Here’s a glorious little gem from Brazilian indie team Bombservice. Momodora: Reverie Under The Moonlight is a mini-Metroidvania, packed out with beautiful pixel art and retro styled platforming.
We enjoyed this one a great deal, with three hours of gameplay time offering enough memorable moments to make this a winner with us.
Nods Towards Castlevania in Momodora: Reverie Under the Moonlight
Launched in March 2016, you can get this on PC and all consoles. It’s the fourth game in the Momodora series (the first was in 2010).
In Reverie Under the Moonlight, you take control of the priestess Kaho and it’s your job to stop a curse that’s corrupting the Kingdom of Karst.
2D platforming stuff commences from the off, with traversing of areas, fighting of monsters (with a red leaf or bow and arrow), and collecting of items. You also come up against a boss at the end of each area (including a very large breasted witch in blue).
The gameplay is much more leaning towards NES era Castlevania than on the Metroid side of things. That brings the notorious difficulty of Konami’s games to match, as this is one tough SOB.
We started on Normal difficulty mode under Bombservice’s instructions it was the right choice for those who often play 2D platformers.
Well, we abandoned that as we couldn’t get past the second area. Goddamn tough! Switching it to Easy mode was still pretty hard going, too. This is irritating us with developers these days, it’s a simple accessibility option. Hard mode should be where ultra-difficulty is, not in your standard choice that makes getting beyond level two hard work.
We’re not like the best gamers in the world, far from it, but we have completed Ori and the Will of the Wisps on hard mode (check us out) so can be quite nifty.
This… WAS A BRIDGE TOO FAR, DAMMIT!
Pet peeve aside, Reverie Under the Moonlight is an intense game with close fought combat. It looks amazing with those pixel art graphics and sounds just as good with its eerie, often sublime soundtrack.
It’s another example of a pretty looking platformer with pixel art graphics proving to be one onslaught of an experience.
But is does have its reflective moments, such as the end of the first area where you can bask in a moment of birdsong silence by a lake.
Momodora: Reverie Under The Moonlight has strong player reviews on Steam, but the press reaction in 2016 was middling. Destructoid handed it 8/10, but others were far less kind (GameSpot gave it 6/10).
We enjoyed it a great deal. It’s cheap and a classic retro styled platformer we always love to immerse ourselves in, with a rich and detailed gaming world packed with character.
However, we do wish that difficulty was toned down a bit.
Other than that, this is a gem of a mini-Metroidvania that’ll challenge seasoned platformer fans. But if you’re new to the genre and want to try this, do so! Just make sure you stick it onto the easiest gameplay mode, eh?
Momodora: Reverie Under The Moonlight’s Soundtrack
Although Destructoid criticised the soundtrack as unmemorable… we beg to differ! The work of composers nK and rdein, it’s quite fantastic (we think).
For such a small game, it’s a rich tapestry of a soundtrack that veers around melancholic numbers and much more eerie, brooding shindigs.
There’s a heavy emphasis on piano throughout the soundtrack.
This takes the form of faster numbers, like Malevolence here. It has a kind of classical quality to it, all whilst still hinting at Castlevania as it shifts along.
Yes, then, a great little soundtrack. Not quite an outright video game classic, but given this is a tiny little game for it to be complemented by these tunes is a lovely thing indeed.