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… My only regret is that this game didn’t come to Vita sooner, at a time where a wider audience might have benefited from its excellence.
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 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.
Not everything is great, though. Sadly, the Vita version suffers in the text department. 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. The text is basically unreadable. It was the only hindering I felt during my time with the game. 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 Vita, they really don’t come much better than this. I can’t help but think, however, that had it been released even a 18 months ago, it would have sold twice as much as it will now. I am thankful it’s part of the Vita library, however, and those who have moved to other systems, like the Switch, can enjoy this little masterpiece there, too.
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- Price: £87.50
At a glance:
- Title: NeuroVoider
- Publisher: Plug In Digital
- Developer: Plug In Digital
- Format: PSN Download
- Memory Card Space Required: 117MB
- Cross Buy: TBC.
- Cross Save: TBC.
- PlayStation TV Compatible: TBC