vigorousjammer's Noby Noby Boy (PlayStation Network (PS3)) review

So much potential, but ultimately falls flat on it's face.

Before Noby Noby Boy was released, I was excited about it simply by the fact that it was from the creator of Katamari Damacy, a game I really love dearly and that they included a phat Mappy track in their promotional trailer. That being said, once I got the game, I was pretty disappointed.

People should know going into this game, that there's not much of a game to Noby Noby Boy. The game puts you in control of "Boy," a strange worm-like creature with four legs. You're on a small sqaure board with other creatures, people, and obstables that you can wander or fly around. The game's main mechanic is eating items, which in turn makes you able to make yourself longer in order to add to a total length (called "Girl") that is accumulated on the internet. Once everybody on the internet reaches a certain length, a new planet will be unlocked. However, there isn't much difference between all of the planets, and you'll be doing basically the same thing on Earth, Mars, Jupiter, wherever.

On top of the lack of gameplay elements, I don't think it controls very well. The L1 button is used to both eat something and to make your head fly, you use the left & right sticks to control either side of your body's movement, and the R1 button will make you both poop items out and make your butt fly. You stretch your character out by holding both sticks away from each other, this usually takes a very long time and isn't very interesting... despite it being the main mechanic in the game. The movement of your character is also super floaty and imprecise. On one hand, that can add to the insanity, but on the other hand it's also just bad design. The camera isn't very dynamic either, and will only zoom in and out depending on how far you stretch yourself. There are camera controls in the game, and they are super deep, but also super complicated, and it never felt natural or intuitive. I haven't counted, but I believe there's actually more buttons used to control the camera than there is to control your character.

Despite all of these shortcomings, I somehow still managed to have some fun with Noby Noby Boy. I don't think it's a well-designed game, I don't think it's very fun, I don't think the controls are very good, and the camera is an absolute atrocity. The thing that makes Noby Noby Boy tolerable at all for me is how relaxed I felt while playing it. It makes you feel like you've been transported into the strange, insane world... yet you're at ease, and nothing bothers you, not even the bad controls. It's an odd serene state that I believe was intentional and part of the design of the game. That, however, only lasts for about 10 minutes on an average game session, and while I think there are some good ideas in Noby Noby Boy, none of them are executed particularly well. All you're left with afterwards is a boring, pointless, floaty mess of a game with a lot of potential, but ultimately falls flat on it's face.

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