Narita Boy (PS4, Switch, Xbox One, PC)

In the early 1980s, a famous computer programmer gets his memories erased by an evil computer program named HIM, and now that program threatens to take over the digital world.  Meanwhile, a gamer who enjoys playing on the computer late at night gets sucked into the PC, and is transformed into the hero Narita Boy.  Armed with the Techno-Sword, Narita Boy must defeat HIM and save the programmer’s memories.  With the storyline and graphics, this game was clearly inspired by the classic movie TRON.  The title screen even looks so much like the TRON movie poster, I’m surprised Disney didn’t sue!  Anyway, Narita Boy is a 2-D platformer hack and slash with some Metroid-like exploration elements.  It’s available on most current consoles and PC, but reviewed on PS4 here.

As Narita Boy, you can run, jump, climb certain walls, and dodge enemies with a dash.  Early on you’ll get the Techno-Sword so you can slash enemies.  You can also fire beams with the sword as well as bat back projectiles if you time it right.  As you progress, you’ll learn new abilities which will help you reach other areas.  This game is similar in structure to titles like Metroid, where you must backtrack through mazes with new abilities and items to progress further.  The silky smooth animations and use of color also make me think of games like Out of This World or Flashback.

I absolutely love the graphics and music in this game, as it clearly is a callback to TRON, one of my favorite movies as a kid.  And as said earlier, the animations are amazing.  But the game has loads of problems that kept me from staying interested.  The overly complicated storyline really bogs the game down, and the slippy-slidey controls make it hard to land on small platforms precisely.  The graphics default has a CRT filter that makes everything a little blurry and rounded on the sides (like an old TV) but it kind of gave me a headache.  Luckily you can turn that off in the option screen.  Worst of all, even though you can view your objectives, the goals are very unclear and not having a map doesn’t help either.  It’s a shame because otherwise this game showed real promise.

Kid Factor:

Narita Boy is rated T for Teen with ESRB descriptors of Blood, Crude Humor, and Violence.  You do slice and dice enemies and the fluid animation really makes it look like they’re being cut in half, but I don’t know if I’d call any of that ‘blood’ since you are fighting digital enemies.  Although it can look like it.  I didn’t notice any crude humor in the text so it must be used sparingly.  Because of the reading skill involved and high difficulty, I’d say this game is best for older players.

One Response to “Narita Boy (PS4, Switch, Xbox One, PC)”

  1. Joaquim was playing this. I think it was on Game Pass. Not really my type of game.

Discussion Area - Leave a Comment

Tired of typing this out each time? Register as a subscriber!