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Moon DS

Published by: Gamebridge Ltd.
Developed by: Renegade Kid

Moon's storyline picks up on the mystery of the Roswell UFO Incident and goes with the idea that whoever was responsible for that incident has once again shown an interest in the human race. The story, set in 2058 goes that a "hatch" has been found on the moon. Playing as Major Edward Kane, you're sent out as part of a team to investigate the hatch. At first things seem OK but it's not long before an attack is made and several of your fellow crew members are killed. In the early stages of the game Kane finds a device that releases a vapour which manages to go straight through his protective suit causing havoc with his vitals. The vapour has a stunning effect on Kane however and once he's come round he finds that he has a vastly improved physical condition. The story could have been more engaging but it serves its purpose.

Some are going to be hesitant about the idea of playing an FPS on the Nintendo DS but it has to be said that the controls are quite impressive and works as well as anyone could have hoped for. You'll move and strafe with the directional pad. Use the stylus to look around. Shooting is carried out with the L button. Left handed gamers can choose an alternate control scheme that allows you to use the A, B, X and Y buttons to move and strafe and the R button to shoot with, holding the stylus with the left hand of course. You'll perform various actions by tapping on the action button which appears when it's possible to interact with objects. The controls work very well and it's difficult to imagine anyone being unhappy with them.

Those thinking that Moon may be a simplified FPS in regards to the level of challenge it offers may be in for a surprise. The game offers three difficulty levels of which Normal and Veteran will certainly prove challenging and it's on these levels you'll appreciate how good the controls are. At times the difficulty can come through the number of enemies you'll face. Thankfully the game's checkpoints are never spaced too far apart so if you should come a cropper you'll never have to redo much.

In addition to the game's main story, which you'll play through in a mode entitled Adventure, there is also a Quick Play mode that allows you to play through any chapters you've completed in Adventure mode in an attempt to find any hidden secrets you missed the first time around. Unfortunately, there is no multiplayer mode, either local or online. This does undermine the replay value of the game somewhat and if I had to pick the most disappointing aspect of Moon, it would be  the absence of any kind of multiplayer mode.

Moon is a good looking game and the 3D visuals are certainly as good as you could hope for on such a technologically limited machine as the DS. The game does disappoint in its level design however and there's not a lot of variation between the various locations you'll find yourself in. The enemies are also lacking in variety and it would have been better if there had been a greater selection of  enemies to fight against during the course of the game. At least you'll get to drive the LOLA-RR10, a reconnaissance and combat vehicle at certain times during the game and this does help to pull you out of the similar looking levels for a while.

Moon does offer subtitles and they are enabled by default. The game's cutscenes are subtitled. Subtitles appear on the touch screen whilst the action plays out on the top screen. There are no character names or portraits to accompany the text however. In-game important communications are also subtitled and you'll get to read these at your own pace as you have to tap the "Next" button to move the dialogue forward. These appear, Metal Gear Solid style, on the lower screen and here you will see character portraits and names making it clear who is speaking. Not all speech is subtitled however. Tannoy announcements aren't subtitled. You're notified in text for things such as locked doors etc. Assuming you're not playing the game on a DSi, you'll have the option of playing the game with a Nintendo DS Rumble Pak. With it you'll feel vibrations from your weapon fire and when you're hit, which definitely adds to the experience for deaf gamers.

Moon shows that FPS games do have a place on the DS and are capable of having a control system that allows for an accuracy that you don't often get on any console, let alone a handheld. The game itself could have done with a few improvements although I'd still class this as a recommended purchase for DS owning fans of the FPS genre. The storyline could have been more engaging, the level design could have been more interesting and the enemies you face could have been more varied. Some will also be disappointed that there are no multiplayer options here. That said, the game is still enjoyable and Renegade Kid should definitely consider taking everything this game does right and use it to develop an even better FPS for the DS.

Overall Game Rating 8.0/10

Deaf Gamers Classification

DGC Classification C
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