Momodora: Moonlit Farewell
Set five years after the events of Momodora III, Moonlit Farewell tells the story of Momo Reinol, high priestess of the village of Koho, which is assaulted by demons after they steal a powerful artifact called the Black Bell. The matriarch sends Momo to retrieve the bell and investigate the source of the calamity, which is located in a dungeon underneath the village. It is not necessary to have played the previous games in the series because there are notes about Momodora’s past adventures, but it is highly recommended if you want to experience the whole journey (they are also very good games). The story is minimal and mainly narrated through recurrent interactions with different characters. Some old characters make their return to assist Momo with her task, and new characters are introduced (like Cereza). Oh, and if you love cats, this is the game for you.
Being a classic metroidvania, the game delivers 2D platforming through large and interconnected maps mixed with combat and boss fights sections. Momo’s movements feel smooth and responsive, with beautiful animations for attacking, dodging and jumping. Such actions consume your stamina meter, so it is important to plan your combat strategy and quickly adapt to enemies’ diverse range of attacks. Momo’s main weapons are a maple leaf that acts as a blade and a bow, plus a magical bell that can be used to heal and, when upgraded, damage nearby enemies. It is also possible to heal and save your progress in specific checkpoint shrines by simply hitting the bell. The game also auto-saves after certain events (such as defeating bosses), but it’s still recommended to manually save every time you can. Progression features some special cards known as Sigils, which need to be found by exploring every corner of the world, or purchased from Cereza. These cards add different boosts to stats, increase weapons’ damage, unlock new effects and much more, allowing you to customize your playstyle in multiple ways. You can equip a max of 5 Sigils, but first you must unlock each slot by collecting Grimoires. You can also choose between different types of familiars, which will follow Momo and provide minor assistance (such as mana healing or scouting the map for Lunar Crystals). Thanks to these mechanics, exploration and combat always feel smooth and rewarding. There is a great variety of bosses too, each one with a unique design and patterns; some of them require perfectly timed attacks and dodges. Despite the use of Sigils and familiars, you will never feel overpowered, which is great for the game’s balance, but on the other hand it makes combat more difficult (particularly towards the end). Thankfully, difficulty can be switched to easy at any time, so the game is very accessible for those who are not used to metroidvanias. Graphically speaking, the game looks gorgeous with its unique 2D pixel art style, combined with cute character design and a wonderful soundtrack that enhances every encounter and each relevant moment of the story.
Now onto the only negative I found: non-linear exploration. While still rewarding, it can also be confusing at times. There is a map but, except for some question mark symbols for important areas, there isn’t anything else to guide you and you will casually move around until you find the next boss area. This unfortunately proves to be even more frustrating when backtracking and looking for secrets and missed items. The game also seems to be quite short (especially when compared to metroidvanias like Ori or Hollow Knight) and probably could have included more side content or optional locations. Nevertheless it is very addictive and the price seems fair for the content proposed.
Momodora: Moonlit Farewell represents a satisfying conclusion for the series. It doesn’t innovate the genre and probably never had this ambition, but it’s a delightful experience from start to finish. If you enjoy metroidvanias you will love this one too; if you’ve played all the previous Momodora games, you will love this one even more.
Review written by Sonic Punk for Zeepond.com
Positives+ Perfectly balanced and accessible metroidvania
+ Simple but effective combat system
+ Challenging and satisfying boss fights
+ Gorgeous pixel art style and unique characters design
Negatives- Map can be confusing to navigate at times
- Lacks secondary content
A stunning conclusion for the Momodora series, Moonlit Farewell offers a fantastic metroidvania experience. Short, but incredibly beautiful and addictive.
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Zeepond Rating: 8/10
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