Video Game Review: “Monster Sanctuary” Brings back memories but lacks Punch

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Written by Alex Orona Third Coast Review:

The monster haven It is a new old RPG game that brings 16-bit nostalgia to the glory days to the modern console generation. It takes little bits of the SNES classics and combines it into low-key comfort food for the game. There’s a lot to like on the way The monster haven It’s built in, and the craving factor provides enough dopamine for your entertainment. Unfortunately, memories are what you bring the most to the table.

Every trip is in The monster haven It begins with a choice of four starting monsters. Each monster has a different racial affinity which you will play later in battle. These starter monsters serve as your guide, providing helpful advice, paths, and instructions worth noting in case one loses one’s way. You can also get additional monsters for your battle party by giving eggs as combat rewards that can then be assigned to a team of 3 monsters that you will enter into battle.

Enemy monsters are spread around the world randomly and once you call them, a battle from the role-based JRPG set will start. The battle system puts its primary focus on debuffs / Buffs and building stats to drive wins. For example, it might be best to include a monster that can poison poison armor and lower shields so that these heavy hitters can strike heavy frost. At each turn, your monsters will build a Damage Meter, so the damage to the 3rd monster increases to 130% and then reset at the end of the turn. This focuses on turn order, as the target attempts to focus these heavy hitters into the final turn with the debuff monsters in the lead. Another thing to consider is the monster’s mana pool. Each attack costs a Mana, which is renewed at the end of each round, but its amount is determined by their Mana stats, so the monster can be left in a state of reel without the ability to attack if you don’t pay attention to its stats.

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Monster Stats can be managed with outfits and weapons, or given reinforcements if certain foods are fed, and their skill trees are very deep. Some monsters have more possible options than others. Trees increase abilities damage, add additional helpful spells to other spells, and generally boost your monsters. These can be as direct or complex as you want. In one case, I had a point that would allow me to throw a shield but then I added extra renewable health, while in a second tree, if I cast the same shield, I could choose to poison an enemy. There are so many options, and The monster haven Gameplay can get very dense as a result.

These abilities make up a great combat system that may seem difficult to track but otherwise overlooked for live trajectory play. The direct path is heaping power hitter with critical damage and percentage so they collide like a truck … a lot. It is a satisfying combat system. The Mechanics are set up to play the way you want it to be and it helps to customize one or two Skill Tree rather than scattering points all over them. Adding food stats and armor stats, it’s up to you to customize monsters. The shield can also be leveled to provide larger reinforcements.

Your fellow monsters also provides a secondary action when venturing across the world upon your choice. These abilities range from light bulbs and moving blocks to float, opening hidden lanes and even grappling to higher areas. These add a slight twist to the exploration, and even act as roadblocks when you don’t have the right monster to advance yet. This is progress as far as adventure goes. Unlock more map, level up, evolve and find more monsters. There’s a loose story with choppy dialogue, coaches and rival monsters, but it’s rare and without much direction.

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The monster haven Some of my favorite games of all time. It is played in a beautiful pixel-like art world Castlevania or Final Fantasy It uses a simple 2D platform that feels smooth and responsive. You cross multiple biomes in an expanded interconnected map with unlockable shortcuts and fast travel coordinate crystals. There is much to explore in this world with the classic monster hunting system that features deep JRPG-style combat – but it doesn’t do anything to stand out. The battle is deep to expand your monster repertoire, but doesn’t stick long enough to past the necessary grind. Most of the monsters in the world can be avoided with double jump, so fights start to feel like a chore in later levels. Also, since each battle begins with each monster in perfect health (despite having died in a fight earlier), this makes the stakes very low.

There are also online fights with six teams of monsters or NPC boss challenges to really test your ability. With 100 monsters currently available, you can capture as many as you want (even all of them if you choose to).

The art is great stylistically but it consistently introduces more general stylized monsters with occasional appearances. The four monsters often look alike and don’t vary even deeper levels. The map is decent size but each different environment has slight variations in color, with the addition of a rocky or grassy patch and some occasional puzzle sections.

The monster haven It represents some of the best RPG nostalgia I have experienced in a long time. While it pulls out of all my favorite SNES games, it doesn’t do anything to stand out from it. Combat, art, and mechanics are all tried and true systems that work but ultimately feel derived. Monster Sanctuary lacks identity and loses it as a forgettable reminder to those who came before it. But if the worst thing you can say about this game is “It reminds me of …”, then that can’t be that bad, right?

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The monster haven Now available for PC via Steam, on Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One Series X | S.

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