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LONG BLOG

Future Review: Moss (PSVR)

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This is a 'Future Review' - it's basically me guessing how a game will review from screenshots, videos and demos (if available).

My first one is for the soon (very soon) to be released Moss. For this 'review' I saw the E3 reveal, the first half of a video of some guys playing it on the official Playstation YouTube channel and played the demo once.

No one could argue Moss doesn't have charm. From the title screen, turning the pages of the book, to when the adorable little mouse Quill first wanders onto the screen - the game charms your heart out. It's clear that Polyarc greatly enjoyed the world and characters they've created. The question is, does the game have substance? Sadly, it's a bit of mixed bag.

Moss is played with the standard Dual Shock 4, usisng the sticks and buttons to move Quill around, jump and attack. The DS4's light bar is used to interact as the reader/observer to spin, pull or hold objects and enemies to complete puzzles or lend a hand in combat. It's simple enough, and although some puzzles may have more of a trial and error approach thankfully after a bit Quill will do a very cute interaction with the player in an attempt to help you out with the puzzle - when the game allows that is... You see, the biggest problem with Moss is the enemies. They aren't hard to defeat, and the almost Retro-Zelda style combat (with a nice little evasive dash) is satisfying if simple, but the enemies simply don't stop. Instead of adding any depth to the enemies to add challenge the game simply throws more enemies at you, and later in the game these enemy waves can become excessive, which is an issue when you can't take too many hits and death means strating the wave from the beginning. This swarming of enemies really conflicts against the charming surreal nature of the game and sadly when a puzzle requires you, as the 'reader', to pull an enemy to certain place or have certain exploding ones destroy certain blocks etc. Quill doesn't get a chance to give you a hand with her cute little mousey squeks, pointing and dances as the enemy will constantly respawn and try and kill you as you're trying to figure out what you're meant to do.

This also causes some camera announces. As the the camera is set so you're looking down on the world (which looks beautiful and really gives you a sense of childhood wonder) you're constantly looking one way to try and figure out what the game wants you to do to progress a puzzle and then quickly glancing the other to make sure the constantly respawning enemy isn't murdering your little mousey friend.

As for the bosses, the look gorgeous and the VR really gives a sense of scale that makes you worry about Quill's welfare to the point every fight feels personal - they are definately some of the highlights of the game, all 4 of them... Yes, there isn't many. Levels will often end with little fanfare as you're expecting a cool new boss to emerage from the distance or drop down from the sky only for the screen to load into the next stage. With how creative the bosses are it's hard to know if Polyarc simply ran out of ideas or ran out of time.

So where does this leave us? The game is gorgeous, and Quill is an instant hit - there's no way she won't make you smile. The simplistic combat works, but as enemies simply seem to home in on you after a few battles it becomes more of an annoyance to enjoying the world than anyting else. Thankfully there's a demo for Moss on the second PS4 Demo 'Disc' that you can grab from the Playstation Store, and it's a pretty good representation of the game (minus the cool boss fights) as the full title is simply more of that. So if you loved the demo, you'll love the game. If the demo caused more frustration than joy, the full title won't offer you any change from that.

It could be argued that Moss doesn't need to be a PSVR game, sure, gameplay-wise this argument is sound. But the sense of wonder on looking down at the world and having your interactions feel that more personal adds greatly to the game to the point that without it I don't think the game would be worth much attention.

Quill, you're adorable, but if there's a Moss 2 (and from the ending I'd say there will be) if you could bring a bit more substance with the charm it would be appreciated. As for now, yes, Moss is a charm to play (even if later puzzles and those damn respawning enemies caused some rage quits) but once the credits roll you can't hope but feel like what could have been far outweighs what was delivered.

7/10

- As N-finity would say, be well.


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About Goemarone of us since 12:05 AM on 06.27.2017

I started as a massive Nintendo fan. I had a SNES before, but it was really the N64 I got on my 10th birthday that really got me into gaming. I stuck with Nintendo pretty much exclusively until the DS rolled out and I played NSMB - man I hated that game. It looked awful, sounded awful and was so easy it was hardly worth paying attention to what you were doing.

The PSP and Monster Hunter stole away hundreds of hours of life and that's when I really started to look at Sony. I had missed great games like Okami, God of War (it was cool at the time), Gradius V and Metal Gear Solid

With the promise of Metal Gear Solid and Monster Hunter on the PS3 I snagged one as soon as I was able. In the long wait (and Monster Hunter jumping to Nintendo...) I picked up Uncharted. My god, what a game! And more followed - Uncharted 2 was excellent, Catherine, Rayman Origins, The Last of Us - man the PS3 was amazing. Yes I still played the 'essential' Nintendo titles (and spent hours on my 3DS when Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate landed - and 100s more on Generations) but the PlayStation had become my main shabang for modern gaming.

I'm also a huge retro fan. Having loved the games I played as a kid, and discovering the earlier titles in franchises I loved - but it was really when I got into sprite ripping and the world of emulation that I truly discovered all there was out there on offer.

Top 10 Games:

Metal Slug X
DoDonPachi
Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate
Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island
Frogs and Flies
Catherine
Doom (2016)
Okami
Valiant Hearts
Day of the Tentacle