2D platformers are nothing new, especially when they're downloadable games available on services such as the PlayStation Network and the Xbox Live Marketplace. Every once in a while, though, there are sidescrollers that are pleasing, and the PSN has a fresh one in Sideway: New York.
What Is It?
Sideway: New York is a title that immediately showcases a unique sense of style. The game puts you in the shoes of Nox, a graffiti artist tagging away on the walls of New York until he sprays over a tag drawn by a crazy character named Spray. In ruthless aggression, Spray kidnaps Nox's girlfriend and conjures up a spell that turns Nox into paint himself, forcing him to only traverse on flat walls. With that, it's up to Nox to roam the various walls of buildings in New York to not only save his girlfriend, but to become a three-dimensional human again.
Why Should I Care?
The game isn't a typical sidescroller. Since Nox is paint, it also means he's flat and is unable to walk on 3D surfaces. He can only travel on walls that he can be rendered on. Think of shining a light somewhere and keeping the beam flat; this is pretty much the way Nox travels, meaning he can't jump from one building's wall to another. He has to actually wrap around every surface he's on.
This is what makes the game a unique sidescroller. The player's point of view constantly changes, and it's up to the player to manipulate the world using the knowledge of how things work. Luckily for the player, the game is extremely linear and is reliant on understanding simple platforming elements combined with some combat here and there.
There are over a dozen stages to explore with enemies to fight, and the game's pacing is pretty tight. Players that put in good time with the game will get used to Nox's abilities, which will be uncovered in just about every level in the game, and they aid Nox in both sidescrolling exploration and combat. Among the moves players will uncover are a slide technique, double jump, the ability to paint in new platforms, and plenty others.
While the pacing in and between the levels is good, there are times when the game can feel cheap. Like most platformers, this issue is easy to get over with good timing, but there will be times where Nox will end up on a wall players never intended him to be embedded on in the first place. In addition to that, some of the bosses present a good challenge, so players will need to stay on their feet not being too conservative with Nox's actions and movements.
What Makes It Worth My Time And Money?
While the game is a little short (the game can be beaten in under five hours), the game does present a challenge that should keep players on their edges for a little while. It'll even keep looters happy with the optional backtracking required to actually platinum the game.
Sideway: New York is a game that has enough old-school tricks to keep platforming veterans involved and enough modern additions to make the game fresh and playable to casual gamers. The game is available now for download on PSN.