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Vengeful Guardian: Moonrider Review

The truth is that the golden eras of games do not pass, they are saved. I make this statement based on the fact that titles designed for past generations that may very well be successful today are still coming out. I mean Vengeful Guardian: Moonrider of JoyMasher and Dotemu, an action platform game side scrolling in 2D and Esports Extras-Art, which seeks to rescue the golden years of 16-bit games.

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days of revenge

The story of Vengeful Guardian: Moonrider, is about humanity living under oppression when the ultimate warrior is created in a super soldier program and unsurprisingly it got out of control. Now, society is under the grip of a tyrannical and totalitarian State without having any hope. However, Moonrider, one of those created warriors, has rebelled against the system and will seek revenge on his peers and the creators of the program.

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Just like games from the golden age of 16-bit, the story is just there and little else, and the gameplay is more action-focused. There are hardly any cinematics that put what is happening in context and the occasional conversation appears. Let’s not expect big plots with unexpected twists.

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An angel of death has awakened

Vengeful Guardian: Moonrider Review

Moonrider is a dizzying action game that combines the best elements of those years. The game is very reminiscent of Mega Man X, in terms of its conception, except that we use melee weapons and not ranged as the main ones. We can walk, run, jump walls and bounce kicks on enemies.

We can go through 8 scenarios, and here the comparison with Mega Man returns. These scenarios have two phases, intermediate bosses and a boss at the end of each level. Also, they have ramifications and shortcuts that we can take, since the game encourages speedrunners to do their best times. Another fact is that they hide secrets in the form of power ups or modifier chips that are very useful in our games.

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Vengeful Guardian: Moonrider Review

We can acquire different weapons from the bosses, and these, in turn, will be effective against one and the other, it will be up to us to discover it. Also, we will discover Power Modules that give us quite useful passive abilities, such as being able to restore health when eliminating enemies. We can only have three at a time.

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16 bit in all its glory

Vengeful Guardian: Moonrider Review

The game is created in a Esports Extras-art style, and features various settings such as laboratories, forests, and even an airbase stage. Characters have lots of cool animations and boss levels stand out, from full-sized to oversized ones. All this is accompanied by an equally dizzying soundtrack that touches on cool themes, just like the best action movies of the 80-90s.

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Verdict

Vengeful Guardian: Moonrider reminds us a lot of action and platform games from SNES and Sega Genesis. It does not have a story to shoot fireworks and it is rather to serve as a connecting thread with all the action that the title offers. It’s a mix between Mega Man X and Contra, with its own ideas. The game seeks for users to achieve their best times while going through the 8 scenarios.

Note: This review was made on PS5 and the code was provided thanks to Dotemu.

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