Momodora: Reverie Under the Moonlight is a 2D action-platformer, that tackles the metroidvania/souls-like genres without letting either one overpower the other. You play as a priestess from the town of Lun, who sets out to stop a curse from overtaking her town like it has the rest of the world. You’ll find secrets hidden throughout the map in classic metroidvania fashion, and it has the same similar gothic vibes as Castlevania. The combat is tough – there are many moments where enemies can one-hit you, and if you’re not healing or dodging at the right times you’ll be traveling back to the last save point… in classic souls-like fashion.

Positives

+ The world is well designed and is always pushing you in the right direction as the story progresses. It gives the game a more linear structure, while also leaving you to explore whatever you can reach. It finds a great balance between never making you feel like you’re lost, while also not feeling like it’s forcing you in any given direction. A hard feat to accomplish.

+ The combat is tough, but rewarding. The boss fights have a clear strategy, and regular enemies have patterns that you’ll pick up on quickly. I never felt like I was dying because the game was unfair. The combination of a close-range leaf and long-range bow and arrow leaves room for you to tackle enemies how you see fit. It’s not all offense, though – learning how to use dodge correctly is the real difference between life and death.

+ The soundtrack sets the tone and accentuates the gothic vibe. The eerie tracks add depth to each area you’ll explore, even if some of the tracks themselves are forgettable.

Negatives

It’s a bit short, which leads to items and upgrades feeling limited. While I tend to prefer shorter games by default, not even having a choice on weapon upgrades/usage leaves it feeling more barebones than I had hoped.

Better use of the platforming would have been nice. The controls are spot on and what’s there is fine, but as the game progresses you unlock some moves that are barely used. Some hard platforming sections would have been a great addition to an already good game.

Conclusion

Momodora: Reverie Under the Moonlight is an excellent combination of two genres that have grown rapidly in popularity. It’s a stunningly designed game, with well thought out areas, enemies, and hidden locations. The action feels fair and balanced, with a strong offense only bolstered by a good defense. I was drawn in enough to complete the game in one sitting, but the lack of depth to upgrades and items was a letdown. A couple of late-game moves could have been used to spice up the platforming sections as well. All in all, these two minor grievances don’t detract much from a truly good game.

Score – 8/10

 

*Reviewer spent roughly 8 hours beating the game twice. Most of the game was played on a TV, but handheld mode feels great for those that would prefer it.

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Written by Shawn Ryan

I've been gaming for almost 30 years, with a vast array of knowledge (and Gamerscore) under my belt. I play everything, and tend to find the good even in bad games. There will never be a game better than The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past.

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