GAME REVIEW | Challenging Metroidvania Action Found "Under the Moonlight"
While the Momodora series has been around for awhile, it's only been since Momodora III that it's been on Steam, where it has received more attention than before. This newest entry has decided to forego numbers and embrace a subtitle that makes some serious nods to Metroidvania classic Castlevania: Nocturne in the Moonlight. It's a well-deserved name since it's every bit of fun as that game, but know that it's more challenging than that classic.
Momodora: Reverie Under the Moonlight follows about a priestess named Kaho, who has decided to go into the city of Karst to eliminate a plague that will soon affect her village if nothing is done. She is only armed with a magical leaf that acts like a sword, and a bow with an unlimited number of arrows (which can be charged). The other moves in her limited repertoire also include double jumping and dodge rolling.
Dodge roll and air dash will be important to evade many of the bosses attacks, especially once they start using bullet hell style attacks. Like any other good Metroidvania, the game has plenty of secrets and new abilities to go to previously inaccessible areas. There isn't much in the way of backtracking though with the game is still quite linear and short, as there are only about six full areas too explore that make up for about five hours worth of playtime.
Reverie Under the Moonlight's atmosphere is dark and foreboding, and shares much of the same feeling as a game like Castlevania: Symphony of the Night. Unlike that game, the music is more ambient. It also lacks voice acting, and the challenge level is considerably higher. There are instant kill bottomless pits and spikes to worry about, and dying can come very easily. Health pickups only do so much, and there is no method of boosting your defenses as your leaf only gets one optional upgrade.
It's the kind of difficulty that will get easier with time and learning attack patterns, so at least it's still manageable for most players too deal with, and there are three difficulty settings. If you are an achievement hunter, know that there are only nine of them, and most are difficult to earn. But if you love Metroidvanias, Momodora: Reverie Under the Moonlight is a good choice for $10.
The Good: The gameplay and atmosphere will scratch that Metroidvania itch.
The Bad: You'll wish it were a bit longer.
The Ugly: Death comes all too easily.
SUMMARY: The fourth entry in the Momodora series provides a short, yet solid and sweet Metroidvania experience to tide players over for things like Bloodstained.
Review code provided by Meghan Bridges of Playism Games