Review – Monark –

Monark is a new arcade game developed by Ketchapp, who has quickly gained fame as one of the most productive developers in mobile gaming. A lot of people like to compare their games, so I’ll be comparing Monark with another popular app from Ketchapp – Color Switch!

The “monark review reddit” is a game that has been released on the Google Play Store. The game was developed by Monark and it’s a top-down shooter with RPG elements.

Something about Monark seemed enthralling from the first teaser. Perhaps it was the striking similarity to The Caligula Effect, another FuRyu creation. There was an avalanche of accolades flung at the superb music when I last reviewed that one. The music was incredible, so I assumed it would be the same here. Well, it seems that an ear orgasm was in my destiny, owing to NIS America’s many teasers. There’s also an English dub, which excites my uneducated arse. What little I’ve heard thus far has been good, but we all know that trailers are simply appetizers before the main entrée. When I first start the game, one of the first displays prompts me to choose a difficulty level. The paucity of diversity in the options begs the question: is this a foreshadowing of things to come?

However, when a female likes your status on social media, she is smitten…

Before I begin, the game asks me to give the Protagonist a name in order to establish a personal connection. So that’s how I’m going to refer to him moving forward. Allow me to introduce Lucius Locke now that the formalities are out of the way. Because he’s a major character, he’s afflicted with the most serious of the JRPG afflictions: amnesia. He’s not only sick, but he’s also deafeningly deafeningly deafeningly deafeningly deafeningly deafeningly deafeningly deafeningly deafen That’s a cliché that’s worked on a number of times in the past, but not this time. The reason for this is because every NPC feels compelled to address him. He, unlike the others, has conversation options. Some people, on the other hand, just have one conceivable response. It gives the impression that he was born with a voice. However, for some reason, it was rejected, which had a detrimental impact on the story. 

JRPGs, in my opinion, should strive to surround players in a bubble of immersion. Unfortunately, there are often uncomfortable silences as a result of allies constantly chatting to Lucius. He’d offer them blank glances and miming lip gestures when they asked for his opinion on happenings. After then, the conversation goes on as usual, leaving me to wonder where his voice has vanished once again. It now seems to be choppy in its structure. Lucius has any personality when contrasted to the folks I’ll be recruiting during the adventure — he’s as dull as it gets. Don’t get me wrong: the vast majority of people are unconcerned with this, but it’s enough to take any straight-up literary nerd out of the world. Emotional sequences featuring him helped to strengthen my position even more. I could never understand his anguish.

Monark - Kokoro thinks you’re a creep

… This is what happens if you take my previous caption too literally.

Monark’s premise is intriguing, and it has no qualms about delving into the dark corners of literature. Several situations, such as bullying, murder, and others, are not off-limits. Personal suffering abounds because cognition is such a significant deal. I was excited from all the subtle strands that went into fleshing out the mystery. Each villain’s struggle to overcome their suffering served as a metaphor for overcoming inner agony. Above all, the insights made sense in context and seemed connected. The banter, on the other hand, was something I missed. At least, it was the case throughout the primary plot. I’m perplexed that a few great encounters and personality demonstrations are tucked away in a remote location. In between tasks, I sat there, carefully listening to the back and forth and sometimes giggling at the sassiness. 

Any interaction with Kokoro was one of my favorites. She has a laid-back demeanor but a sharp tongue. I couldn’t stop laughing at her antics and insistence on dressing a specific man in her clothes. My humorous bone was tickled by the matter-of-fact rhythm. Thanks to his talking manner, Vanitas was another who impressed me. It was his unique ability to talk in rhyme all of the time that made him become a remarkable figure. His ability to grab my imagination ensures that I will remember Monark long after I have moved on. Finally, Chiyo Aiwawa is the epitome of a typical middle school student: nice, naïve, and innocent. Her interactions with the others were usually amusing. Her childish inquisitiveness made her the trigger for the hub’s odd dialogue. She’s the only one with whom I’ve managed to form a bond.

Monark - Equipping the fiend

This is a fiend doing their hardest to imitate Sandra Bullock.

Monark takes a fresh look at JRPGs, attempting to change our minds about the genre. The journey takes place entirely inside Shin Mikado Academy, therefore dungeons are an afterthought. Exploration is restricted, with no forays into the gloomy depths of the caverns. Instead, riddles are the fundamental mechanism that propels the game along, with hot and cold execution. They can be rather tricky at times, making me scrounge for well-described hints in order to get the answer. They were, however, fairly succinct and finally solved even back then. It pushed me to think outside the box while also encouraging me to be critical. Despite the rather rough route to get there, the feeling of achievement that came over me when I worked out the answers was refreshing. 

Of course, not all riddles are created equal, as the saying goes. I understand that hand-holding is disliked since it cheapens possible obstacles. FuRyu and Lancarse do as well, making sure that Monark remains a tough-as-nails brain-teaser. The trouble is that some of them become a hindrance, ruining the experience. There were certain problems that were so esoteric in nature that I was tempted to give up due to sheer boredom. In any case, it’s all too simple to misunderstand indications. A mother who has forgotten the names of her children is one example. When I’m asked to guess, my first reaction is to enter two choices at the same time. After all, she asks, verbatim, what her children’s names are. The phrase is unclear, allowing for plenty of room for misinterpretation. Regrettably, such cryptic gibberish will appear in future puzzles.

Monark - Battle system

Have you ever heard of Peek-a-Boo to the death?

Puzzles may vary from excruciatingly simple to excruciatingly difficult. Then there are some that are so easy that their answer is discovered by mistake. My controller started buzzing, signaling that the objective was approaching, just as I was ready to enter into critical contemplation. When I sensed it, the indications I’d gathered up until that point were obsolete — I’d just followed the shaking.

Some, on the other hand, need highly precise trivia knowledge or even the use of my phone’s search engine. I get the desire to blur the borders in a meta way, but putting it into practice is a pain. One challenge was so inadequately telegraphed that I had to contact NIS America for assistance. I admire the challenge, but when it’s this dang cryptic, I’m not interested in solving it. Monark isn’t supposed to be difficult, although it may be at times. 

It’s depressing to learn that this machine’s puzzle cog has a few of flaws, since the combat is the polar opposite. Battles are fought according to turn-based rules, although not in the classic sense. Instead of standing in a row, characters may move freely inside a barrier. In a similar vein, approaches function similarly; the only difference is that their limits identify the target region. It’s quite ordinary at first, but owing to a clever rating system, it grows quickly. It elevates this mundane jaunt into a hilarious experience on its own. To get an S-rank, you must optimize your rewards, and there are a few strategies you may use to accomplish so. For starters, critical hits are beneficial, while death is detrimental. The actual bread and butter, on the other hand, are Monark-only moves.

Monark - map of the school

For such idle days, there is a rapid transport system.

Assists, Resonations, and Deferrals are all aspects that go into making a great strategy layer. The following are the outcomes:

  • Assists – As the name implies, assists enable an ally to kill an adversary as well. It is not a particular method, but rather a broad melee assault launched by each participant. The catch is that they must be within range as well. To put it another way, those with swords must be near the opponent to assist, whilst those wielding firearms may be farther away.
  • Deferrals are the most common strategy in the group. In essence, it enables characters to pass their turn to another character. This is especially effective if one’s harm output is little in comparison to another’s. If they are outside of attack range but someone is inside it, swapping maximizes the damage delivered, speeding up the fight.
  • Lucius can deal with status buffs, debuffs, and any condition an ally is suffering from. He may also take on Madness or Awakening without having to build up any of these abilities. It’s worth noting that he’s the only one who can employ the “Resonance” ability.

On theory, the Madness mechanism is appealing, but in fact, it fails miserably. Typically, abilities are linked to magical points that must be spent before they may be used. Monark, on the other hand, takes a different method, requiring the loss of one’s health or sanity. The latter is in charge of enabling one’s Madness and, as a result, becomes hazardous. Characters are thrown into a berserk-like condition and begin massacring everything as soon as they reach 100%.

Because ability expenses are initially exorbitant, reaching that breaking threshold isn’t difficult. If that wasn’t enough, the crazy detonate after three rounds, killing instantaneously. This seems paradoxical in a game where game overs are linked to the protagonist’s death. I’d unwittingly sparked Lucius’ mania multiple times while lost in the heat of combat, thus turning him into a time bomb.

Monark - Skill Tree

I’d be flourishing if picking up new skills was as simple as this.

On the other hand, the Awakening mechanism differs from its cousin in that it may be bolstered by physical blows. Getting it to max enables you to utilize a super ability. To be honest, there’s nothing wrong with it theoretically. The aspect that troubles me is activating both for Enlightenment at the same time. It’s mind-boggling how much RNG is involved. To make things worse, once Awakened, it is impossible to go mad. As a result, in order to become Enlightened, a character must first surrender all control over reality.

As a result, it’s a coin flip whether it will work out or not. Despite my best attempts, I stood powerless as things deteriorated and Lucius was killed. It’s too dependant on chance as that is, and it scares people away. I didn’t even bother to attempt to use it. The problem with this is that a few skills are linked to being Enlightened, thus I’d lose out on some as a result.

Armaments are unusual in Monark since every character you recruit is unable to wear them. Instead, as the game progresses, fiends associated with a particular deadly sin come in. These are crucial since you normally only have one person with you at any one moment. These lifeless individuals serve as stand-ins for the vacant spots. They may also be personalized, with options for face form, haircut, voice, and more. Equipment is never bought; instead, it is always dropped by foes. As a result, anticipate a plethora of choices. Extras may be melted down to obtain points that contribute to The Spirit System since there are no merchants. This system is fantastic since it not only levels characters but also teaches them new skills. It’s a skill tree in essence. My only complaint is that the price quickly escalates, therefore it’s a good thing grinding is pleasant.

Monark - ranking system

Wow, that’s my school grade. Art does, in fact, mimic life.

Monark has a rather conservative graphical quality, with graphics that are comparable to the PS3. Models are well-done and have a lot of detail, however there is anti-aliasing on occasion. I recommend using an OLED panel to get the full benefit of brilliant colors, since everything else seems dull and muddy without it. By JRPG standards, the environments are generic, yet what’s here is still usable. The majority of NPCs arrive in inconspicuous locations, as if they were thrown in at random. However, the animations are excellent, with the ones that happen during special strikes being particularly well-done. Although a handful come out as stiff in general. Cutscenes are rare, but when they do happen, there are brief bursts of stuttering that, although not nauseating, are noticeable. While walking about, I saw tiny frame dips, but they were never a problem.

The question on everyone’s lips, I’m sure, is whether my uncultured self was delighted with the English dub. It’s a combination of column A and column B. It’s evident that the voice actors were given instructions, but it seems that those instructions came with a caveat: subdued performances. That isn’t meant to be a criticism of the product’s quality. It’s only pointing out that some phrases may have benefited from more inflection. I’d like to point out that Nozomi Hinata sounded stiff in the first few hours as well. It seemed as though she was still finding her stride, because it did get better. Overall, the dub is passable, with Chiyo Aikawa once again being the show’s MVP. A big shout-out to the rest of the team, since they, too, had a couple brilliant moments.

Monark - Pactbearer of Pride

This person, without the dark aura, reminds me of myself when I was in my anxious period. Maybe. 

For anyone wondering, I was on the money when it comes to the score, especially with boss themes – the mixture of vocals and hard-hitting beats made for an exhilarating battle. From hip hop to 90s pop to the gentle placid meditations of piano strings, there’s a wide range of genres on display. The foot-tapping had gone astray, and I was quite enjoying myself. It’s tragic that they just scream once during a battle and then never again. I’d prefer them got some attention since the overall combat music is so boring right now. The main reason for this is because the majority of tunes are clearly compressed, which suffocates the bass. Those unique to boss battles, on the other hand, have a little more oomph. I’ve seen a sprinkling of influences that extend Final Fantasy to the 16-bit period. The boss themes, on the other hand.

Monark is an ambitious JRPG with a focus on innovation. It seeks to modernize the tried-and-true concept by substituting puzzles for dungeons. However, by focusing on a small audience within an existing exclusive aesthetic, it restricts the appeal. Even yet, there’s excitement here, and each time I completed a problem, I felt a surge of dopamine flow through my body. However, other choices, such as the asymmetrical layout of speech placement, make me wonder. The most crucial is that there are a few riddles that demand some real-world detective work to complete. Outside-the-box thinking is admirable, but it’s not an appealing trait in a video game. To address the elephant in the room, there are a few similarities to Persona since cognition is a factor. Apart from that, Monark is a stand-alone title that is best purchased at a discount.

Nothing about the graphics seems to be bad. The score reflects the lack of creativity in the settings. The hazy quality of the real models isn’t excellent for character pictures. 

When it comes to playability, there was a significant risk made. It’s a bold decision to remove dungeons and replace them with puzzles. It works for the most part, however there are a few that are just too mysterious. 

WHY ARE THESE VOCALS-ONLY TRACKS ONLY FOR BOSSES!?

Combat and working on the skill tree were two of my favorite things to do. The narrative piqued my interest, and I wanted to keep reading. When the riddles were vague, the entertainment level plummeted. I was tempted to leave because I wanted to quit. However, as I figured it out, the enjoyment began to increase.

Final Score: 7.5

Monark is now available on PS4, PC, and Nintendo Switch.

On Switch, the game was reviewed.

The publisher donated a copy of Monark.

As an example:

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Look at them!

Monark is a new action-packed platformer released on the Switch. It’s been well received by critics and players alike, with a Metacritic score of 82/100. The game has some interesting mechanics that are worth checking out. Reference: monark review switch.

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