Neversong (PC) Review

By Eric Ace 14.08.2020 2

Review for Neversong on PC

Styling itself as a look into horror and dark themes, Neversong is a platformr that was originally a web game that was kickstart funded into a re-release with better graphics. Dealing with themes of loss, loneliness, and madness, it takes the role of a young boy who wakes up from a coma in a strange world after his girlfriend was kidnapped. Armed with a meagre load of childhood tools, he must battle strange monsters while trying to find his friend.

Neversong is a type of platformer that has some really good parts, and some not so good parts. Indies have certain advantages and disadvantages compared to the better funded and connected developers, and this really shows these completely. The story, presentation, and subject matter are unique, and something that would generally never be touched by bigger companies, and this is to its merit. Some prevalent downsides are inconsistent art direction and combat that's very tough to recommend.

Screenshot for Neversong on PC

Starting off with a very cool poem story sections reminiscent of an Edgar Allan Poe reading, it sets the stage of a young, weak boy who witnesses his girlfriend being captured by an evil Dr. Smile, and the boy is so overcome with terror he faints into a coma. Waking up he finds himself in a strange world where his friend is gone, and he must try to find her. Occasional story sections play out in this fashion, and are very good, and really needed to be more frequent.

Even after the story section ends, this throws the player into a weird stage of a nice house, but creepy vibes of candles and torn curtains. With disturbing backgrounds of weird faces, blood-like objects, skulls and clocks, it does a tremendous job of passing along a feeling of something not being right. Games that present a "things are not what they seem" are woefully rare, and usually enjoyable, and in this realm Neversong does a good job with this. If anything it should have run further with this.

Screenshot for Neversong on PC

Problems crop up because of inconsistencies. The backgrounds are very well done, and certain segments, namely the beginning and the ending sequences, are very good, and are clear high points of the experience - contrasted with the painfully simplistic characters, which look more like upgraded stick figures. Other than being woefully basic, it just detracts from the otherwise nice backgrounds. The enemies are a little creepy, but they all look the same and lose their feeling way before the end of the game.

Combat and platforming are something that is barely average. The character controls okay, and largely most of the platforming is never that demanding that the average control scheme gets in the way, but certain jumps, and a few puzzles lean towards being frustrating because of the erratic controls. Combat is especially bad because of how "bouncy" hitting is. When hits happen the screen flashes white and both bounce away from each other, with next to zero indication if you or the enemy was the one that got damaged. Given the flood of health provided to you, it is forgiving, but it still is a problem.

Screenshot for Neversong on PC

The platforming is nothing to write home about, the combat is weak, and the smaller story most of the game presents is lacklustre. These are unfortunate, as the "larger" story being told is actually pretty powerful, and really needed more hints and more expansion on the themes it touches. In contrast, the platforming, backtracking, and bouncing around detract from the overall story. In retrospect the amount of stuff this makes the player go through are largely not worth most of the rewards. The game would have been much better served with perhaps streamlining some of the process and combat, and adding more story, which was its strongest suite.

It is unfortunate, as the gaming world is painfully devoid of these deeper narratives, and hidden meanings under what is happening. They almost always come from indie sources, but often as is the case, these are lacking in one or more areas. It would have been much to the games merit if more time was spent expanding the story, and having less backtracking or dull bomb puzzles. The ending sequence was amazingly good (if a touch too long with some annoying puzzles), and shows that this has clear talent behind it. Far too often, however, it is just not showing its full strength.

Screenshot for Neversong on PC

Cubed3 Rating

6/10
Rated 6 out of 10

Good

This is a game where the ending sequence saved it. As a platformer it barely stacks up to a lot of the competition; some portions of the art aren't that good; the combat is very wonky, with a "bouncy" feel; and, finally, the story doesn't deliver until the end. Adding some badly designed puzzle sections all pull Neversong down. The ending and the idea the title puts forth is powerful enough - even with some plot holes in retrospection - that is worth checking out if someone is into platformers, and has a few hours to try out something different.

Developer

Atmos Games

Publisher

Serenity Forge

Genre

2D Platformer

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  6/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

Comments

Such a crying shame, as it looked like it could be a Hollow Knight-level experience Smilie

Adam Riley [ Director :: Cubed3 ]

UNITE714: Weekly Prayers | Bible Verses

jesusraz said:
Such a crying shame, as it looked like it could be a Hollow Knight-level experience Smilie

The platforming left tons to be desired, but the story (plot holes included) was surprisingly good/deep in retrospect which helped save it to some degree.

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