Developed By: Studio Koba Published By: Team17 Categories: Adventure, Action, Retro Release Date: 03.30.21
In Narita Boy, you play as a young gamer sucked into the game Nartia Boy, tasked with stopping HIM from deleting the creator’s memories. You’ll go into vast areas, cities, fields, the sea, and of course, the creator’s memories. It’s atmospheric, it’s emotional. It’s a journey.
Narita Boy is kind of a difficult game to properly nail down what it is. It’s an open, explorative platformer, but it’s rather linear. There is also, in this game’s biggest sin, no map. The game is never too open, but not having a map means you can and most likely will walk in circles and not know where to go. That said, the environments never really blend together, so it’s not a case of being lost in samey rooms. Another flaw in exploration comes with certain interactive parts of the environments do blend in, especially climbable parts of walls. It also doesn’t help that the floppies you grab, which act as the keys to get to new areas can look samey, despite their own unique color schemes. With those out of the way, lets discuss the good parts.
Not only is Narita Boy a bit of an adventure, it also has a decent combat system. Your blade, also your gun act as your defense and offense. You only have standard combos, but the further and further you get into the game you get more and more moves to spice up your attacks. Jumping slices, an armor piercing stab, a downward rolling slash.
Certain enemies have a colored flame to them, a powered up version of them. With the power obtained by legends of each of the three colored parts of the world, you can get Wildfire, enhancing your strength and allowing you to just slice right through those stronger enemies. The combat is real satisfying, something games with a heavy focus on action require. Enemies pop, fall apart, and all of it just feels good when fights get as intense as they do. There’s a grand lot of enemies too, by the time you’ll get bored fighting certain ones, more will just pop up.
Narita Boy’s atmosphere, it’s look, it’s music, is all top of the line. Complete 80’s inspiration, but not in the way people who just know about it from a skin deep level. The spritework is phenomenal, the game looks great period. The enemies and environments are full of detail. I mentioned how the enemies can die in gruesome ways, it’s all animated excellently. There’s a lot of particle effects, bloom, and general flairs to make the game look as striking as possible. The music and it’s placement is also fantastic. When fights get bigger and badder, the music reflects. In the emotional segments, it’s reserved, letting you soak in the story. The story, especially about the creator is definitely worth getting invested into as well as you slowly learn about his life.
There’s constantly new mechanics to learn, new enemies, set pieces. The game constantly tries to spice up the experience. A mechsuit, surfing, the boss fights having you mix up everything you’ve learned. I was never bored playing and always wanted to get further and further. There’s good games, and then there are games that draw you in, leaving you with the feeling of wanting more and more, wanting to see where things go, how they go. Wanting to experience more. Narita Boy is that kind of game.
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*Game Download Code supplied for review purposes