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Moneky Magic PS1

 
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DOS Wolf
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 28, 2014 12:11 am     Post subject: Moneky Magic PS1 Reply with quote

Denizens of the Underworld and the Celestial Guardians are waging war with the planet in the balance. A monkey is born from a meteorite that crash lands and grows up vowing to gain godly powers to help Earth and all it's inhabitants. However, he unwittingly follows the path of darkness and demands from the gods their powers. But monkeys are not allowed in Heaven...

This is the premises of the game. You are Kongo and start off like any normal talking monkey..., powerless except for your fists and you have no time to be monkeying around. You must traverse the Earth and even the Heavens, avoiding the many traps and enemies that await you. However, you have a kind of side kick from the Underworld that gives advice among a few friends here and there that land a helping tail as it were...

With only a few simple attacks, you must collect keys to open doors, find levers to pull, apples to gain health back and 1-ups that are scattered rather generously through out the many levels. I literally gained like 20 1-ups on the first level, but more about that later... Soon however, you find that to reach the Celestial Heavens is not a feat for mere mortals or the timid... Early on you gain the ability to use magic with four different spells which all have an affect on you or others; Power to make one stronger, Shrink to make one smaller, Fire to set one a flame and Ice to freeze. However, with these powers come great responsibility. You start off with only a handful of magic and the spells only last for a short period of time before they wear off and you must cast again or use the opposite magic to make the previous effect cancel out. Find an area you can not go through, not even by crawling? Just shrink yourself. But if you do not make it to the other side before the spell wears off you'll be crushed as you go back to normal. Get set on fire? No problem, simply cast freeze on yourself. But do that for no good reason or by mistake and an enemy can smash you to tiny bits in one hit. However, freezing enemies can be a great way to either avoid them or kill them in one hit as well.

As previously stated, traps lay abound in this game and is the major draw for playing; to devise ways of passing said traps using your magical powers. You also gain special items on your journey to help reach divinity... Anything from the power rod, to a jet cloud and even the Pearl of Life. But I found these items either useless or godly over powering in a sense, no pun intended... With the power rod I was hoping to become a great martial artist, since you only start out with a normal punch, a low kick and a jump kick. Even the back of the jewel case states “Dazzling martial arts moves”... but I found them utterly lacking. And with the rod, the only time I was able to use it was if you jumped in the air and attacked twice which made you go into a wild spin maneuver that is powerful, but you can not control and then once done spinning you are dizzy and unable to perform another feat until you recover, leaving you totally vulnerable to anything for a short period of time. And pressing attack twice in the air by mistake can spell disaster when you are trying to very carefully navigate onto moving platforms while also fighting flying enemies. And although there are quite a few enemies to combat, I found them more in the way than actually thoughtful opponents to beat.

As I had mentioned earlier, you gain huge amounts of 1-ups which at first glance seem too much, but shortly you discover you may need quite a few of them to reach the end of the level. You'll constantly die from traps until you find the proper use of magic, sometimes in combination to surpass them. But after gaining the Pearl of Life, those lives become utterly redundant since now you have unlimited lives. However, you still must collect them in order to get a good percentage total at the end of each level. If you do not meet the criteria you wont be allowed to save the game. Although besides only a couple of levels, I never really found this a problem. In the beginning it is generally like 50% gathering of items, but the later ones demand up to 90% which can be a pain when you went through a particularly hard level only to find that you are not allowed to save.

You also gain the Magic Crystal which will give you infinite magic, opposed to having to find special items to rejuvenate one's self. But I can see why they added these special items near the end... the game would be nigh impossible for a beginner to complete on their first try, because you will die quite frequently. However, lanterns act as check points and they are liberally placed in the levels as well, so you are never really far from whence you died and you can quickly try again. And although the game is a 2D platformer, the levels have a feel of dimension since you can go into the back and foregrounds, as you try to find the exit.

And it should be mentioned that the final fight, although fun, felt a bit rushed, like you made your long and arduous journey to the Heavens and then “Whamo!”, you're in Hell fighting the Lord of Chaos in an instant... like WTF!? No traversing to the nether world or anything? And I also played this using my PS2, opposed to my PS1 and found after beating the final boss, the game froze and then I was stuck in an endless loop. I am not sure if the game it self was to blame or the PS2, but on my next reload beat it and saw the ending.

There was also a spot where I kept getting stuck in the rocks and could not escape, but on all accounts should have died, but could not. The game makers however, found it prudent to add a “@#%*!” option (I am being very serious...) on the pause menu, for such a situation where you find yourself stuck, either due to game mechanics or running out of magic at an inopportune time and thus could no longer continue on your path to enlightenment. It simply starts you off at the last check point which is a handy feature to have. It also said the game was to be continued and I am not sure if maybe I had collected 100% of everything there would have been more or simply they thought the game was so good it would warrant a sequel, I have no idea.

All in all though, if you can find this game at a reasonable price, say $5 I think it is worth picking up. Although it can be frustrating, especially in the later levels, it was never to the point that I felt like throwing the controller down. But even though the game is rated for everyone, I definitely would not buy it for a very young person, because the puzzles, as already stated, take fore thought, combinations and dexterity to pass. But the game is friendly in it's violence and graphics. Although it is a shame, because besides what I call the training level, the first few levels are dark and ugly. The rest however look vibrant and lush in colour so it is not too hard on the eyes even if the game is two or three generations old. It even has entertaining animated cut scenes and cheesy campy dialogue, although I wish some of the other background characters had more time on screen and a deeper story, especially the dragon, but alas this was a platformer/puzzler, not an RPG. And the one item that actually should have had some more usage after collecting was the jet cloud. I bet they could have added some scrolling shooting levels with that thing... I give it 3.5 out of 5.

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You should be aware I am a retro fanatic and I can be rather generous with my ratings. I generally rate on how the game was back in the day, as well as how it both performs and looks now. But I think I am fair. I actually thought of giving it a 4 out of 5, but that problem of beating the game and that sudden jump from Heaven to final boss in Hell kind of held it back among a few other things mentioned... I hope you enjoyed. Comment if you agree or disagree or have ideas on how to improve my writing or simply want to discuss the game in general. Also be on the look out for more video game reviews, not just from the PS1, but many others.
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tienkhoanguyen
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 01, 2014 1:57 am     Post subject: Reply with quote

Personally, I like the word "Heaven". haha It is the other side that I am afraid of so you lost me on that one. However half the battle and the war is won and that is good.

You really write well in your reviews. I am impress. It takes a lot to impress me. Of course, my standards are rather idealistic so maybe I do not count?
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DOS Wolf
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 03, 2014 1:15 am     Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you I think... Confuzzled
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tienkhoanguyen
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 03, 2014 5:06 am     Post subject: Only positive! Reply with quote

They say look at everything positively and you are fine. So, "Yes, I have enjoyed ALL your lengthy reviews!"
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