Review: Bang-On Balls: Chronicles – Gorgeous Level Design Combined with Stellar Gameplay Mechanics

Review: Bang-On Balls: Chronicles

Developed by Exit Plan Games and published by Untold Tales, Bang-On Balls: Chronicles was originally released back in 2021 however, the game is now arriving on the current-gen consoles taking full advantage of the advanced power offered by both PS5 and Xbox Series X|S. We did not get a chance to review its release back then however with its new update coming out, we decided that it was the perfect time to jump into the game and see what the hype is all about. The current-gen update promises 60 FPS with 4K gameplay on the PS5 and we certainly got to experience this during our review. This is our review of Bang-On Balls: Chronicles on the PS5 in which we slam into some bosses and explore gorgeous sandbox worlds.

In Bang-On Balls: Chronicles, you will choose and enter different worlds from the main hub area which is actually a Hollywood set with tons of other Balls present doing their own tasks. You will complete a basic training course here which will teach you about jumping, dashing, moving around, and completing different objectives in the game. Once you are up-to-speed, you are given a free hand to either explore this hub for different secrets and collectibles or use one of the portals to arrive in different themed worlds and explore them. Each of these portals takes you to a completely different and huge sandbox world and each of them is based around a separate theme. For example, there is a pirate-themed level, a rocket-launch-themed NASA level, and a lot of other cool levels that are just filled with activities for you to perform.

Review: Bang-On Balls: Chronicles

After arriving at a level, you get your first set of objectives like in the NASA level, the whole level consists of different buildings like Fuel Station, Communications Center, and more. As you continue to explore and complete objectives, you move to the next area of the same level, and this continues until you meet the final boss and defeat them to complete all of the objectives and arrive back in the central hub. However, these are not some small levels where you just keep following a small path and complete objectives.

Each of these levels feels like a different world because they are massive sandboxes filled with different enemies, activities, and cool stuff for you to explore. You can roam around destroying everything that comes in your way and taking out enemies. There are different collectibles and some puzzles thrown in the mix as well. Completing objectives unlocks more parts of the same world so once you enter a world, you have tons of stuff to do before completing it.

Review: Bang-On Balls: Chronicles

However, this is the beauty of Bang-On Balls: Chronicles. If you want to rush through each level and complete objectives quickly, you can certainly do that however you would be missing all of the fun the game offers if you just rush through it. The main fun aspect of Bang-On Balls: Chronicles is actually spending time on each level and exploring every nook and cranny in them. It is a collectathon and while most items are just optional and you can easily skip them, but finding them is a reward and the cool visual customization options are worth alone spending all that extra time in each level. The game also features drop-in co-op so your friends and family can join in at any time in a level whether on the same console or online. The game is equally fun online as it is offline.

Once you are satisfied with your exploration and collection, you can focus on the objectives, wrap up anything that you may have missed, and face off with the final boss. Once defeated, you can move on to the next level. These beautiful worlds are made accessible thanks to the solid gameplay mechanics that Bang-On Balls: Chronicles offers. For combat and moving around, you press R2 which is your dash and you take out enemies with it as well. You have a double jump which can be combined with the dash for platforming and finally, you have a shield that allows you to block incoming attacks. The gameplay is absolutely killer because you can smash through nearly everything and the combat can sometimes become total chaos since dashing into other enemy balls makes them fly off as well. You can dash into barrels to launch them into your enemies for an explosive finish or you can launch enemies into depths to kill them. The options are unlimited.

For platforming sections and puzzle solving, you have to find and smash into giant glowing red buttons which activate machines, open doors, and allow you to progress in the game. You can also jump and smash onto the ground to kill enemies and press buttons. All of these moves can be combined in combat scenarios as well as platforming and puzzle-solving so you can easily remember the controls without getting confused at any time. The best bit is that the game handles everything perfectly and there is not a single issue with combat, movement, or technical. In certain situations, I witnessed absolute chaos on the screen and the game handled everything exceptionally well even in 4K.

The level of destruction featured in Bang-On Balls: Chronicles reminded me of different LEGO sandbox titles that I have played in the past because as far as I can remember, apart from the foundational structures, you can slam into and destroy everything. Walls, bins, boxes, glass windows, a multitude of vehicles, greenery, and whatever comes your way. You can also use the environments to your advantage to kill your enemies in spectacular ways. The level of chaos mostly is on another level especially when you pick up the Star power-up and you become supersized. You can roll over everything that comes your way and bulldoze them. This is insanely fun and one of the best bits of gameplay. The enemy designs are pretty cool too and depending on the location, each of them is dressed appropriately as well. You can defeat the bigger ones and get their costumes to add them to your collection.

Review: Bang-On Balls: Chronicles

Probably the most notable upgrade is in the form of 4K visuals and 60 FPS gameplay. Bang-On Balls: Chronicles was a beautiful game right from the start but with this free upgrade in place, you can now fully harness the power of your current-generation hardware. For us, playing this game in 4K with buttery 60 FPS is nothing but great. The levels look amazing on a good 4K screen, and it makes you even more immersed in the gameplay. This game never disappointed when it came to its fun-filled themed levels and gameplay mechanics because they always felt right up to the far but now you have the best available visuals to experience them in as well. One missed opportunity by the developer is not using the haptic feedback or adaptive triggers but then again, not a lot of developers incorporate these features in their next-gen upgrades so this one is no different.

To me, Bang-On Balls: Chronicles is a reminder of early LEGO titles like LEGO Batman. Those LEGO titles featured open sandbox-like levels where nearly everything you came across was breakable and you had the freedom of roaming around or completing the main objectives. You can spend a lot of time in Bang-On Balls: Chronicles just exploring the level, trying to find as many secrets and collecting as many points as possible. You can defeat different enemies, pick up superpowers, and collect different cosmetic items to customize your ball. The gameplay is just bonkers as no matter how big the enemy is, you can just spam attack them and turn them into powder by smashing continuously in them. This results in some hilarious scenarios as well especially if you are playing with your friends or family. It feels perfect in every way, and this is what a video game should be like entertaining, gorgeous looking, and crisp controls.

Final Verdict:

Bang-On Balls: Chronicles is a must-have game for all PS5 owners because it takes you back to the PS1 era when we used to have simple platforming games with open sandbox worlds like Ratchet & Clank, Spyro the Dragon, and similar titles. It offers a charmful world, combined with solid gameplay mechanics and no-brainer puzzles that suit players of every age and skill level. You do not need to think about playing this game, and anyone can just pick up a controller and join in the fun. If you miss the nostalgic open-world sandbox gameplay of those early PS1 titles, Bang-On Balls: Chronicles is here with its gorgeous level design and visuals and stellar gameplay mechanics to keep you entertained for hours. If you own a PS5, you must give this game a shot because, with the next-gen upgrade, you can now watch the destruction in silky smooth frames in the best possible resolution.

Final Score: 9.5/10

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About the Author: Umair Khalid

Founder of GamesHedge, Umair enjoys a wide variety of video games ranging from RPGs to racing games. Currently busy with The Crew Motorfest and Way of the Hunter.

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