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Monster Boy And The Cursed Kingdom


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1 hour ago, Trumpets said:

This gets proper hard by the volcano area, and in a way that's as much frustrating as challenging. The controls aren't quite up to the level of precision the game demands, and it's made worse when you're in the middle of a puzzle and not sure what you're supposed to be working towards anyway.

 

Passed it now though and I've got the final transformation. Onwards!

 

This is what I've been trying to articulate but couldn't.

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Finished! 20 hours for 65% overall completion is pretty good justification for the relatively high price of the game I reckon. It gets overly frustrating and the backtracking towards the end wasn't necessary, but it was well worth playing.

 

Recently I've been selling games after completing them, but this one comes with a nice manual and stickers, and seems like it could become rare, so I'm keeping it.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Just wanted to say a huge thank you to the advocates for this game in this thread. I imported a copy and yeah it’s getting challenging now (just finished volcano) but I am absolutely loving it.  

 

I’d agree the dragons trap is more challenging, there are more infuriating moments in it than in this. It’s a deceptively large and awesome world to explore. 

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  • 2 weeks later...
2 hours ago, Leneux said:

Managed to 100% it yesterday. I was genuinely sad that there was nothing left to do. Pure joy from beginning to end. I'm going to have to figure out a way to play the older games now.

 

 

Doing the whole puzzle in the Village is amazing isn't it. 

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  • 1 month later...

The art style really sold me on the game but the Xbox demo is what got me to purchase it...on switch.

 

Its a lovely game, just a back to basics 16 bit action platformer. It’s a game, it’s fun and that’s all it needs to be.

 

Im up to the volcano and I’m starting to come across a few little issues. They’ve slowly crept in over the course of the game. The first being the shield. Your taught to use it at a set point to block attacks yet it’s hit box is so small it’s worthless. Enemy above you? Oops the sheild was not quite covering your head/feet and you got hit.

 

The second being timers, some stuff requires very quick reflexes otherwise your window through has no closed. Considering half the time I don’t know what’s going to happen or what I need to do it’s a bit frustrating having such tight time limits. And with that comes the checkpoints which were frequent at the start but now make you do lots of tricky parts again and again if you fail. Just a few tweaks would have solved these issues. I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t hurting my enjoyment of the game but it’s not hurting it much as it’s really great!

 

I actually expected more Metroidvania style gameplay but it is fairly linear which is nice to have once in a while and for the most part the gameplay is fantastic, fun and inventive.

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And complete at a bit over 17 hours. It’s a tough game to recommend and I’m so conflicted. The first half is great and a pure joy to play. But the further in you get all these niggles start appearing as I mentioned above. But it gets worse, there’s a pointless fetch quest to get three more items after you’ve gotten the first five to pad out the game. Then it adds another fetch quest to collect 100% of something that so far has been optional to get.

 

The game did not need this padding especially for a game that is already quite long for an action platformer. The final boss was inventive (apart from the crash after I defeated him). The final dungeons just dragged often with little clue where to begin and enemies that were more annoying than a challenge.

 

I really wish the game was a little shorter and had a tiny bit of tweaking and polish for some QoL improvements as it looks and sounds wonderful and the gameplay is great at least initially.

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  • 4 weeks later...
  • 4 months later...

This was a pure delight from start to finish. I enjoyed the Volcano the most and the Haunted House the least, but there wasn't a moment I didn't appreciate the heart that's gone into it. There were moments in the Haunted House which I felt were too obscure, and regrettably I resorted to a guide, but that was partly because I was playing through it with my daughter, and she has less patience for puzzling than I might have shown!

 

I've completed The Dragons Trap too and I think this is a clear cut above it in terms of presentation and ambition, but there was a real elegance to how The Dragons Trap various sections knitted together, which Monster Boy didn't quite match.

 

It looks like there could be a sequel in the offing, with Game Atelier and FDG announcing that they're busy working on another secret project. Day one for that!

 

With this done and having completed the Dragon's Trap, can anyone recommend anything in a similar style, which I could sit and play with my five year old, as we had such a good time with this, we're both looking around for something else to play together. I've got a PS4 & Xbox.

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12 minutes ago, Robo_1 said:

This was a pure delight from start to finish. I enjoyed the Volcano the most and the Haunted House the least, but there wasn't a moment I didn't appreciate the heart that's gone into it. There were moments in the Haunted House which I felt were too obscure, and regrettably I resorted to a guide, but that was partly because I was playing through it with my daughter, and she has less patience for puzzling than I might have shown!

 

I've completed The Dragons Trap too and I think this is a clear cut above it in terms of presentation and ambition, but there was a real elegance to how The Dragons Trap various sections knitted together, which Monster Boy didn't quite match.

 

It looks like there could be a sequel in the offing, with Game Atelier and FDG announcing that they're busy working on another secret project. Day one for that!

 

With this done and having completed the Dragon's Trap, can anyone recommend anything in a similar style, which I could sit and play with my five year old, as we had such a good time with this, we're both looking around for something else to play together. I've got a PS4 & Xbox.

 

Glad, to hear you enjoyed this.

Did you do 100%? If not it’s worth reading how to unlock the secret in the town. It’s amazing fan service.

 

As for a similar type game. I recommend Aggelos. It has some questionable balancing (mainly the bosses) and is in an 8 bit style, but the influence is definitely from WB and is great if you get into it.

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6 minutes ago, Goemon said:

 

Glad, to hear you enjoyed this.

Did you do 100%? If not it’s worth reading how to unlock the secret in the town. It’s amazing fan service.

 

As for a similar type game. I recommend Aggelos. It has some questionable balancing (mainly the bosses) and is in an 8 bit style, but the influence is definitely from WB and is great if you get into it.

 

Cheers. We got to just over 80% so there's definitely opportunity to go back and explore every nook and cranny!

 

Will be sure to check out Aggelos! 

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I nearly finished this a while back, but got sidetracked by other things and now face going back to do the last bit having forgotten everything. But I really should finish it.

 

I personally thought the haunted house was by far the best part of the game (and found the volcano pretty annoying). I wish it had hit those levels of intricacy more often, it really felt like it was designed by a different team to the rest of the game.

 

Mostly, I tihnk I found the whole thing just a bit off, despite being very generous and nicely put together. It's stuff like mean enemy placement, and those smaller checkpoints that don't refill your health when you restart from them. It doesn't seem to know whether it wants to be old school or modern and ends up a weird mish-mash of both.

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  • 5 weeks later...
On 09/10/2019 at 11:48, Goemon said:

As for a similar type game. I recommend Aggelos. It has some questionable balancing (mainly the bosses) and is in an 8 bit style, but the influence is definitely from WB and is great if you get into it.

 

I just went onto the Playstation Store to buy this and was happy to discover it's currently in the sale for just £3.99: https://store.playstation.com/en-gb/product/EP4293-CUSA13654_00-AGGELOSEU0000001

 

I ended up playing a lot more of Monster Boy. Not quite at 100% yet, but it's certainly worth putting the extra time in to find all the secrets. Lots of fun to be had. I'm currently crossing everything that a sequel announcement is on the horizon!

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I’m trying trying to remember the ending now but I did feel there was something there is gave a nod that they may well be working on a sequel...

 



There’s a post credits picture showing Pepelogoo looking at a picture of Asha from Monster World IV. Made me think she may be involved in a follow up.

 

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  • 4 weeks later...
  • 3 weeks later...

This completely passed me by, so when I showed up in the eShop "Deals" Category for £17.50 (until Jan 4th) I was tempted, but after giving the Demo a try I was sold.

 

I already have the Original Dragon's Curse with the "Remastered" Mode on Switch, so I was curious how this would compare.  Whereas that was just a Modern Coat of paint over the old level design however, this is definitely a much deeper reworking of that game with better Story Structure, Gameplay & Level progression, but still with points here & there that remind you of the rather clunky 16-Bit game it is an update of.

 

Nothing that really spoiled my enjoyment though.  Discovering Secrets & New Gear, upgrading that stuff & using it to explore even deeper & further is something I found highly enjoyable & I like how the different forms abilities are utilised to find new routes & even more secrets.

 

I got to about 80% completion without any help, but I did have to google a few times at the end as I had no idea where to find something or how to get to it.  Usually I'd just missed something small like a hole for the snake to crawl through, but there were at least 2 times where I had absolutely no idea how i could have found a secret without dumb luck, & no way at all I could have figured out how to access the Corked Well.  That last one seems to me something that Developers held back to reveal at later date, like the Secret Codes in Banjo Kazooie's Treasure Trove Cove Sandcastle.

 

So yes, I am intrigued that they might follow this up with a sequel.  Hopefully taking on board the feedback to smooth out the rough edges.

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  • 1 year later...

Cross posting from another forum.

 

I deleted the Steam version from my computer - pure rage quit. I hate this game. I hate this game so much. I have seldom loathed a videogame as much as this. It is the most dickish spiteful game I've played in years.

 

I now realise why I hate it.

 

It's not difficult, it's easy. But every room, every single room, is laid out to be irritating. This review's opening paragraph sums it up well:

 

Quote

I just wanted to get to the other side of the chasm. All I needed to do was ride the undead fire dragon and I’d be home free. But Monster Boy and the Cursed Kingdom had other plans for me. Enemies were there to knock me down. Obstacles appeared one after the other. And then the game faked me out and let the dragon take me to my death when I was supposed to switch to a separate, unseen dragon. Each time most of these happened, I was forced to restart this lengthy section over from the beginning. And the developers adore this kind of thing.
...
I just didn’t enjoy my time with the game all that much. It wasn’t because of difficulty either. The game isn’t hard at all, but it frequently gets tedious and obnoxious. As I mentioned in the opening paragraph, the game simply loves to force you into annoying encounters where making a single mistake forces you to restart long sequences from the beginning.
...
These sequences are a big part of why I found the game as annoying as I did. They’re all doable with practice, but I kind of hated a lot of them. Insta-kill spikes, insta-kill bombs, falling in lava, having stuff knock me off platforms suddenly. It’s all here, and it’s all a pain in the ass. I wanted to love this game, but I just couldn’t.


This guy nails it. The game actively hates you and wants to annoy you. It's not hard like Demon's Souls, it's just unbearably irritating. Not difficult, but so annoying.

Moving platforms surrounded by flying enemies that take multiple hits to kill. Instant death spikes and boulder traps. Constant running the gauntlet obstacle courses. A shitty stealth section where being seen forces you to restart an entire lengthy section.

 

The boulder section for example, it's not something you can react to. I had to play it around 10 times to learn by rote specific sections in the obstacle course. Failing forces you to restart over. And you do it. And again. It's sloppy, lazy game design.

 

The game takes pleasure in annoying me. At no point do I feel joy playing it. I dread each room because they are a collection of constant small annoyances. The rooms are easy, I always complete them after like 7 or 8 or 15 attempts. I force myself through, am glad the room is over, and they do it again. And again. And AGAIN. But they're not fun. It's not pleasurable pushing through the obstacle courses. I just want them over with. Look at this siren alarm in the stealth section. The entire game is like this, screaming a loud klaxon in your face and forcing an arduous and laborious restart.

 

As another example, why so many bats in the platforming sections? Why do the bats need 10 hits to kill? It's not fun. It's like pouring lemon juice in my eyes.

So I got to the 70% completion mark and just deleted it from my hard drive. It's not worth the aggravation.

 

Man. Fuck this fucking game. Score: 0 / 10

 

(For context, I platinumed Demon's Souls on PS3. I like difficult games, but I like them when they give me tools and options to overcome the challenge. When they're fair. Monster Boy is just a whining klaxon of irritation.)

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6 minutes ago, strawdonkey said:

I had a very similar experience: 

 

 

Beautifully written good sir, very true, and I'm now glad I quit when I did. Sounds like the game gets even worse beyond the bit I stopped at. If I could upvote you twice I would.

 

I cross-posted this in reaction to the RLLMUK forum topic asking about the value of negativity on a forum.

 

You posted your negative experience after I'd bought the game, but if more people who felt the way we do had spoken up, I would not have been robbed by buying the game. I bought digital, so couldn't even resell it. The game is nasty, just cruel and unpleasant. And I'm sure a lot of people will think we're complaining about the difficulty because we lack the player skill - but it's more than that. There is the sense that those who designed the levels deliberately wanted to upset players.

 

I honestly can't think of many games that I've actively disliked this much. Most terrible games I just get bored with and stop - but this felt like a personal glove slap by the designers. They wanted me to be angry with them.

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I was considering buying this in the sale, glad to hear it was a good decision not to :hat:

 

It is valuable to read these negative impressions since most of the official reviews I read paint a much more positive image. I think because this is the type of game you really want to like. 

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Yeah same, I was tempted for ages to buy this, but did hear the occasional reviews saying pretty much the same. Glad I never bothered as I have so much to play anyway.

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Go and read my posts on it. Ultimately I loved the game but it does have some BS sections and also goes on for far to long. Half the game and then a couple of tweaks to checkpoints and enemy placements would have made it an amazing game that I’d want to go back to again and again. As it is it’s a game I adore but probably won’t go back to for a long long time. There is a demo available so I suggest if you want to buy it, give that a try. If you like it you’ll love the main game but be aware it has a few awful spikes when it comes to player enjoyment.

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  • 5 months later...

Done!

 

Spoiler

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Thoroughly enjoyed that! Came into it off the back of a traversal of the Monster World series - 1&2 on SMS, 3&4 on Megadrive, and the Dragon’s Trap remake thrown in for good luck.

 

Definitely a worthy entry in the series. The shift to a more puzzle-based approach had already started with MW4, and this ran with it, finding a natural partner in the animal form mechanics from MW2. The puzzle box dungeons + grid-based maps actually remind me of Links Awakening, which is possibly my favourite Zelda for exactly those reasons.

 

Art style was OK - I preferred the Dragon’s Trap remake visually, both for being more impressionistic and hewing closer to classic MW designs, but Monster Boy really grew on me, and the varying zoom levels resulted in a few moments when I had to just admire the crisp sprites.

 

Musically, it’s pretty great - the moment when you finally get out of the sewers and head west of the village in those rolling green fields with that upbeat “ba ba ba-ba” track is wonderful. That said, for rearrangements of classic tunes, I prefer what Lizardcube achieved with Dragon’s Trap. Only real negative was the intense rawk guitar in the final area, which was a bit relentless considering how long that part of the game was. 
 

Props to the player-friendly endgame, with the rainbow drop system for finding the last few chests. Minus for the well puzzle, though. How the hell was I supposed to work that out by myself? I could see the logic behind all the steps apart from the first. A villager dropping some kind of clue (perhaps Ollie after getting all the scrolls?) would have been better.

 

I disagree with the posts about the controls being insufficiently precise, I had no problems with that. The dexterity sections could be memorisation sessions, but lack of any real consequences meant they stayed on the right side of fun for the most part, and you had to laugh at some of the dick moves the developers threw in (like that final grapple in the frog race that fires you into a wall of spikes).

 

What I agree with above however, is that the Ghost House is a bit of a mess. It smells of a lack of playtesting, particularly the goddamn transitions between underground sections and the floor above, where seemingly 5/6 times I’d transition to the screen above only to instantly fall back to the screen below. The puzzles here are more obtuse than the ones you’ve met previously, and are now mandatory rather than just being to unlock secrets. I spent hours trying to suss out the big outside section to the east of the map without realising that I needed to solve a puzzle on the far west - I think a harder barrier here would have helped steer the player better. Also, that second race against pirate dude is the only dexterity section of the game which I concluded could frankly fuck off.

 

I confess that section pissed me off sufficiently that I played about 40hrs of Stardew Valley before coming back to it.

 

But all in all, I’d give this a 9/10 for fans of the series. I also know that the problems I had with it would disappear on any subsequent playthrough, so I look forward to running through it again some time.

 

Last note - the transition to Wonder Boy III-style shooter for that one brief sequence was fantastic. Part of me wishes I could just replay it, and part of me loves those once-per-save things, like the sunken ghost ship in Super Mario World.

 

Many thanks to @moosegrinderfor selling me his physical copy!

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The ghost house made me want to quit the game.

 

There were areas in the game that could have done with better sign posting. I didn’t know for a long time that you found hidden block mines by smelling.

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