Narita Boy is a side-scrolling, 80s VCR-soaked pixel adventure. You play as the titular Narita Boy, a chosen hero of sorts who's tasked with saving a digital dimension from its all-powerful creator. There's a lot more story here than you might think — most of it told through lengthy dialogue boxes — but the gist of it is that you're on a rather epic quest, and you'll be kicking a lot of arse.
Narita Boy is mostly comprised of combat, platforming, and some light puzzle solving. It's not really a Metroidvania — there's no branching map — but there is quite a bit of backtracking as you find keys that unlock previously inaccessible locations. It's a linear journey, and the game keeps track of your current objective, but with no markers and no map, you can quite easily lose your bearings. It's not necessarily a problem — the way forward is usually a lot more obvious than it appears — but it does mean that you have to pay constant attention to your surroundings.
Fortunately, the world of Narita Boy is wonderful. The 80s VCR aesthetic certainly isn't original, but the game pulls it off extremely well. Again, this is a digital realm; its denizens are mostly mechanical beings with screens for faces, and their land is filled with discarded data given physical form. It's a world packed with detail and brilliantly bizarre sights. It's consistently, impressively creative — and it's another prime example of what can be achieved with relatively simple pixel art.
That creativity also bleeds into the combat. Encounters with enemy programs punctuate the entire release, and the good news is that Narita Boy feels great to control during these action-based battles. You steadily unlock a range of combat abilities, from a standard evasive dash to specialised super moves, and everything serves a purpose. As you'd expect, the complexity of these encounters gradually increases as more dangerous enemy types are introduced, but the difficulty curve is masterful. What's more, boss battles are usually a joy.
It's a shame, though, that the platforming isn't quite as enjoyable as the sword-swinging action. The nature of Narita Boy's slip and slide movement lends itself well to combat, but when it comes to precision platforming, he's a bit unwieldy. Thankfully, there are only a handful of truly challenging navigation sequences throughout the game, and even then, Narita Boy is reasonably forgiving. Losing all of your life simply places you at the start of the screen, or at the last checkpoint (which are plentiful).
If it isn't already clear, Narita Boy is a great indie adventure. It's got satisfyingly slick gameplay, and the visuals are a delight. But perhaps the true star of the show is the stellar electronic soundtrack. Whether it's twinkling ambient tunes or booming synth chords, the music is superb.
It looks great, but it’s also day one on GamePass. Come on Sony, give me a reason to play these games on my PS5 🤣
I genuinely love these experiences!
@NateGoesLive they need to start adding games like this to ps now on day of release ,but hey its on game pass so I'm sorted ha ha ha
@vapidwolf @NateGoesLive I'm with both of you - Game Pass all the way! Glad it gets PushSquare's seal of approval, though!
People can complain that this is 3 sales that the developer won't get because of Game Pass; but I am sure Microsoft has compensated the company well to make up potential "losses" to make it a day one release on the service.
At the end of the day, whatever deal was offered, the developer was satisfied - everyone wins!
The game looks really good, I'll try it on gamepass pc and if I like it, I'll buy it on psn 😃
Oh nice, guess I’ll play it on Game Pass PC then.
" tasked with saving a digital dimension from its all-powerful creator."
If you beat the game, Sony will continue to honor your PS3 digital purchases.
Looks awesome - nice to see a great score - will be paying on GamePass
Thanks for the review pushsquare. I'll move up in my gamepass Que then.
@GamingFan4Lyf its great for small developers to get there games out there ,but its a worry to me for microsofts own studios as I don't want the quality to be reduced,we shall see
@vapidwolf I would think Microsoft's own studio output would be better because it wants it's own studios to bolster the overall value of Game Pass - not produce lazy garbage.
However, I do see more experimental games coming around that may get mixed reception. I wouldn't call that lower quality as much as I would call it a lower liability testing ground of ideas. Grounded seemed to be a small gamble that's paid off - it's a neat twist on the survival game genre.
Nice, looking forward to play this... on, indeed, Game Pass.
Yep, seems I'm not alone here in getting value out of GamePass. I'm wondering just how much use I'll get out of my PS5 outside exclusives.
Just played up to the first boss, absolutely brilliant little game. Like everyone else here I'm playing on Game Pass but I'll be buying it on PS4 too, it's a definite keeper.
This looks awesome. I might buy this.
Yes, I have time-travelled here from the past where people still buy games.
I don't recall this topic being about Gamepass? Personally though whilst on that topic, I won't touch Gamepass or PS Now...simple reason. As a veteran gamer from the 70s and one who likes to own what he buys....its physical all the way when possible. Remember, you never fully own a digital game...
@Mezzer in a world of day one patches, switched off servers and licence expirations, you don't really own physical games any more either.
@Dislecksier @Mezzer physical will eventually become obsolete. You can hold me to that! Maybe not this gen, or the next, but I’d place a small wager a PS7 will not feature an in built disc drive, maybe feature as a peripheral. Discs these days are little more than a waste of plastic, which is already out of fashion. Games themselves don’t fit on standard Blu-rays any more, and publishers need to weigh up the costs/benefits of releasing their games on 2-4 discs, and all the costs associated with that, or just go digital. Also, the license situation isn’t as straightforward as you think - i bought the recent call of duty physically and one of the licenses for one of the campaign missions (in total isolation to the rest of the game) expired, and could not be replaced, unlocked, anything. Even the gimps at the PS tech support could not figure it out. I just ended up selling it. I rather think the error happened because i got physical, and something about the license for the downloaded content didn’t agree with the rest of the package. Even now most games require a hefty patch to launch... unless its a small indie game, the days of putting in a disc and playing it are already over...
Tap here to load 17 comments
Leave A Comment
Hold on there, you need to login to post a comment...