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Neon White – Zero Punctuation

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Oh Yahtzee, you should do Diablo Immortal. It’s a bit boring and the camera zooms in too close and it’s also the most insidious work of evil to ever be expelled from BeelzeBlizzard’s prickly black anus. Sounds like you already know what you think, viewers. Why should I make myself miserable all week just to rephrase the established general opinion through a lens of dick jokes and gradually change the title to something irreverent. Tell you what, let’s just list all the things I would have called now: Diablo Immortal, Diablo Immoral, Diablo Impoverishing, Diablo Income Statement, Diablo In A Gadda Da Vida Baby. Now let’s move on and try to spread some much needed positivity instead. And you know what makes me positive: new indie games that I’ve never heard of before but really like. The Escapist has a joint list of games to review that I always try to steal the juiciest carrots from before the guys at 3MR sober up Monday morning, and Neon White caught my eye when he described himself as a first person shooter. And I have a growing interest in speedrunners, mostly because I feel like someone needs to keep an eye out for these folks before there’s an unexpected shortage of Mountain Dew and they burn all our cities.

And after playing it yeah I guess you could call Neon White a first person shooter in that it’s first person and you shoot things but the enemies can’t move and have all the dynamic characterization of obstacles on a sprint track. This is truly a first-person speed platformer, where in each level the challenge is to deduce the fastest route to splash all the obligatory kills and hit the exit. The unique game mechanic is that you pick up gun cards which you shoot in that usual boring gun way or throw to use some sort of traversal power unique to that weapon – the gun grants a double jump, the rifle a dash in the air, the rocket launcher has a grappling hook, which means if it also dispensed shrimp cocktail flavor jumps from its handle, I officially wouldn’t need anything. other in my life. And I can definitely see the bottom line at the heart of this idea. There’s something inherently cool, if not terribly eco-friendly, about throwing used guns into the middle of an action scene. Like the lobby scene in the first Matrix movie, or that guy from Overwatch who probably has more spare weapons on him than an American high school lost property department.

Why firearms should be presented in card form, I am a little less clear; maybe if you can somehow describe yourself as a “card shuffler” you qualify for tax relief from the independent gaming government. And the final ingredient is a visual novel element, (spit). No, I’m fine, I guess. It’s good to space out the intense speedrun challenges with some downtime with anime characters, or more specifically, characters from a webcomic drawn by a college freshman who watches too much anime. I don’t hate the story, it’s just a little…juvenile I guess. You play as a pissed off guy in a suit with too many belts voiced by the great Steve Blum wearing his Cowboy Bebop hat, and he was once part of a CRIME GANG that worked more along the lines of a best friends club in the trees , and consisted of standard bog archetypes: lazy silly friend, hot girl, loud girl. Loud girl displaying the usual slightly misguided student webcomic definition of insanity: loving violence, staring, and generally acting like a twelve-year-old maniac who recently got his head stuck in a jelly machine.

Still, at least the plot is easy enough to grasp. Our hero, White, named after his favorite Beatles album, is dead and in purgatory, but he and his chromatic comrades are summoned to heaven because they’re like the best treehouse club of criminal best friends in all the time and they are needed to fight off an invasion of demons and whoever does the best job stays in heaven as God’s personal ratcatcher. Lots of Neon White gives me a Suda51 vibe. The upbeat tone, the visual style, the grandiose theme, the way every character is a super cool assassin because Suda51 apparently isn’t aware that other jobs exist, it’s just the story and the writing which have that eye-rolling wannime vibe. Wannime is when something non-Japanese affects the look of Japanese anime, just to save you a trip to the glossary, and when I researched the developers to confirm they weren’t Japanese, the lead designer happened to be Ben Esposito, the guy who did Donut County and a few other things, but who I mostly remember because his last name would be a really good name for a spaceship. “Captain, we have confirmation that Andromeda plague larvae have completely overrun Esposito Station.”

But I digress. Just to repeat myself, I didn’t mind the anime stuff even when sometimes you can physically feel his constant urge to get to the beach episode. In fact, I felt motivated to find all the hidden gifts in each level to unlock each bonus conversation. It is not a complex relational system; each character only has one gift they like. Personally, if I was given nineteen bottles of perfume, I would consider it a dig into my personal hygiene, but it really opened up the interest of hot girls, in multiple senses of the phrase. Not that I took the time to find hidden gifts and a gold star on each level just to wet a fictional character’s pocket. I did it because it was fun to do. Also, there are bonus challenge levels that you can only get from relationship tracks and that meant even more fun for me. FUN. F, U, N. Provides cheerfulness or amusement. Look at it, the games industry. In this era of rampant Jiminy Cockthroatism, I’ve made it clear time and time again that I have far more time for a game that focuses on one thing to do well than for oversized bloated spunksalads trying to respond to shooters and stealth players and single and multiplayer players and players who just want to sit in the corner shoving ants up their noses.

Neon White’s basic gameplay loop isn’t complicated, but it’s fun, cathartic, and challenging, and the visual novel bits don’t interrupt it until they provide the necessary breaks for you to pick up again. your breath and drink a Gatorade. And the game is well focused on its intended speedrun experience. Maybe wrong sometimes. I might have enjoyed a few slightly looser levels that focus more on stylish demon shooting than following a very specific linear path to the end, but Neon White wants to be more of a puzzle game. fast as a shooter and that’s fine with me. Would it be more of us could be so certain of what they want. Sink into my barber chair and say, “Number three buzz cut!” and I’m like “Yes sir!” Better than games that come and go “Oh I don’t know make half my head short and the other half curled and paint the top part green and the bottom part any color you want so you have a personal sense of ownership of my haircut. And then I’m like, ‘Bitch, don’t come in here with your total indecision and say it’s for my benefit. Don’t stick half a pineapple up my ass and call it a juice cleanse.

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