Moon review

Have you ever wondered why the Moon exists? Some people say that the Moon’s gravitational controls the Earth’s tides. Maybe this is true, maybe not, but one thing I can say for sure is you’ll never look at the Moon the same way again after playing Renegade Kid’s latest First Person Shooter for Nintendo DS.

Before I go into my review of Moon for DS I’ll ask you a question. How would we respond to a stronger and more intelligent alien species that saw humans as an expendable resource just as we currently do with nearly every other animal species on Earth? After all, the reasoning for Man’s behaviour has always been along the lines of being top of the food chain or being the most intelligent species. So what if some other species comes along who become the food chain leaders, would we have to fold over in a mound of our own logic and let them do what they like or fight back? Well it wouldn’t be much of a game if we just folded over so it’s safe to assume that we’ll be fighting back.

You take control of super solider; Major Edward Kane whose team is sent to investigate a hatchway found on the Moon’s surface. Not long after arriving on the Moon’s surface some heavy stuff goes down, the Moon base comes under attack by unidentified vessels and the rest of Alpha team have disappeared. General Lambert quickly comes onto the radio and tells you to get your ass down that hatch to investigate, so what do you do? Jump in the Moon buggy lovingly nicknamed Lola and drive to the hatch pronto. Lola comes into play in later missions too and let it be said, driving a moon buggy with a laser gun is always a pleasure.

After a short ride down a green elevator you’re suddenly all alone in an alien base under the Moon’s surface. Sure you have radio contact with your Technical Officer Tsuke and the hard hitting General Lambert but they’re not much use to you against the robotic defence droids flying about, here is where your Super Assault Rifle comes in. This SAR heavy duty weapon needs no ammunition and has a high rate of fire. It’s probably one of Earth’s most powerful hand weapons but is it powerful enough to defend yourself against Moon aliens with? Well the simple answer is, no not really. Luckily for you though you’ll be able to find more powerful Alien weapons throughout your journey in Moon, however these will require ammo top ups which are sometimes dropped when you defeat a baddie, you’ll also pick up health in this way too. If you’re familiar with the Metroid Prime series then I think you’ll be quite happy here inside Moon, for the most part you’ll be heading to locations marked on your map to find keys or disable power supplies to bring down force fields. Computer terminals scattered along the route slowly provide you with data records and diary entries which fill you in with what’s been going on here and why these aliens are so interested in humans. These entries are really well written and tell three different stories, each of which will chill your spine in a different way, but I don’t want to spoil them for you. Another similarity to Metroid Prime is the inclusion of access tunnels which Kane is too big to enter; instead of morphing into a ball like Samus; Kane carries a remote control droid which can be sent through to access switches and reach previously inaccessible areas. If you happen to search these tunnels quite thoroughly you’ll also find Alien Computer Artefacts which Tsuke can use to create Virtual Reality style training missions for you to practice your skills on, you can find three artefacts on almost every level.

For the most part you will just be walking through corridors shooting baddies and trying to reach the next save station before you run out of health. Sadly outside of item finding there isn’t much puzzle solving to be had and the onscreen map will prevent you from getting lost. Fortunately there are usually more than enough enemies to keep you occupied, none of them are too difficult to defeat on their own but in mixed groups they can amount to a challenge. For me playing though to complete the story was the main catch. Fans of Renegade Kid’s previous FPS on DS (Dementium) will be joyous to hear that the control scheme is almost identical. Directional movements controlled with the DPad and aiming via the stylus and touchscreen, just tap the left shoulder button to fire. Access your weapon select screen are just a tap away. Lefties never fear, you can swap the controls to the opposite side and play just as comfortably as a right hander.

Overall I really enjoyed Moon and found the storyline rather gripping and really recommend anyone who likes a bit of intrigue and Sci-Fi to take a look. Graphically Moon is a little bland and the environments hardly change from area to area apart from the walls changing colour. Things do to tend to look more slightly more industrial as you head through the game but variation is quite limited. The saving grace for the lack of detail is probably the super smooth framerate which hardly dips even when lots of enemies and weapons fire are all flying about. The only downside to the game really is the lack of multiplayer modes to be found, no online or offline play at all. Hopefully they’ll consider an online coop if a sequel is in the works.

If I had to choose one FPS title for DS then I’d actually recommend horror title Dementium first because it’s a little more varied and probably is more original but Moon is a close second with its more rigid Metroid Prime meets Quake 2 gameplay. 7 out of 10.

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Moon review pics

Moon review screenshots

Related: Dementium, Metroid Prime

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