Master of Monsters


Review by · December 24, 2000

You may remember this title as a release from the 16-bit days of the Sega Genesis. In its time, Master of Monsters (MoM) was a strong strategy game, one that carried its name with pride. It earned the title of being the favorite strategy game of several…at least while it was still in its era. ASCII decided to re-make this game and pull it onto the 32-bit PlayStation, and while such a move has been successful for other 16-bit games, it appears MoM falls painfully short.

Taking the Fun Out of Fundamental

The gameplay of MoM could have been fun, however it was excruciatingly repetitive. While it was a hit in its time, the gameplay simply seems to be dead compared to today’s standards. Assuming one of the alignments, based on your choice of a disciple of Gaia, you move onto the battlefield and attempt to thwart your nemesis by summoning monsters and trying to take control of various towers to raise your summoning ability and lower that of your opponent. Players move about on a hex-based map, trying to get their armies near their opponents to try to score a killing blow.

This concept is simple, maybe even painfully simple. With no distinct variation in the way you move or attack, aside from gaining new monsters to summon every so often, you can quickly find yourself bored. Although there are some aspects that salvage the gameplay score, MoM fails to impress me, or outdo other, more recent strategy games. Maybe it was innovative when it first came onto the scene, but now its simple interface may bore even those who live on strategy games.

My Eyes are Tingling

Yes, the graphics have been changed since it was first released, but they’re not enough to compete with any other PlayStation title. At best, it looks like a good Super Nintendo game, but MoM is nowhere near up to par considering current titles. To some, graphics aren’t important, but when they get this bad it starts to get distracting. Do yourself a favor and play near a window. You may need to look outside every once in a while to remind yourself what an object actually looks like out of its ugly, cartoonish state.

Just Like a Classic Storybook; Minus the Introduction, Conclusion, and Any Middle

Often, strategy games have a problem with the story, since the majority of the game is spent on the battlefield. Unfortunately, this game can neither do well on or off the field. There is literally no story whatsoever at any point of the entire game. I finally found out how hard it is to rate what isn’t there. Granted, between each battle, your disciple mutters something about how much he hates the next villain you are about to face, or something about his/her relations with them, but really, who cares?

Right from the start, you are dropped into a world with no idea what may have happened prior to your being there, and at the conclusion, you are suddenly gone with no real idea as to what will happen. Honestly, if you managed to make it to the end without screaming in agony, you really won’t care what happens as long as you can get away from this title as fast as possible. If you’re considering playing this game, you may find it cheaper to go down to the bookstore, buy a book, shred all the pages, then read it.

Where’s a Good DOS Game When You Need It?

Have you ever started the microwave just to hear the little ding at the end? I have. I found myself in such a need to hear something other than the boring, unimaginative, looped soundtrack and the I’m-going-to-rip-your-ears-off-and-shove-them-down-your-throat sound effects. Even having the lord of the dance do polka on your eardrums is better than this.

Could It Be? You’re Actually Giving Me…Control?

Yes, it’s true; the control of this game doesn’t suck, in fact it’s pretty good. It’s difficult to end up stuck, since the controls are so easy to learn and never vary from the start. It’s easy to move and difficult to make mistakes, which is a welcome relief from such strategy games that make it possible for you to accidentally move your healer in the middle of 4 ravenous monsters. For games in this genre, having good control is a must, and MoM didn’t disappoint me. If control is all you look for in a game, MoM may be the game for you.

It Reminds Me of Sushi

The kind of sushi that tastes horridly bad except, for that one little piece of fish on the inside that is its only saving grace, all wrapped up in a slimy piece of 16-bit seaweed not fit to digest. While I find it difficult to dislike a strategy RPG, I would have to say MoM wins the title. Even if you’re dying for a strategy game and willing to play almost anything, you’ll probably want to pass.

Overall Score 41
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