Neon City Riders Review – Xbox Tavern

Neon City Riders is a game that appeals to all the senses that attract your typical 90’s lover. From the upbeat retro music, the neon colorful aesthetic, to the NPC’S and enemies you encounter throughout the game, taking down the four gang leaders of Neon City and regaining control of it has never been better.

The way that the game is played out is in a 2-D pixel beat-em-up style. Along with being tasked with taking down four different gang leaders in different sections of the city there are a variety of unique and diverse NPC’s, consisting of humans, robots, animals and even alien mutant looking people, who give you certain side quests to do for them. The way that some of the quests work is different then your typical fetch and retrieve linear quests in other games. Here, when you accept a quest sometimes you might not be able to complete it. You might be missing a certain item or a specific skill you need in order to progress through it. When that happens you’ll just have to skip it and come back to it later when the time is right.

While there is a log journal in the game where you can look up the quest and the location of it, I found it kind of tedious to have to go back on forth with a quest, having to save it for later or accidentally forgetting about it as you go on through your playthrough When I personally accept a quest in other games I normally complete it right away so I don’t forget about it later on. At the beginning of the game there is a guy who highlights the important people in the section that you should talk to, but I left this setting off because I feel that everyone is worth talking to with their witty and sometimes funny dialogue.

During your playthrough you’ll start to collect four pins that give you access to new skills and abilities. You have access to those abilities in the tutorial level, but sadly they’re stripped from you due to a virus in a VR training simulation. Other than that, you’ll be pretty much mashing the X button repeatedly until you find your first pin. Sounds boring right? Well you’re kinda wrong. The enemies that you encounter in the game all have a certain attack pattern that they attack you in. Some attack in straight lines, some create bubbles that explode with different projectiles coming in all directions, weird buff cat looking people that charge you and beat the snot out of you.

I’d be lying if I said that I didn’t die a bunch of times when I just charged in mashing X. When dealing with the enemies you actually have to use a little bit of strategy, especially when they decide to jump you all at once. The boss fights are challenging as well. After dying a couple times you’ll start to develop a rhythm or a method of how to take them down and when it works a feeling of accomplishment waves over you. Considering the fact that that one boss fight took me about 15 minutes to complete and I can only expect it to get harder I could see myself putting a decent amount of hours into this game. Plus, with having to go back and complete side quests as well I can guarantee you that Neon City Riders will keep you occupied

The graphics i think are beautiful and one of the main reasons on why I wanted to play this game in the first place. I’m a sucker for the 90’s retro vaporwave style, so I always try any game that includes it. Neon City Riders executes it perfectly with the neon vibrant colors and nails the aesthetic on the head. The art team behind it gets my seal of approval on their fine handy work.

The music consist of 90’s style beats and sounds which fills the atmosphere and the mood, whether you’re fighting a boss or an enemy, or just walking around and enjoying the scenery and taking in the sights. If there was a soundtrack available to purchase I would highly recommend purchasing or downloading it.


The gameplay and strategy behind it, the scenery and the music is everything I expected from Neon City Riders when I first saw the trailer. Even though it’s not a 2-D side scroller I picked up major Scott Pilgrim VS The World and River City Girls vibes, which are my two favorite games. When any game reaches that level it’s without a doubt considered a masterpiece in my book. Please, suit up, indulge yourself in the 90’s vibe, and clean up the streets and take back Neon City.

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  • Strategic Gameplay
  • 90’s Vaporwave Aesthetic
  • Diverse Characters
  • Somewhat slow start
  • Quest System
Gameplay - 9
Graphics - 9
Audio - 9
Longevity - 9
Written by
Hello, my name is Varnell Harris, but I also go by my gaming name Bubbalove007. I've been writing for gaming websites since I was sixteen years old and always had a passion for it. Every article and review I have written have improved my writing, team building, and social skills throughout the years. No matter what the task ahead of me is I always give 110%. I currently attend Miami University and I am majoring in Journalism and Creative Writing.

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