Bat Boy - PC Review

Bat Boy by developers X PLUS Co., Ltd. & Sonzai Games and publisher X PLUS Co., Ltd.PC (Steam) review written by Jim with a copy provided by the publisher.

Estimated Reading Time: 4 minutes.

Bat Boy is a retro NES-style platformer where you play as Ryosuke, a high school student and baseball player but at night he becomes the hero known as Bat Boy. Along with his friends who are all also heroes all based on sports such as Racket Girl - Tennis and Aquaria – swimming.

One night Bat Boy and his friends come across Lord Vicious, an interdimensional mage. Lord Vicious brainwashes all of Bat Boys' friends and takes them to a new world to participate in the Trials of Darkness. It is up to Bat Boy to save his friends and stop Lord Vicious. All of the story at the start is played by a cut scene that reminded me a lot of the original Ninja Gaiden scenes on the NES.

There are twelve levels and 3 bonus levels in the game meaning the game is not very long. At about just under seven hours to beat for me, and to go back and find everything would take me longer. Each level has its theme like a water level, a factory level, and volcano level, and more. At the end of each level you will face a boss. Mostly they are your brainwashed friends who when you beat will teach you a special skill that has to do with their sport. Your main weapon and attack is of course your bat which lets you hit balls back at your enemies. One other main attack you will use a lot is to throw the bat and it will spin in place, You can use this to attack your enemies or you can jump on it to jump higher or farther. You will also need to use this to open some doors in the game. The enemies in each level would represent that level's sports theme and most of the enemies were pigs that were actually kind of cute.

Each normal level also has four hidden items: a red seed, a green seed, and a golden seed you can buy from a traveler named Rufus. Lastly, you can find a cassette tape that unlocks that stage's song to play at a place called the groovy house. The groovy house is a hub where all your friends go after you rescue them and is also a non-alcoholic bar. This is where the bonus levels come in. They can be a little tougher to beat, but once you do you will face a special boss. If you beat that boss they will give you an ingredient that you can give to the barkeeper at the groovy house to make a cocktail that you can now buy from him or vending machine. The first drink you get will restore your health when you use it. There are also a few NPCs at the groovy house with one of them who lost their puppies and kittens and will give you clues on what levels to find them and you can see if you can save all of them.

Once you progress enough in the game you will unlock two shops. One of them sells red seeds and can use red and golden seeds to raise your health bar and the other shop sells green seeds and can raise your stamina bar with green and golden seeds. Stamina is needed to use the special skills you receive for helping your friends.

For a game that was trying to be retro, it was very fair in giving checkpoints and giving you unlimited lives. I am glad for this as there was some trial and error on some levels and not having to start from the start of a level or the game was a good thing.

The 8-bit graphics are good if you are into the retro look and the music is top-notch chiptune. It felt like I went back in time and was playing an NES game way back when. For the most part, the game played as it should. I ran into two glitches in the whole thing, one being where I somehow got stuck in a wall. The other being I beat the last boss at the same time he was attacking and the attack he used still killed me. I also liked one character you meet early on who joins you and will talk during levels and help you out who just happens to be a talking crow.

Overall Bat Boy is a fun short retro-style platformer that I enjoyed. It plays well and was just the right difficulty for me. It's funny due to the crow named Garou and even Lord Vicious can be funny at times. If you are into these types of games then you should definitely check this one out. I will be going back to this to try to find all the hidden items, that's for sure.

Score: 8 / 10



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