Review: Bat Boy – A Swing And A… Hit

Ryosuke is a high-school kid and a baseball fanatic, but even more than that, he’s Bat Boy. And along with his friends, all of whom are sports-based superheros, he protects the world from evil. One day, Lord Vicious appears from another dimension and corrupts them all, Roysuke being the only one who manages to resist. Naturally, that means there’s only one thing he can do now: enter the dark dimension, fight to get his friends back, and defeat Lord Vicious.

I know this probably sounds like the next big shounen, but it’s in fact the story of the new 2D action platformer Bat Boy, co-developed by Sonzai Games, and X PLUS Company, who are also publishing the game. Although I’m sure anime was absolutely an inspiration for it.

Average shounen protagonist be like:


This premise is the perfect set up for the Mega Man-inspired level structure Bat Boy has adopted. It’s not exactly like Mega Man, since you don’t have access to every level from the beginning, but have to unlock them in packs of two on the overworld. But the levels themselves are very reminiscent of the Mega Man franchise. Each level has one boss assigned to it, and then the level is built around the theme of that boss. In this case, all of the bosses are, of course, sports related.

Soccer, basketball, tennis, and any other sport you might expect (not e-sports though) have their own boss, and their move sets do a pretty great job of incorporating elements from the sport into the gameplay. You also get new abilities every time you defeat one of them. Very few, if any, of those abilities are required to progress in future levels, but good use of them will make your life much easier.

I’m not convinced he was even trying to hide or anything to be honest


And you’ll want to make your life as easy as possible, because this is a difficult game. Foolishly, I was concerned that Bat Boy might be too easy after finishing the first couple of levels. I was quickly proven wrong. Bat Boy gets extremely tough towards the end of the game. You can increase your health by collecting gems throughout the levels, and it quickly became apparent to me that that’s not just an optional reward for completionists, but almost a necessity to get through the game.

But even if you don’t make perfect use of the unlocked abilities (I certainly didn’t use all of them), you should be able to manage because the titular Bat Boy already has a pretty effective base move set. Apart from all the obvious things you’d expect the protagonist of a 2D action platformer to be able to do, there’s the bat he uses as his weapon, which allows you to shoot back any projectiles you hit. It also allows you to bounce off of anything you hit, allowing for some nice pogo action.



There are still some abilities you unlock later on that I wish you had from the beginning. The wall jump is probably the most obvious example. By the time you get it, you’re so used to not having a wall jump, that suddenly having one feels almost counterintuitive. And let’s be honest, a wall jump is just a fun tool that you want to play around with from the beginning.

Bat Boy goes for the 8-bit aesthetic, and nails it. The game looks great, emulating both an old visual style, while also still looking like a modern version of said style. The same goes for the soundtrack, which is phenomenal and also reminiscent of classic 2D platformers, but created with modern technology. Bat Boy isn’t the first game to pull this aesthetic off, and it won’t be the last, but it’s commendable nevertheless.

Snowy ninja mountains? Yes please.


Sadly, I do have to mention a performance issue I encountered that impacted my experience, and annoyed me quite a bit while I had to deal with it. While the majority of the game runs just fine, there’s one level that for some reason kept crashing on me. Every time it crashed I had to restart the level. And in a game this, like I said before, isn’t exactly forgiving, losing your progress repeatedly is extremely frustrating and caused me to stop playing for a while.

But at the end of the day, Bat Boy is a very enjoyable experience. If you’ve been looking for the next retro-inspired 2D action platformer to play, then Bat Boy is here for you. I’m quite confident you will have a good time with it.

Nairon played Bat Boy on PC with a review key. Bat Boy is also available on PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, and Xbox Series S/X.

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