Narita Boy’s slick presentation hooked me earlier than I even picked up my digitized sword. 1980s homages are practically performed out, however Studio Koba’s motion title manages to reinvent that retro model 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 stay as much as its killer seems, however if you happen to can put up with some complications, it winds up being an gratifying 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 about inside a pc world often known as the Digital Kingdom. Your purpose: eradicate an evil program and restore the reminiscences of the Kingdom’s human creator. This monarchy, consisting of a desert kingdom and coastal village, amongst different places, feels totally 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 liked gawking at Narita Boy’s artwork, and even these missing programming data or nostalgia for the time interval ought to admire the creativity on show, like “what if digital horses have been simply four-legged pc rigs?”
Narita Boy virtually performs pretty much as good because it seems. 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 frequently forgot about it because it by no means feels helpful or vital. Slaying enemies begins as a primary affair however turns into extra strong, and entertaining, as you unlock new sword assaults and screen-wiping summons. Shade-coded power-ups supply one other cool perk; it allows you to kill enemies of an identical colour (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 is not 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 instances. There’s a enjoyable problem in determining the right way to use your arsenal of strikes to take down mixtures of vastly totally different opponents however a couple of of the enemy sorts are a flat-out ache to combat. For instance, an armored foe with a nigh-impassable protect was by no means enjoyable to take care of, and I all the time groaned when it appeared. The worst half about getting your pixelated butt handed to you’re the inconsistent checkpoints that really feel virtually arbitrary. Some begin you near the place you died, however too typically are you kicked again additional than you’d count on.
Fight isn’t excellent however presents a great time general. I want I might say the identical for the platforming. Leaping feels stiff, slippery, and floaty all of sudden. I’d typically 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 on account of how picket 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 tug off in hectic eventualities.
It wouldn’t be so dangerous if the sport was largely motion with primary platforming, however Narita Boy falters by routinely introducing impediment programs it doesn’t really feel outfitted for. Driving atop a pc horse sounds nice till you’re crashing by means of 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 vitality cubes that require exact dodging; I crashed by means of 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 model as soon as the mud settled. I really like each inch of its splendidly designed world, and the gameplay is nice sufficient to hold the journey. In a method, it’s like booting up an outdated pc. For those who 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.