GetsuFumaDen: Undying Moon, the tried

GetsuFumaDen: Undying Moon, the tried


May seems to be the great return of past titles. We didn't have time to review Famicom Detective Club and we immediately found ourselves having to take another long step back, this time thirty-four years, with GetsuFumaDen: Undying Moon. Unlike the two supernatural investigations mentioned above, this title is not a modern reinterpretation of the original dated 1987 but a new game based on the famous IP Konami, enriched with new mechanics and embellished by the splendid Ukiyo-e style. As you can read in our interview with Shin Murato, the producer stated that he wants to keep the 2D action for those players who like it and also that he has taken the original music to insert it in the main parts - this however does not remove the presence of new tracks, designed to increase the charm of the respective areas. In short, we are faced with a game that undoubtedly wants to celebrate the past but at the same time demonstrate its identity. He can? Find out by reading our first impressions from the GetsuFumaDen trial: Undying Moon.

Hell on earth

It has been a thousand years since Ryukotsuki was defeated and imprisoned by Getsu Fuma, a period of time during which the clan watched over the eventuality exactly what brings the events of GetsuFumaDen: Undying Moon to life. The demon has broken the seal that blocked him and, once again, he is ready to unleash hell on earth. It will be up to the descendant of the first hero, Getsu Fuma (yes, the name is the same), to go into battle to definitively close the matter; there is, however, another reason that moves the protagonist, namely the search for his missing brother Fudo, whose traces have been lost in the realm of the underworld. He should have been the head of the clan, as the firstborn, a role that instead was assigned to Fuma. Assisted by the Priestess of the Temple, Fuma will then have to wield the Pulse Blade - a sword endowed with mystical powers - and fulfill his mission.

Getsu Fuma is a revisited version of his ancestor both in terms of clothing, albeit with some additions, both in appearance; the main difference is clearly given by the aesthetics, thanks to the ukiyo-e art style, but another detail that catches the eye is the demonic skull on the top of the armor. The purple flames emitted give the idea that he is alive and could be as much a harmless artistic quirk as something related to the character itself. Or, given the roguelite nature of the game (with the numerous departures accompanying it), it is simply a way to point out the fact that Getsu Fuma is constantly dying and being reborn, almost as if he were not entirely human.

A demonic loop

GetsuFumaDen: Undying Moon, the opening sequence Aesthetic-narrative digressions aside, we are talking about a roguelite hack & slash: it's not the story but the fight. The brutal frenzy of choreographic and no-holds-barred clashes, where continuous improvement and concatenation of blows is the master to achieve ever better results, is contrasted by a punitive nature typical of the genre but not to the point of becoming frustrating. If it is true that our goal is to face ever-increasing levels of difficulty, it is precisely the latter that reminds us that before subduing the underworld we must prepare ourselves properly: translated, it means having to aim for the best equipment, character development, in a progressive conquest which is also the sum of our deaths. It is not necessary to die, especially since the resources collected are kept in laughable numbers, but rather to find the patience to repeat the same level (or more than one, if you feel like going a little further) several times to accumulate the materials. useful to strengthen you permanently. It is a long and tortuous path, but given the constant change of the underworld every time we return to face them there is sufficient variety not to discourage us in repeating the same challenge; not too much, at least.

The main hub of the game is, as you can guess, the Getsu Clan Estate. Here we will return to each death, or if we do not want to continue at the end of a boss fight, we will decide the level of difficulty, we will get the main weapons to launch into combat but, more importantly, we will strengthen ourselves by talking to the priestess. In this preliminary version of the game we had six primary and six secondary weapons (with their respective variants), plus some Getsu Fuma's own abilities, just to understand how this part of the game works - a scaffold made of statistics and RPG elements. .

GetsuFumaDen: Undying Moon, the fight Once ready, we will have to interact with the portal that will lead us to the first of a series of levels, each consisting of a specific theme, by particular enemies and of course from the respective boss fight, after which we can spend resources to enhance ourselves but above all activate the upgrades of the weapons acquired, spending the souls collected during the exploration. Activation is possible only and only within a level, since returning to the main hub will reset everything except for the unlocked weapon or character skills; the collected objects will also be preserved, while in the event of death most of them will be lost by keeping a small amount. GetsuFumaDen: Undying Moon is distinguished by two types of upgrades: the permanent ones, or the aforementioned abilities, and the temporary ones, available as long as we stay in the game but reset once we return to the Getsu Clan Estate. On the one hand we have the activation of the skills, on the other hand the power-ups of Fuma divided between the attack strength of the main weapons and secondary weapons, and maximum life.

In its simplicity, the management of power-up reflects your play style and is essential for the continuation of the adventure. Increasing their level is only possible if you are in possession of a Soul Memory, obtainable in three ways: by accumulating five souls, by defeating enemies in a berserk state or by opening the large chests scattered around the map. All conditions that encourage exploration, which also depends on obtaining more powerful equipment than the one you start with. An aspect to absolutely remember is that once you have earned a Soul Memory you cannot decide where to invest it: the power-ups to be upgraded will be highlighted, according to the order in which they are arranged, upon obtaining each new Soul Memory. It means that you have to pay attention to the environment around you and not give yourself to the carnage or exploration without control, because you would risk missing the power-up that interests you and having to start the round again before you can interact with it again.

Explained in words it could be complicated, and at first glance it is not very clear even in game, but let's take a practical example: the order of the power-ups is primary weapons, secondary weapons, maximum health. Obtained a first Soul Memory, the primary weapons will be highlighted; if you choose to keep it and in the meantime you will get another one, the power-up of the secondary weapons will be highlighted, then that of the maximum health and again until you decide to use the Soul Memory. Doing so will reset the order, so carefully calculate your move.

Infernal Carnage

GetsuFumaDen: Undying Moon, a boss fight Assimilated the whole issue of upgrades, which could be cumbersome all beginning, we move to the heart of GetsuFumaDen: Undying Moon, or the fight. Featuring the so-called Setsuna System, based on the spacing / timing of Japanese budo, it is possible to transform simple skirmishes into a beautiful exercise in style. We have the counter, the parry, the break / slay and finally the execute / slay, all moments that we can activate by satisfying certain conditions. The parry does not need explanations, you all know it and is linked only to specific weapons, while the counter is activated by carefully choosing the moment in which to launch the attack so that it coincides with the enemy one: this will allow you to inflict greater damage and repel the enemy, stunning him. Break and execute, respectively, occur when you break an enemy's guard by dint of hitting him and when instead you attack him from behind without him noticing: in both cases, it is possible then to finish the opponent in a single, devastating and choreographic attack regardless of the weapon you are using. If this were not enough for you, know that the set of these combinations is the further piece of a playful stratification that reaches its peak with the Demonization: we could define it the berserk version of Getsu Fuma, which is activated only when you chain attacks on attacks without suffer damage and can reach up to the third stage. Demonization increases the strength and speed of the character, and is canceled when you take damage or stay for a certain amount of time without a fight; there are more weapons brought to the activation of this state, such as the double blades, but in general the speed at which you play is a determining factor for the Demonization - which will prove extremely useful against the bosses.

Pad in hand, the fight turned out to be satisfactory, beautiful to see also thanks to the artistic style adopted, varied but above all punitive the right: although the brutality and speed of execution can reward you, it is equally true that attacking without thinking sooner or later there will backfire and considering the scarce number of potions available (two for each new run and one more to find in each level), memorizing both the patterns of the enemies and which weapon is most effective against each is the basis for being able to get there unscathed deeper and deeper in hell. The loot is random, the enemies may not even leave weapons as long as you don't kill them on the spot after pushing them into break or execute, and based on what you will find in the game you will also have to be able to manage yourself. At Clan Getsu Estate you will be given a katana by default, while the second primary weapon will be random, while you will not be provided with secondary weapons - essential if you want to pass a level more successfully. The latter, moreover, must undergo a limited number of uses over which a cooldown time is activated, which varies according to the type of weapon but also the characteristics that distinguish it: for example an explosive, slow to reload, could have a reload rank equal to S and therefore be much faster in its reuse than others. Always evaluate the characteristics of each weapon, as well as its strength, because they really make a difference.

This first descent into hell has convinced us. GetsuFumaDen: Undying Moon will certainly undergo rebalancing and tweaks during its long period of Early Access but already now the potential of the game developed by GuruGuru is clearly seen. The only criticisms that we move him, right now, concern a lack of clarity regarding the system of internal power-ups at the levels and the fact that, regardless of its unassailable beauty, the artistic style sometimes makes it difficult to separate the background well. from the character. The sensation of seeing Katsushika Hokusai's prints in motion is wonderful but at times it was difficult to understand what was happening.


Frantic, brutal and beautiful to behold The Setsuna System can be very rewarding The fights are satisfying and punitive the right DOUBT The internal power-up system at the levels is not very clear Although splendid, the ukyo-e style sometimes makes it difficult to understand what is going on Have you noticed errors?

Powered by Blogger.