Sometimes the game world gets a breath of fresh air as a title brings us a bit of something new. Neon Tail is an open world skating adventure game that packs in skating action along with a cool story in a way that I haven’t seen quite yet. (let me know if you’ve played something similar though!)
Come along on an adventure with Ruby, an emerging rollerblading idol in Blue Pulse City.
Blue Pulse City
is HUGE and has plenty screenshot-worthy angles for you to explore as you grind over rails, blast by pedestrians, and skate up and down the streets and walkways. Sometimes you even find various ways to blast yourself into the sky! Rack up a rep in the rollerblading scene and unlock equipment upgrades and new skating challenges. Usually games would stop there and have the skating and tricks be the main focus of gameplay, but Rocket Juice Games took it a step further and added - INTER-DIMENSIONAL PERIL!!
Not only are you on a mission to become a world-famous blader, but now you find yourself on a higher calling as players find themselves caught up in an inter-dimensional crisis. You must navigate this towering metropolis and work with characters you meet along the way to save Blue Pulse - a lot more is on the lines than your reputation now!
The Journey Begins...
You start out as a little-known rollerblader and build your reputation and skill by skating around and exploring the city, the open-world map offers a huge skaters paradise to ride through as you meet interesting characters, build relationships, and have an amazing adventure through this beautifully designed open world map. There are countless possibilities of trick combos you can do and places to discover.
Beautiful overall design
The creative direction and design is fabulous for this game. The character art style has a heavy manga/anime influence but retains it's own unique style. The textures and shaders used in the characters, props, and map elements are pretty well thought out and add a good level of immersion into the environment. UI is simple and fun, lots of bright neon colors and futuristic urban details. Color palettes complimented the overall high-energy feel of the game and when you see the map at night it makes you just want to skate around the map and just look at how cool everything looks. More places to discover are being created as you read this article. The game is still in early development stage and a large amount of the map is still under construction at the time of this article. Neon Tail is a true indie title with a team of just three talented developers from Rocket Juice Games working to make it all come together. The lighting used sets the scene of a busy metropolis really nicely. Tokyo’s famous lights and San Francisco’s diverse variety of districts come to mind as I rode around the map.
Still some stuff to sort out while under development
The controls take a minute to catch on to, but it is a lot of fun when you get going. Motion controls are responsive and the action animations are satisfying with nice physics. Timing for the jumping was configured pretty well, the player didn't feel too heavy and also didn't seem to float too much. When the player is griding on stuff it can be a little choppy sometimes, and I really wish there was a 'zoom out' button, or a fixed camera mode option, but overall the feel of the controls is good. The current camera setup works really well for cool action shots. Motion blur, slow motion, and movement-responsive zoom give the player excellent cinematics to enjoy during gameplay. The player still gets stuck sometimes while skating around the city, but the devs encourage interaction with test players and are responsive to any issues or bugs found during gameplay. A lot of the NPC skins were also pretty basic, but are decent placholders for now.
Tony Hawk fans rejoice, the genre is no longer completely dead.
Games like Tony Hawk and Jet Set Radio come to mind when playing this game, but Neon Tail is different in the way that it will combine an RPG element to the skating gameplay. The devs didn't want to give too much of the story away when I asked about it, but it sounds like they have a pretty out-there storyline for the player to follow as the main storyline for this game. I look forward to checking it out. You will be able to build relationships and have a bunch of different side quests to check out instead of just being focused on the skating trick combos and collecting items. So Tony Hawk fans rejoice, the genre is no longer completely dead. Now there is just a cool story portion added to the fun of skating and doing tricks all over stuff.
This game is gorgeous, and if the story ends up being half as good as the art direction then this game will be a force to be reckoned with.
If you want to be a part of a truly unique up-and-coming title, go check out Neon Tail on steam and share your thoughts with the developers as you play!
And don't forget to join their Discord to stay updated on their progress! ^_~