Has your mother ever told you that age-old adage; never judge a book by its cover? It’s something that mine mentioned constantly, trying to nail down the morals and values I have today. Well, I’m ashamed to admit it but when asked to review Moonfall Ultimate, my initial reaction was a drawn-out sigh. See, I did exactly what I had been taught never to do, I judged it based on appearance. So, mom, I’m awfully sorry about that but my judgments weren’t too far off.
Moonfall Ultimate takes place in the magical world known as Terra Nihill, where both peace and stability are prospering due to excellent leadership. That is until you travel eastwards to a Kingdom known simply as The Empire. It’s located on land that is largely inhospitable because of the dangers that lurk there. It’s poor economy and general misery of its inhabitants is largely due to poor leadership. That all changed however when a new King was appointed, Lorand III. Under this new regime, The Empire flourished and the development of a new magical element – Lunarium – began. Due to the energy it provides, the magic and technological know-how of the settlement grew at a staggering rate. So much so that those surrounding cities took immediate notice. Once Lorand III perished and his son was appointed new ruler, they all took charge, waging war. This is where you, a new recruitment, comes into play as it chronicles your story in the ensuing battle.
After selecting “new game” in Moonfall Ultimate, you’ll be greeted by a screen that’ll ask you to select a class. You’ll have a choice between three options, with one of them being known as Vanguard. In other words, this is the game’s version of a tank character. Expect to have high defense, as well as inflicting high melee damage. Perhaps you’re not one for face-to-face combat though, in that case, you might be enticed by the Elementalist. As you may have concluded, you’ll now be able to inflict massive damage with powerful spells. Not only that, but you’ll also be able to infuse weapons with elemental attributes like ice or fire. The final class is Moonfall Ultimate’s version of a stealth character, known as the Shadow. He will be a master of the crossbow and the dagger but not your ranged abilities aren’t all you’ll have as your agility is far greater than the other.
Moonfall Ultimate isn’t a continuous journey, using a hub to break up the quests you’ll embark on. Here, you’ll be able to purchase anything you need; stronger weapons, better armor, and potions that for me are essential. This is where possibly the biggest issue lays, however, the pricing of the items. During each quest, I made about 400 to 500 and that’s a pretty substantial amount. When you factor in how much it is for new weapons, armor, or potions, it’s no longer as much. Potions cost 100 for both mana and health, while weapons are 700 to 1000. Since the battle system is simplistic, basically trading blows, you’ll want a healthy amount of health items since dodging isn’t easy. However, because funds are limited, you have to choose either one thing or the other. In my first run, I chose health and the game got difficult as it began throwing several enemies at me. So I restarted to try weapons and again, while I was strong, I wasn’t able to survive, eventually dying due to lack of healing. There’s a clear imbalance here; the money earned isn’t really enough to supplement the money spent.
Bluntly put, you’re not going to be blown away by the graphical integrity of Moonfall Ultimate. It lacks polish, like for instance, there’s a fence that you’re able to clip through. While your character will be able to cover the asset, you can’t actually advance forward. It was weird because it was still acting as the asset it was, yet it was doing so at a minimal level. This is something that you’ll, unfortunately, encounter in the adventure.
If there’s one thing that deserves recognition in Moonfall Ultimate, it’s the responsive controls. When I pressed ZR, there was no delay as I swung my sword. When I did the same with ZL, I’d throw my shield in front, defending against all strikes. Even when using my abilities, each press of a button initiated that action. There was an odd decision made here though, the way they implemented casting a spell was just weird to me. The face buttons don’t really do much throughout your adventure; you can’t roll, dodge, or run. So once I unlocked a magical ability via the very basic skill tree, a button showed up. I immediately assumed, okay, so a button will be assigned to each skill. After unlocking the second ability, a Y showed up in front of it; my theory was confirmed. That wasn’t how it worked though; the Y button I saw actually indicated the skill I’d select upon pressing it. For example, I have three skills, first is labeled with A, the second with Y. I press the latter and now A appears where Y was previously, and that button moves one to the right. I’d then have to press A to execute the attack and I’ll be honest, this seemed pointless. If you were in the heat of a battle, you’d have to scroll through. Because of cool-down, you might have to skip a few moves. Meanwhile, you’re being hunted and you panic, pressing A to no response than eventually, you die.
The musical score of this game is passable; while it’s well-done, it was generic in regards to the genre. It didn’t do anything to stand out from the crowd and instead, blended in. I did, however, find a lone tone that I was rather ensnared by. If you go off to the right or left of the hub, you’ll come to two guards that are standing there. One of them is whistling to pass time and something about it just made me happy. I don’t know what it was but to me, this is what music should do in a game. I wish I could say the same for the voice acting but it sounded like it was directly ripped from a sound library.
In conclusion, Moonfall Ultimate is nothing spectacular and a game I think was released too late. If this came when the Switch was starved for titles, I think it would have a good chance of being bough. In fact, I would probably tell you, my readers, that you should buy this game. However, it came when there are so many better options out there that it’s hard to say, yeah, get this. It’s still playable, it can still be a fun time, but compared to everything else out there, I’d have to say I can’t recommend this.