Card battles, if you think about it, it’s quite an odd concept and yet it feels so ancient. Inanimate objects that portray a ficticious battle just like checkers or chess.
I’ve never been a huge fan of any card game like that or… any kind of card game for that matter. But cute illustrations and psn sales attract me like streetlights to a mosquito on a summer night. That’s how I got my hands on Monster Monpiece, let’s talk about it.
Monster monpiece is a card battle game developed by the japanese folks at Compile heart. The game mixes classic card battling with some RPG concepts and a whole load of ecchi.
The game’s story sets you on a fantastic world were mythical monster girls exist. One day, something happens to your close friend that makes her lose her mind and start causing havoc, threatening the peaceful balance between humans and the monster girls. Then you and your other friends will follow her steps across the world trying to save her from whatever happened to her.
How will you do so? By battling with those monster girls, of course. Those fights take form as card battles between you and one other oponent each time. You’ll have to summon monster girls and based on their stats they’ll be more effective or less. The game’s combat is too intrincate for me to fully explain it on a briefiew but you can take my word on its quality.
It’s not too complex that it becomes overwhelming but it’s also not as simple as it may appear at first glance. You have to take in consideration positioning, clever use your turns and managing of your mana and make use of every mechanic trick as possible which are many.
The game’s strategy isn’t just restricted on the battlefield though. You have to develop your own decks to maximize your performance during those battles. Selecting the best cards you have while also balancing the different types so you’re not vulnerable in any situation. Some luck is involved as well but never the game felt unfair to me.
I mentioned already using cards and selecting them now let’s talk about upgrading them. Probably the most disntinctive feature in this game and certainly the most perverted. You select any card you might want to improve and enter then into a minigame. You’ll be asked to tilt your vita vertically and then you’ll have to rub, poke and pinch the selected monster girl until you fill a meter in a certain time. I guess it’s similar as a 2D version of the dress room in the Senran Kagura games. If you’re successful in the minigame the stats of your card will change (arguably for the better) and the specific card image will lose some of her clothes as well.
If you’re very sensitive about this kind of sexual suggestive scenes used in videogames, this feature will completely ruin the game for you since the usage of the minigame is pretty vital if you want to succeed in the game.
The game’s 2D illustrations are pretty gorgeous. Every card is different and original and they’re very well drawn. The 3D models that you can see in the playing field isn’t up to par though. They may very well have skipped that feature completely.
On the sound department the game has some catchy tunes and a good japanese voice over. Doesn’t feel like big budget game though nor it is.
Things I liked
- Strategic: The game requires strategy on different fronts, specially about managing your resources. Either being the cards on your deck, the mana on the battlefield or your rub points to enhance your cards. Sometimes you’ll have to make sacrifices, other times you’ll have to keep an eye on weakspots left by the enemy and use every mechanic available to gain an advantage on your adversaries.
- Illustrations: Props to the character artists here. There’s a ton of different cards here and they’re all original and well drawn. And, as I mentioned earlier, even within each card, there’s different variations as they get skimpier attires whenever you upgrade a card.
- Tutorials: There’s a robust battle system in here and learning every mechanic could be a daunting task if the game didn’t know how to teach it. That’s not the case fortunately. The game eases you in teaching just a few concepts each time, it doesn’t drag on making you read a bible yet it manages explain everything you need.
- Long: It will depend on how good of a strategist you are, if you’re not so good with the battle system you may need to grind some powerful cards (pun intended) and it’ll take you longer than necessary. In any case, the game is pretty long, RPG like. Plenty of regions to visit, characters to meet and cards to collect.
Things I didn’t
- 3D Models: There’s only one instance when the game showcases some 3D graphics and that’s on the playing field. The game has a ton of different cards with some very cool designs but they don’t reflect on those 3D models. There’s only one model for card class and that feels quite a lazy decision. I don’t think it would have been that hard creating one model per card considering the blocky look of the models available and their very few and simple battle animations.
- Story: It’s great that they put the effort to craft a story into a card battle game but the story in Monster Monpiece didn’t manage to entice me. It was cliché and formulaic and the dialogs were drawn out too long. There was some humour sprinkled in but in my opinion, not enough.
Who’d like this?
It completely depends on how do you react when exposed to this kind of hypersexualized content in a game. If that kind of fanservice offends you, you better stay clear of this game but to the people who actually seek this kind of content, this is a must own. For anyone in the middle, there’s a pretty good card battle game underneath the body rubbing so I’d say give it a try.