Despite Some Shortcomings, Moon Delivers What It Promises
Moon uses 3D environment with stylus-based controls much like in Metroid Prime: Hunters and Dementium: The Ward. But unlike Dementium, Moon is more action focused and has a frame rate of 60 frames per second giving you slick graphics. As soon as you enter the first alien portal, you are thrust to the action straight away with enemies swarming at you from every corner. But lucky for you, Kane is armed with all kinds of futuristic and alien-like weapons. You start off with the SAR, the Standard Assault Rifle that is capable of handling small potatoes but later on, you realized that this gun is not enough. No problem. As you progress throughout the game, Kane finds other awesome arsenals such as the Muon Pistol- a lightweight firearm that does a little more damage than SAR, the Quanta Rifle- one that fires ionic projectiles, the Fermion Sniper that is capable of shooting at a long range, and many other cool weapons. Along with these equipment, there is another tool that is not really a weapon but it's incredibly awesome that it needs to be mention right here. It's called the Remote Access Droid (Or RAD) and is basically a tiny robot that Kane can control to enter small passages to unlock locked doors and find hidden items. The RAD is such a RADical tool and you will grow to like it later in the game.
Believe it or not, Moon also has a driving sequence. At some stages, Kane has to ride the LOLA-RR10, which is like a buggy, that he can use to drive around to a much further areas. It's a neat feature but there's nothing remarkable about it as the driving stages can be a bit boring with no depth to it. The enemies in the game are also a wee bit disappointing because in a game like this, you assume you'd be attacking three-eyed aliens or some kind of non-humanoid life forms but what you get instead are small, robotic droids that float around and shoot laser beams at you. They inflict a lot of damage when they group together but overall, you wish that the enemies are more bigger and alien-like. Actually, you do fight some giant monsters but this doesn't happen in later stages and boss fights and they look identical with one another.
In comparison with Dementium, Moon is a much improved game than the twisted, survival horror because of its replay value. After completing the game in Dementium: The Ward, the players don't unlock anything nor get to see any scoring points whatsoever. You see the credits and it takes you back to the main menu. This is definitely Dementium's biggest flaw and the developers ensured that these problems will not happen in Moon. Moon has seventeen stages altogether and you get to replay each stages in the Quick Play mode. You also get to see the stages' scores which tells each of its completion time, shot accuracy and extra merits (Which are hidden treasures scattered in some stages). Another great features of Moon are the cutscenes, especially the first few scenes because it has some voice overs which Dementium didn't really have. The navigation in Moon is also a plus because the maps are extremely useful which tells you exactly where you should be going.
And finally, the other best part of Moon are the save points. Again referring to Dementium: The Ward, that game had very limited checkpoints in them which makes finishing the game quite a chore. In Moon's case, both checkpoints and save points are scattered everywhere making it easier to play the game. However, that doesn't mean Moon is an easy game. There are three difficulty settings you get to choose from and if you select the harder ones, your journey can be a tough ride.
Despite the favorable comments, there are some flaws in the game. The first problem is no multiplayer. Second issue is that there is a bug in the game. This occurs in stage 6- the part where you enter the garage lifts with the LOLA buggy. However, if you get into the lift without the LOLA, you cannot proceed to the following lift because only the LOLA can gain access to it. To make matters worse, you can't go back to the previous lift to retrieve the buggy, so the only solution is to RESTART the game back to the beginning. It's a painful experience but the developers are aware of this situation and stated that they will release a new version of Moon in later months so be sure to grab that version if you haven't bought it yet.
The enemies, as mention before, could've been better but the other unsatisfactory aspect is the sound department. The sound effects are pretty good but music is incredibly terrible. It's just a scramble mess of disco music mix with techno. It's just bad. Really bad. The ending is also disheartening for it doesn't really explain most of the unanswered questions much like in Dementium. This could be a hint for a sequel in the near future but still, it's pretty lame. And finally, the other displeasing thing is the fact that Moon is not available outside the US. It seems that Renegade Kid is pretty lazy about exporting their games to other countries just like Dementium. The only way to buy Moon is through online, and that's just uncool.
To windup this review, Moon is a great game for the Nintendo DS for it delivers such amazing features for a handheld game which makes it truly outstanding. It's surely a much refined and polished game than Dementium: The Ward though it has some problems of its own. But despite these shortcomings, Moon really delivers what it promises that you are willing to forgive the issues stated above. If you're a fan of Dementium: The Ward and Metroid Prime: Hunters or simply a First Person Shooting fan who also likes the Nintendo DS, then this is the game for you.
Gameplay: 1 Star
Graphics: 1 Star
Sounds: 1.5 Star
Replay Value: 1.5 Star
Overall: 1 Star
Total: 4 out of 5 Stars