Moonlighter Review

Moonlighter | Nintendo Switch download software | Games | Nintendo

“So should I buy Hades? These were the thoughts running through my head while browsing on the Nintendo Switch Store. And then I came across a game called Moonlighter that was on a sale….And I decided to buy it impulsively alongside Hades. And let me tell you, I do not regret it!”

Hades | Nintendo Switch download software | Games | Nintendo

Hey Famn, it’e been a while since I’ve uploaded a blog. I’ve been busy working as well as blasting through Metroid Dread, Hollow Knight and Ori. So I’ve procrastinated due to these brilliant games. Recently I played an Indie game called Moonlighter and I wanted to share my thoughts.

Ori and Ghost showing each other how they fly!: HollowKnight

Rating:

9/10. I’m putting this rating here just in case you don’t read the rest of the blog.

Genre:

Moonlighter is an Indie rougelite title with RPG elements. It features exploring, combat and trade. There is a heavy emphasis on combat and trading. The style and feel of the game is almost like “Link to the Past”.

RUN!!: Moonlighter

Plot Summary:

In the game, You as the player, play as Will. Will (You as the player) is the owner of a shop called “Moonlighter” hence the name of the game. The shop is based within the village called Rynoka. Adjacent to the village is a set of dungeons. These dungeons are a mystery as no one really knows their origins or the actual secret that they hold. Will’s mission is to find out the secret of the dungeons and grow his shop using the treasures (referred to as artifacts) found within the dungeons.

Gabriel Schmidt on Twitter: "I just finished Moonlighter and I couldn't  held myself to paint this fanart, what an amazing game @DigitalSunGames!! # Moonlighter… https://t.co/I4B7L7tYuo"

The Beginning:

The start of the game places Will immediately within the 1st dungeon. As Will moves from room to room, the game teaches us the buttons in a tutorial fashion. There’s very little hand-holding as after a few tutorial demonstrations, Will is thrust into combat. It’s most likely that after you beat the first wave of enemies, you shall succumb to the following wave of enemies that are overwhelming in number. This is where the game truly begins.

Steam Community :: Moonlighter

The World of Moonlighter:

This game’s world is basically divided into 2 areas, that is the Dungeons and the Town. The dungeons are basically the (only) areas of combat and exploration within the game. The town is where Will’s shop and other shops are located. So you could say that the town is basically the area of commerce.

Lots of Good News for Moonlighter Fans | RAGE Works

The Dungeons:

There are 5 dungeons in total, although only 4 of these dungeons offer exploration. The dungeons were sealed due to the number of deaths that occurred when people entered these dungeons for personal gain. At the start of the game, only the first dungeon is not sealed. After Will completes a dungeon, the townsfolk will unlock the next dungeon. This is done in sequential order. The actual secret of the dungeons is hidden within the 5th dungeon that is sealed with 4 special locks. Upon completion of each dungeon, Will is rewarded with one of the special keys that unlock the 5th dungeon’s locks.

Moonligter - Imgflip

The Dungeon Structure:

The first 4 dungeons have 3 floors with the 5th dungeon having a single floor. In addition to the standard dungeon consisting of 3 floors is the Wanderer’s Dungeon which offers 2 optional floors. The player can either choose to navigate through the 1st/2nd standard dungeon floor or alternatively choose to navigate through the 1st/2nd wanderer’s dungeon floor. The player shall progress to the next floor level of the standard dungeon, whether they choose to take the standard dungeon floor route or the wanderer’s dungeon floor route. (The wanderer’s dungeon floors are like alternate dimensions and are part of the dungeon mystery). The 3rd floor of the dungeon floor is a standard floor only, with no wanderer’s dungeon 3rd-floor route offered.

The ultimate surprise: Moonlighter

Dungeon Enemies, Materials, and Difficulty

Each dungeon has its own unique environment, materials and enemies respectively. The difficulty of the dungeons also increases as you move from one dungeon to the next.

The surroundings and environment within the dungeon themselves can pose a threat to the player, whether it’s falling down into an abyss or walking over a pile of acid. The threat that the dungeon environment poses can increase when locked in a room fighting enemies, as it’s easier to fall into a hole or mistime a dodge and roll into a pool of acid that will cause you damage. The threat posed by the dungeon environment increases as you move from one dungeon to another. (The 2nd dungeon surroundings are more dangerous than the 1st dungeon surroundings).

The enemies within each dungeon differ and so do their attack patterns and strengths. Even though a few enemies (like slimes) may retain a similar design to enemies found within other dungeons (slimes in other dungeons), the attack patterns and power levels of these enemies shall vary.

Part of what makes Moonlighter amazing and more difficult is that enemies require you to stop and identify their attack patterns. This introduces a level of depth to how players approach combat. It also prevents players from just blindly swinging their weapon and massacring enemies without a second thought. A lot of enemies just require basic hits for damage to be dealt. However, some enemies require their movement pattern to be studied or you will not be able to land a hit on them. Some enemies require you to provoke them into an attack and counter strike while they are vulnerable. Some enemies will require you to avoid any physical contact, as this will result in the loss of items. The difficulty posed by enemies increases as you move up a dungeon. (The 2nd dungeon enemies deal more damage, are faster, and have more health than the 1st dungeon enemies).

CynicalStith — My submission for the Moonlighter fan art contest!...

Teleporters

There are 2 item’s in Will’s position that you acquire as you play. The first item allows one-way teleportation out of the dungeon for a small fee. It also allows you to convert materials into money. The second item allows the player to teleport out the dungeon and return to the exact spot when ready. It requires a greater sum of money.

Combat (Weapons, Potions, Armor And Enchantments)

There are different weapon types in Moonlighter. There is the sword/shield, spear, fighting gloves, big sword, and bow/arrow. The damage dealt by each weapon varies. It’s important to pick a weapon set that you’re comfortable using as they all slightly differ.

Your playstyle is influenced by your weapon choice. The sword/shield is the only weapon set that allows you to physically block an attack and allows you to attack enemies within the arc of your sword swing. I used this because I’m used to swords and felt that shield blocking was essential. The great sword is recommended for more adept players as it deals greater damage, but is slower in speed. Players using the great sword have to have precise attack timing, aim for counter attacks and be good at dodging. I recommend spears actually for players who are less adept at the game. They are quick, out of most enemies attack range and a mid range weapon. The disadvantage would be they lack the sword arc. The fighting gloves are probably the most difficult weapons to use in the game. They’re extremely close range so they require the most expert of players. The bow and arrow is the only long range weapon in the game so it is basically essential.

Players can alternate between a primary and secondary weapon. It is usually recommended that the bow/arrow is the secondary weapon always. Weapons can also be upgraded to increase the damage output and/or to allow weapons to induce status effects (poisoning, paralysis etc).

Potions and armor are also essential in the game. Potions can be used for restoring HP or guiding players through the dungeon. There is only one type of enhancement and that are amulet. They usually offer some kind of stat buff but there’s usually a drawback. Armour can be purchased and upgraded to increase defense and HP.

Moonlighter" Weapon Guide - LevelSkip

Materials Collected And Their Purpose

Materials are items that can either be obtained from killing enemies or can be found within chests within the dungeons. The materials found in each dungeon vary and differ across each dungeon. These materials are collected by Will (you can only carry a certain amount in your bag) and are sold within the Moonlighter shop. These materials can also be used to increase the damage dealt by the weapon (small damage buff) or can be used to transform the weapon to it’s next level (big damage buff). The sale price of your collected materials increases as you move up a dungeon number. (The 2nd dungeon items generally have a higher price value, compared to materials from the 1st dungeon).

These materials will also cap the level to which your weapons can be upgraded. What this means is that your weapon level is dependent on and controlled by which dungeon you’re currently on. So if you’re still on the 2nd dungeon and you require materials from the 3rd dungeon to transform your weapon to the next level, you’ll have to complete the 2nd dungeon and then move onto the 3rd dungeon. This ensures that some form of difficulty is maintained during the initial completion of each dungeon and prevents the player from becoming too overpowered earlier in the game.

Dungen Mini-bosses and Bosses

At the end of the 1st/2nd standard/wanderers floors are mini-bosses that have to be faced in order to progress to the floor level within the dungeon. There are slight differences depending on your route of choice.

In the standard dungeon floor route, a room with a heal spot allows the player to heal for free before facing the miniboss of that floor. Upon defeating that mini-boss the player shall collect several valuable items.

In the wanderer’s dungeon floor route, the player must go through about 4 or 5 rooms of enemies before they can reach the mini-boss. The player is locked in each of these rooms and can only progress once all of the enemies are defeated. There is no heal spot allocated to the player before the miniboss in this scenario. Upon defeating the miniboss the player will temporarily unlock a powerful weapon. This powerful weapon can only be used within the dungeon and if the player leaves, they lose the weapon. From the completion of the main story itself, I have not found a way to permanently keep these weapons.

The miniboss faced on sth 1st/2nd standard dungeon floor differs for the miniboss faced on the 1st/2nd wanderer’s dungeon floor.

Bosses

At the end of the 3rd standard dungeon floor within every dungeon awaits the dungeon boss. It is important to note that once the dungeon boss is defeated, you cannot battle it again. The dungeon boss is usually designed to match the theme of the dungeon. Just like when facing enemies, the dungeon boss requires careful analysis and strategy. You may find that some dungeon bosses may require different weapons to better defeat it. In my case, I used the same weapon types throughout my gameplay. Defeating a dungeon boss rewards you with rare high-priced materials and sometimes even amulets (really rare). The bosses are overall difficult regardless of the dungeon, but the dungeon boss within the 5th dungeon does have a slightly more high difficulty level. This is because there are 2 phases to the boss fight.

MoonlighterFanArtContest – hledání na Twitteru / Twitter

Shop

The shop Moonlighter obviously plays a big role in this game. Materials collected from the dungeon are sold at the shop. There’s no handbook within the game itself that dictates the selling price of items. The player is expected to experiment via trial and error to determine the appropriate pricing of materials. Based on the customer’s reactions, you’ll be able to eventually work out the pricing. You’ll be glad to know that the pricing are eventually recorded and can be set to default once discovered. It may sound terrifying but it’s really fun. There are also small but important elements such as specific customers and requests that keep shop aspect quite fun. It also gives value to the materials in a very unique way.

The shop can be upgraded periodically as you start earning larger sums of money. The increases sales space, items storage space, increased tips, and better healing (well extra safeguards not healing per say). The shop can also be used to control the night and day time aspect of the game.

Moonlighter Town Upgrade Guide

Town

The shop Moonlighter is not alone within the village. There are other traders, forgers and enchanters (basically service providers) that offer you a variety of services. These service providers have to be purchased once off to unlock the required service( for example weapon upgrades and potion making). After the service provider is unlocked, Will can pay and make use of these services. I never understood why Will didn’t receive a share of the service providers profit since he basically sponsors them.

Moonlighter - Selling Items (Shop Level 4) - YouTube

What Did I Personally Enjoy And Found Made Moonlighter Unique?

Firstly, it’s a good game overall. Secondly, it’s well worth it’s price. Thirdly, it actually has a post main game story which I think is really cool for an indie game. Fourthly, I love how the story actually picked at my curiosity. Fifthly, I enjoyed how the difficulty was always controlled so that the player was never under or overpowered. Sixthly, the way that commerce was blended so smoothly with adventuring and combat was well done. It reminded me of Torneko from dragon quest 4. And lastly, I just love this game.

So this mediocre review took me 3 days to type, hope you enjoy it.

Ciau until next time

Jai Sri Krishna

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