Do you love playing strange games with friends and having a good laugh? Then you’re probably going to love Nippon Marathon. Play alone against the AI or with friends to enjoy a running/racing game that defies all logic. Nippon Marathon is a comedy game through and through and you know what, folks? That’s quite okay as Nippon Marathon is a ton of fun thanks to how utterly random and odd it truly is.
What to Expect
Nippon Marathon is a running/racing game with elements from titles like Mario Kart and SpeedRunners. Players will control one of several racers—all of which are strange individuals—to try and survive various courses based in real life locations seen in Japan. Run, jump, duck and throw watermelons at your opponents to hopefully win each heat. However, be prepared as you might die not from a 100-foot drop but from hearing the hilarious narrator as he narrates your race from start to finish. Nippon Marathon will show you Japan in a way you’re probably not ready for.
As of the early access, the story mode of Nippon Marathon is locked. However, what we can gather is that you are a racer trying to prove their worth by winning against other racers. You will have to race through iconic locations in Japan like Kawasemi City Sights and Mura Temple Village to name a few. Race against your competition in anyway possible with nothing off limits. Win the hearts of the fans and win the race itself in Nippon Marathon!
Running racing games aren’t that uncommon in the gaming world. SpeedRunners, for example, is a fun 2D runner that has 1-4 players battling against each other to survive and win the race. This gameplay style actually makes for a fun party game that friends can enjoy and be competitive with. However, Onion Soup Interactive wanted to do something different with the running/racing gameplay style with their quite quirky Nippon Marathon title. We only got an early access version of Nippon Marathon but after playing for a bit trying out the courses available we have some information to share with you. Welcome to our preview of this odd and quirky racers known as Nippon Marathon.
Nippon Marathon is a game you know will be strange the moment you boot it up. Immediately, you are greeted to a hodgepodge of random racers and a very silly and bizarre menu. The randomness doesn’t stop just at the menu though. When you begin by choosing the versus mode—story mode isn’t available in the early access for Nippon Marathon—you will be greeted to several modes such as single race, half marathon and the locked full marathon. Choose from a handful of maps and then choose a racer. Trust us, when you see the racers available—an old man with a sailor suit and a dog human for example—you’ll realize Nippon Marathon is going to be a rather weird game.
The goal of Nippon Marathon is simple enough. Win races by beating your opponents or surviving against them to gain stars. Do it in a popular way and you also gain stars. The player with the most points—which can be affected by things like not hitting pedestrians and getting bit by less dogs than the other players—after the event you choose is deemed the winner. Thus, it’s quite easy to tell that Nippon Marathon doesn’t have normal races in any form of the word normal. Instead, Nippon Marathon will have you racing through real locations found in Japan with some rather odd courses set up.
While you race, besides having to deal with your competitors, you will also need to deal with the environment. Obstacles such as construction workers, cars, pitfalls, chefs throwing pans at you, citizens stopping you with signs and even random events will be some of the hazards you will face while running. Then similar to games like Mario Kart, racers can pick up random boxes to unleash strange weapons on their fellow racers. We picked up items that seemed normal enough like banana peels to more outlandish items like flying pineapples and heat seeking watermelons. Nippon Marathon also throws in one other obstacle to face in the form of the narrator who constantly says hilarious lines that will make you falter as you race. Needless to say, laughing will be another element to Nippon Marathon as it’s quite hard to race seriously while crying with laughter.
Nippon Marathon’s one weakness we noticed in our preview is the visuals. Nippon Marathon might be trying to be bad intentionally but it’s pretty bad. Is it a detriment to the enjoyment we had with this early access preview? No, even with poor graphics, Nippon Marathon is still fun. Just don’t expect a game that looks of this generation. Nippon Marathon could at times pass as an early 2010 game.
Honey's Gameplay Consensus:
Quite frankly, we don’t know if we love Nippon Marathon or are just utterly confused by it. While, it plays like a hybrid of Mario Kart and SpeedRunners, Nippon Marathon is just so silly and wacky that even when you lose from random things you don’t care. We couldn’t stop laughing thanks to the random times we crashed off a skyscraper or had a steel beam slam into our faces. Add to that the amazing narrator who often says some of the most random lines ever and Nippon Marathon is just one of those games you play to laugh at. We’re excited to see a full release of Nippon Marathon hopefully soon but until then we’ll just keep replaying the early access. Seriously, Nippon Marathon is a game we hope we get to review to see what developer Onion Soup Interactive has in store for us.
Laugh out loud narrator
Silly racing mechanics that are both good and laughably bad
Ridiculous courses to play
Strange but extremely unique racers
Graphics are pretty terrible
Don’t expect a serious racing game
Honey's Final Verdict:
Nippon Marathon reminds us of the better days of random Japanese games releasing on consoles despite little fanfare. While it might be classified as a racing game, Nippon Marathon is just pure comedy and the racing element seems to be just an added bonus. We can’t wait to see what the story mode for Nippon Marathon will be like and we hope the comedy see in the early access transfers to the final product. Are you interested in Nippon Marathon despite how weird it is? Let us know in the comments below and for all your gaming article needs be sure to keep stuck to our hive here at Honey’s Anime.
Hey everyone I’m Aaron Curbelo or Blade as I’m called by my YouTube Subscribers. I’ve been an anime/manga fan since I was a young kid. In terms of anime I have watched nearly a thousand shows and have read hundreds of manga series. I love writing and honestly was so happy to join Honey’s Anime to get a shot to write articles for such a wonderful site. I’m a firm believer in respect in the anime community being the most important embodiment we should all have. We all love anime and we have varying opinions of series but we should respect one another for those differences! Life is too precious to spend it making needless arguments in a community that should be the shining example of loving an amazing medium. I hope as a writer for Honey’s Anime I can bring you folks some amazing articles to read and enjoy!