Neon White is incredibly addictive

(Posted: Tuesday, August 30, 2022)

If you took Trackmania + John Wick + wacky Anime plot, you’d get this gem. I really don’t have anything to say about the plot and dialog, because I skipped LITERALLY all of it. The gameplay is what did it for me, because like HOLY SHIT this is like definition of video game for me.

tldr Ratings:

First Time Playing Yup
Play Time 13hrs
Difficulty Gold medal’d everything, most Aces too
100% Completion Yes, besides the extra marathon trials
Fun 10 / 10
Confusing Anime plot 10 / 10
Jank 2 / 10
Easy Level

This game has:

Art Style

The game is really designed around you knowing what is coming up far away, very quickly. Everything is stylized/designed around easy colors, the stage geometry not getting in the way, and letting you do everything you can to be FAST.

End Goal

Gameplay

The game is centered around you doing each stage as fast as you can while clearing all the enemies. At first all you can do is jump and swing your sword, but you will also find ‘cards’ you can use to spawn weapons/abilities for the stage. How it works is you can either use the weapon, or discard it for the ability it caries. It sounds really confusing (and it sort of is at first), but once you get in the flow, it’s designed REALLY well around this mechanic once you start chaining things together. Cards are either on the stage for you to grab, or gathered by killing enemies. Almost every enemy gives you a card back for shooting them dead.

Notable Cards

  1. Katana - You always have this, it can do a lot more than you think, but using it too much will take away health (you hurt yourself in your confusion?). Honestly hitting Q and swapping to the sword to save other cards is a legitimate strat that can get you some janky fast runs.
  2. Elevate - 9 shot pistol, does minimal damage, discard for double jump
  3. Godspeed - 4 shot rifle, does more damage than pistol, discard for forward thrust (in air or through breakable walls/enemies)
  4. Purify - 35 round machine gun, does minimal damage. The discard is a sticky grenade which you can use to grenade jump and is one of the most fun mechanics in the game. It really reminded me of the Demoman from TF2 where if you jump just right you can get farther than you think. Definitely need to master this to Ace some stages.
  5. Stomp - Another machine gun, discard causes you to ground pound/speed to the ground
  6. Dominion - Rocket Launcher, discard lets you grappling hook to any solid surface. You can also use the rockets to ‘rocket jump’ up and around, which is almost required later on to get 100% in some stages
  7. Fireball - The game’s shotgun, the discard works the same as Godspeed, but you can aim in any direction, not just forward
Fun bunch of friends waiting to get stomped

You can only cary up to 3 different card types at once, but you can carry multiple of a type of card. This gets interesting later on where you have to think about your strat about where to go with what you have, or how you can make your time faster if you DON’T get a card and keep that speed boost, etc.

Story

I literally put zero attention and thankfully you can skip/fast-forward all dialog.

Castle playground

Gotta Go Fast

The game is HEAVILY trying to get you to do everything as fast as you can. After every stage you can see how fast others in your friends list did the same stage, and pretty quickly I learned I suck at the game and can do better. I don’t think I saw the ability to watch friend’s ghosts (which is almost okay, I’d prefer discovering/exploring paths anyways), but it does save the ghost of your personal best, so racing yourself and feeling that sense of speed/progression just doing things a LITTLE BIT BETTER is really satisfying.

Orbs

Final Thoughts

Honestly this is a close contender for Game of the Year for me, and this is what I think of when I think “video game”. Whole heartedly recommend to anyone who loves games like Trackmania where stages are short and full of fun ways to explore how to do better. Everything was just amazing and awesome.