Narita Boy’s slick presentation hooked me earlier than I even picked up my digitized sword. Eighties homages are almost performed out, however Studio Koba’s motion title manages to reinvent that retro type of cool with an imaginative presentation that goes a step additional than “let’s simply slap neon and grid traces all over the place.” Narita Boy’s gameplay doesn’t fairly reside as much as its killer seems to be, however should you can put up with some complications, it winds up being an fulfilling romp.
I can’t stress sufficient how superior Narita Boy’s presentation is. Studio Koba borrows closely from Tron in that your entire recreation is ready inside a pc world generally known as the Digital Kingdom. Your aim: eradicate an evil program and restore the recollections of the Kingdom’s human creator. This monarchy, consisting of a desert kingdom and coastal village, amongst different areas, feels absolutely realized, each in visible design and lore. The synthwave soundtrack rocks, and the CRT-style overlay is the chef’s kiss of the entire bundle. I beloved gawking at Narita Boy’s artwork, and even these missing programming data or nostalgia for the time interval ought to respect the creativity on show, like “what if digital horses had been simply four-legged laptop rigs?”
Narita Boy nearly performs nearly as good because it seems to be. The fight consists largely of satisfying hack n’ slash motion utilizing your legendary sword, however you even have a shotgun facet arm. The shotgun sounds cooler on paper than in apply; I commonly forgot about it because it by no means feels helpful or mandatory. Slaying enemies begins as a primary affair however turns into extra strong, and entertaining, as you unlock new sword assaults and screen-wiping summons. Colour-coded power-ups provide one other cool perk; it permits you to kill enemies of an identical coloration (represented by a flame) extra simply, although on the threat of taking extra injury your self. Better of all, Narita Boy doles out new skills and mechanics till the very finish, together with neat, one-off sequences like piloting a large mech model of your self.
You’ll want all the assistance you will get as a result of Narita Boy isn’t any stroll within the park. The sport boasts a plethora of difficult enemy sorts and has no drawback dumping them throughout gamers, which feels overwhelming at occasions. There’s a enjoyable problem in determining how you can use your arsenal of strikes to take down combos of vastly totally different opponents however just a few of the enemy sorts are a flat-out ache to struggle. For instance, an armored foe with a nigh-impassable protect was by no means enjoyable to take care of, and I at all times groaned when it appeared. The worst half about getting your pixelated butt handed to you’re the inconsistent checkpoints that really feel nearly arbitrary. Some begin you near the place you died, however too usually are you kicked again additional than you’d anticipate.
Fight isn’t good however presents time general. I want I might say the identical for the platforming. Leaping feels stiff, slippery, and floaty . I’d usually land on a ledge just for the delicate motion to take me over it. Leaping wall to wall can take a number of makes an attempt because of how wood your character feels. Upgrades like a rising sword assault/high-jump doesn’t really feel satisfying since you possibly can’t use it as an precise double-jump and hitting the Up and assault buttons on the identical time is hard to drag off in hectic eventualities.
It wouldn’t be so unhealthy if the sport was largely motion with primary platforming, however Narita Boy falters by routinely introducing impediment programs it doesn’t really feel geared up for. Using atop a pc horse sounds nice till you’re crashing by spikes you possibly can’t reliably dodge due to your character’s deliberate animations. The identical is true of browsing atop a large floppy disk; it’s superior in idea, much less so in execution. This turns into particularly irritating in fight. One boss lobs power cubes that require exact dodging; I crashed by half of them, and my survival boiled all the way down to having sufficient hit factors to soak up the onslaught.
Nonetheless, as a lot as I didn’t like gingerly hopping throughout platforms and would yell “come on!” after failing one other troublesome fight enviornment, I couldn’t assist however fall in love with Narita Boy’s type as soon as the mud settled. I like each inch of its splendidly designed world, and the gameplay is nice sufficient to hold the journey. In a approach, it’s like booting up an outdated laptop. When you can put up with the cumbersome interface and a few outdated design, there’s a magnificence and appreciation in the way it nonetheless manages to get the job achieved.