Idea Factory International / Compile Heart, Idea Factory
Numerous Compile Heart games have been ported to the PC recently, and Idea Factory International has now brought Monster Monpiece to the mix. A strategy card game, Monster Monpiece provides a simple battle system and an easy learning curve that does not diminish its entertainment value.
Idea Factory International describes the game: God’s hammer struck twice, punishing the world of Yafaniel below…
In the world of Yafaniel, humans and an unusual species called “monster girls” coexist. May Esperio, an Academy student from Kunaguva, is training hard to become a “master” of monster girls with her best friends, Elza and Karen.
However, after an encounter with a mysterious stranger, Elza became “Lost”—a term used for victims of a strange affliction that plagues humans and monster girls alike. Elza and the monster girls in her service have begun stealing the Magus Quartzes that are held in each of Yafaniel’s major cities.
May decides to travel the world pursuing Elza in an attempt to cure her. However, May knows that if she fails to save Elza, the whole world may be destroyed!
The story is told in classic Compile Heart style in a visual novel-like format with moving 2D sprites. There are no English voiceovers, however, the original Japanese voices are present. Though the voice acting may not be outstandingly memorable, the voices still sound pleasing to the ear and portray the emotions of the characters quite well. By the same token, the soundtrack of the game has no redeeming features, although its style is reminiscent of that of older JRPGs. Thus, there are no complaints with the game aurally, albeit nothing noteworthy of praise.
Story-wise, Monster Monpiece possesses a barebones plot told through visual novel style with just enough development to progress through the game. The heroine May is a shy girl who grows more confident as the story progresses, urged by the fact that she attempts to save her friend Elza who became a “Lost” that pursues wreaking havoc on the world. Nonetheless, the plot is not the major selling point for the game, nor was it intended to be.
With just enough background to give reason for May to battle, here comes the biggest meat of the series: the gameplay. Monster Monpiece is a strategy-based card game that involves recruiting units to fight and damage the enemies’ bases. With enough damage to a base, that player loses the battle. The over 100 possible units are recruited through a gatcha system of spending in-game money on card packs with the rarity, strength, and type of units inside vastly varying. As the player progresses through the game, better card packs are unlocked. There is also a microtransaction option of spending real money to purchase strong card packs as well as other items.
There is also no real levelling system in the game, however, recruited units can level up via the first crush rub system where the player sexually touches the characters in various ways to raise their pleasure meter. Once the meter reaches the threshold in the allotted time, the characters level up and their attire becomes quite sexier.
In terms of actual gameplay, each player takes turn spending mana to summon certain types of units such as archers, melee hitters, enchanters, and healers. These units would then move toward the enemy base each turn and attack if an enemy unit is blocking their paths. Each unit has ATK and HP stats where HP decreases based on the amount of the enemies’ attacks. Once HP reaches 0, the enemy becomes fallen. Such gameplay is quite simplistic overall but does require some strategy depending on the situation. The game overall is not very difficult, but there are some noteworthy challenges.
To say the least, the port is quite decent with the ability to play with either a controller or a mouse and keyboard. My biggest gripe, however, is that there is no online mode to battle against other people like in the original PS Vita version, which may affect whether or not someone wants to buy the game. However, the cards are uncensored in the PC port which is a plus. Overall, while I will not say it is a game that should be prioritized being bought first, it does have a fair price tag.
Review copy provided by Idea Factory International