Monster Forest Review: Be A Poke-err... Monster Trainer
By Kei Beneza (dividelife), OnRPG Journalist
Monster Forest is an MMORPG set in the Liberon continent of the Eran world. The game emphasizes the use of pets, which is quite interesting as we have yet to see an MMO that completely focuses on pet usage. Just as the title suggests, Monster Forest can be compared to the likes of Pokémon (or at least the whole idea of it) where characters can catch a wide variety of monsters to aid them in battle. Other than the battle sequences and monster mayhem, the game offers players a nice list of things to do (which will be discussed later). Consider it a Monster Rancher MMO on steroids. It's a rare concept, but does it have enough juice to impress the gamers of today? Let's find out...
Starting Up: Please Create Your Tamer! I mean Trainer...
I can't really say much about the character selection screen as it doesn't really have that much to offer. You'll be given three faces to choose from (three for each gender that is). After choosing your character's face, you'll be opted to choose between a short list of shirts, leg wear, gloves and shoes. It would've been much better if they provided a wider selection of clothes, but this game revolves around the pets anyway, so I guess the cloning process can be ignored.
Pets Are The New PC: I CHOOSE YOU!
After customizing your "clone", you'll be prompted to pick your starting pet. One good thing about this feature is that you can actually pick your pet's gender. Not that it helps you in any way, but at least they managed to add more depth in pet choices. Male pets also look different from their female versions so you can choose the one that matches your threads. One thing to be noted is that humans are the aesthetical characters in the game. The difference between Monster Forest and other MMOs is that the class archetypes are given to monsters. If I must explain, classes are interchangeable, depending on which pet you want to put out or use. Pets can be traded anytime, allowing players to maintain their ability to fight even after losing a party member.
Pets at the new PCs
Much like PCs in other games, pets also level up and earn new skills as they progress. They can also evolve (change form) once they reach a certain level. Other than the level requirements, you'll also need the help of some evolution items to let your pet reach his/her next stage. Pricey and "grindey" at some point, but you'll see that it's well worth it once your monster evolves and kicks arse.
Skills That Kills
As stated earlier in this review, monsters can use skills that are presented in card format. Skill cards can be acquired either through creation or combination. You can gather all your collected materials and make your own powerful card (how cool is that?). Running low on power? You can always upgrade your skill card, provided that you have enough items to heighten the percentage of success. Skills greatly affect the outcome of each battle, so do yourself a favor and start editing your deck (or whatever you call it).
The quest system is quite superb. Aside from the average quest found in various MMOs, the game provides a set of daily quests to keep your income steady (or keep you occupied). If that's not enough, you can always try doing the guild quest, which as the name implies can be accomplished by grouping together and fighting alongside your guild. Quests are always delightful to have. Not only does it remove the linearity of grinding, it also points players to their proper leveling grounds.
Monster Battle Goodness
Unlike your average MMO game, Monster Forest sports a turn-based system similar to RPGs like Suikoden. The game provides a grid system that allows players to assume formation, allowing melee pets to protect their lesser-health comrades at any given time. Much like your average turn-based RPG, you can order your pets to attack, defend, or move depending on the situation at hand. Seeing who goes or attacks first, revolves around the pet's PP (Priority Point) and his/her corresponding skill card, so be sure to observe your surroundings well before clicking on random skill cards. It's a very fun method of gameplay and is easy to learn for most players.
Monster Forest Battle Goodness
One thing that strengthens the replay value of a game is the achievement system. Achievements are fun for both hardcore and casual players, allowing them to test their skill and patience while keeping track of their in game accomplishments. I think that achievements are not mandatory, but a great add on to any game. Nothing beats the feeling of satisfying these requirements and this would keep you busy even without the presence of certain quests.
There are 2 ways of doing PVP in the game. First we have the traditional duel system which allows players to fight each other provided that the challengee accepts the attacker's invite. There are two zones in the game: Normal and Open-PVP. The second method of dueling is by sending a PVP invite while in an open PVP area. Unlike normal zones, both players are instantly locked in combat the moment a player sends a PVP request. There's no need for confirmation here.
Miniland: Too Much Joy
If you're tired of grinding and questing, you can focus on other things like making money. There's a lot of stuff to do in Monster Forest. In the game, players can start their own farm, shop, restaurant; otherwise known as minilands. Call it a semi Restaurant City/Farmville. It's really fun to expand your territory, but don't go around thinking that your hard work won't pay off. Basically, this acts as your personal business in the game, allowing you to earn more cash as you increase your hub's popularity.
Miniland in Monster Forest
Monster Forests's pet system is definitely something new in the MMO world and is a must try for MMO players everywhere. Pet gender? What other MMO features that? The turn-based system is enthralling but kinda boring at some points, especially when you're waiting for your next turn. The Miniland function is pretty attractive and fairly addictive. With better graphics and actual sound effects, you'll be glad you're not playing it on Facebook <_<. Overall I'd say Monster Forest is a good game. Cute monsters, newbie friendly system, miniland functions, a must play game for cutesy lovers everywhere.
- Expanded pet system
- Skills and crafting of skills
- Evolution of monsters.
- Character creation phase needs some tweaking
- Graphics look outdated
-Combat gets old at times.