Newbie wrote:Neon White annihilates.
Triple-posting because this deserves additional detail.Neon White
is a platformer/FPS for Switch and Steam. Stages are small and enemy counts are low. Weapons are placed throughout the environment: these are abstracted as "cards" to justify their dissimilar functions. The pistol gives you a few medium-power shots, but you can discard it instead for a double-jump. The assault rifle shoots fast and strong, but you can discard it for a sticky bomb—which also allows you to bomb-jump, taking no damage. The semiautomatic rifle is stronger still, and you can discard it for a horizontal air dash, breaking through obstacles and enemies. You can collect up to two categories of weapons at one time; you also have a melee attack that cannot be discarded, but which I believe you can deplete through overuse.
These elements combine to create a game that is all about optimizing your path through the environment. At the most basic level, all you need to do is kill all the enemies and reach the level goal. The faster you do this, the more "insights" you unlock for that stage: first you unlock the ability to locate a gift somewhere in the level, then things like global leaderboards, a ghost-replay of your own best time, and in-game routing hints that point out possible shortcuts you may have overlooked. Get a ranking of "gold" or "ace" to increase your "demon rank", which starts at 100. The closer you get to rank 1, the more missions and story you unlock.
The gifts can be turned over all Persona-like to NPCs for additional conversation and to unlock "side quest" missions, and this is the part that made remember my old Bronto friends. These side quests have the timer, but the emphasis is much more on getting through longer stages in one piece rather than on replaying for time; one guy has an enemy gauntlet with discard abilities turned off, while the femme fatale is more about navigating a challenging series of aerial maneuvers between distant platforms. The adorable maniac/Harley Quinn knockoff has you navigating a spike-filled deathtrap while out-of-reach enemies harass you with bullets; it brought back fond EK memories, and it was very satisfying to finally complete. Can't wait to see what else they have in store.
I had a negative first reaction to the writing, but I'm warming up to it. It's an amnesia plot, but it casts you as a damned soul sub-contacted out to heaven to deal with their demon infestation, referred to as a "neon". This is such a routine situation that they've turned it into a recurring competition, complete with prizes and privileges, and you have (forgotten) history with the other competitors. The aesthetics remind me a lot of a less gory, less over-the-top Paradise Killer
: lots of marble and sunlight, classical architecture, demons and the demonstrably opposed, gratuitous collection of the most mundane of resources in something ostensibly supposed to be paradise... This soundtrack is by Machine Girl, and I'm not familiar with their work, but it works great here. Highly recommended.
But don't just take my word for it: within minutes of posting this, I got a notification from Jacob Geller's Twitter account that he'd posted [a review of the game for Polygon](https://www.polygon.com/reviews/2318513 ... -pc-switch
). I didn't need to read much to confirm he's seen a lot more of the game than I have, and he seems just as happy with it as I am.