long-time fan of Borderlands and are still enjoying the series, I think you’ll love it. Finding that right character class you love and getting that rare drop will still give you the rush of endorphins you’re looking for. Along with that, there’s enough new additions and humor you’ve come to love to scratch the Borderlands itch. Big however though, if you’ve been waning or have completely fallen off the psycho hype train, this isn’t the game that’ll get you back on the pandoracorn. And if you don’t like Tiny Tina, then Tiny Tina’s Wonderland definitely isn’t the one for you.