Home » Vengeful Guardian: Moonrider review — Electric mayhem

Vengeful Guardian: Moonrider review — Electric mayhem

by Gaming Adicts

At the beginning of “Vengeful Guardian: Moonrider,” the titular character escapes from the lab where it was created. You are a ninja android on a mission to prevent your species from capitulating to the will of a council of villains. After beating the first level, you’ll get the option to pick from one of six more. If you’re able to complete those, you’ll be able to advance a few levels. If you play each level only once, the game will take you around two hours to complete.

Though I had anticipated the game to be difficult, I found that I only needed to complete each level once. Like Mega Man, you’ll face a boss after each level and emerge with a new power. However, it does not appear that bosses are vulnerable to each other’s powers, thus you do not need to rely on trial and error to figure out which order to battle them in. The default ability in Vengeful Guardian: Moonrider is so powerful that I was able to easily defeat all of the game’s bosses with brute force in just a few tries even though using it costs energy.

The burden of tyranny

In Vengeful Guardian: Moonrider, players are transported to a dystopian future in which an evil machine has tapped into cutting-edge military biotechnology to create super troops to control the populace. A prime example of such a being is Moonrider, a samurai-themed super android who, upon regaining consciousness, abandons his yolk and joins the resistance in its struggle against the government. As a result, players embark on an adventure across a wide variety of levels to defeat the ruling elite and their last super troops.

The plot of Moonrider doesn’t amount to much more than the usual tale of a weapon-turned-hero rising against oppression, but the film’s visuals are what bring in the audience. It’s a pixelated side-scrolling action platformer with fantastic, if not aesthetically revolting, blends of technology and flesh in the shape of characters, enemies, and environments.

The clearest examples of this aesthetic and its aesthetics may be found in the story of Moonrider and the super troops he confronts. Moonrider, with his silver samurai-style armour and energy blade assaults, looks awesome in both cutscenes and in-game combat. Using concepts like fire, earth, light, and dark, the game’s boss enemies look just as awesome as Moonrider. They’re not clean, but that only makes them that much more stylish and hip. Some of the mid-bosses are staged battles that appear like they were plucked straight from the alien levels of the Contra games. When something is destroyed, it usually shatters into blood, bone, and metal, and the world is futuristic, dirty, and dingy. Extremely gratifying on a primal level.

Kill to bolster your strength

The most striking similarity between Moonrider and Mega Man X: Zero, which I believe will strike players immediately after playing the first few levels, is how much the two games share in common. It’s an action platformer with a side-scrolling perspective. The player advances through the levels, overcoming the obstacles they present, and eventually the mid-boss. Clearing a stage requires vanquishing a genuine boss, which consists primarily of other cyber supersoldiers. Once the initial objective is completed, the player is given access to a city map level choice, which allows them to pursue other bosses in any order they see fit.

The Moonrider is a very nimble fighter. His special moves are a three-hit combo, an energy slash from a crouch, and a slash from above. Also, he has a diving kick that he uses initially; it can be aimed straight down or directed diagonally left or right to deal damage and bounce off of foes. To begin, he thrusts out a Moonspear in front of him, one of his unique weapons with a shared energy metre. Players can unlock additional special weapons by killing bosses across the stages, such as the Dark Portal, which fires a persistent tendril of dark energy that deals damage to enemies it passes through. I wasn’t able to determine whether or not particular weapons were more effective against bosses than others, but they sure helped.

The completion of levels is not the only goal. You can sift through them for unique goods that add to your existing strengths. You can get a chip that gives you more health as you kill enemies, one that lets you double jump, and even one that makes you more vulnerable to injury in exchange for making your strikes far more powerful. Primarily, these chips soften the blow of the game’s difficulty, though you’ll also be assessed on the number of opponents you kill and how quickly you complete levels, making the strategic use of certain chips feel essential to achieving S Ranks on certain missions.


Moonrider takes you back to the good old days of 16-bit games. Everything about the game, from the graphics to the music, is a perfect recreation of what it was like to play games in the early 1990s. At the same time, the game’s mechanics feel modern enough that it’s the perfect blend of old and new. The most important thing that Moonrider did was make a 16-bit game for today that is just as fun and exciting as the games that inspired it were back when they were popular. Vengeful Guardian: Moonrider is a throwback game that shows how much fun it can be to travel to a dystopian future.

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