By Chris Melchin / March 17th, 2017
|Publisher||Idea Factory International|
|Release Date||March 14, 2017|
|Genre||Strategy, Trading Card Game|
|Age Rating||ESRB – Mature|
I’ve always been a fan of card games; I’ve been playing Magic: The Gathering off-and-on since I was a kid, and over time I’ve picked up more games. However, aside from a brief stint with Hearthstone, digital card games are something I haven’t had a lot of experience with, so I was going into Monster Monpiece a relative newcomer to the genre.
That being said, the description of Monster Monpiece as a card battling game is somewhat misleading, since it implies similarity to those games. It actually has more resemblance to the tower defense genre, with each player’s monster girls advancing gradually towards the enemy base after being played, with the game ending when a set amount of damage is dealt to one base. However, you can find more details about the gameplay and story in Crystal’s initial review of the PS Vita here. I will be mostly discussing the quality of the PC port.
The graphics of the Vita version upscale nicely, aside from some artifacting on certain elements of the HUD. There are also certain text boxes where the text looks oddly stretched horizontally, although I don’t know if that was also present in the Vita version. There’s not a lot in the way of graphical options, aside from setting windowed or fullscreen and choosing the resolution. One odd thing about having the game in windowed mode is that even if you change the resolution, it will automatically reset to the display’s native resolution when you close and restart the game.
Monster Monpiece allows you to choose between gamepad and keyboard controls, however in-game control prompts are for gamepad only even when set to keyboard controls. However, something convenient is that the game also has full mouse controls, an adaptation of what I presume was full touchscreen controls in the original. The rubbing controls are awkward in the PC version, particularly due to its initial reliance on both touchscreen and the d-pad. Due to the apparent complete lack of keyboard control prompts, I kept the game in gamepad mode, which left me controlling the rubbing with the stick and buttons, which is clunky and difficult and can make these segments somewhat more difficult than they would be otherwise. However, mouse controls suffice for the rest of the game due to the game’s touchscreen interface, although it seems like there is no way to check the backlog in conversations or view the state of the board in combat. This is a particular loss, since there are occasions when you want to verify enemy monsters’ abilities on your turn.
I only encountered one glitch aside from the changing resolution while playing, where after saving the confirmation box stayed on the screen until I saved the game again. The text in the background of the config and save screen is also somewhat discombobulated, although I have no idea if that’s how it’s supposed to look.
I went into Monster Monpiece with relatively low expectations, and found myself pleasantly surprised. The combat has a nice level of depth to it, especially when you take auras, monster abilities, species and abilities into account and how to use them properly, even if certain elements are not explained particularly well in-game. The art is well-drawn, even when upscaled from the native Vita resolution of 960 x 544 to my 1080p monitor. The port is not without issues, but the almost-full mouse controls and beautifully upscaled art make it worth playing on PC. If Monster Monpiece seems like something that might interest you, it is available fully uncensored for $19.99 USD on Steam, with a Deluxe edition that includes the OST, artwork for all the cards in the game, 6 wallpapers and an art book of rough sketches for $9.99 extra.
Review copy provided by publisher
Compile HeartIdea FactoryIdea Factory InternationalMonster MonpiecePC reviewre-reviewSteam