[Nintendo Switch] Bat Boy Review

by EdEN, Owner

Bat Boy from Sonzai Games and X PLUS Games is a 2D old-school infused pixeltastic action platformer that is a blast on Nintendo Switch. Learn more in our Bat Boy review!

Bat Boy from Sonzai Games and X PLUS Games is a 2D old-school infused pixeltastic action platformer that is a blast on Nintendo Switch. It’s a game that pays homage to the classics from the Nintendo Entertainment System – a.k.a. NES – from back in the day, with three series in particular heavily inspiring Bat Boy: Mega Man, Ducktales, and Ninja Gaiden. If you didn’t get to play those series during the NES era, then one could say you will dig this one if you enjoy the Shovel Knight series.

Bat Boy is the work of Spanish indie dev Sergio Matta, who I got a chance to interview about the game and its development. The project had a crowdfunding campaign by publisher X PLUS Games, who took the game to Kickstarter last year seeking ¥3,500,000 in funding. Once the campaign was over, and thanks to the support of more than 600 backers, the project ended up with ¥3,833,199 in pledges. After a change of plans and a short delay, Bat Boy is now available on Nintendo Switch.

Bat Boy Review - 1

For this game, you’ll take on the role of Ryosuke, a high school student who just happened to be a famous baseball player who mysteriously vanished seven years ago. He always rides his bike together with his best friend, Saki, once school is over. He also has seven other friends who he hangs with since they all love sports. During the day, they all play sports and have fun, but at night, they use their sports skills and suit up to take on the bad guys.

Unfortunately, one night something weird happens. Saki texts you at midnight, saying that Captain Ace is in trouble and that you need to hurry to school before it’s too late. Upon arriving, you’re greeted by Racket Girl – Saki’s alter ego – who asks that you make haste since everyone else is already by Captain Ace’s side. You will then get to meet Lord Vicious and Azaros, who are attacking from another dimension. Lord Vicious then proceeds to float over the group while launching dark energy spheres toward everyone, thus gaining control over them!

This dark energy brainwashes the whole group… except for Bat Boy, who manages to use his mighty bat to swing for the fences to avoid being hit. Since Lord Vicious already has a powerful batter in Azaros, he decides to take everyone else under his command through a dimensional portal to participate in the Trials of Darkness. Seeing as his friends vanish through the portal, Bat Boy decides to follow them. Can you rescue Captain Ace, Raquet Girl, Starlet Twirl, The Basketeer, Blazing Star, Mr. Blitzer, Aquaria, and Shinai Guy? At least you’ll be joined by Garou, a talking bird native to the land you’re about to explore.

Bat Boy Review - 2

Knowing the potential community that would dive into a game like this one, Bay Boy offers two game modes: Normal and Speedrun. Normal presents the game as originally intended and is how the developer kindly suggests you enjoy Bat Boy during your first run. Along with that, the option for Speedrun is a good one for the speedrunning community that is always looking for a good way of shaving off some valuable seconds here and there to their overall completion time. Because of this, when playing in Speedrun Mode, you’ll get to see a global timer, and conversations and cutscenes are skipped.

You’ll control Bat Boy with the left analog stick or the D-Pad, jumping with the B button and swinging his mighty bat with the Y button. By pressing the Y button while jumping, you’ll be able to perform a spin attack. Doing this will allow you to bounce off enemies, attacks, and some structures, kinda like Uncle Scrooge’s pogo jump from Ducktales or how Shovel Knight uses his mighty shovel to bounce off opponents or objects.

When hitting projectiles, you can decide what their general trajectory will be once it comes into contact with your bat. Do nothing, and the projectile will be sent back in a straight line. Press up or down as needed, and the projectile will be hit back at a 45° angle upward or downward, respectively. This can be useful for hitting enemies that would otherwise be out of reach or for hitting switches.

Bat Boy Review - 3

As expected, each of your friends will act as one of the game’s bosses. Once you defeat one of your friends in combat, you’ll be able to break Lord Vicious’ control over them. On top of that, you’ll get to learn their abilities! That’s right, the rest of the moves that Bat Boy can use will be related to what his friends can do when suited up for action, which is the Mega Man part of this action-packed 2D equation.

You’ll even get to learn a move from Azaro, who you’ll battle during a short fight at the end of the game’s first stage. The move is called the Batspin. You can use it by holding down the Y button to charge up. Once Bat Boy flashes, you can release the button to throw your bat. While it’s spinning, jump on top of it to bounce off so that you can get to platforms that would otherwise be out of reach! You can also use it to rotate in place to activate mechanisms that need to spin.

Bat Boy Review - 4

If you’re the type of gamer who likes to 100% every game, then you’ll have to search through each stage to find all collectibles. These include some rad cassette tapes, as well as three different vegetables that are usually hidden. You won’t be able to grab all collectibles during your first run through each stage since some of them will require that you use some of the abilities you’ll obtain after knocking some sense into your friends. The cassette tapes can be used to listen to the game’s soundtrack at the jukebox. As for the seeds, they can be traded for drinks that will boost your stats.

There’s also the option of helping Shinobi Pigzy find some lost pets, or you can chat with Hog Ross to learn more about his paintings. Oh, and let’s not forget about the gems that you collect! You can visit Helsia, the best herbalist in all of Stratoss – or with her sister Stasia, who also says she’s the best herbalist in all of Strassos – so that you can spend the many gems you’ll collect during your journey. She sells seeds and can use the ones you’ve collected to brew a tonic. Gems can also be used to shop with Rufus, a traveling merchant you can find inside a level. He’s the one holding the golden seeds. As for the tonics, the red one will increase your overall health, while the green one boosts your stamina so that you can use special abilities more often.

Bat Boy Review - 5

Bat Boy is a game that I had been looking forward to playing on Nintendo Switch from the moment it was revealed. One Kickstarter campaign later – and a last-minute delay for some extra polish – I’m here to report this is a solid pixeltastic 2D old-school infused action platformer that you’ll get to enjoy for around 3-4 hours the first time around, depending on your experience with the genre and how easily you manage to find all collectibles. Bat Boy is out on Nintendo Switch with a $14.99 price tag.

This Bat Boy review is based on a Nintendo Switch copy provided by X PLUS Games.

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