The story follows Nox, a New York City graffiti artist. While beautifying his “dull” neighborhood, he ends up spraying over a tag by an artist named Spray; this infuriates Spray — who is basically evil magic — and traps him in this 2d world. Spray’s ultimate goal is to escape the two dimensional realm and take Nox’s place in the real world, while Nox’s goal is cliché: stop the bad guy, save the world. And did I mention his girlfriend Cass was also trapped in the graffiti world?
Graffiti isn’t just something that is sprayed — you are the graffiti, platforming your way on the tops, sides and all around New York City buildings. It’s an intriguing concept for a 2d side-scroller. One second you are running up the side of the building, and the next you are continuing over the roof, and back down the side of another building. Every time the surface changes, the simple three dimension landscape flips. On the sides of buildings you are running horizontal, while on the roofs, it’s more about climbing vertical across them.
In your way, are creatures that want nothing more than to stop you from reaching the boss of each world. You start off only being able to jump and punch your way through them, but as you progress you gradually learn new skills to assist you on the adventure. Soon enough you will be sliding under spikes, swinging around the worlds, floating and double jumping to name a few. There are secret tags to collect to boost your score that you won’t be able to collect until your second playthrough, so the game encourages you to play through it again.
The music itself, while catchy, repeats the more frequently than I would have liked for a game that can be beaten in a few hours. It was bearable the first few levels, but I found myself turning the music as low as it would go after hearing the same song more than 10 times. I admit hip-hop is not my cup of tea, so the music wasn’t for me, but I’m sure there are those out there that will have no problem listening to the looped songs again and again.
Sideway: NY is fun while it lasts, but it is over too quickly. There are a little over a dozen levels plus a few bosses to beat, not to mention collectibles that require multiple playthroughs, as well as local drop in/out co-op to round out the experience. If you have a few free hours and you want to play a unique platformer, Sideway: NY may be a great title to download.Note: Sideway: New York was reviewed on PlayStation 3. A digital copy of the game was provided by the publisher/developer.