GAME NAME: Moon Chronicles
DEVELOPER(S): Renegade Kid
PUBLISHER(S): Renegade Kid
PLATFORM(S): Nintendo 3DS
GENRE(S): First-Person Adventure
RELEASE DATE(S): May 15th, 2014
For one reason or another back in 2009 when Moon originally launched on the Nintendo DS i didn’t have a chance to play it. It was on my radar because I liked Renegade Kid’s FPS Dementium: The Ward so much but it just slipped through the cracks. When I first saw some of the screen shots of Moon Chronicles remade for the Nintendo 3DS I couldn’t wait to get my hands on the game.
The story of Moon Chronicles takes us to the Earth’s Moon in the year 2058. You play as a soldier named Major Kane who has been summoned to the Moon to help explore a hatch that has recently been discovered. You are briefed by a researcher named Tsukigami and given orders from a General named Lambert. After things go terrible wrong in the first area, you are sent down the elevator to try to find some missing soldiers and to do some reconnaissance.
Right from the beginning of the game you can feel that the developer was a huge Metroid fan and this game pays homage to one of my favorite Nintendo franchises. From the level design with the blast doors, to the elevators and even the remote controlled droid you get later there has a Metroid Prime feel to it. This is by no ways a turn off but actually made me enjoy the game because it is different enough that it holds up fine with sitting next to Metroid. I would go as far to even say that if Nintendo gave the reigns of Metroid Prime to Renegade Kid that it would be in excellent hands.
There is a plethora of control options to the game. My favorite was walking with the left slide pad, aiming with the stylus and shooting with the L-button. I don’t own a circle pad but that is also another option and would probably be another recommended option with dual analog is great for the FPA genre. I also tried the old school south paw method but I was very clumsy with it being I haven’t played a game since Perfect Dark on the N64 with that method. The RC droid also controls similar to Kane being in First-Person view. I would say that the RC droid is the equivalent to Metroids Morph Ball. You can switch back and forth between Kane and the driod by using down on the D-pad.
The aiming with the stylus is pinpoint accurate and picking off enemies such as flying orb like bots and turrets is a breeze. In the first episode you will start off with an assault rifle that has infinite ammo and doesn’t need to be reloaded. As you progress you will come across an alien pistol that is limited to 8 shots at first and ammo can be collected from killing enemies as well as health. It is also possible find hidden life containers which increase the maximum amount of health that you can have.
The first Episode is split into 4 parts. The first part is the prologue and that sets up the story as to why you are on the Moon. The second part is exploring the hatch. This will take up a majority of the episode. The third part is the boss fight, which is pretty epic. The fourth and final section is split into 2 areas. The first is escaping the hatch which you have to do in 90 seconds. The second part his driving a Moon Rover. The controls are similar to Halo or Borderlands for the vehicles, and this will take you to the second hatch and give you the To Be Continued screen.
Graphically, the game is one of the best looking games I’ve seen grace Nintendo’s portable system. It runs at 60 frames per second even with the stereoscopic 3D turned on and it feels like the genre was just made for 3D gaming. I’m really shocked that there aren’t more first-person games on the handheld. The cut-scenes are a different story for this game though. It looks as they hadn’t been touched from the DS version and look really pixalated and gross. The music from the game is atmospheric and fitting but doesn’t have the same lasting effect as the music from Metroid, Halo or other space shooters. The voice acting is pretty darn good for a portable game as well.
This is an easy recommendation. First of all, Renegade Kid is bad ass and makes great games. Secondly, this is an untapped market for Nintendo’s portable system making this a necessity for any fans of the first-person genre. Go pick up this gem from the eShop for $8.99 and complete it before the second episode launches soon!