From some of the minds behind Shin Megami Tensei comes a new hybrid JRPG, Monark, Punishing and with some thought-provoking ideas: our review.
Since the first videos, Monark wanted to wink at a very specific group of users and, almost paradoxically, wanted to grow incrementally. If we were to find one among the many advantages of Persona 5, we would definitely choose to sensitize many new players to the genre, captured by Atlus’ latest masterpiece, and thus look for a new JRPG with a school setting.
So it is no coincidence that behind the title are a series of characters already known for their work on Shin Megami Tensei, of which Persona is a spin-off: the studio’s intent, which used the ubiquitous NIS American to publish, was probably precisely to benefit primarily from these “new generation” Enthusiastic, convinced of the desire to give a second chance to a literary genre that Persona helped to renew.
Follow us at Monarch review To understand whether the operation was successful or not.
Shin Megami is inside
As much as the trailers wink at Persona, it’s hard not to find extra-large trailers similarity Between Monark and Shin Megami Tensei: Monark takes place in one claustrophobic setting – by chance, school – and does not offer specific sequences or social interactions. The atmosphere of the title, on the contrary, is rather gloomy and gloomy, and the plot in its center contains many mystical and esoteric elements. It must be said that what, on the writing level, convinced us more than the plot itself, is the characterization of the characters: the supporting actors and the non-acting characters are all written in a deep, multifaceted and interesting way, which is a key characteristic of a JRPG where we can say that exploration is not one of the strongest elements.
Just as in some Shin Megami Tensei, the protagonist is without a character of his own, which is a pure tool to drown out the player, who, along with other members of his school, will find himself in a terrifying situation: his school will fall into a trap. supernatural fog He will find himself exploring an alternate dimension to find a way out. The building is not really innovative but it is an interesting development thanks to the characters: the cast is at the center of the list of positive elements of the programme. In addition to the party elements, he will meet dozens and dozens of other characters – more or less important and sign – but each with their own role, mystery, and moral and personal dilemmas, helping to create a trusting and stimulating social environment.
Seems like a coincidence since you played on Switch, but combat system It is also a hybrid, in this case of elements already seen but all in all works, presented in an original way. We’re not in a classic turn-based system, but in some kind merger Between real-time strategic combat and strategic turn-based combat: Basically, each of our fighters can be moved in the field at every turn, freely and for a limited time.
So it will be necessary not only to choose the right targets, but also to arrange the group in the most effective way to attack and for defensive phases, not to distract but at the same time not to become fodder for the slaughterhouse. Speaking of the team on the field, as well as the human counterparts of our hero, we will be able to control demons that, according to tradition, will develop, strengthen and give us a greater possibility to manipulate battles to our advantage.
By avoiding listing all the elements, the clash management system convinced us: it is not always perfectly balanced, difficult in some initial stages and not always very fast by its very form, it does a certain thing Freshness of this type Which we haven’t seen in a long time, not even in some of the more prolific kind-bodied cousins. Unabashedly, we mentioned in some aspects some classics like Vagrant Story.
Certainly for fans of the genre who are now accustomed to classic transformations and exploiting weaknesses and resistance, the ability to exploit the entire battlefield becomes a very welcome and fun strategic element to play around with, but the progression of its nature, over time, will tend to dislodge the slightly less accustomed.
Monarch has a mid-level technical direction. It’s never been seen before, but the design of the demons’ alternate dimension and atmosphere manages to get a coherent tone, with shades of blue and violet, that can actually leave you pleasantly surprised. Unfortunately, the whole thing is slowing down and backtracking by an amount Unsuitable technical sectorespecially in defining the models, which harms the character’s design itself and continually leaves a bitter feeling in the mouth, playing a title that may have dared so much as to fail to obtain the resources necessary for its ambition.
It’s a mid-to-low level production and it appears, just like many Japanese titles before it: it now looks almost one. Japanese philosophy Which belong to this type of product, are too small to have the resources to invest in the technical part, too big to limit the ambition of their vision and the past of their makers. The truth is that we are so used to this interpretation of the Japanese JRPG that it chooses the field for ideas and settings, leaving the technical sector behind. We’ve lived with it for years and are familiar with its market, but thinking about what it represented in the ’90s, a bit of bitterness in the mouth remains.
Steam, PlayStation Store, Nintendo eShop
Monarch is definitely an original title. It is clearly directed, at least at the level of creativity and determination, by expert minds eager to experiment with different ideas: from the philosophical and religious approach to the concept of chaos and sin in the narrative, to the combination of combat. System, for a certain progress of history. At the same time, these don’t make a massive JRPG (not that the type is now a mass type if not for a few exponents). Monark is a title for longtime JRPG players, with a really long list of other similar exponents behind it, who are looking for a certain kind of experience with a strong oriental matrix and at the same time want to go beyond some typical stylistic features. We don’t hide from you that the technical side, although not incredibly promising, left us at some moments burning for its approximation and small size, but if you know how to put the pieces together and focus on the sum of the parts, you may find Monark a totally strange experience for the genre, Hence it is highly recommended to her most ardent fans.
- original artistic direction
- A combat system that knows what’s going on
- A wonderful set of characters, all distinguished
- Inappropriate technical component detrimental to design
- In the long run, the progression system can be distracted
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