Neon White Review – Holy Hell – Game Informer

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in 2021, while Interview Producer Ben Esposito Regarding the then-upcoming Neon White, he told me he wasn’t trying to make a game appealing to everyone. He wanted the neon white to appeal to “really specific people.”

Put another way, as Esposito said in one of the game’s trailers, it’s a game made for “the devil.”

I guess it makes me a freak. Because Neon White is my favorite game I’ve played all year – by a huge margin.

You assume the role of Neon White; A dead killer was pulled out of hell for a divine contest. Demons have taken over the heavens, so the powers that be are White and cursed to clean up the mess. The exiled soul with the best – and fastest – score wins the chance to spend eternity in Heaven. They do this by running as quickly as possible through the various districts of the Pearly Gates, blasting monsters with varying arsenals of heavenly guns.

With rare exceptions, it takes less than a minute to play through any individual level of Neon White. By jumping, it insists you play as fast as possible at all times. It also emphasizes replaying levels for increasingly better times. It is great to run and jump; They are fluid, fast, and give the impression of swimming at full level.

But it’s the guns where Neon White shines. You pick up firearms through cards scattered inside a level, each with two tasks. The first is just shooting. The second, however, is the discard option, which gives White a brief platforming advantage. Throwing pistols offers a double jump, shotguns blast you in the direction you’re facing, rifles straight ahead, SMGs send you hurtling toward the ground, and rocket launchers deliver a grapple shot.

Levels demand mastery of all these options; You must run, shoot, jump and use discards at the right times to reach your destination, as well as kill each monster on a level. I used to try and re-try levels over and over until I got the combination of moves right, and then I ended up trying to reduce my time to an “ace” score, even more loved My heart often tugged firmly in my throat as I crossed the finish line, and few things feel better than upping my time by a literal tenth of a second.

From its mechanical foundation, Neon White is built around the idea of ​​motion. Plus, it appears to be designed around youtube videos Fly through the levels with perfect accuracy like a well armed ballerina smash speedrunner game. Especially in its back half, you will feel as cool as these videos look.

Flying over enemies, shooting rockets above their heads, sending yourself to slide down narrow ledges falling to Earth, back to the stratosphere, then using explosions to reach the finish line Jumping up. Doing it all in literally seconds without any mistake, feeling comfortable as if you’ve practiced for years, not just 15 to 20 minutes; This is the basis of Neon White, not just the higher level game. It’s remarkable to have such precise and complex gameplay to feel so comfortable, but Neon White pulls it off at every turn. This is one of the funniest games I’ve played in years.

In fact, I can’t stop playing it. About 30 hours later, I have no plans to stop until I’ve got an Ace rank on every level. Fortunately, the level design is top-notch and, with two or three exceptions, rarely disappoints. I’m still flying through the game, beating all my previous times and loving almost every second. I also care about the global leaderboards, a personal first, because I don’t think I’ve ever paid much attention to rankings in any other sport.

I also love Neon White’s nerdy-but-charming story – of White trying to figure out why he and his team of fellow assassins are dead. It worked on me more than I expected. Since the story is told via visual novel, I was forced to explore each character’s story, giving them gifts to unlock new dialogue and sidequests. In moments of weakness, I even laughed at unpleasant dialogue, such as when Neon Violet said that Neon White was a good guy, “the type who would catch a girl’s spit with his mouth!”

It also helps that the aesthetically pleasing Neon White scratches the typical and neglected itch. It is reminiscent of Japanese action games that don’t really exist anymore, such as Killer 7 and El Shadai: Ascension of Metatron. it remembers like anime triple And Cowboy Bebop and the music of now-defunct bands such as Drop Dead, Gorgeous and The Blood Brothers. Its heavenly-yet-violent aesthetic is clever, striking, and full of perspective. Like the T-shirt section of a Hot Topic and the anime aisle of a Suncoast video collided. You can imagine the 480p AMV of the Neon White playthrough is “set to”the show must go on” either “love rhymes with hidden car wreck, You can imagine seeing the kids in brightly colored neon white shirts at the Taste of Chaos tour date. Hell, Steven Blum even voiced White!

If any of this means anything to you, then you are the “really special” person Esposito made this game for. If the above reads like a different language, you’ll still enjoy Neon White, but you’re hardly the dominant demographic.

Neon White achieves everything it sets out to do with remarkable success. Not only is it one of the most entertaining experiences I’ve played in years, but it also speaks to a highly specialized audience that doesn’t anymore. This is for the weirdos, misfits and dorks. Neon White is one of the best games of the year, and it would be a big mistake not to watch it.

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