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Gaia's Moon - DSiWare Review

Game Info
Gaia's Moon

DSiWare | EnjoyUp Games | 1-2 Players (local multiplayer) | Out Now | 200 Nintendo Points
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19th January 2012; By Patrick

Every now and then, an argument throughout the games industry will recur; the difference in value between a game on an iOS device and a game on a dedicated gaming handheld. I have almost always been able to make a defense for playing all my games on a handheld device. And having the opposite effect, every now and then there will be a game that makes me question every argument I could make.
Gaia's Moon on DSiWare is one of those games.

    The story of the game harks back to the old days of the NES; that is, there isn't one. You can read a small amount of story in the instruction manual, but other than that, it's all about gameplay. This worked very well back in the days of the NES as it forced you to use your imagination, with strong gameplay to make it worth your money. Gaia's Moon, however, is too dull to inspire any amount of creative thought.

    Upon starting Gaia's Moon (after going through the two "Press A to Start" screens), you are told to select either Adventure Mode or 2 Player mode. Right off the bat, 2 Player mode is just Adventure, except that instead of using one screen, both screens reflect the two players' games, as you and a friend share the same system simultaneously. Mixed results ensue, usually with one of you either giving up or jerking the system away from the other. At the end, your scores are compared, and that is the only judge of who "won".

The game features one-button controls as you fly on-rails from left to right across the screen. The button's purpose? To ascend slightly. You hold it to keep ascending, and let go to drop back down. The goal of the game is to avoid obstacles as you collect power-ups to prolong your flight, or avoid power-ups to finish playing sooner. Either way, once your flight gauge is emptied, you stop playing and whatever score you have will be saved to the high score board.

    That's really it. The gameplay is as straight-forward as that. In fact, it's much more shallow than most free Flash games -- all of which are $2 cheaper than Gaia's Moon. There is no enjoyment, meaning there is no replay value either. After approximately five minutes, you can see the majority of what the game has to offer, thus rendering any replayability a moot point.

    The game itself looks good in stills, though it looks better the less it moves. Since the game is constantly moving, however, most of the artwork looks blurry and bad. Especially on a 3DS screen, the game is so stretched out that it renders any graphical design decisions completely irrelevant. The music also sounds nice the first time you hear it, however it definitely manages to become grating fast -- a statement that could be applied to a vast quantity of things about this game.

    There's no meat to the game, it's not fun, it's not even good as a novelty. Gaia's Moon is just bad, and there are no other words for it. Even if you're a fan of simple games, stay away!

03/30 - Simply Awful

Gameplay 1/10 - Simplistic controls, dodging obstacles is monotonous and boring, gameplay extremely shallow compared to even free games
Presentation 2/10 - Art looks better still than in motion, blurry visuals, music becomes grating very quickly
Enjoyment 0/5 - Simply no fun to be had, same monotonous task over and over forever, no satisfaction to be gained
Extra Content 0/5 - Single and multiplayer modes effectively the same with no change in gameplay, local high scores, no other modes

Equivalent to a score of 10% (percentage score is approximate and based solely on the previously stated rating) - Our Rating System

Review by Patrick

Gaia's Moon
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