by Professor Layton
reviewed on NDS
Landing on the moon
The year is 2058. The United States has established a series of space stations on the moon. Their purpose is to perform experiments and construct a launch facility on Mars. At one of the dig sites, a sealed hatch leading beneath the moon’s surface is uncovered. Major Kane, the leader of a special task force, is sent in to investigate the hatch and unearth its secrets. Welcome to the moon.
In a nutshell, Moon a first-person shooter developed specifically to take advantage of the Nintendo DS. After the success of their first title, Dementium: The Ward Renegade Kid decided to return to the DS and create an even more satisfying experience. The end result is one of the finest looking and playing titles on the DS.
Let me start off by saying that Moon is a very different game from Renegade Kid’s last project, Dementium. For starters, Moon is more adventure oriented with shooting elements thrown into the mix. Over the course of the game, players collect a wide array of weapons to fight a limited amount of enemies.
Perhaps one of the biggest disappointments for many is the lack of emphasis put on shooting. Yes, I realize that this is no Metroid Prime or Halo, but in all due honesty, a game of this nature needs emphasis put on shooting. Some players may adore the lack of shooting, but for others who were hoping for an experience similar to Metroid Prime Hunters, it will end up disappointed in the long run.
While the game is more adventure-oriented, several puzzles are scattered throughout the game. One of the puzzles that I enjoyed involved taking control of a small robotic drone to travel through vents and tunnels to unlock doors. The drone is even armed with several weapons to fight off enemies that you encounter in the tunnel.
Repetition to the max
For the first hour or so of playing Moon, I was surprised at how fun the game was, but then, things started going downhill. A large portion of the game is reused over and over. Basically you will find yourself walking down long, narrow hallways and entering rooms only to shoot down security robots. If you can handle the repetitious nature of the game, you will find plenty of enjoyment in Moon.
Now then, the enemies. Unlike Dementium, there is no enemy respawns this time around, but sadly, the same enemies are reused throughout the entire game. In the first few hours, you are blasting security robots from the ceiling, and near the end, you are still be blasting them. It might not be huge problem, but it certainly does subtract from the overall enjoyment of the game.
To add to the replay value of Moon, the developers have added three different difficulty levels. The game is presented in multiple episodes with checkpoints scattered throughout each one. The upper screen also provides players with a first-person perspective of the environment whereas the touch screen displays menu commands and a real-time map.
Above all, Moon is a great single-player experience. It is not hard to see that the developers have put a lot of energy in providing players with the best single-player possible. It would have been nice to see a multiplayer mode in which players could battle friends in their area, or better yet, use Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection to battle their friends around the world. Unfortunately there isn’t one.
Over the course of the game, players will gain access to seven different weapons, each of which have their own special ability. Weapons are selected using the touch screen and aiming is done by using the touch screen, whereas movement is done with the D-pad or the buttons.
When it comes to graphics, Moon is a masterpiece. The game runs at a smooth 60 frames per second and contains pre-rendered cut scenes. The eerie feel created by the graphics further adds to the atmosphere and mood of the game, while the lighting brings everything together. Without a doubt, Moon is one of the best examples of what the DS is capable of.
Back on Earth
Overall, Moon is the first great game of the new year. It might not necessarily be a must-have game, but it is a nice addition to anyone’s collection. With a little more polish and a little more focus on the shooting part of the game, Moon would have been one of the best shooters on the DS. Nevertheless though, the game still provides a great experience.
No Pros and Cons at this time