PAX East 2015: First Impressions—Neon the Ninja

Before getting into my thoughts on Neon the Ninja, I do want to add a disclaimer that the game is currently in pre-alpha… so what I saw isn’t necessarily representative of what it’ll be at the end. I also, apparently, ran into some bugs that they hadn’t seen before (which doesn’t surprise me, I happen to be excellent at breaking games). Neither am I particularly adept at picking up new platformers, but despite all these things, we forge on with first impressions.

The game is designed to be a stealth game… but stealth by hiding in neon signs instead of in the shadows. It has an interesting feel, kind of like 16-bit Mega Man combined with stealth mechanics. The key factor here is that the main character, Neon, can instantly switch his color between neon orange and neon green to blend into similarly colored elements of the environment.

I got the play the Tokyo themed level, moving through the buildings using neon camouflage to hide from Yakuza baddies (and assassinating when necessary). Neon jumped across rooftops and dove directly into combat sometimes to take out enemies, and that element of surprise worked very well for getting the jump on the bad guys. Like I said, the mechanics didn’t always work the way they were supposed to, but I got a good impression of what it intends to do and it was quite entertaining.

Neon the Ninja will feature a boss selection screen at the beginning, so that players can choose their own path through the game. Keeping this Mega Man feel at the forefront, Neon will gain a power based on the defeated boss’s fighting style.

The tentative release date for this title is sometime in 2016, and there certainly is a lot of work still to be done, but it has great potential. It’s one to keep an eye out for!

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Micah
Author: Micah View all posts by
Micah has been playing games since his first pong machine, and has been writing for as long as he could grip a pencil and not drool on the paper. So, for about a week.

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