Publisher: Playism | Developer: Bombservice | Platforms: PlayStation 4 (Reviewed), Xbox One, PC, Switch
I enjoy a good Metroidvania, but I can be very picky…so ones that hold my attention are hard to come by. Momodora: Reverie Under the Moonlight hits that sweet spot in need of attention. It’s easy to jump into and start playing. You are never really forced to go in a specific direction so every way you turn seemed forward and progressive. And it isn’t bogged down by exposition or cluttered with unnecessary action set pieces; it is a strut back to when games were short, simple, and sweet — even if it seems that most of the characters’ presence are flimsily put together. There wasn’t much in the way of puzzles but traversing the terrain with on point platforming and fast paced dodging of a few off screen enemy attacks gives you a great level of challenge that perfectly matches the tone. It required a tiny bit of grinding for the credits to buy everything, but I had everything I wanted within a single playthrough of a little over 4 hours. When compared to other games that try to be entirely too flashy and crammed with collectables, Momodora: RUtM respects your time while giving you a relaxing yet fun break from overly packed games.
8/10 – Excellent
Momodora: RUtM is admirable in that it’s an indie game in the truest sense of the word. The series started as a freeware title and then made its way to the console big leagues. It’s a solid platformer with a quirky art style that will entertain as long as you can overlook some of its faults and keep your expectations in check. The next Super Metroid or Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, it’s not, but — like Dalan mentioned up top — it’s satisfying for an afternoon if you need a quick fix of the genre. Even if the combat is a little slower than I would’ve liked and power-ups less than satisfactory.
7/10 – Good
On the Cutting Room Floor…
Character Aplenty, Thin Exposition
In Momodora, I went wherever my leaf wielding protagonist could take me while buying new equipment that could be refilled and save my progress at bells that I hit along the way. Besides those simple pleasures, it does suffer in the way of story and development.
The characters that you come across are very distinctive but unfortunately not all of them have a purpose. For example, one recurring character definitely stands out with her…um, busty features — and beside that singular drawing aspect — her story never really ties into the plot.
Another example is when you first reach town, you have a conversation where you expect to see the character again for a follow-up conversation, yet never do. The developers leave room for more interesting character arcs and how their roles would connect to the narrative but, alas, most of this never comes to be.