Neonvit, out now for Switch and PC, is easily one of the best games of the year. Between the anime vibes and the kickass soundtrack from Machine Girl, you will find a lovely looking speedrunning glove that is as easy to learn as it is difficult to master. In recent days, I have not been able to put it down. Here are some tips that I wish I knew before I started.
Do not think of it as a shooter
Publisher Annapurna Interactive can technical account Neonvit as a “speedrunning FPS”, but that is not really the case. It’s certainly not a typical first-person shooter. Instead, think of these as actions that you must take on a regular basis, in which case you will have to deal with every single demon you see along the way. Your goal is to find the fastest way through and then … successfully pull it off. The faster you switch your brain from one Downfall mindset, the better at Neonvit you will be.
Cards are placed intentionally
You pick up weapons Neonvit by driving through maps scattered around the map. But every gun is not just a weapon. By discarding it, you also get a one-time traversing ability – a pistol that turns into a double jump, an SMG that turns into a pound of earth and so on. More often than not, these cards are placed exactly where they must be in order for you to use them. In other words, if you pick up a gun that turns into a dash, get ready to run.
Your deck of cards is limited
So that you do not get the wrong idea, Neonvit is emphatic not a deck building game. You can only have two types of cards in your hand, although you (based on my tests) can hold an unlimited number of each card. Your hand is wiped clean at the end of each level. Sure, you have a permanent card for a sword, but …
Melee attacks suck
You start each level with your sword, and you can not get rid of it. It is functionally useless in battle; Do not waste your time trying to use it to kill demons. But if you want to save ammunition, you can use your sword to hit various helpful items in the game – explosive barrels, chests (which usually contain cards for weapons) and the like.
Nail a run before trying to complete it
Even if you know you will finish a level with a terrible time, it’s worth the end. Simply completing the level gives you the bronze medal, shows you the time needed to watch silver, gold or ace medals and opens up the option to replay that level and find its gift (more on that in a second). Beating the silver time will create a ghost that recreates your previous fastest route, giving you a personal benchmark to compete against mid-run. Gold gives you a clue for the level, really helpful in finding out how to get aces. And if you do, you will be able to see the top lists of that level – that’s it real the game begins. (Beating your friends for a millisecond is a thrill.)
Pick gold medals
At certain points in Neonvit you will encounter a level gate: To unlock more missions, you must increase something called your neon rank, your measure against all other fictional characters in the game’s story. You start in 100th place. Each time you win a gold or ace medal, you move up one position. It is much easier to get a gold at an early level that you have run through earlier than to make the first attempt at a later one.
By replaying levels you have completed, you can also find gifts, which you can then give to other characters in the game, dating sim-style. If you do, you will build your relationship with them, and eventually unlock side quests – usually a skill-based test. But only by finding gifts, Neonvit becomes more about exploring than competing. There is no pressure to set a better time. (Once you have found the gift, the level ends.) You just poke around and try to find a colorful box with a bow on it. Neonvitit turns out, is very, very beautiful when you slow down and take in the sights.
Bonus Tip: When looking for a gift, keep all the weapons you have. Also try to reach the highest point in the level. Sometimes you can see the glimpse of the gift, shaped like a colorful box.
ATMs for extra weapons
Most levels have vending machines hidden in some corners. If you hit one, you get a card, usually one you need to reach the hidden gift of the level. If you try to set a fast time, and you have room to interact with a vending machine, you have already failed. But these are extremely useful for providing extra tricks that will allow you to find gifts.
All explosions fire you
You can throw away an automatic rifle to plant a bomb where the cursor is. Neonvit says you can start yourself by skipping it right when the explosion occurs, which is true, but you do not have to time a jump either. Just standing next to an explosion of some kind will automatically launch you into the air – and much higher than you can normally jump. There are ways to use this knowledge for a surprisingly useful effect. For example, if you hit an explosive barrel, you will end up quite high. Thumps on the ground two explosive barrels will send you even higher (exact measurements have not yet been determined). And you will not take any splashes, so experiment with explosives to your heart.
Try not to multitask IRL
As levels enter Neonvit are so short, usually lasting 30 seconds per bit, that you might get the impression that it’s a perfect game for multitasking – you know, firing a few emails, playing a level, going back to work for a while, playing a level, and so on. Eh, yes, about that. Once you start playing, it can consume your time before you even realize it, and whatever you tried to “multitask” will be left completely on the sidelines. You have been warned!
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