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Berserk Boy | REVIEW | PC/STEAM

''THE BOY WENT BERSERK''

 


Developed: BerserkBoy Games

Published: BerserkBoy Games

Genre: Action/Platformer

Release Date: March 6th, 2024

Platforms: NSW/PC

*Review copy provided to me by Publisher


Berserk Boy is fast paced Mega Man like title that is developed and published by BerserkBoy Games. With the indie market currently firing on all levels, BerserkBoy Games decided to give it an additional shot in the arm to give it an even further boost. But is this game the boost the market needed or was a case of too little too late? Only one way to find out, so lets go!




''A BOY AND HIS BIRD''

 

GAMEPLAY:


If you're a fan of Mega Man, chances are high that you've heard of this title by now, whether it be a trailer, a news article or youtube video somewhere, its pretty much a given that you've at least heard the name Berserk Boy uttered at some point in the last year or so. With so many Mega Man clones being out nowadays, its hard to stand out and be unique in a market that's becoming basically bombarded and oversaturated with copy after copy, with some games going as far as trying to replicate the Mega Man formula to a 1:1 degree that honestly feels cheap, tacky and pretty creatively bankrupt if I have to be honest. Not as bankrupt as my brain when I pull up to a drive through window and suddenly forget what I wanted to order, even though two minutes prior I knew exactly what I wanted. No, these games aren't that brain dead, but I'd say they're arguably very close at the very least. The reason for so many of these clones falling short of expectations, beyond what I had already mentioned is because Mega Man itself shaped a lot of peoples childhoods and their early gaming experiences, and when seeing other companies replicate this, you get thrown back to a time of your youth, and thus the nostalgia grab takes place. However that feeling makes you feel jaded and disgusted when you happen to run into a really bad clone game. But every once in a blue moon, you find that hidden gem that just GETS IT when it comes to what they're trying to replicate or be a spiritual successor to, and Berserk Boy in that aspect, definitely fits the bill of the look, feel and creativity of what a Mega Man game is in all our minds, but also still maintaining its own individual personality that helps it stand out more, rather than just being a carbon copy. That's right, there will not be any ROGER ROGER here, you stupid Droids, the clone wars shall not be had today. So as Jabba would say BOOKA MEEKO KASOOOOO BAAAAPA. Which means? I don't know, he said it, not me, you go translate it. But were off topic with Star Wars talk. What you are wondering is what makes Berserk Boy unique from the rest of the pack and why does is stand out where so many others have failed?


Upon entering your game, you as the player take control of Kei, who is tasked with bringing the world to its ultimate salvation, at all costs. Which is way more than my daily task of waking up and figuring out do I want pizza today today or tacos? so yeah, world salvation? ''I guess you can say its getting pretty serious''. Allying with characters like Flore, who is the one provides Kei with abilities going forward in the game, alongside the scientist, Doctor Genos who serves as your evil baddie to take down, you're setup for your adventure to save the world. Evil scientist? GREAT SCOTT. Well I mean, duh, you kind of have to have an evil scientist in situations like this, right? otherwise, what are we even doing here? Story wise? its not going to exactly win any awards. I mean, that's not necessarily a bad thing, sometimes less is more as long as the execution in the gameplay department carries the load to make up for it. The overall gameplay of Berserk Boy gives you a sense that you've been here before, but at the same time, you know you havent been there before. What? do you have Mako poisoning or something? no, that's not it, what I mean by this is the controls and overall smoothness of gameplay is akin to Mega Man in the vein of it feels like riding a bike and you immediately know what to do and how to play. Like the feeling that you get that feels like you never left. With this being a side scrolling action platformer, you know its about to get hectic as you traverse through five regions that individually require Kei to explore and complete each section with emphasis on gathering materials and resources in order to obtain additional upgrades, items or abilities to aid you in your quest as the difficulty of the game starts to ramp up the further you make it along. With these five various regions, there also exists other forms of exploration and ways to horde up new resources towards enhancements, which basically become passive skills in the sense that once you've obtained, they become more permanent. Like my terrible humor and puns, they may seem like they're just bypassing and come and go, but they're here to stay, I am sorry. In additional to the normal gun play that you're used to from Mega Man, you are offered the chance to obtain health augmentation and better use of your dashing, which can get you out of tight situations or ways to move around your environments in a sleeker fashion that wasn't possible before hand, giving you new directions to attack your enemies from or just evade while you're strategizing your next move. I stated the game itself is similar to Mega Man, yes, that part is true but it offers you more of an ease of gameplay than a normal Mega Man game does, meaning, its way more lenient with you, letting you make errors and lapses of judgement here and there without totally killing your run or giving you a full on game over. This is both a great thing and a bad thing, like a decision made to eat Taco Bell. Sure it tastes pretty good, but the aftermath afterwards, might not be what you expected or prepared for.


Using abilities like Kei's agility to move about surroundings, dodging enemy fire, hazardous and dangerous obstacles in your way, you will have to jump and shoot your way to unlock new abilities that are both integral to beating your next adversary to push on through the story, but at the same time allows for additional abilities such as swinging alongside your dash that are both integrated into each levels design itself, further giving you more options for platforming challenges and further combat usage scenarios that strike a balance between both ''way too easy'' and ''just the right amount of difficulty''. So basically ,its like the bowl of porridge from the three bear story, it's just right. Granted I can see some complaints heading the games way now due to the difficulty not being on par with the Mega Man series, as the game constantly gets compared to it, but, is being easier and more accessible REALLY a bad thing? I would argue that it isn't, but that's just me. Graphically it also looks higher budget than a typical Mega Man clone you'd see nowadays, which I feel comes down to its art style and the coloring they use alongside its great animations, that make this game stand out from the rest of the pack. Using a pixel aesthetic that is similar to titles you would've found in the 16 bit era on shelf with games like Gradius. Lion King and even Contra 3 from the way this title looks with its vibrant color scheme with everything crafted to near perfection that mixes well and intertwines with the games movements of exploration and combat with fluidity that just isn't present in a lot of titles in this genre and that's something the developers should be very proud of. When you're able to say you've achieved something that is similar in the breath of Mega Man or even the more modern Gunvolt series, then you're definitely doing something right and the game from top to bottom seems to do that with care and respect for the genre they're attempting to represent.


 


''THROUGH THE FIRE AND FLAMES''

 

OVERALL:


At the end of the day, Berserk Boy actually left me genuinely surprised with how much I actually enjoyed it. Now I expected it to be enjoyable for sure, I never felt like it would be a stinker or anything, but to be this fun and engaging and entertaining as it was with its intense gameplay, fast thinking action, beautiful art style and its own unique sense of identity, it blew away all my expectations. Sure its not perfect, it has issues like sometimes for me, dashing would be 100% responsive when pressed with slight input delays here and there and some levels being as easy as a Kirby game, which is weird considering this is a side scrolling action game, even still, the positives outweigh the short lives of negatives by a ten fold. If you love indie games and need your high quality Mega Man like fix, then this is no brainer to pick up, you will not regret it. So with all that having been said, my verdict is clear, GameNChick says BUY NOW



 









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