So Monster Monpiece tries to incorporate strategic card battles into a turn based experience. There’s plenty of cute and interesting characters that you’ll interact with throughout the main story which is a plus, and of course if you can enjoy the various aspects of deck building to optimize in battle. However, we will be pretty frank here and say that, while this game comes with some attractive voice acting in Japanese with English subtitles, the gameplay itself is a bore-fest and we wish Compile Heart did a better job. If you’re a fan of Compile Heart games then sure, grab this game and get ready for some random card battles. If you’re not, however, then perhaps you’ll need to save your money for another appetizing title.
What to Expect
There’s certainly a lot of interesting aspects pertaining to strategy and coming up with creative ways to use your summoner cards, but once all that’s said and done there’s very little to celebrate with. What to expect? Lots of moe and decent animations, but what you will not get is an intriguing story. The story at best is subpar and you’ll often find yourself skipping through dialogue so that you can just get to the gameplay. As we stated, the voice overs are certainly worth listening to but the overall story just doesn’t seem to be worth sitting through. There will be some moments of challenge in terms of battling, but a lot of it will become second nature once you adapt to the patterns and collect all of the strong cards in the game. There are of course lots of ecchi moments where you’ll need to rub specific cards in order to receive buffs, but a lot of it just starts to feel stale after awhile. You can only rub so many cards before things start to feel redundant and dissatisfying.
Yafanir is a wild world in which two pillars known as the Hammers of God have penetrated the Earth, and now a new race known as monster girls have emerged to work alongside humans. Heroines May, Fia, Elza, and Karen have created a very close circle and attend the Academy of Kunaguvu where they’re all studying to become masters of the monster girls. However, a mysterious individual enters the scene and curses Elza, leaving her lost. May is curious about what just happened and now must follow Elza as she gathers more information about this person’s true agenda while using the monster girls’ Magus Quartz crystals to aid her along the way.
“A card game you’ll want to finish quickly.”
That’s simply how Monster Monpiece feels, very rushed. While the card designs themselves are very detailed the animations during battle just don’t seem to cut it. This is unfortunate considering that Compile Heart, the very same company who brought us the very fun and popular Hyperdimension Neptunia series, seemed to take a shot at a new direction but just didn’t nail their attempt very well. Mind you this game did come out in 2013 for the PlayStation Vita and so you’re pretty much just playing a visually upgraded version on Steam, with some bonus features that may entice fans. Sure, the adventure of being able to collect and train hundreds of lewd monster girls (not all are monsters but a vast majority are) seems enticing, but once again once that erotic quest is completed there’s nothing left to achieve.
The rubbing of the characters on PC feels so contrived because using a mouse to remove the clothing of the girls just doesn’t cut it, especially when the PlayStation Vita version allows for a more seamless approach. One other thing that’s very striking in the Steam version is that there doesn’t seem to be a multiplayer option and yet, in the Vita version, multiplayer is available. Why they decided to remove the multiplayer option from the Steam version is odd considering that, you’d more likely find a lot more people to play with on a much more popular platform. The PlayStation Vita isn’t as popular in North America and Europe as it is in Japan (slowly declining in Japan as well as of late), so why provide online services to a dying platform then totally discredit PC players from getting a fun experience? That was perhaps the biggest turnoff from Monster Monpiece because it really defeats the purpose of working hard to unlocking card decks since you can’t even use them in actual battles outside of the lackluster single player campaign.
Everything just feels like a gimmick in some way and doesn’t seem to live up to the standards that Compile Heart is typically revered for. A lot of the features that worked seamlessly on the Vita just don’t carry over very well to the Steam version, and it really feels like they just wanted to add another title to the Steam store for some merit. More efforts could’ve been made to really ensure that all ends were met and that the Steam version would at least provide some entertaining experiences. The fact that the game was just ported over and no substantial upgrades to entice the majority were implemented, Monster Monpiece for Steam just feels unfinished. There are elements of replayability since as we mentioned earlier, you can spend a lot of time collecting various cards and coming up with some unique decks to take down the enemy. However that all feels cumbersome after some time since there’s no way to really prove how strong your deck truly is, and while the AI in the game at times can prove to be clever, it just doesn’t feel as rewarding when using your strategy against another human.
Honey's Gameplay Consensus:
It’s important to stress that, if you enjoy a fresh new take on gaming then certainly give Monster Monpiece a try. However, not all new ideas turn out to be rewarding and unfortunately, Monster Monpiece fits very nicely in that category. It tries to be something that it simply cannot be, like a teenager trying to act all cocky to impress a girl in his class. It wants to be a card game but it also wants to share a room with the role playing category, which conflicts so much that it oftentimes ruins the experience. Had they focused primarily on the card battle aspect of Monster Monpiece the game would honestly have felt more rewarding, but throwing in turn based tactics just didn’t blend very well. It’s all just very risque content to appease to a certain crowd but lacks fundamental elements to really make it a game worth cherishing. If Monster Monpiece were poker cards and we had the choice of playing the bluff or folding, we’d most certainly fold and not take the risk of losing.
Nice DLC content which provides some very ecchi material for fans. Uncensored content is nice.
A pretty solid assortment of cards to mix and match with.
Lack of multiplayer content just ruins the entire experience after finishing single player.
The rubbing feature just starts to get boring after awhile and feels more natural on the Vita version.
Lackluster single player campaign.
Honey's Final Verdict:
While we certainly admire Compile Heart for their attempt at trying something new, it’s just not something we’d sit down and invest a lot of time in. It’s like having a pair of 2’s in your hand at the final table in poker, and while it may seem lucrative to play and raise a bluff, why risk your stack? If Monster Monpiece peaks your curiosity then, by all means, go for it and try the game for yourself. Just be aware that the fun may feel euphoric in the beginning, but then slowly dissolve after a while. Let us know what you feel in the comments below, and share your opinions with each other. Be sure to also spread the love on social media by retweeting your favorite articles to keep the honey’s community growing!
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Author: Rob "NualphaJPN" B.
A passionate fan of gaming, writing, journalism, anime, and philosophy. I've lived in Japan for many years and consider this place to be my permanent home. I love to travel around Japan and learn about the history and culture! Leave a comment if you enjoy my articles and watch me play on twitch.tv/honeysgaming ! Take care!