Moon Chronicles is a remake of the original game, Moon, which came out on the DS as a retail title. Developer Renegade Kid remade the game to harness the 3DS\’s additional power and 3D effects, and released Moon Chronicles Episode 1, which I reviewed for launch. While I felt the game was good, Episode 1 was way too short, and the score suffered a little from that. Renegade Kid decided to release the remaining episodes all at once, which now gives us the complete package, for a very reasonable price of $8.99 total, depending on whether you get the Season Pass. So how does the remainder of the game stack up?
As stated in the previous review of Episode 1, Moon Chronicles has you playing as Major Kane who is continuing his voyage on the Moon, trying to find out what has happened to his team on the base. While Episode 1 gave you a snippet of the story, the other episodes really make it shine. What I liked about the story is that it isn\’t necessarily forced on you. There are terminals you can scan, ala Metroid Prime (on a much smaller scale), that help enhance the base you are in and help flesh out the story, which I felt was a nice touch. Surprisingly, what seems like a run of the mill story can actually be pretty complex and engaging if you allow yourself to get wrapped up in the lore.
The biggest jump in the game is the fact that there is a lot more content this time around. Episode 2 itself took me much longer than Episode 1 did, and the other episodes felt the same. The game also manages to add new weapons through some great pacing, and adds the most important thing: enemy variants. For the Episode 1 and a good chunk of Episode 2, most of the enemies are robotic in nature and feel a little uninspired. The end of Episode 2 cranks up both the story and enemy variety, and really helps set the pace for the rest of the game in both terms of story and action.
Episode 3 and 4 don\’t disappoint at all either, and it really feels like a much beefier game. I finished Episode 1 for my original review in about 30 minutes. I lost track of my time on Episode 2, but it was at least triple that. That alone made my purchase of all remaining episodes feel vindicated. The game also ramps up the difficulty and makes you play a little more careful if you want to survive, even on Normal mode. While it\’s not the most original first-person game, it manages to stand out on the 3DS because of the lack of games in this genre on the system.
The game still looks fantastic as well, with the new enemies being much more interesting than just the robotic ones of Episode 1. The 3D is used very well to add a sense of \”depth\” to the game, and the game still plays at a locked 60FPS. The game still does feature the DS cutscenes which do detract from the overall presentation of the game, but this was probably done to get the game out in a timely manner. One other issue is when you are in the moon rover. Everything is smooth, but the graphics are a bit lacking and bland. Also, it can be hard to identify enemies and mines in the snow. While the music was a bit boring in Episode 1, the music is better in the remaining episodes of the game, and the sound effects still sound very solid.
My major gripe with Episode 1 was the length of the game, and since Renegade Kid decided to release all of the episodes at once now, that gripe is removed. While you can buy them individually, it\’s more wallet-friendly to buy the \”Season Pass\” which gives you all of the episodes for $8.99. For fans of games like Metroid Prime and Renegade Kid\’s other games like Dementium, this game should be a no-brainer. While Episode 1 was solid, the culmination of the remaining episodes gives a complete package that makes Moon Chronicles, as a whole, a great purchase.
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