A couple months ago I reviewed a little card battling game called Monster Monpiece. The game was decent enough and it could very well be worth played for its intrincate strategies but really, the reason why most players purchased that game wasn’t its gameplay. Now, the makers of that fanservice-fueled game are also the creators of Moe Chronicle, and, while this isn’t a sequel to the card battle game, it’ll be very obvious that the similiarties between them are abundant.
Let’s have a look at it.
The biggest difference between Compile’s heart previous vita effort Monster Monpiece and this title is that, unlike that game, Moe Chronicle is a first person dungeon crawler. We’ve been getting plenty of games in that very same genre for the vita, and some of them were pretty good like Demon Gaze or Stranger of Sword City so obviously this game had to come up with a way to not be obscured in this crowded genre. The ways in which Moe Chronicle decided to distinguish itself from the competition were pretty interesting and somewhat connected to each other. First by adding a Monster collecting mechanic (a la pokemon) and second by turning up the fanservice to eleven.
As you’re traversing any of the game’s dungeons encounters with “weird looking” monsters will randomly appear. Those are simple enough, kill them to get some experience points and some additional item drops. However, roaming those dungeons there will also be monster girls. Those, unlike the other kind of monsters represent the more usual monsters you can encounter in more vanilla rpgs (an ogre, a slime, a dragon…) but, in this case, they’re represented as cute girls. Apart from that, the way you fight those monsters will be different. Yes, you can simply attack them until their HP goes zero, but you’ll do much better by capturing them. To do so you have to aim for their clothes in order to tear them apart until they’re on their underwear. Doesn’t that sound perverted enough? Well, that was just the start. After tearing them off their clothes a minigame will appear and it’s pretty much the same the one you could find in Monster Monpiece. You have to rub the monster girls on their sweet spots until they surrender and then they’ll join your team.
Needless to say that managing your team of monster girls is where the meat of this game resides. They’ll learn new skills and level up as you fight with them. You can equip them with objects to boost them and, when you get close enough with them you can dress them up to alter their stats as well. To get close to them you have to make them fight by your side in the dungeons, improving their room at the inn and gift them presents.
Luckily for me, this chinese phyisical version of the game which I had the chance to play has all the text completely translated to english while the voices are still in japanese. I encountered two translation mistakes in the game but apart from that, they made a pretty good job.
The story in this game revolves around our protagonist Io. He’s a pretty pathetic dude that seems to have a hard time to talk to girls because he can’t help but to have all sorts of perverted thoughts and such (oh, the irony!). However, one day all of the monster girls of the world seem to go rogue and attack humans and he’s sent with her childhood friend lilia, the only monster girl who seems to not have lost her senses to solve the problem and save the world.
It’s a pretty silly premise but the game acknowledges that and it doesn’t take itself too serious. The game features a ton of funny dialog that, even if the humour presented is pretty low brow, it makes going through the story bearable.
The game’s graphics are (and I hate to be cliché about it) a mixed bag. On one hand we have the 3D renditions of the dungeons which, even though they’re pretty colorful, they lack detail, they’re pretty repetitive and has an overabundance of fogging. On the other hand however there’s the 2D parts. The art for this game is superb on its “naughty” nature. The designs of the monster girls seem more homogenic than what you could see in Monster Monpiece but that’s not a bad thing. All of the girls are well drawn and look unique enough.
The music for the game is also pretty good. Very classic jrpg tunes that don’t go for something epic but for something light-hearted matching the overall spirit of the game. It should also be mentioned that every character has its own voice and, while they’re on japanese and I can’t understand a word, the actresses did a great job portraying the various personalities of each monster.
Things I liked
- Monster managing: Like I mentioned before the meat of this game resides in the managing of the girls. Capturing them and then assembling a balanced team with them. Equiping them with items to boost their strengths and also getting to know them better with some softcore dating-sim mechanics. Talking to them, gifting them presents and outfits that you can make them wear…
- Humourous: Honestly, the jokes in this game are pretty one-note and low-brow. Most of it resides in sexual innuendos and such so it’s definitely not for everyone. If you enjoy that kind of humour though you’ll be laughing plenty. There’s some pretty funny dialogs here.
- Art: Again, not for everyone. All of the monster girls are pretty oversexualized in their design but that’s not to say that they aren’t drawn well. The artist got pretty creative with the way the mixed the archetypical monster types of other rpgs and turn them into a cute girl version of those.
Things I didn’t
- Bare crawling: All of the enemies (and cloth pieces) have some sort of elemental weakness. Use elemental attacks on the enemies to see which is which and memorize it. That’s pretty much all of the strategy that you’ll need for this game. What I’m trying to say is that, for dungeon crawler standards, this game’s a little too simplistic on its “crawling”.
Who’d like this?
The niche market for this game is pretty clear. This game is for you if you seek a heavy dose of fanservice in your games.
If you despise that kind of sexualized content in games, avoid Moe Chronicle at all costs.
And, if you’re just a Dungeon Crawler nut that wants some of that crawling action just be advised that this wasn’t designed for the hardcores. This game is a little too simple to please the most avid dungeon crawler enthusiasts but still, I’d consider it a good timewaster.
<Because of the heavy usage of touch controls, this vita title isn’t compatible with playstation tv>