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Reviews VideoGame / To The Moon

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07/20/2020 11:00:44 •••

The story is okay, but the pacing is poor; it shouldn't have been a video game

To The Moon is not a game in any real sense; it isn't even meaningfully interactive. The few gameplay elements in it actually shouldn't even be present in the game, as they detract from what the game actually is. Indeed, had the game been a movie, its pacing would have been much better, and it could have taken only two hours to deliver its story rather than five.

At its heart, it is a story of four characters: Dr. Eva Rosalene and Dr. Neil Watts, who are trying to give dying man Johnny Lyne his final wish: an imaginary journey to the Moon. Delving through his memories, we meet his deceased wife, River, and we learn why it is that he wanted to go to the Moon in the end. The core of the story worked well enough, and while the game was overly sentimental and did not have as interesting a resolution as it might have had, I can't say that I disliked it or felt cheated, though I did like where I THOUGHT the game was going to go partway through a lot better.

The pacing was a bit of a problem in places, particularly towards the end when Eva sets everything up for the grand finale off-screen without explaining it to Neil (and thus, the player), creating some unnecessary tension between the two for no good in-character reason. The sequence could have been greatly shortened, made much more visually interesting, and it still would have worked; instead, it felt weird and unnecessarily drawn-out. There were also a few moments of extreme strangeness. Perhaps the greatest is when the characters at the start of the second act of the story, unable to figure out how to get Johnny to want to go to the Moon, start bursting into Johnny’s memories at random to pitch the idea of going to the Moon to him. While the characters at this point are very sleep deprived, the mood whiplash in this section of the story is severe, as went from some fairly serious memories with humor thrown in to lighten the mood to frenetic comedic action on the part of both of the protagonists. While the humor which was interspersed into the rest of the game actually worked pretty well, the humor in that particular section felt off and too extreme; it is never mentioned again afterwards.

I was left interested in seeing what else could be done with the setting, but I'm not sure if spending five hours on something which should have taken two is a good investment of your time.

07/20/2020 00:00:00

Well, I believe they are making a movie. It shouldn\'t be too hard for it to fall under the “video game movie curse.”

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