Since Monster Monpiece was announced for localization in the West, this game has attracted a lot of attention from gamers and press alike due to some of its more unique, adult-themed gameplay aspects. While fans of Japanese franchises are always looking forward to the next video game series that will make its way across the ocean, almost no one could have expected that this would be one of those games. For the most part, Monster Monpiece is a great game with a lot of personality, however, one particular feature can be a bit of a shock for Western gamers because of its extremely sexual nature. Consequently, the chance that people will enjoy this game is contingent on whether or not they can appreciate, or at least overlook this one specific feature.

Monster Monpiece is an incredibly fascinating game with a fun, innovative battle system and a story that effectively carries the game through to its conclusion. The story is a typical anime plot where the main character, a young school girl, is tasked with the retrieval of certain items found across the country in order to prevent a catastrophic event. While the narrative is nothing profound or ground-breaking, it is still quite enjoyable and provides a nice break from the constant battles.

The use of visual novel storytelling in conjunction with the battle system also sets a good pace for Monster Monpiece that doesn’t overwhelm players with story or leave them burnt out on the combat. The hand-drawn characters used to tell the story are also very well done and provide some beautiful aesthetics throughout the game.

MM_May_Elza

“The use of the visual novel storytelling in conjunction with the battle system sets a good pace for Monster Monpiece that won’t overwhelm players with story or leave them burnt out on the combat.”

The soundtrack and voice acting are yet another thoroughly enjoyable aspect of Monster Monpiece. Like the story, the music is nothing revolutionary, but the tracks help to create a very pleasant and appropriate atmosphere within the game. The wide variety of instrumentals and songs really add a great deal of entertainment to the entire experience. The voice acting is also especially gratifying. While some people may not like having to read subtitles, for me, having a Japanese voice cast is absolutely essential for this type of game. There is a quality and charm that comes with listening to a Japanese cast that just doesn’t carry over when English-speaking actors are used for Western ports. Players also have the option to purchase other audio files for character voices that feature different Japanese dialects or entertaining character styles. While not necessary, this can be a fun feature for people who want to really indulge themselves in this game’s audio amusement.  However, while the story, music, and acting all do their part to add to the enjoyment of this game, it is the combat that will keep players coming back for more.

The combat in Monster Monpiece is definitely the shining star of the entire experience. The action that this game centers itself on is a hybrid of several popular genres. This battle system is basically an amalgamation of Turn-Based Strategy and a CCG (Collectible Card Game) with JRPG elements. To explain in a more practical way, try to imagine Magic: The Gathering or Hearthstone mixed with the battlefield elements of Fire Emblem: Awakening. This is where the fun really begins.

MM_OpenCardPack Dual

“As you progress throughout the game, you will be collecting monster-girl cards to create a deck to use in combat.”

As you progress through the game, you will be collecting monster-girl cards to create a deck to use in combat. Each card is broken down into several features that will affect their actions in battle. Every card has a type, ability, aura, attack power, health, and bonus stats that must be analyzed and utilized properly during combat in order to achieve victory. Each card is unique and boasts a particular set of skills as well as stylish, hand-drawn art; however, I do wish the 3D character models for each monster-girl were as distinctive as their corresponding cards. During battle, it can be hard to differentiate between characters when you’re in a hurry since they look so similar. However, this is only a minor issue that does not detract from the gameplay.

The objective in battle is to reach and conquer the enemy’s base before your base is destroyed. The play-field is set up with a base, playable area, neutral zone, and the opponent’s equally matched side. When a match begins, the player will start with five cards. When it is the players turn, you will be given the chance to play a card in your hand with the available points, or “Pass,” in order to collect more action points to play stronger cards. When a card is played, it can be placed anywhere on the player’s side. Each card can be used to directly attack, enhance another card, or merge with a similar card. After the card has been played, that monster-girl will automatically proceed to act, whether that means defending a stationary position or moving forward towards the enemy’s castle.

“The objective in battle is to reach and conquer the enemy’s base before your base is destroyed. The play-field is set up with a base, playable area, neutral zone, and the opponent’s equally matched side.”

With all the specific aspects that must be accounted for when using each card, things can become even more complicated as the game adds more factors into the mix. On top of each card that can be played, players can choose to use items during their turn as well, and these items can drastically change the course of a battle at any given moment. Like any JRPG, health, mana, attacks, buffs, and debuffs can be applied to cards or to the entire battlefield. Later in the game, players will also have the chance to accept combat challenges. These challenges can include action time limits, enemy mana regeneration boosts, or even a weakened base. These additions can add a fun twist to any battle.

All of this adds even more fun and a greater challenge to the already exciting combat in Monster Monpiece. I should also say that there is no need to worry about being inundated with too much information. Monster Monpiece does a fantastic job with progressive tutorials that gradually teach players how to handle all the aspects of combat, deck management, and leveling. I love how the developers at Compile Heart have taken various battle systems that have been around for such a long time and turned them into something so fresh and entertaining.

In addition to the great single-player experience, Monster Monpiece also features an online-battling system that adds a lot of value to the game. For those who prefer to stick to the to the story mode, this game does deliver a complete experience, but for those who want to test their skills in online combat, there is a lot more fun to be had. In the online combat, players will go head-to-head against one another to battle for trainer supremacy. Besides the swell of pride you will get from a great victory, players will also be rewarded with Master Rings that can be exchanged for specialty items like rare card packs that cannot be found in the game’s regular store. While I did have some minor issues with loading during combat, overall I had a great time battling online. Whichever you prefer, both the single player and multiplayer modes are a lot of fun and will keep players coming back for more.

MM_BattleField_3D_chara(2)

“In the online combat, players will go head-to-head against one another to battle for trainer supremacy.”

With all this said, I must address the one potential issue for many people who are looking to pick up this game, and that is the sexual aspects of the card leveling system and animations. As I mentioned, throughout Monster Monpiece, players will be collecting monster-girl cards to use during battle. In order for each card character to become stronger, the player must level each individual monster-girl through First Crush Rub training. In these sessions, the player will select a card to be leveled and will be prompted to turn their PS Vita sideways, and the selected monster-girl will be vertically displayed.

When the leveling process begins, players will have to rub, pinch, touch, or poke specific “weak points” on the monster-girl in order to make her feel good, thereby raising the Tension Gauge to its maximum level. If multiple weak points are consecutively touched, then the “Holy Touch” feature will be activated. During this time, players must rapidly stroke the front and back of the Vita in order to boost the leveling, all the while listening to the monster-girls screaming phrases in Japanese like, “It feels so good,” and , “Touch me there!” Once the gauge has maxed out, the card will be successfully upgraded to the next level, and the monster girl will gain more powers and lose more clothes.

The question now becomes whether or not this particular feature is an obstacle that will keep people from playing Monster Monpiece. For me, I honestly didn’t mind the card leveling system or the art work. It was a gut-busting, hilarious experience that is definitely distinctive to this franchise. For those who wonder about the sexual impact of this game, I will say that for me it was essentially non-existent. I was so focused on trying to figure out the right spots and actions to level the characters that there was no time for ogling or to accommodate any improper thoughts. Actually, the only real problem I had was that when I tried to level numerous cards consecutively, my arm got tired and I started sweating from the activity. This was only due to the strenuous physical exertion, I swear.

This is definitely something that will turn many people off of Monster Monpiece, but it is also something that will draw a certain niche group to it. Personally, I have no problem with more adult-themed games coming to the West. With the wide array of film and television content that is available for any age group or genre, it should come as no surprise that video games would eventually develop more mature content as well. While the adult content in Monster Monpiece can be entertaining for some, I do worry about whether or not this is the best direction for this franchise to go in the future.

The unique, creative experience that has been developed in Monster Monpiece is really quite extraordinary. While I support the developer’s decision to include comical, sexualized content, I also think that leaving this out of future iterations could help this franchise to be accepted by a much larger audience. It’s unfortunate that many people may not take the opportunity to play this game, because the gameplay design really is something special. Either way, I had a wonderful time playing Monster Monpiece, and I’m excited to see what the future holds for this franchise. If you love card-battling games and JRPGs, and if you don’t mind a heavy dose of animated sexual content, I definitely recommend Monster Monpiece to anyone looking for an entertaining, unique, and bizarre experience.

MM_Opening

[The Monster Monpiece review copy was provided by Idea Factory.]

Monster Monpiece Review
Monster Monpiece is an extraordinary creative experience that is thoroughly entertaining. It has a fresh blend of gameplay that takes inspiration from several popular gaming genres like Strategy RPGs, Collectible Card Games, and traditional JRPGs. If you love Japanese anime or games like Magic: The Gathering, Hearthstone, and Fire Emblem: Awakening (and if you don’t mind a heavy dose of animated sexual content), I definitely recommend Monster Monpiece to anyone looking for a compelling, unique, and bizarrely fascinating experience.
Story7.5
Gameplay9
Graphics7.5
Sound/Audio8.5
Multiplayer8
PROS
  • Unique, exciting, and addictive gameplay.
  • Excellent music and Japanese voice acting.
  • Great multiplayer experience keeps the fun going.
CONS
  • Sexual themes may estrange some gamers.
8Overall Score
Reader Rating: (0 Votes)
0.0

About The Author

Derrick D
Editorial/Reviews Writer

Derrick has been an avid gamer since before he even started kindergarten. He is a video games enthusiast first and foremost and has a unconditional love for the gaming industry. His fun-loving personality, wide array of experiences, as well as his background in gaming and the film industry have helped him to develop a unique perspective that is always thoughtful and invariably entertaining.