Haven't talked about games on my blog for quite a while now. But this one is too good to not be shared. Despite supposedly having so much to do, I tried to play this game by my younger brother's random recommendation. And it didn't disappoint. This probably has one of the most touching stories I encountered -- books included, at that.
Below is the game trailer for To The Moon:
If you're looking for the story and content rather than gameplay -- this game is perfect for you. Operating in retro 16-bit color graphics, I'd say there is less almost none at all of the kick and adrenaline that gamers nowadays often tend to look for their purchases. But none of that matters, because what you're paying for on this one is not that but the rich, poignant, touching and very well written story embedded in this simple yet very special game. Having said that, this is definitely a breath of fresh air -- the present game market populated by mainstream games that possess pointless plots that would disappear as fast as they rose to popularity. This one stays with you. And it will break you and make you all at once.
The premise is this: two doctors, Dr. Eva Rosalene and Dr. Neil Watts, was employed to fulfill a dying man's (Johnny Wyles) wish: to go to the moon. How would they do that? By using a modern technology that allows them to construct artificial permanent memories to give the patient the notion that they somehow fulfilled their "dream" (or undo a regretful act). They do this by entering the patient's mind and transversing backwards to his life by using certain mementos that played an important part in making those memories. Usually the task was easy as the doctors would only trace the desire and plant the seed in the mind of the patient. But there's one major problem here. Johnny doesn't know why he wants to go to the moon.
So they travel back and try to uncover the reason why and by doing so they get to know Johnny, his story, his wife River, and the many complex things that make up who he is and their marriage.
So you see, it's sort of like "inception". You enter a person's mind, then plant a seed of thought in them that would prompt them to act accordingly to your wishes -- but here, to think according to your intent.
This may seem a bit tragic from the start because there's no actual fulfilling of dreams that will happen. You only let them think that because that's the only choice you have and it's their last chance.
There are times when I find myself not wanting to continue anymore because it felt that I'm violating something by tampering Johnny's memories and also because I somehow feel that I can't take in what I'm doing. Yeah, I'm THAT affected. >.<
What started out as a simple wish turned out to be something with deeper roots that you must discover for yourself the reason why he wanted it in the first place. (Tip: You'll be surprised.)
Out of everything, I think one thing that struck me the most is his interesting relationship with his wife, River (such a lovely name, isn't it?). This played a vital role in the mystery that is his dream. From the creepy obsessive paper rabbit making, to her sickness and Johnny, coping with it alone -- it is something to look forward to as it is touching and probably the thing that broke me into a sobbing mess.
The thing that surprised me is how it can make you so attached to the storyline. And such well-developed and well thought-of characters at that. You'll laugh for them, and you'll cry for them. And at the end of the game, you know that everything will stay with you.
What contributed more than anything to this masterpiece of the story is how they used the music. It has a beautiful soundtrack and nothing can dispute it. Srsly, you could pay for this just for the soundtrack. One example is this piano piece, entitled For River:
Whenever I see a lighthouse, a paper rabbit, or even a platypus .... I break down inside. >.<
If you would ask me, this can highly qualify as a visual novel than an actual game because there's so much clicking and the script and understanding of the story play a major part in enjoying this one-of-a-kind game. But that doesn't bother me. Not even a bit. Not even at all.
All in all, this is a total WIN! This is memorable as memorable can get. Touching, funny at times, and will let you question some things in life. This is unique in its own way. Okay, not the best (I'll still go with the Ace Attorney series anytime) but it is definitely the MOST SPECIAL game I've played in eons! Do yourself a favor and check this game out. It'll only take you 4 hours, or 6 hours tops, to complete this and it would surely break your heart. But all the breaking is worth it, you'll see.
With that, I'll leave you with this song from the soundtrack:
This song played at the most emotional moment in the game. Ugh, and listening to it brings back memories. ;(