First of all, happy Halloween/Nightmare Night everypony!
The game’s plot makes it clear from the start that this is a lighthearted romp. As Luna, you’re thrust into different worlds where you must aid a diverse selection of characters, from assisting Whale Wars’ Paul Watson in taking down Japanese hunters to knocking sense into rogue Pokemon and Digimon bent on dominating Equestria. The game is divided into numerous chapters, each consisting of a Sonic-esque act and a boss battle.
To advance, you jump around as in any typical platformer, attacking enemies with lunar bolts and collecting… Yu-Gi-Oh cards? Sure, let’s go with that. While these three things(collectibles, precise jumps, and attacks) are all crucial parts of the platforming experience that the developer has down, there are some issues to be found in this aspect. First of all, your weapon only shoots in one direction: forward and diagonally down. It would have been a lot simpler and more efficient if these projectiles had gone just straight forward a la Mega Man. And there are no power ups or cumulative upgrades that allow you to make it stronger or change its direction. Because of this, you must resort to jumping in order to successfully damage most enemies.
We're whalers on the moon...
And that’s where the second problem comes in. Unlike games such as Super Mario Bros. where the height of your jump is affected by how long you press down its respective button, Luna’s rather high jump goes the same height regardless. This means that you’ll be moon jumping(no pun intended) everywhere you go, which can be irritating when attempting to make some jumps or avoiding enemy fire. This is not the worst thing in the world, but it could definitely use improvement.
Finally, the items you collect are practically worthless, as you have unlimited lives. That said, this as well as the save feature are useful considering the lengthiness of this adventure. It took me a good few hours to complete the game- something I can’t say for any other pony game I’ve played yet. Sometimes the formula is changed up a bit, but not always for the better. There are a few scrolling levels, a rail shooter level, and levels in which you transform into another character. While I thought that last one sounded really cool, these other characters(Nightmare Moon and Princess Celestia, to be specific) do nothing unique. Their attacks have the same size, power, and function as Luna’s, not to mention they are slower than the protagonist. This means the only thing that stands out about the two is a larger hurtbox- something especially noticeable in the battle against Leomon. You must fight the boss while a barrage of meteors come at you from the sky, with your only defense being a single platform, which Celestia can barely fit under. If Leomon is under the platform, receiving damage is practically inescapable.
This is very hit or miss in the presentation department. On the plus side, worlds are colorful and Luna is animated very nicely. The music selection is fun and eclectic, ranging from MLP remixes to J-Rock. However, none of these assets are original. The enemies are almost entirely static images, and all the pony sprites are ripped from that batch that everypony and their mother use (some are even in our current banner). That said, it’s clear that the developer was very ambitious and had all the right intentions.
As such, I really want to go easy on this game. I love a good platformer, and the fandom has sorely been lacking a traditional platformer of a sizeable length. Unfortunately, it has a number of shortcomings I can’t ignore. With that, I’ll give this game a:
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