Nintendo DS Reviews

Moon – Review

MOON – REVIEW

When I first decided to review Moon, I had no idea what I was getting into.  Expecting some kind of Alien grooming sim, I was shocked to find a technical wonderpiece of an FPS.  Running at a full 60 frames per second it shows off some fantastic animation and some great art work on the ‘character’ models.  The game really sets itself apart from the rest of the DS games currently on the market and will probably get lost amongst the proverbial trash that comes out on Nintendo bajillion selling system.

In Moon you take control of Major Kane who is a paranormal investigation guy who is sent to the Moon when a strange hatch is located on the surface.  It is your job to explore the hidden depths of said hatch and relay the information back to Earth. Needless to say, stuff goes wrong and you are left all alone bar the radio contact with your commanding officers.

Moon looks incredible for a DS game. Yes the grainy visuals will put off many players, but considering the DS’s hardware and previous releases, the game is really a step above the rest. The animations of the enemies looks great and there is some fantastic looking architecture that is pretty unique in terms of the DS’s ‘usual’ looks. The enemies look varied enough to just about scrape by the stereotypical ‘colour palette’ swapping technique that so many other games do, but the enemies that show up at the beginning of the game will still be showing up at the end which can becomes a bit monotonous and removes some potential challenge. The same can be said for the boss battles of which some battles will seem to be repeated several times over the course of the game. A lot of the same environments are recycled fairly frequently which can become a bit tedious after lengthy play sessions. That aside, Moon serves as a new benchmark of how game can look on the DS rather than how they currently look.

The gameplay of Moon really compliments the visual style. The top screen shows the actual field of play and the HUD, while the lower screen shows a map and various in-game options. The player aims their weapon by dragging the stylus around the screen, and the targeting reticule will respond accordingly. The aiming mechanic is pretty satisfying and, for the most part, accurate, however there were one or two occasions that the aim started to become more unwieldy but a simple screen alignment was all that was required to solve that fairly minor issue.

One thing that players of Moon must understand is that it is not intended to be a Halo or Doom-esq shooter, it has far too many adventure / puzzle elements to be considered and out n’ out shooter. That said however, the shooting in the game is very well done and the puzzle elements likewise. Kane’s Remote Access Droid really brings out the best of the puzzles as it is used to navigate maintenance hatches that are otherwise inaccessible. By using the droid, the player can activate various witches and unlocks that open the path for the player to continue.

The technical precision of Moon is one of the many reasons that this game should be rewarded with a purchase. The gunplay is accurate and very well balanced and the aiming and movement is sharp and satisfying. Moon’s only major flaw is that it becomes very repetitive after a while. Environments will be seen time after time as will enemies and bosses. This is probably more of a problem with the DS’s hardware capability than it is with the game’s design but it is still a problem nonetheless.

The Final Word
Regardless of it’s staunch recycling of visuals, Moon is worth a look at the very least but will most likely be lost in the pile of junk that is accumulating on the Nintendo DS.

– MonsterVine Rating: Good

2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Patrick

    January 15, 2009 at 6:55 am

    It’s only a pile of junk if you don’t know what you are looking for. 4chan /v/’s list of worthwhile DS games is a great reference if you want good DS games.

  2. Patrick

    January 15, 2009 at 6:58 am

    Thanks, though for the review. I probably wouldn’t have heard about Moon otherwise. I always like to know what’s good.

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