A game that repeatedly says “Go Berserk” in its advertising better deliver excitement. Thankfully, that is the case with Berserk Boy. While not without some concerns, the overall game is good fun, with an audio/visual package that greatly impresses.

The plot is…I forget. Something about a mad scientist and his robot army? The story hits familiar notes. Dark energy, a city under attack, the world needing saving. The mix of full-screen art with animated cutscenes works to get you invested early, and exposition (with some sparse vocals) at your home base between missions suffices.

Berserk Boy is marketed as a mashup between Mega Man and Sonic. I respect the truth in advertising. I reached a point where I started noting specific instances that reminded me of parts in games from either series. Once I hit double digits, I stopped. In the end, it didn’t much matter. Both those series are among my favorites. And Berserk Boy is among the better games I’ve played in 2024.

Berserk Boy may have familiar speedy gameplay (frantic at points), but it also has the fluidity to make it work. These controls are tight, and the various moves (and changing forms) shouldn’t be too overwhelming for those familiar with games of this style. Any run-and-gunner will soon find themselves racking up combos. The marketing mentions, “you’ll be able to play for big scores,” and sure enough, high scores are a draw. I found myself replaying missions in hopes of improving. Familiar fun is still fun all the same.

That said, after the initial thrill had set in, repetition followed, and sooner than I expected. But the presentation excels, which helps lessen any monotony. Seriously, this is an impressive game to both look and listen to. It fares even better in motion than still shots can convey with animation and speed. And the boss fights offer a fun, fair challenge.

At 7 or 8 hours, Berserk Boy may overstay its welcome slightly for this type of game, although some of that depends on how much of a completionist you are. But it’s a fun game to play a mission here or there, and coming back to it, even after a gap, you shouldn’t feel lost. Also, you shouldn’t feel overwhelmed difficulty-wise, as some welcomed options can make the game more accessible for newer or less experienced players.

For fans of Mega Man, Sonic the Hedgehog, and a host of platforming classics, it’s hard not to recommend Berserk Boy. The plot may not turn heads, but the fluid controls and presentation should. Will this game make you “Go Berserk?” Perhaps. Here’s hoping for an 8-bit demake to follow.