Momodora: Reverie Under the Moonlight is the fourth game in the Momodora franchise. I haven't played any of the other Momodora games and I hadn't even heard of them until recently. The game is a side-scrolling metroidvannia style game in which you take control of a priestess from a small village who is searching for a way to lift a curse upon the land. If she fails then everyone around her will fall. And with all of this on the line our heroine decides to go into battle with a red maple leaf.
Momodora: Reverie Under The Moonlight
Take the role of Kaho a young priestess from the village of Lun who has taken the mission of of freeing the cursed land. The world around her is on the verge of extinction. The curse is spreading and more strange enemies appear to take permanent hold of the land. Kaho must find the Queen to prevent this disaster.
Kaho is a silent protagonist that is cannot be observed speaking to others. Everyone you interact with does most of the talking. And a good portion of the people you interact with are miss-able. You don't have to speak to most of the characters. If someone asks you for help you can just ignore it. Most of the time there isn't even a reward for assisting them.
Aside from that there isn't too much story content. You mostly are fighting through areas to unlock key items or to reach a door. The progress is mostly game-play driven. Since this is a metroidvannia game I don't have a problem with that. As long as the combat is good I'll be happy.
The highlight of this title is it's combat. The controls are slick and responsive. You are required to react quickly and recognize attack patterns to make it through the challenges in your place. The game has pretty challenging combat. I died my fair share of times and rarely did I kill the bosses on my first try.
You fight using two weapons: a maple leaf, and a bow.
The maple leaf is your melee weapon. It acts as your blade as you swipe down enemies. It has a simple three-hit combo with a generous range. Canadian patriots will have their hearts filled with pride as your little priestess smacks some dudes with her leaflet.
You also have a ranged option with your bow and arrows. The bow can be charged to increase it's potency. Your ranged moves are necessary for shotting projectiles out of the way and for dealing damage at a distance.
You travel through a giant interconnected map. The world you are in truly feels connected as when you finish through an area you will often find yourself back into a familiar part of the world. It is a great feeling going back to an area and realizing how much better you have gotten. As you are more familiar with the mobs they begin to fall effortlessly.
There is a decent amount of backtracking as a result of this interconnectivity. As you gain new powers and keys you gain access to areas you couldn't access before. Some of the areas are optional but the majority of the time revisiting old areas is a requirement. With the unlockable ability to warp and secret passages that open up this isn't nearly as bad as it sounds.
Kaho is not upgradable through experience or levels. However you can purchase accessories that give special powers. You can enchant your arrows, become a money magnet, or give yourself status immunities. Money is incredibly important for making sure that you have all the accessories and items avaliable. If you are having trouble with a boss fight the ability to customize your equipment will help greatly.
There are item upgrades that can be found throughout the story that permanently enhance your character. And there are also items that allow you to heal, enhance yourself, or even the ability to turn into a cat.
A strong point is the boss design. There are no shortage of boss gimmicks. You have to discover their weaknesses and figure out a way to combat them. In addition you also have to learn to recognize their attack patterns and find a way to avoid their attacks.
Not to mention that they all look very cool. Always make sure to save because you will probably die on your first try. That isn't a bad thing because multiple attempts allows the player to listen to the soundtrack. This soundtrack is easy to ignore since you will be absorbed in the combat. But if you take a moment to listen you can appreciate the ambiance it brings.
If you like metroidvannia style games then this game is a no brainer. Even if you aren't sure what a metroidvannia game is I would still give this a shot. The art is well done, the combat is slick, and most of all it is fun. You can find this game for a few bucks when it's on sale. It has a short game length of around 5 hours so there is little time commitment. But in that time you get an engaging experience that brings a little challenge into your game time. The game creates a simple but beautiful world that shows a grim reality. With all the suffering you will witness around you the player will come to understand why the curse must be lifted. And this is done in the most subtle of ways. Characters that you went to save will be found dead, others will have fates not as clear cut. And others will express their utter acceptance of their doom. You truly feel like a hero in a dying world. Momodora: Reverie Under the Moonlight is a fantastic game that everyone should get around to playing eventually.