Review: Moon Chronicles Episode 1: One Small Step (3DS eShop)

moon-chronicles

 

Review

Moon Chronicles is an updated version of Renegade Kid’s Moon, which originally released in 2009 on the Nintendo DS. With upgraded controls, graphics, and enemy AI, it promises to bring new life into the original Moon. Episodes are being released throughout the year as add-on content, with Season 2 expected in 2015.

Developer: Renegade Kid
Publisher: Renegade Kid
Review Platform: 3DS eShop
Also Available on: Nintendo DS (Moon)
Price: $8.99
NA Release Date: 15/05/14
EU Release Date: TBC
Genre: First-person shooter
Players: 1

The game has received a massive graphical upgrade from the original Moon, and runs at 60 FPS 100% of the time, even with the 3D on. Every turn was smooth, and there was never a moment of dropped frames or lag. The pre-rendered scenes look alright, and the voice acting isn’t bad, though not fantastic. Renegade Kid has done a marvelous job of porting the environment from their DS game onto the 3DS and making it run at its highest capacity. The environment, however, is rather bland and boring. Throughout your journey, you’re faced with the same textures throughout the facility you explore. The mix of repeated walls and dark colors leaves you wanting more, and when the scenery does change, it immediately falls into the same repetitive pattern. The soundtrack doesn’t do the blandness any good either. It’s got plenty of space-y sounding beeps, but doesn’t add to the mood. The music remains the same whether you’re in combat or not, and your character can feel almost bored as a result.

The enemies are pretty scarce, and don’t respawn when you come back into a room. After you’ve cleared the six or so enemies hiding behind each door, you’ll be left to simply walk through the room to get to the next entrance. The combat works well with the different control options, but isn’t very satisfying. As you fight, every bullet makes the enemy slowly blink red which makes it hard to tell if you’re hitting them more than once. When they’re dispatched, they leave you with a small explosion and perhaps a health refill. I never felt accomplished for defeating the enemies, as they weren’t too hard to deal with and usually didn’t reward you with anything particularly useful.

Moon Chronicles touts a few different control options, along with Circle Pad Pro support, and they work well enough for a 3DS first-person shooter. The default stylus/circle pad combo is incredibly well adjusted, and the Pro Pad takes your FPS experience to another level. Unfortunately, the lack of sensitivity options means you’ll have to spend a much longer time getting used to the controls, and holding your 3DS with one hand can leave your hands feeling a little cramped and numb, though nothing entirely debilitating, especially considering the short length of the game.

Renegade Kid will be rolling out different episodes of Moon Chronicles, and the first one does a good job of introducing basic gameplay and plot devices before really getting you into the game. The two guns you recieve feel very different than each other, and allows for a level of excitement for what may come. There are a few little logs you can read scattered around that hint at some sinister goings on in the facility, adding to the mystery and trying to get you interested in the plot. As an introduction to the series, Episode 1 does what it needs to, but not a whole lot more. It’s pretty small, cutting the action off too soon, and isn’t quite enough to justify buying just the one episode. If you’re looking for a solid, revolutionary first-person shooter, Moon Chronicles won’t be on your list. Players of the original Moon won’t be finding anything new in Chronicles. If you’re looking for something new and cheap to play on your 3DS, Moon Chronicles seems to promise quite the adventure… eventually. You may want to do some waiting until the next episodes are released.

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Review code provided by Renegade Kid.

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