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Rambling thoughts – Moon

Posted on July 22, 2009 by (@NE_Brian) in DS, Features


Moon has been out in North America since January, but our friends over in Europe received their first chance to play the title this month. This leaves me with the perfect chance to provide my view on the game. Head past the break to read my rambling thoughts!

The folks over at Renegade Kid have already proven themselves worthy of handling the FPS genre on the DS. The company took a huge risk by developing Dementium, a gory and mature title for the handheld. It was also a pretty darn good FPS game, too. Moon follows in the footsteps of Dementium and builds off of what made that game successful, but manages to set itself apart by taking Renegade Kid’s first-person efforts farther than ever before.

It’s no surprise that, for a majority of the time, you will be shooting at enemies. However, there is also a shared focus on exploring. The balance is handled fittingly, as there is never a time when you will be consistently attacking a barrage of baddies or investigating without firing a single shot for an extended period of time.

One of the most important aspects of a title in the first-person genre is the controls. Thankfully, they work well by and large in Moon. As is the case for most FPS titles on Nintendo’s portable, handling the viewpoint can be accomplished by sliding the touch screen left and right. The L button and D-pad fill in the roles of shooting and moving respectively. The controls will, most likely, remind gamers of the preferred format in Metroid Prime: Hunters. And similar to that title, lefties aren’t ignored by the developers in Moon – The set up can be easily flip-flopped at any moment while playing.


Concepts are well executed in Moon, but the game does suffer from some monotony. There are only a handful of enemies that you will encounter, most of which seem to be variations of a particular enemy. Also, since the game takes place on the lunar surface, many areas will seem dark and gritty, which leads to a dull sameness. I do admit that after a while, the scenery can become a bit dreary.

Still, when gameplay becomes most relevant, Moon mixes things up quite well. As mentioned previously, there are quite a few non-shooting elements that can be encountered throughout the experience, including driving segments and small corridor examination with the Remote Access Droid. When using LOLA-R110 for travel though, managing the vehicle is cumbersome and causes the controls for these portions of the game to become uncomfortable. Rather than taking advantage of the face buttons and D-pad available on the DS for driving, the touch screen is required for steering, the D-pad is used to accelerate/decrease speed, and firing a shot is done with the L button. It may have been a smarter design choice to stick with the typical driving controls DS titles (buttons only), especially since turning can feel too slippery.

Technically speaking, Moon is very impressive. The game runs on a solid engine, yet the framerate rarely falters. The whole experience feels very smooth and crisp as well. Also notable is that not all objects are static – there are a number of pieces in the world that possess fluid animation. Throughout your journey, you’ll also view a few, short CG-rendered videos, though in compressed quality.

Overall, Moon is an enjoyable game. While I would not consider it to be the best DS title available, it certainly is worth a look. Renegade Kid has created a nice foundation with Moon and, if there were to be a sequel, could improve upon a few small – albeit significant – issues. For now, my main concern is that the title will be largely ignored, even by hardcore gamers. While I will be the first to admit that the game is solid, there is nothing that truly makes the title stand out. Moon is, however, well worth anyone’s time and it should not be overlooked in spite of the fact that it is a low-key release.

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