Bite-sized Review:
Berserk Boy

Developer: BerserkBoy Games

Release Date: 07 March, 2024

Platform: Windows, Switch, PS 4/5, Xbox One/S/X

Genre: Shooter

By Chris Picone, 14 March 2024

Berserk Boy is an exciting new side-scrolling platform brawler that does a fantastic job of blending modern and retro.  It comes with its own world and lore which is exciting but I get distinct Megaman & Dragonball vibes from it - can't put my finger on why exactly, but I love it.


While Berserk Boy is certainly reminiscent of retro platformers like the old Megaman series,  the graphics make the most of modern technology. The foreground's kept fairly simple so you can focus on collecting all the pickups and killing the baddies but the background and cutscenes are detailed and look great.  Best: All the animations are super smooth and the special effects are very flashy and exciting.  


Gameplay's fairly standard for any retro platformer of this variety, although it focuses most prominently on a dash mechanic.  The dash mechanic involves your pet bird Fiore carrying you a short distance at rapid speed; this allows you to dash over the top of spike traps.and reach places higher than you could jump to.  The dash also acts as an attack, with the bird doing damage to any enemy you dash into, although you can still punch your enemies or jump on their heads. Towards the end of the first mission you become one with a "Berserk Ball," which allows you to transform into a sort of super version of yourself and also unlocks a range of special abilities.  For example, while in berserk mode your dash attack also "tags" the enemy, which you can then target with a splashy "lightning justice" attack.  There's a good range of enemies:  Some who shoot, some who charge, some with shields, all the usual tropes, which encourages you to utilise a combination of attacks to target their weaknesses.  More importantly, the boss fights are well thought out, challenging, and a lot of fun.  Every attack or move you make takes energy, although there are plenty of pickups to collect along the way to help with this, and some of these are also saved up to let you purchase upgrades to your attacks and abilities between missions.  



Berserk Boy hits all the right notes for the genre, faithful enough to bring back nostalgic vibes but innovative enough that it looks and feels new and exciting.  It's a highly polished experience; the controls are super smooth, the animations are on splashy and exciting, and the boss fights are fantastic.