To the Moon [PC] Sept 21, 2012 22:51:54 GMT -5
Post by solidbatman on Sept 21, 2012 22:51:54 GMT -5
To the Moon was developed with RPG Maker, meaning that sprite based graphics are what you should expect. What really stands out in this game is the color usage. Earth tones are used keeping a sense of realism to a game where it would be easy to lose that. Atmosphere is very well done thanks to the color usage, as well as the static used during the memories. The memory then clarifies after all the links are found (more on that in a bit) which then shows off the great color choices. But being perfectly honest, the visuals of this game take a back seat to the music and story telling. The visuals simply get the job done despite the humble use of RPG Maker.
The soundtrack is amazing. It never overpowers the scene, and listened to without playing the game, its just some nice music. The way it fits the story and mood of the game, however, is what makes it amazing. From the opening theme, to the tune Johnny composes for his wife, to the end theme, the piano melodies are peaceful, somber, and uplifting all at the same time. The other tunes also are perfect for the scenes they are used at. In short, the music adds to the game without taking over the scene or being too fancy. Sticking to a more simple soundtrack benefits the story telling in this game a lot. So don't expect epic musical scores, but simple peaceful piano melodies. (Also, the one song with actual lyrics is perfectly placed and sung. Right in my feels).
There really isn't much game play, and what game play there is can get clumsy at times. Essentially you have to find the memory links to move through Johnny's memories. To do that, you simply walk around and click the object. There are one or two little mini games involved. After you find all 5 memory links in a memory to move forward (backwards?) you have to solve a very simple puzzle. There are no time limits to any story elements and no penalties for taking a while on puzzles. Movement can be a bit clumsy at times and a later mini game controls pretty poorly towards the end of the game, but the lack of punishment for messing up makes up for this. Otherwise, To the Moon plays out more like a digital novel. Simply click to advance the story type gameplay. That isn't a bad thing in this case either.
This is where To the Moon shines. Dr. Eva Rosalene and Dr. Neil Watts are very special doctors. They use technology to give people another chance at life through their memories, basically granting their patients greatest wish. But due to the nature of having two lifetimes worth of memories, the procedure can only be done to someone on their deathbed. The doctors enter their patients memories and witness those memories back to childhood then transfer that wish over, giving their dying patient a new life all inside their head. The patient then would have a few moments of bliss before passing away. Our two doctors are answering another routine call for a man named Johnny, who has only hours left to live. They enter his memories to find out his greatest wish. The wish, is to go to the moon. The problem is, Johnny has no idea why he wants to go. It's up to the two doctors to piece together the puzzle and fulfill his wish.
Through the two doctors, we watch Johnny's life unfold in reverse chronological order. And because of this, it makes things more suspenseful as we see effects of his decisions before we see the cause of his decisions. Johnny, himself is a deep complex character who shows many flaws making him feel even more human. Interestingly enough, Eva and Neil both are deep characters as well and their banter and observations are very interesting to see. What makes things even more interesting is that we can only see what Johnny remembers. This makes for some powerful scenes and object symbolism.
The story is why I am in love with this game. It's extremely powerful and emotional to witness the triumphs and tragedies in Johnny's life. It is one of my favorite stories ever told in video games, or even one of my favorite stories ever. I loved every second of it.
I loved this game, and I am having a hard time putting it into words just how great of a game this is. While it lacks gameplay and the visuals are basic, the story and music are nearly perfect and powerful making To the Moon one of the best ways I have spent have spent 3 hours. In whole, the game stands up better than broken apart and rated like we do here (hence the very high overall score). It is fairly short, but is not rushed and is fully fleshed out. I urge you to take the $10 plunge and watch this incredible story unfold.