As I sit here, listening to my favorite album by Sam Roberts (We were born in a flame, in case you were wondering), I think back fondly to my time with NeuroVoider: tough enemies, of which there are many (over 8 thousand, the devs reckon), a cracking soundtrack by Dan Terminus, great level design, basically endless replay value thanks to procedurally generated content. Absolutely brilliant, and a game from a developer who is clearly extremely talented.
The story in NeuroVoider is about as important as it is in Super Mario Bros. 3 (or any of them, really). Robots, brains, yada yada. Kill everything, collect the loot. It may seem like a boring formula, and it can be depending on how the gameplay is executed. But NeuroVoider really shines through in the gameplay department: very precise twin-stick shooter action with TONS of customization, cool weapons… Yeah, I like the game.
The procedurally generated nature of the level design is a double-edge sword: in some games, it can feel like it doesn’t make much sense, or you get stuck. It’s a bit of a gamble. With Neurovoider, though, the way in which the levels are created really compliment the game, and it’s a system that works efficiently. Most of the time, when I feel like leaving a bit up to chance, I much prefer to have a go at a blackjack table, or even mahjong (you can view a list of the best online casinos here). I’m a fan of carefully crafted levels. But I must admit, Neurovoider joins The Swindle as one of those games that just gets procedurally generated levels right.
The music is another highlight: Dan Terminus’ thumping synthy tunes absolutely rock, and I would not be surprised (nay, I’d be happy) to see it released in vinyl format somewhere down the line. It’s a perfect accompaniment to an art style that is both retro and contemporary. Colorful sprites, contrasting backgrounds… presentation really is top notch.
What was a text size issue in the Vita version, is only a minor nuissance in handheld mode for the Switch. As I mentioned before, the story is not that important, but commands and other important information on the HUD is simply way, way too small on the Vita. It was the only hindering I felt during my time with the game on that console, but on the Switch, I had no such issues. I suppose some might find it too difficult, but having grown up with a Mega Drive at home, I can handle tough.
I have not much more to say about NeuroVoider, to be honest: it’s almost a perfect game, and really a perfect execution of its concept. Had this come out in 1992, we may have had a serious contender for game of the year on any console there. And in terms of twin-stick shooters for the Switch, they really don’t come much better than this.