Ooooo so that is what a Nemesis is….
*Highly recommend listening to this song as it is one of my favorite songs in the game so far and if you like this song purchase the entire OST for Pay What You Want price: Click Here
NeuroVoider – Nintendo Switch – Released: 9/7/2017 – $13.99
Short Review: (Review Copy provided by Developer)
I remember seeing trailers for this game and was like “This looks amazing but oh… it is a multiplayer game” but I am so glad I was wrong. The team behind NeuroVoider did an amazing AMA covering everything from what inspired them over the years to would they want to hug Kirby to how was the porting process to the Switch to why they love pizza and want a bedding set that would make their bed a giant pizza. When I saw trailers I always saw multiplayer and assumed that it was a multiplayer driven game but you know what they say about assumptions. I decided to not bother about asking for the honor of reviewing it until the AMA where I could ask my critical question which was “Is this a good single player experience or would it be better with friends?” and I was glad to swiftly receive the answer of “It was designed to be just as enjoyable alone as with friends”. Several hours later, review copy in hand, small chat with Thomas “MrHelmut” Altenburger, the game was downloaded and ready to go but there was one problem…. I wasn’t prepared to enjoy it so much. 1 AM, half way through my run I finally put the game down to get up for work the next day. At lunch I started once again, dropped into the next stage, saw my first red “Warning” marker, the robot dashed to me, cornered me into a wall and with a few swipes of its sword, I was dead. Two hours worth of work was gone and as “Game Over” appeared and gave me the option to continue I hit the button as quickly as the letters appeared and there was my first Nemesis and I was ready to start over. But last by not least the icon that is extremely well done!
The Team behind NeuroVoider is fairly new and Flying Oak Games have only made three games according to their website. Even though NeuroVoider has been on PC for over a year now it slowly made its way to other platforms and now to the Switch. In the AMA (Click to AMA) they discussed how did the porting process go and how long did it take. It seems like the hardest part was the waiting for a Switch Dev Unit which they stated took months to get into the program and receive one but the process to port was the smoothest for them compared to the other consoles and they hope to do more things on the Switch…. hopefully NeuroVoider 2 perhaps. The release of the NeuroVoider seems to have gone pretty smoothly if you follow the updates on the Steam page that dates back to 2015 with small updates from Alpha to Beta to Full Release. When I was flipping through the pages on Steam it really shows that they took a lot of care and effort into making sure this game came out smoothly and to everyone’s liking.
Now onto the game, it is a Rogue-lite twin stick shooter with RPG elements. Yeah, it is kind of a lot at first but the game breaks it down pretty easily but requires a lot of reading during the first run but does a great job of explaining things unlike another rogue-like game that is on the Switch. Rogue-like always gives the bad connotation that it has to be tough as nails and needs serious dedication to get to the end, NeuroVoider isn’t like that and I love it so much more because of it. You have the ability to start a run at different difficulties so this is my experience from the “Normal” mode and a very short run of the “Hard” mode sadly. I sadly have not beaten the boss as of 9 AM on 9/10/17 but will update this part if that changes along with the date since I haven’t put the game down since I received it and plan on beating it.
Sadly this is going to be fairly short since there really isn’t much unless you dig for it. NeuroVoider doesn’t explain much when it comes to story besides you are a brain and you have finally been freed of your prison in a test tube. After breaking out another robot appears and tries to help you understand controls. The robot also known as Fat. 32 explains a few things about weapons, types of robots and objectives then proceeds to say some weird stuff about a “master” and “his plan”. So as you might have guess this is all we get unless you beat the game so not to spoiler it, I would say just go play the game. If you would like to be spoiled a little, go to the AMA and they cover it a bit more in a few of the posts.
Whew, this is where things get complicated really quickly and I will try my best to explain it. The game drops you off in a short tutorial section with Fat. 32 who will explain things very simple and try to get you started right away. This can be a good thing or a bad thing since I feel like most people will rush through it too fast and miss critical things to help you in your first run which you will likely not complete. The game lets you decide on the three main robot types, Dash, Rampage, and Fortress.
Sounds simple but these three types will easily shape how you play your runs since you will be collecting items for all the different types through your looting. Each has their own special that will trigger with the press of a button. Dash has a dash button, Rampage will use the bulk of your energy to use both your weapons at once rapidly and Fortress can create a shield. This means with Dash, you will be running into hoards of enemies, Rampage will be more reserved but in a tight squeeze you can use your Rampage button, and Fortress is defensive which is great for bosses. After finding out about the different types Fat 32 lets you know about the L Button healing…. Now this is where I have a slight issue. I thought this would be a normal thing that I had but this isn’t the case which confused me after the tutorial. The game will show you 27 slots that all do different things from letting you slow down time for a short period, collect only weapons and items for your robot type, healing (this is my issue), and getting an extra life. Dropping into the first stage I took a lot of damage and click on the L button but nothing since I picked drop items for my Robot type then I remembered the healing and put two and two together. My first run would not have a free healing recharge which I greatly missed in my first run only making it 50% through which took about an hour so entire run can last between 2-3 hours depending on your route.
When you start a run you have the option of picking 3 paths with a meter for Size, Elites, and Loot. Size is how big the area to explore will be, Elites are the number of the large enemies that pack a ton of punch, and Loot is how much loot you will find in that area. Then you do the stage and destroy the cores to proceed to the loot screen where you can change all the different parts of your robot. This can get complicated at first but after looking through for several minutes you quickly understand what is going on. You can even test out weapons in this screen, you won’t be able to actual fight with them but you can see what they do. After you do 4 stages you go to a boss…. this is where everything you have learned hits the fan. These bosses can be super easy or one shot you. I’ve made it several times to the 75% boss and haven’t been able to beat it. Finally we can talk about the Nemesis part of the game and this game changer is what will really hurt a run or not. The nemesis will spawn in the exact location you died, will carry all the weapons you lost, and be stronger as well. This can sometimes be stronger than the boss in some cases since he could have an overpowered weapon that will one shot you. The first time I met my nemesis he had a nuke and I was able to dodge it but it didn’t matter the blast radius was big enough to hit and kill me in one shot. The nemesis is labeled with a Purple Skull as you can see in my first which I haven’t been able to get further than 50% complete on Normal.
If you want to cheat the system you can for a bit to a certain point but when you face a boss you will be sad you cheated the system. It is possible to run backwards and gun down until you hit a wall but you risk backing up too far and triggering more enemies so this is a small way of cheating the system. This isn’t fool proof though and I really don’t recommend it. I do recommend staying with the group you spawn and trying to dodge as much as you can which can be a pain but will help greatly later on. Bosses are tough and you will feel like you dropped into a bullet hell shooter when you fight each one. These are extremely tough and require you to kill the smaller enemies that spawn to gather health packs. I have not made it to the final boss but considering how quickly I press to restart I believe I will be at it for a while or wake up one day and beat it.
This was a game that I have no idea about and learned a lot about in the last few days from posting on the AMA and looking through all the comments. I didn’t expect to like this game as much as I did and I don’t plan on putting it down anytime soon. It is funny that such a simple game easily made me stop playing Mario + Rabbids for several days and still haven’t put it back in. Mario + Rabbids is a great game and the review is coming but deadlines need to be met so other reviews get put on hold but this game is really something special. I purchased the OST from their website which again is linked at the very top under the YouTube video of my favorite song in the game currently. I know that Flying Oak Games spent a lot of time on this game and it was worth the effort so hopefully they can hit that “A Billion Trillion” sold for the game like that said in the AMA.
Go buy the game! It is a very fun addictive game and the perfect game to hold you over for a while if you are waiting on a game or just need something that feels like an old school twin stick shooter you would find at the arcade. So go buy it while I try again for the nth time to beat my record and beat all the different difficulty modes. I would give this game a 9 out of 10!
As always let me know how the review was, your thoughts and opinions on the game, did you pick a copy already, and what games would you like to see me cover in the future!