Reviewed: September 13, 2002
Released: August 29, 2002
Monster Force, in my opinion can only be considered a Game Boy Advance monster smash. I literally spent over ten hours playing this game and have yet to finish it. Universal Interactive has produced a game that is by far the most stunning GBA game I have played to date.
While playing this game you are visiting Monster land. In the main world there were two brothers from a scientific family named Frankenstein. Both of them experimented with the creation of life, but then their creations started scaring their neighbors and thus they exiled themselves to Monster land where each brother had a lab on the opposite side of the land from one another.
Victor’s favorite monsters Frank, Drac and Wolfie awoke one morning to a radically different world that is filled with unfriendly pumpkins and monsters. It is your job as Drac, Wolfie or Frank to travel to the other side of the world to see if you can enlist the aid of Dr. Percy in finding Victor.
Monster Force features:
On your way to Dr. Percy’s castle pumpkins and evil creatures are everywhere. Most areas you traverse are comprised of mazes that are filled with all sorts of obstacles blocking your path. Monster land is divided in to nine zones. Each of these zones is then comprised of three stages. The first two stages are the normal "get to the end of the level in one piece" type, but it is the last stage that features a skill test that you must complete in order to win that level and advance with a ranking.
Failing the trial will not stop you from proceeding to the next stage, but you won’t get a ranking. A ranking is comprised of the atom elements that are collected as well as ones received from performance in the stage. Also within each of the stages are skill tests. These are considered secondary tasks that challenge you to finish the level in a particular way. If you are successful you earn bonus atoms.
Another area I wish to discuss is the character of Igor. Igor is a friend of the Frankenstein family and also runs the local store. He is assisting you by offering all the help he can via messages and advice. Whenever you encounter something new the message screen will appear and Igor will explain the new item a bit. Besides collecting atoms for the fun of it they are also used as the currency for Monster land. With these atoms you are able to purchase items from Igor’s store such as valuable power-ups that range from health boosts to weapons upgrades.
The next part I want to mention is your characters shot types. Each monster has three different shots that must be mastered. Enemies are vulnerable to only one kind of shot. The first shot is called the normal shot (B button). This is the weakest attack that will only damage the first enemy it hits. The next shot is the force combo (B button held). The force combo will damage all the enemies in its path. Using this shot will force enemies to leave atoms behind.
The more enemies you destroy with one of these shots the higher the value of atoms each successive enemy will leave behind for you to pick up. The final shot is the triple shot (B button in quick succession) and it is the most powerful attack. This type of shot is achieved when you fire two times immediately after a normal shot. Note that a sound effect will let you know when you have done it correctly.
The last game play item I wish to mention are the tools and relics. There are fourteen tools ranging from health to invincibility. There are also five types of relics to assist you on your quest. Relics will only have an effect on your monster’s health as long as you keep the relic in your inventory. The relics range from armor, attack and luck.
Awesome...old fashioned…great! That is how I would describe this game's graphics. A cool old fashioned movie awaits you in front of every stage. This, plus the fact that the graphics are so well constructed make this game a real winner.
Each level has unique areas that are not overlapped or overly complicated. Resolution was also the best I have ever seen thus far on a GBA game. The cutscene movies are what made the quality of this game so high. Did I mention that the graphics were awesome? Artistic quality was evident in this game unlike many GBA games on the market. The graphical interface was also well connected with the controls.
Spooky yet exciting music awaits you while you play this game. Besides having awesome horror movie-like background music, this game sports many unique sound effects. There were times where I could not help but feel uneasy while tring to defeat the big boss monsters. Compared to other GBA games this game is top rated in my book. It is unusual to find a game where everything comes together. Kudos to Digital Eclipse on doing such a great job!
Game length for Monster Force is quite long. As I mentioned earlier I have played this game for hours and have yet to finish it. This game also has a great replay value, as you can go around the levels in differing ways. With more than 35 levels you can count on many hours of enjoyment.
Multiplayer gaming is an option via a GBA link cable. The multiplayer game lets gamers play in nine new arenas. The arenas are unlocked by playing the zone in the single player game mode. Thus, in order to play this mode fully, you need to play as much as you can in single player mode. Controls in multiplayer mode are the same as in the single mode and there are new power-ups available to use against your friends. The player who wins the most matches wins the multiplayer game.
Finally, there is a save function in this game that I must mention. You have the option to save after completing a level. If you perish during a level you can either quit or continue. Loading a saved game is easy and you can do it from the menu area.
Be prepared to spend many hours on this great game. Run do not walk to your nearest store to buy this game if you want to play one of the neatest GBA games on the market. With the blending of old horror movie clips with characters from the popular movies one who likes the genre cannot help but enjoy this game. Unique game levels also assist in keeping your attention to the game and trying to save Victor.