HomeReviews3/5 ReviewSaga of the Moon Priestess Review

Saga of the Moon Priestess Review

-

Saga of the Moon Priestess immediately comes across as a Legend of Zelda look alike. Over the years, many games have attempted to capture the magic and intrigue that the Legend of Zelda series has cultivated over its decade’s long run. After all, it’s arguably one of the most influential game series ever released and many grew up playing the classics. It’s no surprise that other games take inspiration from them.

Now this is built on the presumption that Saga of the Moon Priestess did draw inspiration from Legend of Zelda. That being said, the game description does say it’s inspired by 8-bit and 16-bit classics and the most immediate game series I can think of with those graphics and a multi-dungeon game progression structure is the Zelda series.

saga of the moon priestess review 1
Ready for the Saga of the Moon Priestess?

Saga of the Moon Priestess begins with a short sequence where you play as the prince in his castle, awakening to a commotion. After investigating, he is captured by an evil witch and the game begins in earnest. You play as the Priestess Sarissa, who is armed with a spear and a connection to the goddess. But if we’re being honest, the spear comes into play a lot more than the goddess.

The game features several dungeons to explore, with boss fights at the end of them and key items spread throughout. The first major item you acquire are gloves that allow you to lift boulders, which are vital for getting around the world. Your arsenal expands with bombs, arrows, and some other special items that are all used primarily for boss fights and solving puzzles throughout the dungeons and overworld. The item arsenal available to Sarissa isn’t incredibly expansive, but it is full of the classics of any action-adventure game. After all, arrows and explosives may be common, but I have never complained about a game giving me arrows and explosives.

These items are used to solve puzzles, but upon receiving the first item, it quickly becomes apparent that things are going to be a bit tedious throughout the game. The gloves for lifting boulders are an equippable item. Which means you can’t use any items when you want to shift things out of your way. There aren’t any situations throughout Saga of the Moon Priestess where this becomes a gameplay issue, but it is tedious. Perhaps that should have just initiated a general ability once the gloves are found.

Thankfully, the puzzles are fairly well thought out for the most part, and there are some clever ones that do feel satisfying to complete. But that is a bit overshadowed by the lack of direction during some sequences of the game. For example, the bombs can be completely skipped at the beginning of the game, only really needed to open up one wall in the last dungeon.

In fact, I went almost the entire game without using the bombs, having to backtrack to the first area of the game just because I had skipped a dungeon by accident. 

saga of the moon priestess review 2
Boulders!?

Along with that, the UI could also use a fair amount of tweaking. There are a few rooms where the health bar actually blocks puzzle solutions. Most memorable is a target that you need to shoot with an arrow to open a set of doors.

To preface that, there are actually two targets in the room to shoot, which cause the open doors to alternate. After shooting the first one, I explored the next few rooms before returning to the target conundrum room and I just did not see the edges of the target to keep progressing.

It’s a shame because the UI could’ve easily been downsized or a black bar could’ve been added along the top edge, or edges, of the screen to alleviate any overlap. This would’ve prevented anything from being hidden, and ensured the UI was less distracting and cleaner looking.

One of the stranger critiques I have for Saga of the Moon Priestess is the inconsistency in art style. While Sarissa is a classic 8-bit character, some of the bosses are much more detailed. It felt strange.

Honestly, most of the issues in Saga of the Moon Priestess seem like they could be fixed with some tweaks. Blocking progression in a way that requires you to collect the bombs earlier, a cleaner UI system, and some changes to how items are equipped or what needs to be equipped would go a long way.

I only really encountered two bugs during my time with the game. One where I almost got soft locked because I had been attacked by an enemy and transitioned to the next area falling into the water. Instead of placing me back on the ground, I kept spawning, falling until I died. This was annoying, but I could also attribute it to me being unlucky.

saga of the moon priestess review 3
Looks chilly out.

The other glitch was more of a shortcut than anything. During the last boss fight, the final boss would disappear and then teleport to the edge of the screen for an attack. I paused during the disappearing animation, and for some reason that caused me to skip to the final stage of the boss fight.

I actually was okay with this glitch because some of the boss fights felt like they went on longer than they needed to. I probably wouldn’t have minded as much if I didn’t need to backtrack through the dungeons after dying. That being said, I really like the way the last dungeon circumvented this issue.

Saga of the Moon Priestess does feel nostalgic, invoking the Game Boy games I used to play growing up. And while I think triggering nostalgia is part of what Saga of the Moon Priestess wants to accomplish, it feels like a net loss when the game it inspires you to think about is the one you end up wanting to play more.

I didn’t hate my time with Saga of the Moon Priestess, but there are a lot of rough edges that still need to be polished.

SUMMARY

Pros:
  • Nostalgia inducing
  • Some creative and satisfying puzzle solutions
Cons:
  • Unclear progression at certain points in the game
  • UI blocks puzzles at times
  • Only a single item can be equipped, and the ability to lift rocks should be standard
Info:
  • Massive thanks for the free copy of the game, Eastasiasoft
  • Formats - Xbox Series X|S (review), Xbox One, PS4, PS5, Switch, PC
  • Release date and price - 24 January 2024 | £4.99
Ryan Taylor
Ryan Taylor
Grew up playing the Nintendo 64 where I fell in love with the Legend of Zelda series. As I got older though my console of choice changed, first to PS2, and then finally to the Xbox 360, which I've been playing on for over a decade now. And since my first day booting up my Xbox, I've upgraded consoles and even built a gaming PC. Because at the end of the day I just love gaming.
0 0 votes
Article Rating
Subscribe
Notify of
guest

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Follow Us On Socials

24,000FansLike
1,671FollowersFollow
4,922FollowersFollow
6,660SubscribersSubscribe

Our current writing team

2800 POSTS23 COMMENTS
1513 POSTS2 COMMENTS
1265 POSTS18 COMMENTS
1005 POSTS46 COMMENTS
856 POSTS0 COMMENTS
391 POSTS2 COMMENTS
116 POSTS0 COMMENTS
81 POSTS0 COMMENTS
78 POSTS4 COMMENTS
24 POSTS0 COMMENTS
12 POSTS10 COMMENTS
8 POSTS0 COMMENTS

Join the chat

You might also likeRELATED
Recommended to you

<b>Pros:</b> <ul> <li>Nostalgia inducing</li> <li>Some creative and satisfying puzzle solutions</li> </ul> <b>Cons:</b> <ul> <li>Unclear progression at certain points in the game</li> <li>UI blocks puzzles at times</li> <li>Only a single item can be equipped, and the ability to lift rocks should be standard</li> </ul> <b>Info:</b> <ul> <li>Massive thanks for the free copy of the game, Eastasiasoft</li> <li>Formats - Xbox Series X|S (review), Xbox One, PS4, PS5, Switch, PC <li>Release date and price - 24 January 2024 | £4.99</li> </ul>Saga of the Moon Priestess Review
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x