Review: Monster Monpiece

Release Date
May 27th 2014 (NA) ; June 6th 2014 (EU)
PlayStation Vita
Publisher / Developer
Idea Factory International / COMPILE HEART
Card battle game
1-2 (Ad-hoc, Network play)

MonsterMonpiece takes the player to a world where humans and “monster girls” live together. You take the role of May, an academy student who is trying to become a master, so she can work with monster girls in battle. While out on a simple mission, May and her friends Karen and Elza encounter a mysterious woman who takes control of Elza, making her Lost–a strange affliction that affects both human and monster girls. Now May and Karen, along with their new monster friend, Fia, must find Elza and save her before she brings destruction to the world.

The story is a simple one, driven on by text and a Japanese voice cast. You’re never spending more than a few minutes on a scene which ensures there is never time to get bored. The cast is fine. You have the ditsy, loud one who gets lost; the serious, smart one, who keeps you on track; and the cute one, who is weak and has no confidence. It’s a simple story accompanying a fun card game, but it gets the job done and at times is very enjoyable.

The narrative takes you to places like Ki Outo and Ho Kaido, which, of course, are based on real places in Japan. As you travel through points on the map to reach your objective, you’ll pick up packs of cards, money and meet foes who want to stop you from progressing. This is when the game gets fun. The battle system is a real joy; you have a blue grid that is 3×3, which is your territory, and the enemy has a red grid on the opposite side. Behind each territory is your headquarters, which you must protect from the enemy while figuring out the best way to damage theirs. Summoning a unit onto your area will bring up a little 3D model of your card, where you summon and what type of card you summon is key to victory. The game eases you into the mechanics gently and the system never becomes confusing or complicated.

As cards level, they get more skills which help turn the tide in battle and makes the deck building process feel worth the time and effort, as well as being an enjoyable part of the game. Having a couple of the same cards in your deck is worthwhile too, as you can fuse two cards of the same type together during battle in order to give them better stats and a better chance at reaching your opponent’s HQ. It’s a wonderfully addicting experience and thankfully the AI offers enough of a challenge for players. It does make stupid mistakes at times, but it generally puts up a good fight.

However, if you get bored of battling the AI or want a break from the story, then you can head back to the academy which acts as your base. At the academy, you can buy and open packs of cards, edit your deck, level up, buy items, and battle previous opponents in training mode. You also have the option of going online and battling against other players. It’s a nice way to test out your deck and see what other people are doing with theirs. The system really is a lot of fun, but the game does have a very bizarre aspect and that’s the way you level up cards.

After a battle, you receive rub p which are basically the game’s version of experience points. You use them to poke, pinch and rub your various monster girls as they moan excitedly, until they, well, orgasm. If you do it right, then extreme Love mode begins. With help from the game’s mascot Otton, the rub fairy, you have to rub the front and back of the Vita’s touch screen, making you look like you’re doing something rather rude. The whole thing can make you feel extremely uncomfortable and even more so when certain monster girls look so young. The majority of the cards show the monster girls wearing very little and have them in suggestive poses. After successfully rubbing them, they remove more clothes and gain new skills in return. Fora game that is on a portable device and is designed for you to play on the go, you really have to wonder what the creators were thinking when they decided to add this mandatory gimmick into the levelling system. The fact that the creators felt the need to focus on such a thing, when the gameplay was already strong enough by itself is rather disappointing.

Itis worth mentioning that the game has been censored for the western release, the cards remain in the game, however, they only lose a certain amount of clothing. For some people, this mechanic won’t be an issue, but others may find it uncomfortable.

It goes without saying that Monster Monpiece is a game that has a lot of fan-service, but there is a fantastic cardgame with a ton of great and rewarding features underneath. The ability to take your personalised deck online and battle it out with other players makes full use of the game's deep and intelligent mechanics. The result is a title that is both exciting and addicting. However, the creators clearly wanted people to be more excited about rubbing half-naked monster girls, a feature that was entirely unneeded as the game stands on its own two feet without it. For some, the levelling system will be fun, for others, it will feel creepy, but in this case, the battle system beats the filth. Compile Heart has a tendency to add more than is needed and they've once again proven that less is more.
Fantastic card game
Great artwork and character designs
Makes you feel a bit dirty…..