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  1. #1

    [NSW/PC/PS4/XBO] Momodora: Reverie Under The Moonlight

    First published to western audiences by Playism on PC in 2016, Momodora: Reverie Under The Moonlight is a Metroidvania game by Bombservice. Reverie is actually the fourth game in the Momodora series, but it's the first to get mainstream attention, being released on PS4 (with also a physical edition by Limited Run Games), Xbox One, and a week or so ago on Switch.

    Reverie isn't a particularly long game, my first run took around six hours with all of the health collectibles, half of the ivory bugs, and from what I gather all of the map visited. There's a NG+ in which you start with everything you've collected (with the exception of a few progression-related items) and I've also discovered that defeating bosses without getting hit nets you exclusive items.

    Reverie's controls are tight and perfectly tuned. Your character, Kaho, has a short-range attack that can string three-hit combos and brings you forward with each swing. Kaho also has a bow which can be charged for a more powerful shot, a dodge, and a double jump. Holding down the jump button will propel Kaho slightly higher into the air, and probably this is my only gripe with the controls: a lot of pitfalls need a "full strenght" jump, and I would have preferred a shorter press for them. Well, there's a second gripe in which you can't fully reassign controls, only choose between two predefined schemes.
    Also, not exactly a gripe, but I don't really know what the "graphical quality" entry in the menu affects, the game looks exactly the same with whatever setting.
    Anyway, the combat feels good, the platforming feels good, the dodging feels good; Reverie's controls are spot on.
    There's a very limited inventory of three consummable items and two pieces of equipment, with consummables replenished upon death or when you reach a savepoint.

    The game layout isn't particularly labirintine and the world not particularly vast, but there's a good number of different settings, each with its own peculiar graphics, enemies, traps, and music. The style used arkens back to 8-bit titles and has a distinct charm to it, and I'd love to see it with more details.
    I've played it on Switch and the graphics are on the dark side on the console's screen, a brightness slider would have been great (and even better if there were two, one for handheld and one for docked modes).
    The music is nothing special, but undernotes perfectly the various locations and boss fights. Sound effects are on the "meh" side but they do their job.

    Momodora: Reverie Under The Moonlight is little nice game that won't keep you tied down for long but it's a joy to play.

  2. #2
    Thanks for the impressions; soon as I saw this ages ago knew that I wanted to try it, and have got both digital & physical versions waiting for some love, but as per usual, the time is the bigger ask. Good to know that it's short, in that respect!

    Hearing the controls are good is probably the most reassuring thing - I find manoeuvrability (responsive attacks, movement skills to learn etc) plays a huge part in how much I typically enjoy this type of game. Coming off the back of Iconoclasts might be a good time to break this open and see how the two compare.

  3. #3
    So, having spurred my mind towards it, I gave it a shot this afternoon. Now at about 55% map, and have just got one of the crucial abilities that I've been waiting to get all game to start exploring some other bits.

    So far, I like it. I was definitely not expecting it to be quite so punishing - generally speaking, 3 hits from *anything* will kill you, and I've definitely come a cropper in some one-hit-kill scenarios, particularly with bosses. It's quick at getting you back into the action, but you definitely can't slack off. Some of the bosses are pretty nice as set pieces too - I think Pardoner Fennel has been my favourite so far.

    Story's pretty slim, and that's actually working in its favour for me.

  4. #4
    The game becomes more lenient later on mainly due to the items you collect and your better knowledge of the game itself. Probably the Pardoner is the hardest boss of the game given your inventory, but my perception of that fight might be a little bit skewed as I battled her in handheld mode with Joycons while I've played the rest with the pro pad.

  5. #5
    Really like that it's 4:3. More pixel indies should give us the option between 16:9 and 4:3

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by briareos_kerensky View Post
    The game becomes more lenient later on mainly due to the items you collect and your better knowledge of the game itself.
    I'd agree with that; it's a very odd learning curve for sure, and I'd imagine the opening 30 mins would probably put a lot of folk off.

    I'm done with this now I think - got 100% of the map, all the health fragments, and the true ending. I liked it - not perfect by any means, but nice style, quite subtle, and some calming, relaxing music throughout. Neat game.

  7. #7
    The pardoner is like Bloodborne's Father Gascoigne: you want to proceed? Get good.

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