Narita Boy – Wield the Techno-sword
Become symphonic in Narita Boy! A radical action-adventure as a legendary pixel hero trapped as a mere echo within the Digital Kingdom. Discover the mysteries behind the Techno-sword, lock swords with the corrupt and tainted Stallions. Save the world!
Narita Boy is a 2D, 80’s-inspired action-adventure game where a rogue program threatens to break the balance of the Digital Kingdom after the Creator loses its fondest memories. It’s up to you to gather these memories and use the power of the “Trichroma” to slash your way as a hero.
Welcome to the Digital Kingdom
Narita Boy‘s aesthetic and sense of atmosphere is a masterpiece in visual and sound design. Every stage, character and animation has a nostalgic yet very fresh look and creates a vibrant world that you cannot stop wanting to look at. The soundtrack, composed by Salvinsky, changes between chiptune beats to synth-pop tunes and atmospheric subtle songs without losing any of its charm.
Characters have their own distinctive sounds and melodies which only adds to the wonderful world is set in.
Narita Boy is a stunning game that manages to feel from a different era while still being on-par with modern graphics.
The power of the Trichroma
The game’s structure is simple: you’ve gotta traverse through the different realms of the kingdom in a Metroidvania fashion while getting upgrades and unlocking secrets on the way.
However, Narita Boy is weird in the sense that a lot of people are marking it as a Metroidvania adventure when the game doesn’t have much exploration in it. Most of the objectives are very linear, and you only make use of your abilities in very specific instances to traverse previously locked off spaces.
The gameplay shines more through the creative use of the Techno-sword, its upgrades and the interactions with the wide variety of enemies. It plays like a very polished beat-’em-up with a lot of impact and flair; every enemy is fun to fight, and all the bosses leave an exhilarating sense of victory after beating them.
The steady flow of upgrades and new moves makes every new engagement interesting and fun, even if it’s a small scope adventure.
Despite all this, a short runtime (6-8 hours) and a lack of depth in the world holds it back from being a spectacular gameplay experience; it was a very good experience that left a lot on the plate in the execution.
Also, the lack of an option to explore the world after completing the game makes it a bit more hard to want to go back and play it again, which also makes getting the last Secret Memory more cumbersome than interesting.
Fragmented Memories (Skip this section to avoid spoilers)
The story is strong for the better part of the game; you relive the memories of the Creator while meeting the different Trichroma houses of the Digital Kingdom as you advance through the game. But in an abrupt plot twist after you beat the final boss, the story turns into an action flick sequel bait ending which clashes completely with how soothing, atmospheric and nostalgic the rest of the game feels. Even during the battle sequences, the game didn’t feel this cheesy and loud.
The Digital Kingdom is a far more interesting world to explore and seeing it get shafted at the end of the game does leave a bad taste after enjoying the game thoroughly up until the ending.
Narita Boy is a great action game that delivers an interesting world with outstanding music and visuals, but it falls flat in many other aspects that bring the aftertaste of the game in a more tame light. It’s totally recommended as a single experience with previous expectation of its scope, length and lackluster closure set in place.
The world and music alone are worth giving this game a playthrough, and the fun combat is a very welcomed bonus.