Neon White Review on PlayStation – An Angelic Speedrun

Neon White Review on PlayStation – An Angelic Speedrun

Neon white, developed by Annapurna Interactive, is a very unique game with a fascinating concept that many will surely enjoy, and it certainly lives up to all the hype. There is nothing more fun and exciting than rushing through the sky itself, using cards to slash or shoot demons, as fast as humanly possible. This is an indie game, but with the time and effort obviously put into it, it could easily be mistaken for a AAA game made by one of the top studios. As an aside, Neon white was written by OK CO! Let’s be heroes writer Ryann Shannon, who would explain the clever writing and wit.

Neon white launch trailer

History

Neon white follows the titular character, a ‘Neon’ in white clothes, after he dies and ends up in heaven. With no memories, he is tasked by angels to work with the other neons to clear the sky of demons who have begun an invasion. The angels point out that God has already condemned them, but they get a chance at redemption by cleaning up heaven. All this is delivered with a bit of wit, with tongue firmly in cheek.

It’s not just fun times, a dramatic story begins to unfold as the player progresses from level to level. Allies are found, enemies raise their masked faces, and God himself dies. The story plays out differently towards the end, depending on how many “gifts” the player has received throughout the levels, wrapped gifts containing various items that help Neon White recover more of his memories.

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Neon white opening image

Art

The art style is incredible. The characters have varied and interesting looks. The masks look particularly interesting, and during cutscenes players can see the characters’ actual faces, giving them even more personality. The pure white skin of the characters kind of reminded me of the art style popularized by artist Patrick Nagel, which you can see in action in Rob Lowe’s comic series titled Moonbeam City.

The game takes place in first person, which gives the player a closer look at the different levels. The earlier stages are bright white, with only black demons to contrast. These demons come in many different forms, but all are taken down with the right weapon cards. All weapons are used with cards picked up in the levels and they are hard to miss. They use standard designs, but they still look good.

Neon white cutscene

Sound

Neon white is fully voiced with impeccable voice actors who do amazing work to bring the characters to life. The sound effects, every step, sword slash and bullet fired are incredibly well played. The music is also well made. It’s clear that no expense was spared when the developers, Annapurna Interactive, brought the game to life.

Gameplay

Neon White runs through levels, shooting, jumping and slashing as fast as possible. Levels can be completed in under a minute, further highlighting the game’s insistence on speed. Cards found in levels allow Neon White to use weapons, but they have limited use. Even the sword can only be used so many times before he defaults to punching, which also has limited use.

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Some cards, like the Golden Gun, can be discarded to give Neon White a second, and higher, jump. This, used in tandem with level hints, allows players to clear levels even faster. Getting from point A to point B isn’t the only goal, players will be tasked with defeating a certain number of demons before the end gate even activates.

Players can replay levels whenever they want and Neon white encourages this. Getting the fastest time for the Ace trophy, a level higher than gold, and getting the gift may not be possible until certain skills are obtained at later levels. Getting gifts and ace trophies is important to both the gameplay and the plot itself, so potential runners need to keep this in mind.

For those nervous about whether or not they can even do this, your trusty reviewer is by no means a speedrunner and he managed to get those Ace trophies just fine, it just takes a little practice. The levels are short, less than a minute, so it’s not too rough to run through a level over and over to find the optimal path.

Neon white gaming

Conclusion

Neon white is remarkably fun and unique, promising plenty of fast-paced action and fun characters to mow down demons on the move to awesomeness. Players do not need to be professional speedrunners to beat the game or have fun, nothing here is perfect for the frame, so there is no risk of regretting a purchase because the first level is impossible. Level hints are unlocked to guide players on the optimal path, proving that the developers want players to just have fun.

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Neon white is currently available on Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5 and PC.
©Annapurna Interactive

Anime Corner obtained a review copy of the PS4 version of the Neon white.

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