|System: DS||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Renegade Kid||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Mastiff||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Jan. 13, 2009||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Teen||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
The Remote Access Droid (RAD), a handy robot pal that stays in your inventory, is used frequently throughout the game to deal with puzzle elements including bringing down meddlesome force field barriers and collecting hidden items. When you engage RAD, Kane drops to one knee wherever you're standing, and the camera transfers to the little droid. You'll use it to crawl around in tunnels, stun enemies with its blaster, and unlock inaccessible areas. The inclusion of RAD to further deepen the gameplay is a clever move.
Successful first-person shooters on the DS seem to tend to stick with a tried and true, mouse-look-style control setup, and Moon doesn't buck the trend. The D-Pad moves you forward and side-to-side, the L trigger fires your weapon, and moving the stylus around on the touch screen lets you aim and look around in 360 degrees - it works much like playing a first-person shooter on a PC. The first-person view resides on the top screen, and the touch interface features a mini-map, a context sensitive examine button, and a weapons inventory. The controls are smooth and very responsive, and switching weapons on the fly is painless. They also translate well when you're controlling your RAD or driving LOLA.
The lack of multiplayer features is lamentable, yet the solo experience is the big draw here. The level of elbow grease put into making the title shine and setting the proper tone is evident from the moment you turn the power on. With a solid foundation already laid out, Renegade Kid was able to focus on implementing a more ambitious game design packed with more bells and whistles. The 3D visuals are some of the best to be found on the DS, and there are many subtle and not-so-subtle details - like unusual machinery, lit-up computer monitors, and electronic panels worked into the game environments. The only complaint in this area is the levels tend to blend together at times. Each area features a different color theme and layout, yet you'll often feel like your traversing the same corridors.
Moon is by no means perfect; from the lack of variety in enemy types to the repetitive nature of the core gameplay and terrain types, there is room for improvement. That said, it's a substantially engaging and eerie, sci-fi action adventure that's worth sinking some time into.
CCC Staff Contributor