Top Critic Average
Nippon Marathon is a game that is proud to be exactly what it is. There are no pretences or delusions of grandeur, just good clean fun. Playing with friends is sure to bring a fair few laughs as you rain watermelons down on your rivals. Just be prepared to be taken out by sudden barrels and hordes of cute dogs.
Nippon Marathon is one of the craziest games you’ll play in 2018 either solo or in multiplayer. The game is intentionally created to look like a very low-budget title with poor animations, physics, and visuals, but that’s all part of the charm and the game shouldn’t be overlooked because of this. Once you get into the race, the whole event becomes really competitive if your playing with friends and exciting if you’re playing solo. If you decide to brave the solo story mode (which you should), you’ll be greeted with four intertwining stories to play through, each with their own protagonist and hilarious story to uncover. Seriously, this is one game where you shouldn’t ‘judge a book by its cover’ as inside it’s an explosion of Japanese wackiness!
If I had to pick a single word to describe Nippon Marathon, it would be fun. While I struggle to ascertain exactly which part of this beautiful mess calls to me so, I can recommend it for anybody looking for a wild multiplayer experience. Pick up four controllers and get ready for the marathon of your life.
Nippon Marathon isn't not going to be everyone's tastes – those eye-wateringly janky visuals (whether by design or not) and the nature of physics-driven racing are an acquired taste that most people are going to tire of, fast. However, look past the surface and there's a multiplayer experience here that will appeal to fans of Gang Beasts and the like, who just want a silly party game that cares not for seriousness in any form.
Nippon Marathon offered some fun with its multiplayer showdowns and my friends and I had plenty of laughs as we raced across each bizarre course, but there’s no denying that it’s ultimately a flawed experience that lacks the depth to keep you hooked in for too long. Add to that some janky physics, a varying quality of level design, and a lacking single player mode and it’d be easy to completely dismiss the game and play something better. Still, the moments of fun it does offer deserve some praise and the silliness of the whole experience did offer something completely unique when looking for that local multiplayer fix. There are undoubtedly better multiplayer games to play out there, but if you want something a bit different (and completely bizarre) it might be worth giving Nippon Marathon a look just to experience the absurdity of it all first hand – just don’t expect to want to spend more than a few hours playing it.
With its Takeshi's Castle style, Nippon Marathon will delight those who enjoy the peculiar and ridiculously funny style of these contests, although neither technically nor playable is anything special.
Review in Spanish | Read full review
If you're the kind of person who, in the current year of your video game lord 2018 still likes to chuckle at “Engrish” memes and has at least one Sharknado flick in your collection on purpose, boy do I have the game for you. Nippon Marathon is all about the bit, building the gameplay experience, seemingly, all around a tongue in cheek version of Japanese culture. There is a wacky, multiplayer racing game in there, but it feels more like a side effect of a notepad full of gags than a gaming experience that can entertain a group of friends long enough to make them briefly forget about Super Smash Bros., nor does the single-player experience do much after you understand what's happening in front of you. Perhaps the subjectivity of humor is the pass/fail condition for Nippon Marathon, but in a space full of wacky, physics-based multiplayer games, this one feels like it's too confused about what it is and who it's for to stand out.
In the end having extra modes beyond the main game do nothing to help Nippon Marathon remain a fun time for more than a few hours at most. It would be impressive as a final project for a college course and is still good for a few laughs at a party, but those fleeting good times are not enough for me to recommend this game.
Nippon Marathon is a weird game for weird people. I consider myself to be weird, but this is some next-level stuff. If you find that your tastes in games generally align with mine, leave this alone. If you sit around watching anime on your Hello Kitty TV whilst eating imported noodles with authentic wasabi sauce – go for it, you weirdo.
Nippon Marathon gets repetitive and boring very soon, is not fun, and is not executed correctly, and if not for its low price, no one would have paid any attention to it.
Review in Persian | Read full review
Nippon Marathon in theory is a good idea, but when it came to actually playing the game I did not enjoy myself and I really wanted to. Maybe there’s fun to be had if played with friends but I was so put off myself that I wouldn’t force any friends to play it.
Nippon Marathon could have been a fun and enjoyable party game: its unusual concept and amount of game modes are a good start but sadly, they cannot overcome the game's poor gameplay experience, which will quickly drive any player into bouts of frustration and repetitiveness, not to mention that the game's audiovisual component is simply outdated and nowhere near what is expected at this day and age.
Review in Portuguese | Read full review
Nippon Marathon is impressive, but in the wrong way. Somehow, it manages to fail in every aspect, with absolutely nothing in it that could be considered a quality.
Review in Portuguese | Read full review
Nippon Marathon is an atrocious game. The kind of "wacky" that is trying far too hard to be funny and failing in every way. Cringeworthy. Buggy. Dull. Between the terrible gameplay and the appalling writing, it's hard to keep playing and not just turn this off for literally anything else. Absolute shovelware, and one of the worst to come to Switch.