Retroactive Review: “Monster Monpiece”


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Monster Monpiece, by Compile Heart and Idea Factory International, is a story based card game for the Playstation Vita. Idea Factory has recently announced that it will be released on Steam in Spring 2016. This review will also introduce my new review system!

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Story

Yafanir, a land where humans and monster girls live together. May attends a school where you learn to be a master to monster girls, but a mysterious person comes along and puts a curse on Elza, one of May’s best friends. Elza becomes lost and doesn’t remember who she is. She sets out on a journey with a nefarious plot, and only May can stop her. Along with her monster partner Fia, and a few of her best friends, it’s time for May to try and save her best friend, and maybe even the world.

Here is where the game is at it’s weakest. When Elza becomes lost, you aren’t given enough time or details to actually be upset that she has become lost. It just feels like a plot point and nothing more. As the game continues, it remains hard to feel much of anything for the characters as they aren’t that fleshed out. In fact, you get the most out of the cast AFTER the final boss has been defeated. It’s hard for a card game to have a great story, and it tries admirably, but it doesn’t exactly make the cut.

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Gameplay

Here is where the game excels. Each player starts with a castle dependability of 3 (other times more). Every time a monster makes it across the board and attacks a castle, it loses 1 dependability. When a castle’s dependability reach’s 0, or when a player is unable to draw any more cards, a winner is declared. Now on to the cards themselves! Each card requires Mana to summon, and each turn 3 mana is given to you. Some cards can have abilities that may give you more or take away from you’re opponent.There are 4 types of cards (Short attack, Long Attack, Strengthen, and healer) and there are 2 forms of each type. Each card has an attack power and HP, and depending on the card type, an MP or an attack boost.  Multiple colors are in use such as Yellow, Red, Blue and Green. Alone, these color’s mean nothing, but as you stack them they give you boosts. Play 1, and nothing happens. Play 2 in a row, and it boosts your mana 1. Play Three in a row and it boosts your mana by 3, and Attack and HP by 1.

Cards are upgradable by…..rubbing them. Yes you read that right. And as your cards level up, these lose more clothes. The first couple of times it felt kind of weird, but after that i just went in thinking “Alright, time to make this card better!” These are just a few of the gameplay mechanics but i don’t want to spoil any more for you.

The tl;dr version: The gameplay is really good and actually rather strategic. It’s a fantastic card game and is incredibly fun.

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Presentation

Here is where the game becomes less easy to say “Yes Play” or “No Play”. This section is all a matter of opinion. I’m just going to get this out of the way now…BEWARE OF FAN SERVICE LIKE ARTWORK! I love anime art style, so if you do as well, this game’s presentation will be much to your liking. Each card has a female drawn onto it in, quite often, in scantily clad clothing. That being said, I love the style of the characters and just the overall general style of the game.A quick note: The artwork for the NA version was actually edited to be less risque. The story is set up like a “you are on this dot on the world map and you are attempting to get to this dot on the world map, with dot’s in between that have battles or give you money or cards.” Nothing special but easy to work through.

 

Overall

This will probably be one of the hardest reviews i do. This game is very niche in almost every way and is something many people may scoff at if you attempt to get them to play it. It’s story is fun to play through but mostly forgettable. The gameplay on the other hand is very fun and much more strategic than i ever expected.

DISCLAIMER 1: In my time playing, i haven’t been able to find a single person to play with online, so i was unable to test out online play.

DISCLAIMER 2: Some changes are being made for the steam version. Multiplayer will NOT be on the steam version, but it will have the original, unedited Japanese artwork.

Pros:

-Fun Gameplay
-More strategic than expected
-Fun Story to play through
-Great artwork….

Cons:

-…but the artwork tends to all be scantily clad women (side note: this is not a con for me. Art like this doesn’t bother me at all, but i know many don’t like it too much.)
– don’t learn enough about the characters until after the final boss
-Story itself is overly forgettable
-Multiplayer is pretty much dead on the Vita version (which deeply saddens me)

FINAL VERDICT:

PLAY (Unless….)
-You are playing for a great story
-You are disturbed by risque anime artwork

 

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About Elijah Steele

Elijah is an all around gamer who plays anything and everything. His favorite games are Final Fantasy 7, Bioshock, and the Hatsune Miku series among others. His specialties include Sony and import games. He will take any gaming challenge thrown at him. You can follow him on Twitter @Locolizardman.