MO: Astray review. Excellent platformer & 2019's hidden gem

Kaz32
By Kaz32 in Written Reviews & Previews,
After I finished Outer Worlds & waiting until Death Stranding is out, I came across this little game with this trailer on Steam.   This is actually the first PC game by Rayark, AKA the guys who made a bunch of great mobile games games like Cytus, Implosion & Sdorica. So naturally, I was intrigued & bought the game for myself to see what this game's deal is.   Ladies and gentlemen, this is 2019's hidden gem that should be played ASAP. This game is fucking amazing!   You play as this little blob thing who had a fragment of vague memories. After a brief tutorial on how to move & jump, you're soon greeted by a woman's voice that guides you through the rest of the game & who called you MO. The area you're at seems like a research facility that had been rotting for a very long time, and the path ahead is filled with a lot of zombies & other weird creatures. What happened to this place? Who are you & who is the woman speaking to you? And so begin your journey filled with a lot of puzzles to solve, zombies to fight and OHOHOHOHO, really fucking badass sequences & boss battles to partake in.   When you think of great 2D hard as balls platformers in recent years, you'll probably think of something like Super Meat Boy, Celeste, End is Night or Getting Over It with Bennett Foddy.............. ok that last one was just fucking torture.   I would like to add this game to that list. The controls in this game is tricky because you don't jump like normal platformers. You have to aim using the right stick & jump into a platform you want. You can stick to walls because you're a blob thingy, but you can only move when you're sticking to a corner. Once you get used to it, the game will give you new abilities to use the further you get into the game. You'll be able to do double jump, a power dash which destroys cracked walls & kill enemies, possess zombies+other creatures while also being able to read into their mind, and a couple more stuff which I will not spoil. Rest assured, when you think the game gives you every tool you need, it goes on to put even more stuff that just gets better and better until the very end.   The challenges in this game are what I can call tough but fair. You will definitely die a lot the first time you encounter the puzzles in the game since it relies on accurate movements from you, and some puzzles can seem intimidating with how many things you have to do from jumping into walls, possessing an enemy that can get through instant killing obstacles, make that enemy get sucked into a spiked wall until that wall breaks and so on. The best thing about these challenges though is that it never gets criminally insane in its difficulty like Super Meat Boy/ Celeste's last few missions which pisses you off so much that you had to do a single mission 100 times before you get it right. Also, there are boss fights in this game, and each one requires you to use every single tool at your disposal. These bosses are quite awesome to fight & even more awesome once you finally beat them, especially the last few bosses in this game which are, WHEW, freaking epic.   What makes this game even more awesome on top of its gameplay is the story & setting. Every single zombie & monsters you see in the game can be mind read, and it is necessary so that you can get a clearer picture on what exactly is going on in the game. After completing stages, the game will show you comic books that you can read which explains the backstory of the game before everything went to hell. The game also has hidden collectibles for you to find which are actually mind fragments of your blobby main character. Collect 5 of these things & you'll increase your HP by 1, and if you collect them all, you'll get the best ending to the game right after an epic final battle. You can choose to not collect 1 more collectible to get the bad ending though, but hopefully you'll get that ending first, THEN you collect all of them for the final reward.    Oh, almost forgot to talk about the FREAKING AWESOME MUSIC, especially the boss fight songs which makes fighting them even more epic.   As for the negative I can find, it's that sometimes the puzzles + boss battles can get tough at the first few tries, but that's normal in these kinds of games. Also the fact that even after you completed the game, there are still a couple of loose ends that's probably going to be answered in the sequel. Which I don't mind one bit because if that happens, I can see the sequel being EVEN MORE AWESOME.   I give this hidden gem the rating of "so awesome that you will play it again just to get everything 100%, and then wait for the sequel". With a badass seal of approval. Can't wait to see what's next from these guys. This is a great first step for them to make a mark on PC games, and it's gonna get better from here on out! 👍
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