Have you ever thought to yourself, wow I wish I could run through the streets of Japan but without getting into trouble? We feel you reader, Japan has some truly amazing locations that brim with interesting vistas, tourist attraction and some truly awesome looking running areas. Yet, we also know running around Japan might cause some people to look at you in the wrong light so you can’t truly just go out and Naruto run despite how much fun it would be. Thankfully, there is an alternative for those who want to run for the goal and that would be Nippon Marathon for the PC. Read below for our full review of Nippon Marathon and what we felt it did right, and what it does wrong. Warning, this game is far from normal…but that’s a good thing folks.
What to Expect
Nippon Marathon is a running/racing game that gives players the feeling of titles like Mario Kart but minus the karts. Players instead choose from several rather “weird” runners and go about racing one another in famous Japanese locals all while avoiding things like dogs, washing poles and dangerous protestors. Nippon Marathon allows for single races with up to 4 friends in several different real-world areas or to play an intense story mode where your character rises to the top. Can you race your way to be the victor who is most popular with the audience? Find out in Nippon Marathon!
Nippon Marathon tells the story of 4 individuals who have decided to become racers in an upcoming marathon race that takes place in Japan. Their reasons all differ but their goal is shared. Make it to first place no matter what it takes! Join these strange individuals as they plow into pedestrians and throw banana peels to gain the top of the leaderboard and win national recognition. Nippon Marathon is about to commence and these racers are all too prepped for it!
Mister Mosquito, Katamari Damacy and Akiba’s Trip are weird Japanese games that have found themselves with a cult following in American. It’s not because these games are amazing or perfect but because their oddness makes for games different than the slew of same old creations. Another game we hope gets added to the list of cult classics will be the one we review today. Here at Honey’s Anime we previewed Nippon Marathon and were enthralled by its quirky racing/running theme that reminded us of games like Mario Kart but without the actual vehicles. We finally have obtained the final product for Nippon Marathon and have our verdict of this strange title in our full review you’re about to dive into.
In case you missed our preview, here’s what to expect from Nippon Marathon in a nutshell. The main focus of Nippon Marathon is to play as a racer—if you can call them that—as you guide them against three others in a marathon to the finish. You’ll run, jump and dodge various hazards as you try to earn that coveted number 1 spot. Each track is actually based on a real-life counterpart found in Japan with players having to avoid some of the common hazards and events you can find in those areas. Nippon Marathon is won by making it to the end with the most stars—which we will explain more in detail in a moment—and or getting the highest score. Though if that is all there was to Nippon Marathon, we wouldn’t call it a strange game.
Nippon Marathon throws players into races that aren’t at all normal. Often, players will encounter weird events within the race such as dogs being let loose to jump on the player or random segments where players need to answer questions with strange keywords to appeal to the audience. Nippon Marathon also focuses on races where nothing is normal such as gaining power ups that allow you float with balloons or watermelons to eat for speed boosts. That’s the absolute beauty of Nippon Marathon though, its core racing is so fun and strange that it works to make each race a true comedic challenge. We often lost races—which we lose a lot of races as the AI can be tough—because the narrator was making us laugh with his commentary or due to a racer falling off a mountain side since they decided it was a shortcut for some reason. You can honestly play the same course in Nippon Marathon over and over again and yet still find a new random event to occur during the race.
The weak elements of Nippon Marathon—as numerous as they can be—don’t ironically hurt the title. For example, Nippon Marathon is a pretty meh looking title with character models that look straight out of a PS1 game and the environments only fair a slight bit better. Equally, the mini games included in Nippon Marathon aren’t that enjoyable—there are two of them—and truly feel tacked on just for randomness. While these elements might hurt many triple A games out there in the gaming landscape, Nippon Marathon benefits from it by never taking itself seriously. The main racers themselves all are oddballs—there’s an old man in a school girl uniform and a woman who dresses as a narwhal—just showing that Nippon Marathon is meant to be bad sometimes on purpose.
Honey's Gameplay Consensus:
When we previewed Nippon Marathon a while back, we were at a loss for what to say about this rather strange racing title. Even now, we still can’t explain what makes Nippon Marathon so addicting despite its simplicity, terrible visuals but amazing quirky presentation. All we do know is that Nippon Marathon is a title that we can play any day and just get some truly fun laughs with either friends or by ourselves as we listen to the narrator sound just as lost as we are. If you love kart-like racing games but want a more insane title, you won’t find any game better than Nippon Marathon. Those who consider themselves lovers of Japan like we do, will love everything in Nippon Marathon even though its far from serious.
Truly fun racing controls with a focus on comedy rather than serious racing
The narrator will have you dying while playing
Truly catchy music that fits the chaos
4 different stories that all equal pure comedy
Races always feel different and dynamic
Graphics can be pretty horrendous for the character models and some locations
Mini-games are pretty boring
Honey's Final Verdict:
Nippon Marathon reminds us gamers that games can be extremely random as well as zany but work so darn well. Running around in real-life places in Nippon Marathon equally allows us to see the more historic sites of Japan from the comfort of our homes and that is just another plus in this title’s many positives. Even now while writing this review, we kind of want to stop and play Nippon Marathon and that’s why it’s a racing game we can’t recommend enough. Are you thinking of joining the runner’s craze in Nippon Marathon? Comment below and tells us why! For more game reviews and gaming related articles 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!