Games I beat in 2017 #14: Momodora: Reverie Under the Moonlight
Ah, Indie Games. A “genre” and yet not quite. Because that is like calling video games a “genre”. Well, I suppose it is a “genre” of entertainment. And so the subdivisions (Hi Rush fans!) go.
During one of the breaks in my four hour marketing class. (This was hell.) I remember the professor saying she hated that buzzword “genre”. I didn't know how to perceive the class after that. She also tried to make an example out of me because I sat in the back with my laptop in front of me. I had the class notes (available from the website!) and my own note taking app open, so I managed to say “Hey, I’m doing my thing. Can we get back to class?” but you know. I was the jerk. Which, I can see because I am sure many a student paid to not pay attention to her class.
The final, well. It had us defend the idea of a bottled water company not entering the “flavored water” market. A market that exploded soon after my class had completed.
I got a C in that class. I don't quite understand marketing to this day. That shows in my own indie game sales.
Aha! Brought it back to indie games, I did. Genius. Which is also a word I’d used to describe Momodora: Reverie Under the Moonlight if I was more of an asshole. I am, though, so I suppose I could use the word. The game is quite good. Controls well. Looks pretty. Has music. Okay, I’ll admit I am quite bad at remembering tunes. Sometimes they stick out in my brain. But I would put “Has music.” on the box of this game, if there was one, because that is a fact. And facts can be hard to come by, some days.
It is possible to equip three different items to use and two accessories to change the main character. I always hate this to some extent. The designer is limiting my accessory use because that makes things more interesting. How am I going to go after this boss? Or this area? So while I hate it, I like it quite a bit. Makes me think. The item selecting was a bit more of a nuisance. It just made me ignore some items throughout the game instead of maybe using them. The healing item, temporary attack up item and… something else that was useful in combat. Tht was about all I used. So there is the problem. The limitation lets a player get set in their ways.
I wished there were a few more save points. In retrospect, I think RUtM (ew, that sounds gross. Perhaps I shouldn't abbreviate it next time) was more generous than the next game I played. But that is another story for another time.
Some of the bosses took me a few good tries. Some of them I gave up on and went to explore a bit again, found some stuff, went back and was able to beat the boss. That was nice. The game does lock you out of areas until you can do certain things. This is as many a Metroidvania does, but I did feel a good sense of exploration.
The ability to warp is show in save point menus from the beginning. But it is not available until quite a while into the game. You also cannot warp to any save point. This made for a bit more travel than felt necessary. It didn't bother me too much, but it did stick out.
There are shops in the game that let you pick up various items and… they feel kind of wasted. It feels more of "Have you collected enough currency before finding this shop?” than normal game shops as your consumable items refill any time you go to a save point.
There are two endings. Both are from beating the final boss but the difference is if you got an upgrade or not. This upgrade is at a weird location around the midpoint of the game. If you remember to go back when you get one type of magic, you get the upgrade. And then beating the boss with the upgraded weapon gives you the “good” ending. There wasn't much of a solid feeling why this mattered. Maybe I missed some NPC dialogue that explained it. But it felt tacked on as opposed to say, Symphony of the Night. Of course, Symphony unlocks a whole new area to explore instead. Different outcomes, but similar concepts.
And that's the game. I enjoyed it. Not sure if I’d go play the other games in the series. I did see a new one is coming but it’s a 3D action game. I want to end that sentence with a question mark. Feels kind of like a departure and not something I am quite interested in. But this was a lovely world to dip a toe into.