Although it's the fourth game in the Momodora series, Reverie Under the Moonlight is the first to grace consoles. So, how does it fare in its big screen debut?
The world in Momodora has undergone a terrible curse, one that filled the realm with evil demons and pushed humanity to the brink. You play as Kaho, a young priestess who seeks a meeting with the queen of the realm to find out what has brought about this wave of destruction.
To reach the queen's throne, you'll need to fight your way through hundreds of demons and explore dozens of pathways in search of essential items like crest fragments and keys. The overworld map will slowly expand as you progress which is helpful when navigating and backtracking through this action-platforming Metroidvania. Fast-travel is unlocked late in the adventure to help you move across the map more quickly but it's not implemented as smoothly as you'd expect.
Momodora is a bit more punishing than your typical 2D platformer, especially early on. While enemies usually only have one or two attacks, those attacks pack a massive punch. Two or three hits from them is sometimes all it takes to bring Kaho to her knees and reset your progress to your last save point.
Kaho has several items and abilities at her disposal, including potion-like Bellflowers that heal a portion of her health and refill every time you reach a save point (similar to how Estus Flasks operate in the Dark Souls series). She also has a variety of passive and active abilities that can raise her attack strength, allow her to fire poison arrows, signal hidden secrets, and more. If you take the time to explore the map and find the best items, the level of difficulty decreases quite a lot. Although some of these abilities can be found as you explore, others must be purchased using Munny, Momodora's crystal shard currency that is dropped by just about every enemy you defeat.
Combat shines when encountering new enemies and finding out how they'll attack you. However, after facing them a few times, you're usually able to dispatch them quickly. Kaho's bow doesn't pack much firepower but it does allow you to hurt enemies from across the screen. Her melee attack (using, of all things, a maple leaf) does more damage and features an overpowered knockback ability. Once you hit an enemy with a melee attack, they're rendered defenseless for a few seconds which allows you to finish them before they can get their wits back. The best combat segments come in the form of bosses who have a variety of different attacks and are generally not affected at all by the leaf's knockback.
Multiple difficulties and optional areas to explore give Momodora a bit of additional replay value after you complete the five to six hour long campaign. Despite being designed with a 4:3 aspect ratio and therefore having black bars on the sides of the screen, those who appreciate retro pixel art visuals should get a kick out of the gorgeous environments and layers of parallax scrolling. Most importantly, almost everyone will enjoy Momodora's smooth combat and fun exploration.
- + Charming retro visuals
- + Nails the traditional Metroidvania formula with enjoyable exploration
- + Fluid combat
- - Fast travel is a bit confusing
- - The challenge early on isn't sustained throughout the entire campaign