Neon Tail review for PC

Platform: PC
Publisher: Rocket Juice Games
Developer: Fei/Leo/Yang
Medium: Digital
Players: 1
Online: No
ESRB: Not Rated

Here’s something you don’t usually read about a game: to get the most out of Neon Tail, skip the tutorial.

It’s not that Neon Tail simple game with easy controls where you’ll just immediately know what you’re doing. No, it’s a skating game strongly influenced by the games like Jet Set Radio, with wonky physics-based controls that take some time getting used to.

But honestly, any time you spend trying to figure those controls out within the tutorial will be a complete waste of time. While it starts out okay, it’s not long before the tutorial starts demanding you make sharp turns and skate backwards – which, thanks to the lack of a brake button and the weird physics, aren’t just near-impossible, they can actively make you feel queasy and turn you off the game entirely.

While I wouldn’t say that skipping it means you’re missing a hidden gem that everyone needs to play, at the very least it means you’re missing a game that should appeal to anyone who likes Jet Set Radio and its more modern inheritors like Bomb Rush Cyberfunk. When you get the skating down pat – which, admittedly, takes some time even if you skip the tutorial – Neon Tail does a good job of making your movements feel free and easy. It’s fun to slide and jump around the world; there’s a lot to be said for the thrill of grinding down a rail from a tall building, and Neon Tail makes it so you feel that thrill even if you’ve never skated or skateboarded a day in your life.

Mind you, it’d be even better if Neon Tail gave you more to do while you were sliding and jumping and grinding around Bluepulse City. While there’s a bit of a story to be found here, about saving the world from an interdimensional invader, it’s not all that deep, and you spend a lot of time drifting aimlessly around the world looking for something to do.

But if you just focus on the fun and the joy of movement, there’s definitely something in Neon Tail worth experiencing. It may not be a GOTY contender, but as I said, if you like JSR and its ilk, you’ll want to check this out – just make sure you don’t get bogged down in its tutorial first.

Rocket Juice Games provided us with a Neon Tail PC code for review purposes.

Grade: 6.5

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Price: $247.95

2 used & new available from $247.95

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