Moons - Cosmos - 1992

Cosmos - c64 - 1992

Reviewed by Rafael Lima (AKA Shatterhand)

Moons could be considered a souped-up version of the old arcade game Galaxian, you have waves of enemies ships in a space-invaders alike formation, and they not only shoot at your ship, they also fly into your direction, trying to hit you. But I said "souped-up" version, so in Moons you get scrolling background, limited vertical movement, power-ups, bosses and all this stuff you expect in a game from the 90s. But the cliche questions always rises: is it any fun?

The plot in Moons is your shmup standard: You have the mission to capture the four moons from the aliens, bla bla bla etc. We all know any reason to kick some alien butt is a good reason, so let's just skip this boring part.

The graphics in the game are very functional, the backgrounds are very generic, and the sprites just do their job. Very average stuff.

The sounds could be rated..well, functional again. The music is only played at certain points in the game, and all in all, it sounds very uninspired (Funnilly enough, the best music in the game are in the title screen and the loading screen, not exactly what you will stay listening for a long time.). The sounds effects are your standard shmups stuff.

Having all this average feeling in GFX and SFX, you probably is expecting average gameplay too, right? Well, yeah, you are right. You have just one weapon that can be powered up by getting the P icons (Increasing power) or the L icons (Increasing fire rate). You have instant smart-bombs, shields that work very much like in Gradius (Only protecting from shots in the front), and side options that work pretty much like your average side options, except they can be shot and destroyed by the enemies.

The enemies waves aren't much inspired and they are all too much similar to each other. After a few waves you fight a mid-boss that looks like a brain, and moves from left to right and back, shooting at you (The mid-bosses are the same in every level.). Then you get a few more waves until you face the boss, a big ship that behaves exactly like the mid-boss (Again, the bosses are the same in every level.).

Sometimes you get a bonus round, and they seem to appear at random. Enemies appear from the left, moving fast across the screen, and you have to shoot them. Those sections are really boring, and we could live without them. The music played in those bonus rounds is horrible.

The enemies aren't very much varied, you have just about 5 or 6 different enemies in the whole game, and except by a big circular ship and the walls that need a larger number of shots to be destroyed, they all behave in the same way.

The difficult is nicely set, the first stage being very easy, and the fourth (last) stage being damn hard. The last boss will take some punch to be beaten (even although he looks and behaves like every other boss, he shoots at a scary rate), but with the repetitiveness of the game, I bet you will get bored before you get there.

Graphics: 60%
Sounds: 65%
Overall: 55%


The title screen shows the last played level in the background, while playing a nice music.

The first stage is called "Troop World". Here you can see the standard "space invaders formation" and a P icon.



That's the middle boss, he just moves right-left-right and shoots at your direction. Keeping moving to avoid his shots, and shoot it like hell. All mid-bosses are exactly as this one, so I won't show it anymore.

The shield in action. As in gradius, it only protects from shots coming from the front, and it takes 3 shots before dissapearing.



The boss. He goes right-left-right and shoots exactly like the mid-boss. This one will be destroyed soon, as my weapon if fully powered (Although my right option has been destroyed).

For some stupid reason, the programmers decided it would be a good idea to downgrade one level of power from your weapon if you finish a level with the weapon fully powered. And you also lose your options.



Level 2 is called "Cold Inspace" . Your mission in the game is to capture the 4 moons, but I don't think "Cold Inspace" could be called a moon. Oh well, whatever.

Those walls exist only to block your shots from the enemies. While they stay on the screen, the enemies above them won't go down to hit you, and will just shoot at you. The walls need a lot of shots to be destroyed, so keeping pressing this fire button. From here, you have seen everything the game has to offer.



Those big ships need 3 shots to be destroyed, but as you can see, my ship is fully powered-up , so just a single shot of this big laser will do it.

That's the bonus round. I believe it appears at random in the stages, and to be honest is quite boring. Just keep shooting those things.



Stage 3 is called "Organic Boom". I know they have tried to give an organic feeling to this level, but for me it just looks like bubble gum. Lots of them, in different flavours.

It's hard to see anything in the screenshots of the colourfull level 3, although this doesn't happens with the game running. Anyway, I won't bore you with those bubble gum screens anymore.



Level 4 is called "Fantasy Globe", and things are getting way too boring now.

I am fighting another enemy wave that seems exactly like the last one.



I am pretty sure you saw a pic with an enemy wave exactly as this one a few pics ago.

After defeating a boss that was excactly like the last one, only harder, you get this "nice" ending message. I think this message could be better, maybe "Sorry for spending so much time in our boring boring game and giving you this crap end." would fit.


Well done, Captain Shatterhand! Finally, this review gets published - and iirc was written years ago wasn't it? Nice to have caught up again! - malc


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