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REVIEW: Monster Boy and the Cursed Kingdom

Monster Boy
Title Monster Boy and the Cursed Kingdom
Developer Recreation Atelier
Writer FDG Leisure
Launch Date December 4th, 2018
Style Metroidvania, Journey Recreation
Platform PC, PS4, Change, XBox One
Age Score E for Everybody – Fantasy Violence, Use of Alcohol
Official Web site

Although I had by no means performed the unique Marvel Boy collection, I used to be excited to check out the newest successor, Monster Boy and the Cursed Kingdom. I had gotten that itch for classics with a recent coat of paint with the current launch of Marvel Boy: The Dragon’s Lure on the Change. Each video games have been impressed by the basic Marvel Boy III: The Dragon’s Lure, and each featured polished new graphics and up to date interfaces. Sadly for the brand new Marvel Boy, whereas it was a horny package deal, it was held down by an adherence to archaic controls and hardcore problem. It’s no exaggeration that I discovered myself unable to beat the primary boss of the sport and gave up in frustration. However after seeing some protection of Monster Boy at PAX East, I had a hopeful feeling this one may fare higher. In any case, in contrast to Marvel Boy, which was a straight up motion platformer, Monster Boy was extra akin to a Metroidvania. Given my love for that style, I used to be prepared to provide this second successor a attempt. The query is, have been the shapeshifting adventures right here value raving about? Or ought to I cease getting nostalgic about collection I by no means performed again within the day?

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One of many issues that immediately caught my consideration about Monster Boy and the Cursed Kingdom was the plot. Jin is simply minding his enterprise fishing when a crazed drunkard driving a “nectar” barrel goes on a rampage reworking everybody in sight into creatures. (Enjoyable reality, apparently the unique subtitle for the sport was set to be And the Wizard of Booze. Typically censorship even makes me unhappy.) Better of all is that he’s none aside from Jin’s Uncle, Nabu. Whereas it’s not clear the place he discovered a magic wand nor why he’s going berserk, it’s obvious somebody must cease him. So off Jin goes, on a quest to find what’s occurring and put an finish to it, with solely delicate narrative factors provided by a small supporting forged, together with his reworked youthful brother, Zeke.

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Whereas the sport is usually linear, you’ll be left to your personal units once you get caught. The overall circulate is, get launched to a brand new space, discover your means by way of it, beat a boss, get a brand new capacity or merchandise, rinse and repeat. It’s not all the time that straightforward, and it’s value noting that some areas are fairly troublesome to get by means of, however the primary momentum is ok. After beating the primary boss, Jin is reworked by his loony uncle right into a pig, depriving him of the power to equip armor or weapons, resulting from being obese and having hooves as an alternative of arms. Although you’ll ultimately get the power to show again right into a human, you need to get used to spending 80% of the sport within the type of an animal. I used to be superb with that, since every animal type has distinctive expertise, helpful for each puzzle fixing and fight.

Monster Boy | Pig Problems

It’s arduous out right here for a pig.

I’ll give a fast rundown of what they will all do. The pig, regardless of his shortcomings, has a strong butt stomp that may stun enemies, in addition to the talent to smell out hidden clues and eat truffles, which will increase your variety of assault gadgets and magic spells. The snake is the weakest, however is ready to scoot by means of slender passages, break rocks with a touch, spit venom and cling to moss coated surfaces. The frog revolves throughout his tongue, which cannot solely devour smaller enemies, it could possibly additionally eat up and spit out gadgets similar to enemy projectiles and bouncy blocks. He is also the one creature capable of swim with out worrying about his oxygen provide. Then there’s the beastly lion which may sprint by means of partitions and over harmful surfaces, and ultimately capable of do an air sprint upwards. Up final is the dragon, which when absolutely powered, can fly eternally and breathe a limiteless provide of fireside. All of them have their makes use of, although it’s value noting that the ultimate three types I discussed also can equip upgradeable armor and weapons, some with unbelievable particular results like strolling on clouds, whereas solely the pig and human type are able to utilizing assault gadgets and magic spells.

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As for the way it all controls, it performs fairly intuitively. Fast notice that some controls do range by transformation, however usually they work like this: Y is assault, B is leap, with X and A as expertise. For instance, as a snake, X spits poison and A dashes ahead. L / R brings up your magic / assault gadgets, ZL / ZR buttons deliver up the transformation wheel, + brings up your stock to equip issues and – brings up the world map. One fast observe is that originally you possibly can simply press L / R or ZL / ZR to shortly shift between your gadgets or transformations, Mega Man fashion, however when you get greater than three of both, it as an alternative turns right into a wheel and requires you employ the joystick to pick what you need. That was a bit disappointing for me, however not a critical grievance. It simply slowed down my recreation move a bit.

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Whereas the fight principally flows nicely, I did discover a irritating tendency for foes to attempt to dogpile me. Additionally irritating was once I was climbing vertically and a flying enemy would zero in on me earlier than I even noticed it, which occurred a number of occasions with the damned mosquitoes. Aside from these, I principally loved preventing issues, simply as long as I didn’t let myself get overwhelmed. Tougher are the varied boss fights, which just about fall into two camps – boss fights you possibly can muscle via and boss fights that you simply puzzle via. The latter have been largely my favorites, although there’s a pair late recreation that have been actually irritating. Particular point out goes to the mechanical ruins possessed by bats and a battle towards the mighty Massive Venom. Fortunately, when you’ve got a very arduous time with any of them, there’s a function the place little dragon bro Zeke will begin showing dropping additional hearts mid struggle that will help you out. Or when you favor, you’ll be able to all the time purchase elixirs to revive your self from demise from the merchandise shops.

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Apart from all of the preventing, there’s additionally a variety of exploring to do in Monster Boy. Whereas I wouldn’t say the sport world is large, it’s undoubtedly greater than I used to be anticipating. I spent a grand complete of 16 hours beating the sport, although a few of that point got here from getting misplaced. To be truthful, this was an issue that I principally bumped into within the final third of the sport, whereas the primary two thirds have been fairly pleasant and quick paced. A part of the problem or enjoyable, relying the way you take a look at it, are all of the puzzles. Put merely, there’s a shit ton of puzzles within the recreation, starting from easy ones to actual head scratchers. There’s nonetheless a pair I do not know learn how to beat, together with one nasty one within the Volcano space. If something, I’d name the puzzles a combined bag, however the majority are inoffensive, aside from the one time a puzzle glitched out on me within the Forest space, forcing me to restart. Simply be ready to scream a bit if you get to the Haunted Mansion, as that has probably the most troublesome trials of all the recreation.

Monster Boy | Flashback?

Uh oh, the sport is getting Meta on me!

Visually Monster Boy and the Cursed Kingdom is a deal with. It’s colourful, cartoony and completely bursting with character. Small touches just like the snake’s brow creased in ache whereas carrying an enormous gear in his abdomen or the look of utter shock on the frog’s face when broken simply add to the material of this world. The animated CG sequences are additionally implausible, and made me want there was a full blown animated collection. The sport world is a spot of lighthearted humor and good enjoyable, regardless of all of the supernatural occurrences plaguing the dominion. Whereas I wouldn’t say any of the creatures within the recreation are thoughts blowingly artistic, aside from perhaps Ketz, all of them do a very good job of being distinct and having distinctive assault patterns. On the subject of sound design, whereas there was nothing that I discovered offensive (besides perhaps the Muzak within the elevator sequence), there additionally wasn’t something that wowed me. I hoped for a dynamic ear worm, however one of the best I discovered was the soothing tunes of the HUB city. That stated, the sound results do their job properly and drew me into the journey.

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For probably the most half I actually loved Monster Boy, however I do really feel obligated to say one phase that bothered me. Earlier I alluded to the final a part of the sport being harder. It’s filled with tremendous difficult, obscure puzzles, fetch quests and aggravating boss fights. However for me, the cardinal sin of the final a part of the sport takes place within the ultimate dungeon. I gained’t reveal the character of the dungeon, however even with out that I can point out the most important grievance. You attain some extent within the last dungeon the place you come throughout jet black cubes in your path. It’s a must to destroy them to get to the ultimate boss, however there’s one catch. So as to have the ability to destroy them, you want an non-compulsory Legendary Weapon you can solely discover by completely looking different elements of the world map. To be truthful, the builders trace at this with an enormous map that has Legendary fragments displayed on them within the final dungeon. Whereas it’s true you possibly can warp out of the dungeon, my problem is that I really feel it is best to all the time discover the keys to defeating a dungeon in stated dungeon. Perhaps I had this instilled into me by years of video games like Zelda, however I used to be actually upset with this design. Worse nonetheless, the sport provides you no trace that you simply’ll want this merchandise to progress earlier than you enter the ultimate dungeon, so some gamers could also be grinding their gears for some time till a FAQ or information is revealed. I frankly received fortunate that I used to be capable of determine this out while not having to ask for assist from the builders.

Monster Boy | End

Regardless of some issues I discovered with the sport, I did take pleasure in Monster Boy and the Cursed Kingdom. Although it’s not a deep or notably compelling story, it’s nonetheless a enjoyable nod to video games of the previous with some new bells and whistles. There’s lots of replay worth if you wish to 100% the sport, together with fixing all of the puzzles, discovering all of the gadgets and upgrading all of the gear. The allure principally shines via, and I’m nonetheless pleased to see video games like this on trendy consoles. It’s additionally value noting this was much more satisfying than Marvel Boy: The Dragon’s Lure, so far as successors go. For $39.99 you’ll get a meaty journey with numerous platforming, boss slaying and drunken wizardry. As long as you’ll be able to look previous the tough final a part of the sport and a few irritating dungeons, you’ll get together with Jin and firm simply fantastic.

Evaluation Copy Offered by Writer

About Josh Speer

Josh is a passionate gamer, discovering time to clock in round 30-40 hours of gaming every week. He found Operation Rainfall whereas avidly following the localization of the Huge three Wii RPGs. He enjoys SHMUPS, Platformers, RPGs, Roguelikes and the occasional Fighter. He’s additionally an unashamedly big Mega Man fan, having performed the collection since he was eight. As Assessment Supervisor he spends far an excessive amount of time modifying critiques and random articles. In his spare time he counts the times till Mega Man 11, TWEWY Last Remix and Wargroove launch.


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