Monster Crown, a new monster collector and RPG, has made its way to home consoles. The game from Studio Aurum sees you take on the role of a young boy/girl living on a farm with their mom and dad in a world full of monsters. One day your dad sees it’s time to teach you the ropes and let you set out on your own adventure despite your age.
After deeming you old enough to learn the ways of the world, your father gifts you a comic hinting that you should check the back once you are finished reading it. Much to your surprise there’s a quiz on the back with a £1 mailing fee to get your very own monster! (Please note children if something sounds to good to be true it usually is) Fast forward a little while and it’s time for you to meet the little critter, and now armed with knowledge and a beast of your own, your farther sends you to see the nearby king and your adventure begins
Over the course of your travels you’ll encounter more monsters to add to your collection and help your team grow, as you travel from place to place finding yourself dealing with gangsters and people using monsters as tools to achieve their goals.
Don’t be deceived by some of the cute monsters, this game is not your child’s Pokémon, oh no this title turns the dark up to 11 with things such as people EATING! Monsters, monsters eating humans and the occasional murder, plus honestly that sea monster with those teeth shiver (you’ll know it when you see it).
There are some interesting encounters on your journey that indicate there might be more happening in the world than you see on the surface, I liked the way a simple delivery, while somewhat dangerous due to the monsters, starts to get overshadowed and draws your character into a greater narrative.
Visually this game goes all in on the retro style. Pixel artwork and design reign here, and unless you like a nostalgia hit or don’t mind a good old game boy colour look, chances are you’re not going to like this title. That said I found the designs quite fun, and how they range from goofy to cool, even down right creepy, seriously guys those teeth are going to haunt me.
Also on the note of visuals there were a few visual bugs that to be clear were recently helped by a patch, and though some of them still remain, non are game breaking now.
Another note on visuals- from gameplay I saw prior there’s a different menu/UI that I feel looks and seemingly acts better than this version. It’s a personal preference but I just don’t quite like the current one.
Much like the rest of the game there’s influences of monster collectors of old in the audio department, nothing outwardly stands out as being great but it does impart that sense of nostalgia that the rest of the title stirs up and I appreciate it for that alone.
Gameplay seems to be a mix of old school Pokémon with a heaping of dragon quest monsters. Anyone familiar with those games should pick up the systems quite quickly, be it the one on one battles against wild monsters or the fellow tamer battles. All the monster collector tropes are here with additional emphasis on rotating your roster and breeding to stay ahead of the curve.
Outside the obvious that most people picking up this title will be expecting, the thing that stands out the most is likely breeding. As the game explains it the genetic makeup of all of the games monsters is unstable, thus allowing them to crossbreed, opening up a whole slew of different breeds and colours. There’s a bigger reason for doing this however and that’s the stats. Basically the further you travel the stronger foes you will face, for instance your lv25 starter may have 1.3 base stat in attack vs a natural lv 25 with say 1.9 as a base attack, these higher base stats and increments add up quite a bit due to this. Rotating your party out for newer monsters will make playing much easier
Monsters roam about the map freely as you travel the roads of Monster Crown, meaning you can see what you’re going to encounter. While this is nice on its own it also allows the use of skills, most prominent among these is telling your monster to sit so you can feed it to heal a little, and the vastly more useful scout skill that allows you to order your monster to charge at a enemy, dealing damage or outright defeating them, without taking part in battle for full rewards.
Battles take place one on one in a turn based style with some interesting systems. Matching your monsters type skills type dictate the damage multiplier with moves that match types to your monster, dealing the most damage. Couple that with hitting your enemy’s weakness for massive damage, that can one shot foes even if they out level you, add to this the synergy system that allows you to store energy for powerful skills or combo attacks. Using these tactics even the biggest foes can be felled.
Exploration is a must, not much of the games content is locked away behind walls and due to this it’s easy to find yourself face to face with nasties you weren’t ready for, however moving away from the beaten path often yields rewards.
One final thing of note is the levelling system. Your party’s level gets caped in instalments of 10s, with the level cap raising by 10 for each area chief you defeat. To make matters worse these tamers play for keeps, winning means a new monster to join you while losing means saying goodbye to one of your own.
Overall monster crown is a nostalgia trip at its core, one of the main reasons I stuck with it in the beginning despite the bugs (again mostly patched now) and it certainly scratched that itch I had for a monster collecting RPG. I enjoyed the game most of the time and it has some interesting ideas over others of its kind, if only the UI was better and the bugs were fully squished. Still worth a recommendation as the bugs situation improves and some of my issues were personal – may not apply to everyone.
Two final notes for people who wish to pick it up: Playing on easy will mean you don’t lose items upon defeat and Online features are not included yet, will be added at a later date, possibly being added this month.
A good monster hunting RPG that has a little more going for it than you would expect.
The following two tabs change content below.