Friday, June 9, 2023

Mobile Friday - Neodori Forever - When Style Comes Before The Player Experience

For Mobile Friday this week is i tried out Neodori Forever from Strobetano. when i recorded the video i didn't know that the game was also out on Switch and PlayStation 4.

It's hard not to go into this game thinking you'd be getting an experience similar to Ridge Racer or Out Run, basically one of those arcade style racers from the late Mega Drive early PlayStation era, and i admit i thought that was what i was going to get. it feels like that, to a certain extent, was the goal of the developers. the graphic style, the art style, the play style, and the music all work together to create a game which pulls on nostalgia but in a modern way.

You can hear it in my voice as i play the game how my excitement and enthusiasm dwindles and becomes more frustration with it. it has all the things i mentioned above but it seemingly completely drops the ball when it comes to the players experience playing the game. right from the off it drops you into a race with no tutorial or no option to practice in a time attack mode. there are other instances of it not providing information. for example, i still have no idea why i was collecting coins. i have no idea what the police did. and it took too long for me to work out that the fuel canisters were actually replenishing my health.

It's hard to think of what else the game did right. the only other highlight i can think off is how, in the settings, there was an option to resize the UI. i tried it out and found what i thought worked. but then throughout the rest of the game the Dynamic Island and the curved corners of my phone's screen got in the way. thankfully it rarely was anything critical or important, but it just highlights how the developers had a goal and implemented it but in such a way that it didn't fully take into account the player experience.

It's worth mentioning that there were no extra downloads starting the game for the first time. but i can't recommend this game for those on data plans due to the excessive amounts of adverts.  i recorded around 50 minutes of gameplay, but ended up having to cut nearly 7 minutes of it due to the adverts in the game. i think in all there were 18 adverts. each time, the game never asked my permission to play them. there was no warning either. there's no health system, there's no energy system, there's no countdown. the adverts just ended up playing after every race attempt, win or lose. imagine playing the game for 45 minutes 5 days a week. lets say that's 15 unskippable adverts. i dare to think how much data 75 video adverts would use up.

So, for the second week running, i can't recommend getting this game on iPhone. it's just a bad experience for the player. However, getting this on console could be much better as there wouldn't be soo many intrusive adverts, each with a different quality, length, and even aspect ratio. plus, console versions would be better adapted for controllers and offer rumble. as for me, i have deleted the game.