RPS Advent Calendar 2022, December 17

For day 17 of the RPS Advent Calendar this year, you feel the need – the need for speed. There’s a nice load of levels to go through, and if you can take out all the enemies in your way, great.

Hope we fooled at least one of you there, cause it’s Neon White time, baby!

Neon White’s combination of maps, guns and parkour is a winner

Alice0: Neon White is a speedrun FPS set in Vaporwave Heaven, where a gang of silly animated criminals have been raised to defeat demons. Playing as an embarrassing anime idiot, we try to climb the sky demon slayer leaderboards by dashing and shooting through levels as fast as possible. All of the weapons we find scattered throughout the levels provide additional movement capabilities, ranging from air dashes and double jumps to rockets and high-speed stomps. All you have to do is reach the end and kill all the demons along the way. The levels are short, with most taking less than a minute, but the real Neon White tries to complete them much, much faster than that.

Neon White levels feature obvious routes to follow. You can score the bronze, silver and gold medals in each level by following the obvious route, climbing the levels by winding less, aiming faster, keeping moving. The moment Neon White becomes Neon White is when you push into ace level and beyond. To score the ace medal, you must not only nail your performance, you must break away from the obvious path by finding a new use for a movement ability or challenging the level’s perceived limits. Jumps, tricks, and lightning-fast aiming will get you there. And from there, well, it’s easy to chase developer medals and then chase leaderboards.

This is Neon White at its best: seeing beyond what a level seems to be, finding your own little tricks, reveling in every shaved split second, finally nailing a tricky jump, then getting to master that jump and make it another move made unconsciously, and celebrating each place climbed in the rankings. It’s a wonderful feeling to complete a race and set a new best time, but the feeling that I could do a section a little better never goes away. I was very happy to have Neon White levels in my head for several weeks this year, occasionally conjuring up potential solutions that I should rush to my PC to check out.

Fighting demons in a Neon White screenshot.

The vaporwave-esque landscape of Heaven in a Neon White screenshot.

All the while, you’re walking through a beautiful vision of paradise, listening to fantastic music, and hanging out with your silly anime buddies. I know some find this crude study off-putting, but I really like these idiots and I’m here for their stupid plans.

Logging back into Neon White now, I see that our Ollie has beaten some of my ranking times by as little as 4 milliseconds. Good God. Alright, now I have to go try and get those positions back.

Liam: I only played Neon White for a few hours (and I really liked it!) but it was the soundtrack that stood out to me more than the game itself. Composed by Machine Girl, these high-intensity beats are a solid couple for doing boring chores around the house. Honestly, try sucking while pumping Glass Ocean into your skull. You’ll find yourself doing sick drifts past the coffee table and sliding down the ramps to try and beat your PB. It’s phenomenal.

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