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Published on April 3rd, 2013 | by Christian

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Monster Monpiece – A Primer

Okay, so after much delay I’m ready to talk about Genkai Totsuki Monster Monpiece.  The first time I saw this game was in this Siliconera story.  At the time, I didn’t even own a Vita or have much of an idea of what sort of games Compile Heart put out.  After buying my Vita, I became really interested in checking out an import game that would be friendly for someone with very poor Japanese skills, so while looking to see what was out I noticed that Monster Monpiece seemed to be selling quite well in Japan.  After doing some research, the consensus appeared to be that the game was not only about weird monster-girl rubbing, and that the actual card battling was kind of entertaining, so I decided to order a copy and see for myself.

For starters, this game is pretty accessible if you don’t know Japanese. I can read hiragana and katakana, and know some kanji and very basic grammar, but none of that is really necessary to navigate the game.  The most helpful thing is probably knowing katakana, which if you don’t know, is the set of characters used for foreign words in Japanese. Monster Monpiece uses katakana heavily in the menus, so if you’re looking at a menu screen that says カードジム you know that’s the “ka-do jimu” or the card gym.  In fact, most of the menu options and character names are written this way, so you can actually get quite a bit out of it.  The thing you won’t get anything out of is the story, which is too bad because it’s fully voiced in Japanese and there’s a ton of dialog. You can at least enjoy the nice looking character illustrations, even if you don’t understand what’s going on.  I pick up a word or phrase here and there, but most of it is lost on me.  For what its worth, it doesn’t look super intriguing, and it’s not integral to enjoying the game.

So how does Monster Monpiece actually work?  Here’s a handy little guide to get you started:

MonsterMonpiece01

This screen is pretty indicative of what’s REALLY going on in this game.

  • The field is a 3×7 rectangle  and you can summon cards into any space on your side (blue squares) of the field, but not into the 1×3 center line or the opponent’s side (red squares).
  • Every turn you get 3 mana to summon cards with, which accumulates, so sometimes you might want to hit the pass button to skip your turn and get an additional 3 mana.  If you win the coin toss and have first turn there’s not much reason to not do this unless you have a good hand of low cost cards that share the same color.
  • You want to try and play cards of the same color consecutively to get bonuses.
    • The second same-color card played in a row gets you +1 mana.
    • The third same-color card played in a row gets you +3 mana and all of your cards in play get +1HP and +1ATK, which is huge!
  • Cards of the same sub-type can be summoned on top of each other, and their stats stack.
    • Example: if you have a “Dragon” type card in play, you can summon another dragon type on top of it and it’s stats get added to the original.
  • Card stats are as follows
    • HP – how much life a card has, which can be depleted by attacks
    • ATK – either ranged or melee, ranged attacks are indicated by a bow icon with a number that shows how far a card shoots
    • INT- this card adds its INT value to the attack of the card in front of it
    • MP – Cards with MP heal the card in front of them, spending 1MP for every HP they heal. Cards do not regenerate MP.
  • On the turn that it is summoned, a card does nothing unless it has a target in range (i.e. right in front of it unless it has a ranged attack). Each subsequent turn, it moves forward one space and either attacks an enemy in front of it or uses a relevant stat (MP or INT) to aid an ally.  This is important because you usually want to summon your cards with INT or MP first and then summon a good ATK card in front of them on the next turn, otherwise the leading card will always be one step ahead.
  • The goal of the game is to reduce your opponent’s castle to zero HP by attacking it from the last space of their side of the field.
  • At the end of every match, you get こすりP (kosuri – rub points, or at least I hope P stands for “points”) to spend on advancing cards and お金 (okane – money) to spend on buying packs of new cards.
  • Advancing cards is what the game’s “extreme rub” mode is for.  There’s nothing to it really, you just tap different… *ahem* areas of the card art and feel some optional amount of shame.  If you did it right, the card will level up to a more powerful version featuring more risqué card art.
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The battles can get pretty busy.

Alright, so that’s basically everything you need to know to get started with Monster Monpiece.  It’s a pretty well realized little card-battling game.  Even though the battles in story mode are not very challenging, it’s still kind of fun to mess around with it from a collecting and deck-building aspect.  People who have played and enjoyed tabletop card games like the Pokemon TCG or Magic: The Gathering will especially enjoy putting together balanced decks with a few colors and monster sub-types.  Online play seems to be region free, and although I got totally worked-over by everyone I played online, it was worthwhile to get on and see some of the higher power cards that I’ll hopefully be getting access to later in the story.

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Christian



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