Monsterand Me Review:Thorough Nostalgia
By Markus Nivasalo (Thas), OnRPG journalist
Good ol' turn-based games. Who doesn't love them? Don't deny it, we all spent hours on them back in the day when all we had was a Super Nintendo and a few cartridges. That style and feeling, is something that TQDigital's Monster and Me tries to bring back.
After getting a fix for some patching errors, I finally got into the character creation screen. At this point, I noticed that there certainly isn't much customization in this game. You can choose from sixteen different characters (eight male ones and eight female ones), that all look different and have a different weapon. After that, you can choose between three colors that affect your armor color, hair color etc. Here, you may also choose your stats. It may sound pretty versatile at first, but when you think about the fact that this is how your character will look forever, it's pretty sad.
When you're done with character making, you'll get sent into the tutorial. I'm being honest now it is confusing. You may end up out of the tutorial without intending to do so. I didn't get any info from the tutorial but for me at least, it seemed that it's easier to just learn things by yourself.
The interface is... Well it's definitely something I've never seen before in an MMO. For one, it's very confusing for beginners. It's not too beautiful to look at either as when clicking a menu, it brings up the sub-menu that looks just like any other program's menu when you click "File" in the upper corner. Something that fits into the game better should've been designed I think. Sometimes I seem to forget I'm playing an MMO and not Solitaire as the menus are the same. However, when you play it for a while you'll get used to it. There are also some nice things about the interface, like the map, which is very clear and easy to use. However one annoying thing is, when you're talking to NPCs it looks like there are spaces between words and it makes it really annoying to read (for example, so far I've seen words like "t ut or i al").
Combat is this game's good part, as it's turn-based and focuses a lot on pets. It might be pretty confusing at the start though. I wandered around a while before realizing that I had to click the "Fight" button to start a battle. At first I thought it was pretty stupid but now, I think it's pretty great actually. Everyone can kill peacefully and not steal each other's kills which is good. It also means that if you have something important to do, you can step away for a bit without worrying about getting killed.
Monster and Me Battle
The combat is just fast-paced enough for a turn-based game. It's not slow nor is it too quick. You have 30 seconds to do your moves which include normal attack, special attack etc. On first click you plan your pet's attack and then your own one. Gaining levels is pretty easy, as you can get to level 10 in a matter of minutes. That however tells that the max level is very high (from some source I've heard it's 999 but I have no secure information about it). After some time though, the combat starts getting old and you'll find yourself spamming CTRL+S for the quick attack just to get the fight over as quickly as possible.
There isn't much I can tell you about the quests as I could hardly find any. That aspect of the game also feels very confusing. From what I've seen at least, they aren't your basic "kill x amount of y", but rather complicated tasks.
The other special feature in this game is the pets, there are basically just as many as there are monsters, since you can catch almost every monster is. It is very hard to catch a monster, however. You do it within your turn in combat, but most of the time it just seems like you're wasting your turn because the failing percent is quite high. What you'll get when you fail is the monster laughing at you. Let me tell you, these monsters get a lot of laughs!
You can buy some special pets from the cash shop too (which seems rather pointless however). These pets can equip their own armor and they also have their own skills. I started out with a turtle pet, which I think everyone gets but I'm not sure about that. He's pretty unique looking really. Can't say I've seen a turtle with a helmet and a lance as a pet ever before.
The controls are your basic click-to-move. It's basic, but it's also very easy to use. It feels very smooth too although the moving animations could be better.
Monster and Me Tutorials
Graphics and sound
The graphics in this game are decent for a sprite game. Everything is decently drawn and it's cool to look at. It's not anything you'll stop to stare for ten minutes because it's so beautiful, but it serves its purpose. The weather effect is very bland as there is only one type, which is rain and it doesn't look very spectacular.
Most of the areas seem to have their own music, but every song (if you can call them that) is very short and it repeats over and over again. When leveling for a long time in the same place, it can really make your ears bleed. There's also a decent battle music track but it gets old after a few battles.
The animations aredecent most of the time. There are some okay ones, like the walking animation, but the fighting moves for example seem really bland and definitely aren't anything special.
In conclusion, I'd say Monster & Me is a decent MMO with a few new things but I wouldn't recommend it to anyone except turn-based game fans.
- Confusing tutorial
- Not much customization
- Horrible looping music