Currently playing (Neon White, my entire Steam backlog)

It’s been a while since I wrote about any games here, but I haven’t been idle on that front. There’s one game I’m nearly done with and will be writing about in a full review at some point this month — I don’t want to be too ambitious with my schedule considering how much work I’m taking on this month, but that much seems feasible. However, I’ve also been playing a new game and returning to some I’ve had on Steam for years (and maybe too?) Blowing the dust off of those, just because they’re there, and I don’t feel like spending any more money since I wake up in a cold sweat sometimes thinking about my debt. But then that’s a lot of us, sadly. It’s the reason I have the job I have to begin with. I sure as hell don’t do it for fun.

So let’s talk about something actually fun. Neon White was released in June last year on PC and Switch, but since my PC is garbage, I had to wait until the PS4 release in December to play it. I’m not much for action games as you’ll see if you look through the Games index page on this site, but there are two reasons I picked up this one, starting with the recommendation of fellow blogger Frostilyte. Our tastes in games don’t totally overlap, but his analysis is always a great time to read, and his looks at Neon White got me interested in checking it out for myself. And secondly — I won’t even make a show of downplaying this because I’ve already written about VTubers a few times on the site, but there’s a certain laughing dragon girl who played through the game, and her streams are always entertaining, but before watching any of it I don’t want to spoil anything for myself, least of all the solutions to the stages. That’s as good a reason as any, isn’t it?

Speaking of, Neon White isn’t a standard FPS as the guns might suggest. While there is plenty of shooting in the game, it’s far better described as an action platformer with puzzle elements. Each stage in the game up to the point I’ve played takes place in Heaven, where the characters including the protagonist codenamed Neon White have to clear out a demon invasion. The game’s primary mechanic is a card system: each card represents a gun (a pistol, rifle, shotgun, etc.) with a set amount of ammunition, but the card can also be used up and discarded to perform an extra function like a double-jump or a boost.

I’ll get into the system in greater depth when I’m done with the game, but it’s surprisingly intuitive and easy to get hooked on. There’s a strong speedrunning aspect to Neon White, but you don’t have to be a Hardcore Gamer™ to get into it. I’m certainly not. Another nice aspect of this game is that it’s pretty forgiving about jumps, allowing you to do demon-slaying parkour without worrying about pixel-perfect landings. However, the challenge is still there, especially for those who want to earn the top “ace” medal times in each stage for bragging rights (or the really extreme red medal times, of which I’ve only gotten two. Good thing these really are meant just for bragging rights.)

As for the story and the characters, you may have heard from Frostilyte or elsewhere that they are over-the-top ridiculous, and that’s totally true. Neon White does have a plot, but it feels like something a 13 year-old boy might write with plenty of edge and hot girls with guns etc. etc. The protagonist even has amnesia. What more can you ask for? It’s pretty much a bad anime plot. I’m not sure just how self-aware the developers were, but it feels like they just decided to go all out here, which I respect: commit totally to the over-the-top feel or don’t bother at all.

There’s not much more I can say so far — this isn’t a review since I haven’t finished the game, but I will be taking Neon White on in full at some point. Very fun so far, though.

And then there’s my backlog of old games. I have no hope of clearing this out, not unless I find a rich patron to fund me quitting my job and locking myself in my living space and living off of deliveries which I’d love to do if I could. But I can make a dent in the backlog, at least. Looking through my list of games on Steam, I have several visual novels, a few action platformers, and an assortment of stuff that I can’t easily categorize. I remember HuniePop 2 irritating me for some reason, but it is in there and I do want to return to it — it’s been long enough that I don’t remember what it was that annoyed me about that one. Maybe I was just in a lousy mood at the time. I also have Momodora III and IV, which I’ve meant to play forever now.

Momodora III by indie developer rdein, which I played ten minutes of before getting thoroughly beaten by the first boss. Those demons just won’t let up. But I will be back — the challenge to games like this is in getting the patterns down.

I’d like to get through a few of these sometime soon, but the VNs might take precedence. Not sure how I’ll approach my backlog, but I will at least put a few chips in it, if not even a dent. And HoloCure is coming out with an update this or next week, so I’ll be wasting at least a few hours there when that happens.

I hope the brief update was interesting, anyway. This week is going to be hell for me, so I don’t expect to be able to post anything else until this coming weekend. Hope you all have a better week than I do!


8 thoughts on “Currently playing (Neon White, my entire Steam backlog)

  1. Looking forward to the full review of Neon White whenever you finish it.

    Also had to laugh at myself. Saw “Vtuber dragon”, thought “Selen?”, and it was indeed Selen. She’s not someone I watch, but she’s pretty popular in a few circles I frequent.

    • I did something really stupid — when I was sleep-deprived recently, I picked up Neon White, accidentally started a new game, and erased all my progress. But then I found since I remembered almost all the solutions to get at least gold medals up through that point, it didn’t take long at all to recover. I’ll just have to remember not to do that again.

      Since you mention it, I guess Selen is the biggest VTuber dragon, at least ever since Coco retired/moved over to her new agency and persona. I’ve heard she has a big following among Apex Legends fans, have heard she’s actually extremely good at it if not pro-level (but then I can’t judge that well, not being an FPS guy.)

      • That’s the great thing about Neon White – most levels are a knowledge check more so than a skill check. I won’t defend what it took to get a platinum medal in some of those levels though. While most of them are pretty forgiving, some of them got me heated.

        I know about her from some folks I play fighting games with, but that makes sense. Lot of overlap between FPS, and fighting game folks (probably just a love of competitive games in general there?). I’m not much of an FPS guy either so I wouldn’t know.

        Also, glad to hear Coco landed on her feet. I thought she just kinda fell off, but I’m only on the fringe of VTuber stuff so I’m never up-to-date on stuff.

      • Oh yeah, some of those platinums I just gave up on. So far, I’ve especially had trouble with a couple that did require very accurate rushing into enemies several times. Just got to the tripwire levels as well that Violet was nice enough to set up.

        Yeah, while Coco is retired, the same streamer is over at VShojo now as Kson, which she was streaming as for a long time anyway both in person and with a VTuber rig. Normally talking about VTubers’ other personas is frowned upon, but this doesn’t even qualify as an open secret anymore, so I think it’s fine. Also happy to see she recovered well — she really went through a lot of shit that wasn’t her fault in the slightest.

      • Nice, happy to hear! Yeah, I can see missing out on that if you’re not shoved as deep into that VTuber rabbit hole as I am.

    • The game is enjoyable for sure up to the point I’ve played, but the plot is something else. If you can enjoy a game with writing on the level of “The Room” or something I might have written in my Trapper Keeper when I was in 5th grade I’d say go for it, but I probably wouldn’t watch an anime or something with this plot.

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