Monster Boy and the Cursed Kingdom

Reading Time: 5 minutes
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UQYS4oXV4N8&t=1s

Title: Monster Boy and the Cursed Kingdom
Developer: Game Atelier
Publisher: FDG Entertainment
Websitehttp://monsterboy.com
Genre: Adventure, RPG, Action, Platformer
Platform: Nintendo Switch
Audience: 7 – Mild fantasy violence
Release Date: 04/12/2018
Price: £34.99 – Rapid Reviews UK was very kindly provided with a review code for this game.

What the Developers say

  • Six awesome forms with unique combat and platforming abilities to make your adventure exciting from start to finish.
  • Unlock new paths and secrets with special equipment: look for magic weapons and items that gradually open up the world.
  • Over 15 hours of epic adventure: explore the new Monster World in a vast interconnected environment.
  • Hand Drawn animations: characters and enemies come to life with detailed animations and fun facial expressions.
  • Soundtrack from iconic Japanese composers: Yuzo Koshiro, Motoi Sakuraba, Michiru Yamane, Keiki Kobayashi and Takeshi Yanagawa.
  • Full HD graphics at 60 fps: the game supports 1080p/60fps in TV mode and 720p/60fps in Nintendo Switch handheld mode.
  • HD rumble support: feel the action with high performance HD rumble support.

Introduction

I want to begin by saying that I haven’t played any of the previous Monster Boy games.  This could be a positive, as it means that my reflections on this title are purely based on my time with this iteration of the Mosnter Boy series.  It could also be a negative as it means that I’ve potentially missed out on some excellent games.

Monster Boy and The Cursed Kingdom seems to have had the games community excited for a very long time, and seems to have something of a cult following.  After watching the introduction to Monster Boy and the Cursed Kingdom, I can see why!  It’s epic and draws you in straight away, getting you pumped for the adventure ahead.  It reminded me of the classic cartoons I used to watch, singing along to the theme tune, when I was a child.

Looks and Sounds

Monster Boy and the Cursed Kingdom looks and sounds beautiful.  Each character, NPC, Enemy and location are brought to life in glorious detail.  Each character you transform into have their own little nuances and unique animations.  It doesn’t just feel like the same character in a different skin.  Changing characters on the fly is seamless.

Each different environment, whether it be caves, sewers or volcanoes, are created in stunning detail.  The catchy soundtrack, which will have you humming along happily, has been composed by iconic Japanese composers: Yuzo Koshiro, Motoi Sakuraba, Michiru Yamane, Keiki Kobayashi and Takeshi Yanagawa.


“Monster Boy! Fighting for a future made of love and joy!”

Gameplay and Replayability

Monster Boy and The Cursed Kingdom never gets old or feels like a chore to play.  The game moves along at a fast pace, and each part of the Kingdom is unique in regards to the aesthetics and challenges on offer.  You are encourgared to explore in this game, so take your time and search every nook and cranny – you never know what you might find!

There’s no insta-death in this game which for me, was a plus.  Instead, when you die, you respawn to the last checkpoint with a little bit less health.  Killing enemies results in them dropping extra health or ammo to use with your abilities.

There are a number of shops scattered throughout the Kingdom.  They sell potions, health, ammo, upgrades and special items.  Each costing a different amount of coins.  Make sure that you stock up when you get the chance as it usually means that you’re going to need them very soon!

Everything in the game feels like it has a purpose, there’s not much wandering around aimlessly at all.  The fast travel option on the map came in very handy, and it will allow you to go back to find something you might well have missed.  It’s worth noting though, you can only fast travel at the Warp Portals which you will locate, spread throughout the world.

Keep an eye out for save points and the very helpful healing save points.

Completionists will enjoy searching the Kingdom for the lost parts of Ollie’s songbook.

You can purchase new gear and upgrades in shops found throughout the Kingdom.

This game offers loads regarding replayability.  You’ll want to unlock 100% of the map, upgrade your abilities, backtrack to find all of the hidden chests and sheet music.  On top of this, morphing into the different animals and using their unique abilities is a pure joy and always keeps the game fresh.

The bosses battles are very fun encounters and they do offer a challenge.  They reminded me a little of the boss battles in Cuphead.  Using a combination of timing, luck and skill, you need to depleat your opponent’s energy bar.

This didn’t end well!

What I liked about the game was that it felt accessible. However, some parts were challenging and require you to think of the strategy involved. There was a particular part where I transformed into the Snake, and over and over again, tried to make it across a jump. After many failed attempts, I decided to change back into the Pig and to change my approach – this led to me jumping across the first time. You’ll have many of these Eureka moments throughout the game.

Conclusion

I take my hat off to Game Atelier and FDG Entertainment for creating such a worthwhile, memorable gaming experience.  In this world of AAA titles, and multi-millionaire studios, it’s sometimes hard for Indie Dev teams to get their games recognised.  However, Game Atelier have managed to achieve this, and for some, it will be the GOTY.  It is definitely in my top 3 games of the year, and more importantly, one of the games that will live with me for a long, long time.  If you like classic platforming adventures, this is a must play for fans of the series, and newcomers like myself.

Monster Boy and The Cursed Kingdom is one of THE most fun games I’ve ever played.  I’m really enjoying it. Takes great aspects of so many amazing games in one gorgeous package!

Rapid Reviews UK Rating

5 out of 5

You can purchase Monster Boy and the Cursed Kingdom at the Nintendo eShop on the following link, https://www.nintendo.co.uk/Games/Nintendo-Switch-download-software/Monster-Boy-and-the-Cursed-Kingdom-1260136.html#Overview

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