Momodora: Reverie Under the Moonlight (Nintendo Switch) Review

By Albert Lichi 13.02.2019

Review for Momodora: Reverie Under the Moonlight on Nintendo Switch

There is no shortage of metroidvanias on the Nintendo Switch. Between titles like Battle Princess Madelyn, Axiom Verge, Guacamelee! 2, Blaster Master Zero and Hollow Knight Switch owners have plenty of open-ended platforming that people cannot get enough of. After being a bit of a underground cult hit, the fourth Momodora title has made it to everyone's favourite console/portable hybrid. With so many sources to draw inspiration from, is Momodora: Reverie Under the Moonlight worthy? Can it stand on its own? Revel in Momodora: Reverie Under the Moonlight on the Nintendo Switch.

Momodora: Reverie Under the Moonlight is the story of the priestess Kaho, and her journey to Karst. At the beginning she is armed with only a leaf, bow and arrows, and some cute thigh-high stockings. While the story itself is not force fed, it takes a much more restrained approached, much like older NES games that only feed a few suggestive snippets of text. Most of the story is told through item descriptions and in the design of world. There is quite a lot to infer from only the visuals, but really Momodora actually doesn't have much to say. "What you see, is what you get," with this, and aside from a few quirks, the story is fairly unremarkable but serviceable.

In spite of being the fourth instalment in the series, newcomers need not to worry about the timeline, because it is a distant prequel, and was designed to be an entry point for anyone. Fans of the past games will be surprised by how much the developers have grown more confident in their skills as animators and combat designers because Momodora: Reverie Under the Moonlight is one intense action experience. Some metroidvanias are inspired more by Castlevania, like the Shantae games, while some lean more towards Metroid with games like Axiom Verge. Momodora takes pages from Bloodborne as noted by the game's emphasis on swift footwork and watching for enemy tells or animation.

The action is mostly focused on three main actions: basic combo, arrow, or charge shot, and the dodge roll. It may not seem like a lot, but Momodora's strength is in its enemies, and how mastery of these abilities can help to overcome some pretty powerful mobs. The difficulty is a bit inconsistent in some areas though, since Kaho has unlimited arrows, her charge shot is her most powerful attack, and can make most of the encounters laughable easy. This is arguably Momodora's greatest flaw, since the real star of the game's combat should be the melee and dodge roll mechanics since they are obviously the parts of the game that clearly seem like they had the most care and effort put into them. This couldn't be more obvious than by the absurd amount of detail that went into Kaho's animations and by the level of polish in the game's controls and responsiveness.

Screenshot for Momodora: Reverie Under the Moonlight on Nintendo Switch

If the combat is the main star in here, then the visuals are the love interest. This is a gorgeous and lovingly crafted title that surpasses most of the pixel art seen in its contemporaries. A game like Axiom Verge seems pretty unimpressive when put next to Momodora's lush landscapes and liquid-fluid animations. The craftsmanship extends beyond the main playable character, and the same attention has been given to every boss and NPC as well. Small touches that give these sprites a lot of personality or weight really does help draw in anyone who is playing the game. The environment has a palpable bleak atmosphere about it, and is littered with fluttering particles that really give life the locations. The only real disappointment is that the game is only presented in a 4:3 aspect ratio, and nothing can be done about the black bars on the sides of the image.

Momodora is a really solid metroidvania that is one of the better examples of the genre where combat is a bigger focus. The inventory system isn't really that useful, and there are not many power-ups, but that's because this is about fighting with wits and not stats. For its price, expect a disappointingly short game. Momodora is so fun, that it becomes bittersweet when it ends. Kaho controls so fluidly and responsively, that it's hard to let her go because it feels as if she can do anything! Momodora: Reverie Under the Moonlight is definitely a recommendation to anyone who wants a charming metroidvania for a rainy day. It may not have much replayability, but expect it to make a lasting impression.

Compared to the other console versions of Reverie Under the Moonlight, this Switch version is one to one in every aspect. There has been no changes at all, and it runs very consistently with all other conversions. The content is exactly the same and do not expect any surprises; this is a very straight port of Momodora in all its glory with no frills.

Screenshot for Momodora: Reverie Under the Moonlight on Nintendo Switch

Cubed3 Rating

Rated 7 out of 10

Very Good - Bronze Award

Rated 7 out of 10

Momodora: Reverie Under the Moonlight is a fine example of the metroidvania sub-genre. Depth-wise, it does not quite reach the heights of Hollow Knight, but it far surpasses the likes of Xeodrifter. It's strengths lie in the action, and its charm. This is a fairly bite-sized affair, when compared to the competition, but it is a bite worth trying. With all the basics set in place for such a polished and well crafted entry, hopefully this will get a successor that expands on such a strong foundation.




DANGEN Entertainment


2D Platformer



C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  7/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   


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