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Moonlighter - PlayStation 4 Review

Be the hero and the merchant

Game Info:

  • System: PS4, PC, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, MAC
  • Publisher: 11 bit studios
  • Developer: Digital Sun
  • Release Date: May 29, 2018

Who it Caters to

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Most action-adventure games are just simple titles where you take control of a hero and battle against dangerous enemies while exploring beautiful but treacherous dungeons and lands. However, sometimes we just want more out of our typical action-adventure gameplay. That’s where developer Digital Sun’s latest game Moonlighter, comes into place. In Moonlighter, you’re still going to be that wannabe hero, but you’re also going to be a merchant who is trying to keep his shop going. Moonlighter aims to deliver more than your typical gameplay and it’s an experience that might be what you’ve always wanted.

What to Expect

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Moonlighter is one-part action-adventure game and one-part merchant simulator. Players control a young store owner who must build up his store—called the Moonlighter—by selling items taken from within dangerous areas. Do battle against various beasts and earn cash to buy better equipment and become the hero you were destined to be. However, be careful young warrior. The Gates lead to constantly shifting landscapes and while the treasures within might lead to lucrative cash, they might also lead to a quick death…


Story

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Moonlighter tells the story of Will, a young merchant who lives in the town of Rynoka. Will runs the Moonlighter, a store that sells assorted items that he finds while exploring otherworldly dungeons via the ancient Gates near Rynoka. These strange places constantly shift and the dangers within are numerous, but Will knows that each risk can lead to better rewards and maybe make him go from common merchant to a hero he so desires to be. Will once more arms himself with his trusty broom and enters the Gates in hopes of finding treasures none have unearthed before. However, can Will survive the dangers of the so-called Golems that wander within the dangerous dungeons?

Gameplay

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The Legend of Zelda has always been considered one of the best action/adventure games ever made because Link’s tales are always filled with wonder and amazement. Yet, that has never stopped other developers from trying to create games like The Legend of Zelda in some shape or form. From the very first few minutes—and an iconic quote Zelda fans would know all too well—Moonlighter seems different than most titles in the genre. What makes Moonlighter stand out and does it play well because of these differences? Let us discover the answers to those questions in our review of Moonlighter!

Moonlighter has players control Will. By definition, Will isn’t a hero or even a warrior; instead Will is a merchant with dreams of being a hero and being the first to conquer the Gates. This is where Moonlighter fuses multiple genres together in one $19.99 title. You’ll be fighting baddies swinging various weapons like swords, lances, fists and bows—get a bow seriously by the way—earning items to use for more equipment and upgrades. Equally, you’ll be obtaining items to sell in Moonlighter which is simple and fun. Though let’s not get ahead of ourselves and break apart each section of Moonlighter and why both parts are simply amazing.

Action/adventure wise, Moonlighter is about exploring a roguelike series of dungeons via portals called Gates. Each Gate leads to different dungeons that randomize each time you enter. The goal is simple; get to the depths of the dungeon and beat the boss to get further in Moonlighter. However, Moonlighter makes exploring a risk/reward theme where you could just fight your way through and make it to the end—hopefully—or you can keep beating enemies to fill your inventory and go back to the Moonlighter to sell what you have for gold that can be used to gain new weapons, upgrade the town and your own shop. You’ll need to be careful of your greed as dying leads you to lose all your inventory items—though not the ones equipped or in the main part of your inventory—and means you’ll lose possible gold and time. Sometimes you need to just run when you have a lot of items and fight the dungeon later.

Shop keeping is the second element of Moonlighter and while it might seem tough at first, trust us, it’s far from complicated. Initially, your shop can sell four items at a time and it’s up to you to delegate the prices. When you open shop, random NPCs will come in and buy the items or reject them because the prices are too high. You’ll learn from the simple smiling expressions when you’re selling an item at a good—and fair—price or when you’re asking for far too much. Moonlighter also keeps memory of the best prices so when you reinsert the same items into your shop, it will automatically set at the price it last sold at. You also have a compendium which shows what items are worth and when they sell the best. You’ll quickly become a strong shop owner and it will help make your dungeon adventures a bit easier as you can buy items to aid you in your heroic missions.

Finally, let’s talk about the graphic and sound of Moonlighter. In one word, Moonlighter is awesome. Visually, we loved the vibrant colors and lush designs that remind us of older games but in a more modern setting. We also love the soundtrack which makes dungeons and battles really feel like epic affairs. The monster designs are darn impressive too as they might look simple at times but sometimes can be scarier than they look. Moonlighter looks incredible and sounds it too. Seriously, we can’t believe this is an indie title that is how incredible it looks.


Honey's Gameplay Consensus:

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Moonlighter is what we call the perfect action/adventure game ladies and gentlemen. We have never had this much fun playing a game that beat us down with multiple deaths and equally made us realize the pains of trying to be a store owner. Moonlighter does everything from its action gameplay to its exploration elements and even the store management perfectly leaving us with just an urge to keep playing as we inch closer to becoming the heroes and store moguls we knew we could always be. There is no question here on whether to buy or to pass up on Moonlighter. If you love tough games with an emphasis on learning and becoming better as well as games that let you feel like a true adventurer one minute and a store owner the next, then you’re going to adore all that is Moonlighter. Go and buy Moonlighter this very second as this is 100% worth the $19.99 asking price.

Honey's Pros:

  • Amazing action gameplay with a slew of weapons to choose from
  • Adventuring is fun, and risk filled making each attempt in a dungeon worthwhile but also daunting
  • Great soundtrack
  • Wonderful art style that feels like a fusion of retro and modern design
  • Owning a store has never been more fun
  • Dungeons always feel different thanks to the random roguelike themes

Honey's Cons:

  • Can be a bit tough for those who try to juggle too many responsibilities in game at once

Honey's Final Verdict:

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Here at Honey’s Anime, we love adventure games with action themes and enjoy sometimes just trying to become in-game store owners trying to nickel and dime our patrons for the most gold we can get from our items. Moonlighter allows us to fulfill both of these roles in a game that we can’t honestly see ourselves putting down anytime soon. You need to play Moonlighter as it’s easily one of the better indie developed games we’ve played in 2018. Are you now thinking of buying Moonlighter and giving it a try for yourself? If you are and or if you have, let us know in the comments below as we always love engaging with our readers. Remember to also stick around as we continue to review more games and anime here at Honey’s Anime!

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Writer

Author: Aaron

Hey everyone I’m Aaron Curbelo or Blade as I’m called by my YouTube Subscribers. I’ve been an anime/manga fan since I was a young kid. In terms of anime I have watched nearly a thousand shows and have read hundreds of manga series. I love writing and honestly was so happy to join Honey’s Anime to get a shot to write articles for such a wonderful site. I’m a firm believer in respect in the anime community being the most important embodiment we should all have. We all love anime and we have varying opinions of series but we should respect one another for those differences! Life is too precious to spend it making needless arguments in a community that should be the shining example of loving an amazing medium. I hope as a writer for Honey’s Anime I can bring you folks some amazing articles to read and enjoy!

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