Just one month after its release, Neon White got a huge spike in popularity, which caught my interest. I wanted to see what this game had in store and why it got such a huge following, so I played it. I can definitely see why this game has so many good reviews, it’s the gameplay which in itself is what mostly kept me hooked throughout the whole thing. On top of that, Steve Blum voices the main character so some bonus points are added.
Pros and Cons
- A decent story with fun characters who have likable personalities
- Fantastic gameplay that is fast, fluid, and fun
- Fun level design that has interesting abilities for you to use
- Awesome soundtrack with a ton of catchy tunes
- A nice visual art style that is pleasing to look at
- The dialogue requires you to have an acquired taste, as it may end up being cringy
The story starts with an assassin named White, who has died in a previous life and was hand-picked from Hell to exterminate demons in Heaven. If White wins, he has a chance to live there for one year with a Mechanical Halo. Currently, the person who holds it is Neon Green and he has been the number one Neon for a few years. However, he will be going up against other assassins, some of which seem familiar to him. Heaven is run by these people who are called Believers, who explain they are taking part in The 10 days of Judgement. All of the Neons are sinners who did crimes in their previous lives. They all wear these masks and if they take them off, they will explode, killing them.
The story for Neon White is rather interesting in its own right and I did enjoy it. The characters all have their charm and interesting personalities that I liked. However, I need to say this: White is voiced by Steve Blum, Neon Green gives off massive Vicious vibes - What I am saying is that Neon White is a massive Cowboy Bebop reference and I love it.
Although, Neon White does have an issue that while I myself did not really mind others may find annoying. This has to do with some of the dialogue in the game being a bit cringy. I myself am someone who can deal with some of this stuff, but others may not. I have also heard some issues with how the story presents itself, mainly with it being a VN. I personally think a game should not be judged on how it presents its cutscenes but rather on its story but that’s just me.
Neon White will have you go through levels with these card-based abilities. They have a certain weapon for you to use to take out enemies. Certain cards will only grant certain abilities, so for example, the yellow card will give you an extra jump, the green one will give you a stomp-based ability, and the purple one will give you a bomb. My favorite ability card to use has to be Dominion, it was a rocket launcher where you can rocket jump and if you discarded it, it would be a grappling hook. Perfect for someone like me who has practiced their Team Fortress 2 rocket jumping.
The gameplay is really fun and is honestly the best part of the game. I just want to play more of it, and this is one of those few games where you don’t want it to end. To progress through the game, you will need to acquire a certain Neon Rank. To get a higher Neon Rank, you will need to achieve gold medals. To get them, you need to beat levels in a certain amount of time. Sometimes you will get the gold rank in one try, at other times you may need to replay the levels - however, they are short so you won’t have to worry about that taking too long. You can also view the leaderboards of your friends and other people when you get certain ranks on levels as well. At the end of it all, when you beat a level you will hear a voice saying that you could do it faster.
The level design is really good, it’s creative in what you have to do in the levels. You must kill all the enemies to beat the level, or the goal won’t open up. If you happen to die, you will have to redo the level from the start. As mentioned before, they are short, so you won’t feel pressured. You can reset the levels if you so choose if you want to get a time bonus or whatnot or if you mess up and get screwed over from a certain jump.
You can also give certain people gifts that you can find in the levels, this will give you access to a certain cutscene and character development to them. To find gifts, you will need to find them in the levels that you play in the game. Certain characters do like certain gifts, and this will open up side quests for you to do for them and you can also unlock memories. These memories are required in order to unlock certain endings of the game.
I really like the soundtrack that Neon White has, it’s done in such a manner that I found no song bad. This is something that is rather hard to do for a game like this, only a few games seemed to even do such a thing like that. The entire soundtrack was done by Machine Girl who by the time of writing this review actually has a merch store. You can buy the soundtrack for 11.99 CDN if you wish.
Graphics and Performance
The game has a nice, interesting art style that is very unique. The backgrounds feel empty and lifeless, but I think that’s what the developers wanted. They made Heaven feel empty and the only thing around are demons in the outskirts. I tested the game on an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 3GB, AMD Ryzen 5 1500X Quad-Core Processor 3.50, and 16 GB of RAM. I ran into no issues while I was playing, and the game ran at a nice steady 60 FPS.
Neon White is a fantastic game with some really fun gameplay. I enjoyed it from start to finish and I just want more. The story, while it may have some cringe dialogue to some people, is good enough to be a story. You don’t need to be a speedrunner to enjoy this game and will have a lot of fun playing it. I can recommend picking up this title even at full price as the value is worth the price.
If you want to see some gameplay on this game, then check out my video.