Monster Party Review by: rcarter2It's my party, and I'll DIE if I want to
When you find yourself surrounded by fish people, Medusa, minotaur, vampires, and zombies, you know you are in a Halloween party. That is unless you live in the NES world, in which you might be in a real Monster Party. Monster Party is a game for the NES where you play the role of a young boy who teams up with a good monster named Bert to save his world. It is a unique side scrolling game which allows you to play both Mark and Bert because they are fused together as one, and switch by picking up a monster pill. If you like the idea of bashing in the skulls of 8-bit monsters with a baseball bat, give this game a try.
The graphics of this game are fairly typical of early NES games. They are fairly pixelated, but not so much that you have to wonder what things are supposed to be. However, the bosses are extremely well done. They are sharp, clean, and clear. They are definitely some of the better done game sprites that were done in early NES games. But the environments really take the cake here. Everything is so bright and colorful, but appropriately so it isn't annoying. It does an outstanding job at setting a good mood for each level. At first, it looks a little to pretty to be a monster world. But they are trying to fool you. Halfway through that level, everything changes from a clean world to a a place filled with skulls leaking blood, creatures with eyeballs for heads, and pigs with completely skinned bodies. Instead of dripping water to hurt you, you got dripping blood. The environment of this game would make a person mess themselves (most at least), and they do so much to make it creepy.
This game as freaking amazing music. It does an even better job at setting the mood than the graphics do. As some of you know, I LOVE a game with good music, and this delivers. After you reach the creepy part of the first level, you will know what I mean. Some of them are also so freaking catchy. Every single level has it's own music. The only thing you will find consistent in the music are the rooms that you find most of the bosses. But those are short enough to where it doesn't even matter. The sound effects are also pretty neat. Your bat makes noise as you swing it, you get little ricochet sounds when you deflect attacks, and enemies explode when you destroy them. Those are a few of the sound effects you get to hear. Unlike a lot of them, they aren't so overpowering sounds that they are irritating. That makes the fact that there aren't a whole lot of different sound effects (maybe around 15) matter at all.
This game is a challenge to beat without dying once until you have beaten it a couple times. But the fact that you have as many continues as you can stand playing helps the game where you won't get frustrated with having to start the whole game over after dying in the later levels. The levels are fairly short at first, but that changes when you have to locate each boss by walking through each door. The length of the levels stems more from the fact that you will often die your first few times playing through, so you gotta restart the level. But once you get the hang of it, you can get through them pretty easy enough, but it is still challenging enough to not get boring. But the music and variety of enemies (there have got to be about 60 different enemies in 8 levels) is what makes this game fun.
I know that early NES games aren't well known for amazing in depth stories. This one has a good base, but the has a few incredibly funny holes in it. The base of the story is this. Mark is kid who is a baseball player. He looks in the sky and sees a bright star that gets bigger and bigger. Then it falls in front of him, and he sees it isn't a star, but a monster named Bert. Bert says the monsters in his world have gotten out of control and gone haywire, and he needs someone to help him. The holes is stem from the cheesy dialogue Bert gives in the intro. It also is funny how a little kid with a baseball bat is all Bert needs to destroy all the evil monsters in his world. But it is the NES. I guess it is mainly the cheesiness that knocks it down a point, but you gotta play it and watch that intro to get what I mean.
This is as typical you can get for depth in a game for the NES that you can get. Though there are a lot of different environments in the levels and a massive amount of enemies, the game play itself never changes. As Mark, you always swing your bat, and don't gain any other ability. As Bert, you can fly and shoot projectiles, but the only change is that he eventually gets two wavy projectiles as the game progresses, but your strategy will remain the same. The only thing keeping this game from lower than mid-range score in depth is fact that you can choose to make the game more difficult by trying to grab pills to temporarily be Bert LESS often and try to complete more of it as Mark, which is very hard to do.
This game is not hair pulling difficult. You will likely die quite a few times your first time playing, but you will get the hang of it, and the fact that you can have passwords for each level and you have unlimited continues makes it less difficult. But this game kind of needs that to not be frustratingly difficult. Eventually, you will be able to beat it in about 25-30 minutes. But there is one particular level (level 6) which is very frustrating. It is a maze level that has dozens of doors that take you to different locations, and you have to find the right doors to go through in the right order, which will get very tedious. But it still isn't so bad.
Despite the C grade overall rating, I would recommend this to every retro game fan. It is a nice unique change of pace, and I am sure you will have a fun time with it. It has okay normal sprite graphics, good boss sprite graphics, and awesome backgrounds. The sound is fun to hear, but the music is amazing. Even though it is a bit challenging and you will die often, it is still addicting because you don't have to start all over if you do die. The story has a good base, but the little bit of dialogue you get is so cheesy that it is a little laughable. As far as game play goes, it doesn't change from the first level. The difficulty is harder than your average mediocre game, but not so hard that it would not be fun for those who prefer to play easy mode on games. It offers a good balance for both casual and hard core game players.