Noby Noby Boy Review for PlayStation 3 (PS3)

Noby Noby Boy Review for PlayStation 3 (PS3)

Oh Boy, You Got Big!

One doesn’t know what to expect from downloadable games these days. Thanks to services like WiiWare, PSN, and Xbox LIVE, all kinds of games have found a place in the home consoles, including artsy experiences like Flower or Linger in Shadows, typical arcade shooters like Geometry Wars or Super Stardust, old-school titles like Joust or the Ninja Turtles, and even weird and unexpected titles like Noby Noby Boy.

Noby Noby Boy screenshot

In fact, if you’re looking for a weird yet interesting experience on the PS3, Noby Noby Boy is the way to go. You should know the mind behind this crazy game is no other than Keita Takahashi, the creator of the critically acclaimed Katamari Damaci.

With that in mind, you should expect a lot of the same elements found in the quirky ball-rolling game. Throughout the stages of Noby Noby Boy you’ll see everything from the most original inventions like a banana car to sumo wrestlers, animals, fruit, balls, trees, houses, bicycles, and more. However, the gameplay in Noby Noby Boy is quite different, and it’s also more of an experiment and an interesting experience than an actual game with a goal.

Upon starting the game, you are quizzed on the ins and outs of the title. Of course, we don’t know anything about it yet, so we’re left with a controller in hand and questions about how to control the main character, best known as Boy. This is an interesting way to present a tutorial, but it is kind of awkward to have to try and guess what to do with the buttons. Luckily, it’s not extremely difficult, plus they give you a few hints, so you should be able to get the idea pretty quickly.

Noby Noby Boy screenshot

Basically, all you have to do is move the character around with the two control sticks (similar to rolling Katamari), and each of the sticks controls one end of the funky, worm-like figure. One of the shoulder buttons will open Boy’s mouth so you can munch on anything that gets on your way. Other shoulder buttons help you control the camera from side to side through a simple tap, and if you hold the left trigger and tilt the SIXAXIS controller forwards or backwards, you’ll be able to zoom in an out. You can also make Boy jump, stretch or shrink, etc.

The idea is simple. Boy is launched into a random map full of random objects spread throughout. By pulling from both sides you’ll be able to stretch him, but only if he’s eaten enough to grow. At first, I noticed he kept farting and re-launching everything out of his butt when I fed him (what a hoot – fart noise and everything!). In order to make him grow you’ll have to wait for him to swallow, and then stretch him enough so he turns into colors and gets longer and thinner. At that point I thought the game was an odd intestine simulation, and I have to say it’s not that far off! Luckily, Boy is bright and colorful, plus he has a cute, smiley face and spreads hearts around as he eats, so it was easy to detach from those original thoughts.

Noby Noby Boy screenshot

Granted, the more you eat, the bigger you can get, and literally, the sky is the limit! One time I made him so long that the map zoomed out incredibly far. Of course, it’s not as much fun to play around when he’s long, so you’ll just have to find your balance and even shrink him when he’s getting too long and difficult to manage. You can have Boy eat anything you want pretty much – it’s not like Katamari where you have to start by rolling smaller things and grow until you can grab the bigger items. Of course, if you start by eating a car but haven’t stretched too far yet, the car will fly right off his butt and cause a fart impulse that’ll launch Boy in the air. Some characters also enjoy a ride on Boy’s back. It’s funny to see all these interactions, especially when you start getting big and dragging things around or climbing them, causing mayhem wherever you go.

Unlike most games, this game doesn’t have an actual objective. Essentially, Noby Noby Boy is a fun experiment, and all you’ll track is the length you’ve grown by playing and playing. Even if you shrink him, the original length you reached has already been accounted for, and if you make him grow again, this will count towards your numbers as well. The one thing you have to do once in a while is report your growth to “Girl.” By uploading this information, Girl will grow and grow until she reaches the Moon and many other planets. The cool thing is everyone on PSN is contributing to Girl’s growth, and she’s currently past the Moon and growing towards Mars. Who knows where she might be at when you read this! You can even check her out and see the different players who have contributed to her growth.

Other than that, there’s nothing else to Noby Noby Boy. You can post a message on Boy’s body or send messages to other Noby Noby Friends. You can also record videos to upload to YouTube or take pictures during gameplay. Also, by going inside his house you can enter a funky menu that allows you to move to a different, random map within the planet you’re at. You can’t choose the maps where you go, just the planet. You start, of course, in Earth, and the maps are all quite similar but with their own themes. You’ll encounter more animals in some, and others will be more like a playground. If you visit the Moon, you’ll see that many of the items are different than the ones in Earth, and the ground is gray instead of green and grassy.

Noby Noby Boy screenshot

You’ve probably already imagined what the game looks like based on previous Katamari titles, and you’re right in the overall look of the game, but it doesn’t have the exact same quality. The environments are much less detailed. In fact, they’re so simplified that they almost look like they were designed by kids. There’s no texture, and the three-dimensional perception is definitely outdated. Think more Super Mario 64 rather than Super Mario Galaxy, and it’s not even that good.

The sounds are also outdated and redundant, probably on purpose, as an homage to old-school gaming. It’s funny to hear old Atari sounds in a 2009 game. In fact, some of the sounds are a hoot. It’s just too outdated for today’s gamers and it gets old and annoying quickly.

We’re not going to blame the developers for these choices, as it’s just supposed to be a fun and interesting experience created on a low budget and targeted towards consumers drawn in by colorful and original ideas with a clear Japanese influence. I was one of them, and I’m happy I experienced the title, even if it’s not one I’ll come back to until a few weeks from now at least. For $5, you’re not losing much, so if you’re interested in the title and enjoy short and addictive titles, check this one out.

There’s definitely a Katamari Damaci vibe in this game, but the visuals are of a much lower quality and they look outdated. 3.3 Control
Difficult to understand at first, but you get the hang of it. And even if you don’t… it doesn’t matter because you don’t win or lose in this game. The physics of it are interesting. 2.6 Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
I couldn’t believe the music and sound effects. For starters, the game employs many of the old-school Atari sound effects, which I quickly recognized. They’re fun to hear at first, but they’re far too outdated and annoying. The fart and stretching noises are funny and out of the ordinary. The background music is alright but very basic. 2.9 Play Value
This game can be very addictive, but it’s also a bit disappointing. There’s no goal in the game other than making Girl grow, and there’s no competition either. 3.2 Overall Rating – Fair
Not an average. See Rating legend above for a final score breakdown.

Game Features:

  • Stretch Boy so he can eat all sorts of colorful items, from a banana to a house or a dog.
  • The more you feed Boy and the bigger he gets, the further Girl will stretch. Help the Noby Noby Boy community to grow Girl so she can reach other planets (PSN connection required).
  • Play on many different maps and planets as they become available.

  • To top