1. Monark Review
  2. Monark Review (PC, PS4, PS5, Switch) | 54 Hours Later | Backlog Battle
  3. Monark Review – Noisy Pixel
  4. Monark Is INEXCUSABLE in 2022, Heres Why
  5. Monark | REVIEW | Tugenden und Spielspaßsünden
  6. Monark Nintendo Switch Review!
  7. Monark Review: Sleeper HIT of the Year (Nintendo Switch, PS5 & PC)

Monark Review

[Music],its always exciting to dive into a new,jrpg from one of the genres veterans,monarch comes to us from kazunari suzuki,best known for his work on the megami,tensei and shimigami tensei franchises,so it had a ton of potential to its,credit it does introduce some fresh,combat mechanics to an otherwise,straightforward tactical jrpg structure,but monarch continuously trips over,itself elsewhere due to a disjointed,story static puzzles and repetitive,level design that made staying,interested a lot harder than it should,have been,monarch sets up a high-stakes story that,takes place at shin mikado academy where,a mysterious barrier looms over the,school grounds and makes it impossible,for anyone to leave,you take control of a pack bearer,someone who has gained powers through a,deal with an otherworldly demon called a,monarch,a demon,no,a monarch how did you get into this,academy,this setup is engaging to start but it,never develops much tension,most of the characters are interesting,with distinct personalities and solid,voice performances to sell them but by,the time theres any real effort put,towards fleshing out these characters,youve already hit the climax of the,story making it too little too late,one clever idea is the way monarch uses,your answer to psychological test,questions as the main factor in,determining your characters personality,better known as ego in the order in,which you unlock powerful fiends based,on the seven deadly sins as companions,that helped make my playthrough feel,unique to me my first fiend was gluttony,who focuses on lowering enemy stats,while buffing themselves in return but,someone else might get envy who deals,extra damage to enemies who are under a,status effect which is a very different,style it would have been nice if fiends,had personalities outside of combat but,sadly theyre purely tools to be used,monarchs greatest sin though is,repetition each section of the story is,built around a different party member,but the objectives are always the same,switch into another plane of reality to,find and destroy three crystals called,ideals all three are almost always in,the same building so your goal is,usually to clear out each floor one at a,time mostly that involves solving,mundane puzzles by looking through,documents or student profiles on your,phone and that kind of sleuthing never,felt satisfying another idea that,doesnt really work out is the madness,mechanic at least as it relates to the,real world,if you stay around the miss for too long,and your bar hits 100,you will collapse and reawaken in the,schools infirmary which is kind of a,waste of time since you can easily fast,travel back to the beginning of the,floor you were on when you passed out,[Music],once you get into the turn based battles,you get to experience one of the few,shining highlights of monarch its got,fun abilities unique mechanics and the,best part an excellent soundtrack during,boss fights,you have more freedom of movement than,most jrpgs because attacks and abilities,are based on a circular or angular range,this is a refreshing take simply because,its different but there were several,times where i was frustrated when my,character was just a hair out of an,attacks range making me miss the,predictability of grid based combat,a lot of what you do in battle comes,with a cost art skills are physical in,nature and take a chunk off of your,health when used while authorities are,magical and sap your sanity increasing,your madness meter,spending one or the other based on the,situation is a meaningful tactical,choice that brings another layer of,depth to every battle,madness is meaningful here because if a,character hits a hundred percent in,combat youll lose control of them and,theyll attack whoever is closest with,dramatically increased power that can be,bad but it also allows you to make some,clever gambles like moving the rest of,your units away so that the character,who goes mad wipes out your enemies,on the opposite side of the spectrum is,becoming awakened a state where you gain,the same kind of power as in madness but,maintain full control of your actions,getting my awaken meter up never felt,like a priority but if there is a round,where you cant hit an enemy it feels,good that you can dedicate your turn to,that instead of wasting it alternatively,each party member is able to defer their,turn over to another character who has,already gone allowing them to act again,but their madness increases more every,time they are given an extra turn which,is a good way of limiting this powerful,mechanic,finally when the stars align you can,become mad and awakened at the same time,allowing you to deal even greater damage,without losing control this only,happened a few times in the more than 40,hours my playthrough took but its a,good feeling the downside to combat is,that the enemies never pushed me out of,my comfort zone so i was never forced to,do anything other than my proven routine,once you figure out the optimal way to,position your party to hit enemies from,behind youd be foolish to approach a,battle with any other method,one final annoyance that has to be,called out is how often you get stuck,having to grind to level up characters,when they join the party particularly in,the later sections of the story that,felt like obvious padding that could,have easily been solved by auto leveling,them to match the party instead they,join you at level 1.,monarch has a lot of interesting ideas,that could have come together into a,great tactical jrpg but whats here,feels more like a prototype its madness,mechanic adds interesting choices to its,fights but is mostly irrelevant and,annoying outside of combat and while its,well-voiced party members eventually,grow on you i wish i had more time to,directly interact with them so i cared,about their well-being when it came to,major moments in the plot the real drag,though is the repetition in the mission,structures which is the same sequence of,events and dull puzzles over and over,again with very little variety for more,rpgs check out our reviews of lost ark,and pokemon legends arceus and for,everything else stick with ign

Monark Review (PC, PS4, PS5, Switch) | 54 Hours Later | Backlog Battle

What’s up, everyone?,Alex here!,Whenever a developer mentions that it has ties to an existing franchise, you know that,expectations will be very high.,Take Monark, for instance, a brand new JRPG that’s made by former members of the Shin,Megami Tensei series.,While mentioning this has certainly gotten fans excited, its playable demo – available,on Switch and modern PlayStation platforms – has instead resulted in a mixed reaction.,And since its demo lets you play its entire first chapter, many interested parties have,wondered if this truly represents what they can expect from the full game.,And since many of us have differing opinions on how much a game’s looks should matter,to our own experience, I tasked myself in diving deep into Monark to find what it offers,beyond that.,And as you might expect, I found plenty – that is, if you can get past some of its niggling,caveats.,This review was made possible by viewers like you, so please leave a like, post a comment,,then subscribe to the channel!,Monark is a turn-based JRPG with tactical elements, co-developed by Lancarse and Furyu,and published by NIS America, who provided this review code.,You wake up to find yourself in a Japanese high school surrounded by a mysterious barrier,,with its corridors filled with a thick Mist that’s affecting the students within its,reach.,As a powerful Pactbearer, you are charged with defeating other Pactbearers controlling,different portions of the school, with the hopes that each enemy felled will weaken the,surrounding barrier, allowing everyone to go home once again,In order to get everyone on the same page, we will need to talk about the aspects of,Monark depicted in its demo, which represents the first hours.,At a quick glance, Monark employs a minimalist look that is a bit underwhelming, whether,you’re looking at it from a base aesthetic standpoint or its chosen art direction.,This is a pity, given how its developers touted how its characters were designed by the artist,so-bin, who drew the art for the popular Overlord series.,Thankfully, so-bin’s art is represented during dialogue sequences, though some might,see this as a constant reminder of what Monark’s visuals would have looked like.,Given its setting, much of Monark’s corridors and hallways feel quite similar, with small,rooms providing variety here and there, but still maintaining a monotone flavor.,Moments of vibrance come in during battles where you are taken to an Otherworld, though,this is quite infrequent at the start.,Additionally, I found that the Switch and base PS4 versions performed below 60fps, as,seen here.,Given Monark’s minimalist presentation, I expected both platforms to perform better,,but that’s sadly not to be.,From an audio standpoint, Monark features both English and Japanese voice acting, and,regardless of your chosen language, you’ll be happy to know that the main story is indeed,fully voice acted.,That said, Monark’s English voice acting is pretty average, though there are standout,performances by a few actors.,With regards to its soundtrack, Monark’s songs can be an acquired taste, though I absolutely,loved the vocal tracks featured during boss battles.,In both its voice acting and soundtrack, the developers seem to be struggling to decide,whether or not featuring high intensity songs would break the player’s immersion in its,motif and story, but I think the visuals do plenty enough to do that.,That said, I am pleased to find that there is a music player available if you are a fan,of the game’s soundtrack.,Outside of its presentation, Monark’s first few hours feel a bit slow thanks to the pace,of its storytelling.,Instead of spending its early moments to establish your character’s role as a Pactbearer, Monark,spends its time purposely obfuscating the story to try and build interest.,It even gives you a 15 question personality test at the start, with sections that can,feel invasive.,It’s during these moments that the game feels like it’s purposely pushing back its,explanation and lore in favor of spending the time to establish the mood and feel of,the world around you, which does little to rope new players in.,It’s when you finally truly get a sense of what a Pactbearer is that the story starts,moving in an interesting direction.,That being said, soon after playing beyond what the demo offered, I was struck by how,much I started really caring about Monark’s characters and what the writers were trying,to do with its narrative.,Sure, the story structure of “you versus others” might make it sound like there wouldn’t,be much here, but the way Monark weaves its tale more than made up for the slog at the,beginning.,Monark’s storytelling is at its best when you are presented with what seems like a certainty,,only to have something happen that circumvents that idea, leaving you with thoughts like,,“Okay, now what?”,One of my favorite things in Monark is the idea that people aren’t purely evil or purely,good, desiring instead to depict people in gray areas.,Applying this idea elsewhere, it can be argued that its monotone color palette at school,visually represents this concept, with the strong polarity of emotion and feeling on,display through the use of more vibrant colors during its battle sequences.,Monark also features some good character moments that let you dig deep into each character’s,motivations and wants.,There are even different routes per character, and if you want to see how these routes diverge,and change, you can choose to skip shared routes during subsequent playthroughs.,Monark does feature multiple endings, a grindy post-game, and New Game+, but I can’t really,clarify what those actually mean given that there’s some huge story spoilers involved.,While much has already been said about how the game performs on Switch and base PS4,,the game performs incredibly well on PC, PS4 Pro, and PS5!,On my OMEN laptop, Monark runs silky smooth, with no noticeable performance dips!,The footage you’re seeing right now is from the PC version of the game running on my OMEN,16.1 gaming laptop with all of its graphics settings turned on!,And yes, it supports the DualShock 4 natively, as you can see here!,I should probably add that Monark’s dungeons aren’t really dungeons in the traditional,sense.,Rather, certain floors contain puzzles you have to solve in order to progress.,These sequences, however, are tied to a Madness mechanic that constantly ticks each time you,expose your party to the Mist.,And if you reach 100% Madness, you’ll be sent back to the clinic and have to make your,way back.,Thankfully, Monark has a fast travel system that can get you back to where you were if,this happens, and it also features a generous gameplay loop that automatically brings you,back to safety after successfully completing a floor.,You can also save your game anywhere where the Mist isn’t present, which also makes,it easy for players to get in and out of the game quickly.,With regards to its puzzles, some can be fairly obtuse.,I recall getting stuck in a puzzle that required you to find a person’s name merely based,on their Student IDs, only to find out that I needed to use a puzzle element that I used,early on to solve the mystery.,Overall, I found the puzzles to be a welcome change to the usual dungeon drudgery, though,I can’t ignore the fact that some of them can be rage inducing since they can also put,your story progression to a grinding halt.,In addition to Madness, you may get Death Calls that will not only increase this faster,but also aggravate students who are affected by the Mist.,These students will have the capability to raise your Madness to 100% instantly while,getting Death Calls.,And should you decide to answer these Calls, you’ll be taken to the Otherworld and will,have to take on tough opponents.,Fortunately, you can prevent this from happening by calling a phone number that leads to a,battlefield containing a singularity, and successfully destroying this will clear the,floor of Death Cal

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Monark Review – Noisy Pixel

[Music],its not often that you see a game blend,together the strategic elements of chess,and a narrative built around the seven,deadly sins however leave it to,developer furious to make it happen in,their jrpg monarch by diving into the,mysterious realm of the other world you,must solve the mystery of the mist a,phenomenon that suddenly befell shin,mikado academy its a grim setup for a,noteworthy adventure,in monarch you play as a nameless,protagonist who is suffering from a case,of amnesia as soon as the game starts,youll be greeted to the first combat,encounter that you unfortunately lose no,matter what youll then take a 15,question test of which your answers will,increase each of your seven sins in,different proportions the opening comes,off as slow paced especially during the,first chapter as youre going through,the tutorials and learning basic,mechanics still i appreciated this,methodical rollout as there are a,handful of unique systems to understand,further plenty of cast members are,introduced that offer drips of lore,about your current mission youre put,onto a map with a limited movement range,per turn during combat but you have a,free directional movement inside said,range actions such as skills are usable,but require a minor hp sacrifice while,attacks offer buffs theres also the,defer option which grants the character,an extra turn by passing the baton of,course if you do it too much you risk,the character going mad the descriptions,for each skill are self-explanatory with,comprehensive symbols assisting you with,the consequences of each action the only,gripe i had with the combat system was,how movement worked sometimes i found,that the enemies got too crowded,together and it was impossible to target,them even within range several hazards,can cause status effects found on the,battlefield i wouldnt say i liked the,one that causes charms since a charmed,character attacks teammates which can be,a pain to deal with if your dps dealer,gets affected by this and while there,are items that you can use to cure it,thats still a turn wasted madness is,another stat that makes you lose control,of the character and if three turns past,theyre automatically killed monarchs,way of leveling up is truly unique you,dont gain a shred of exp from combat,instead at the end of combat youll,receive spirit currency utilized to,unlock new skills or upgrade existing,ones depending on your grade by spending,spirits on the skill tree youll not,only open your desired skill you will,also level up which means you can,allocate who you think needs to be,stronger than the rest i put my,resources into the protagonist because,its game over if he dies so i felt the,need to make him a powerhouse however as,you progress it is recommended to give,special care to the legions which are,mannequin-like spirits that can tag,along in combat they can use various,valuable skills which is good because,some characters leave your party,following the end of a chapter this just,meant i was more interested in leveling,up permanent party members notes are,scattered around dungeons that need to,be read if you want to progress from,locker combination hints to even,password protected computers youll have,to read attentively however i enjoyed,the flexibility of the opening chapters,and after the dungeon of pride the game,let me choose the dungeon i deemed,suitable to continue with if you stand,close to venetis the bunny plushie that,tags you along in your journey you can,use the phone which is used to dial in,numbers you find in the notes theres no,stopping you from dialing random numbers,but please dont unless you want to,fight level 90 enemies in the games,early stages once you dial a dungeon,number you cannot go back to the main,menu to prepare with your only option,being to either accept your fate or,reset the game that being said not,everything in monarch is smooth sailing,for one youre more than likely to,encounter a difficulty spike without any,prior warning making grinding almost a,necessity if you wish to progress even,if you knock down the difficulty by,using casual mode it doesnt really do,any favors its almost like casual mode,is the intended normal difficulty i,found this out after my party was wiped,even though i was three levels higher,than the enemy furthermore some dungeon,puzzles are vague about what you need to,do for instance in one of the dungeons,the game has you backtrack to previous,locations youve visited without any,hint or indication of what or where,youre supposed to go this wasnt an,issue in the first few dungeons but the,further i got the more annoyed i became,about this lack of clarity which,resulted in me searching through a guide,monarch puts a spin on the high school,jrpg design by offering unique gameplay,and combat systems for fans of the genre,the narrative heightens this experience,with a memorable cast and plenty of,mysteries to uncover the spike in,difficulty hurts the experience as the,balance of vague puzzles and encounters,slows the pacing down to a crawl but,genre veterans might enjoy the art of,grinding and not notice this too much,noisy pixel is giving monarch an 8 out,of 10. thanks for watching and please,check out the full review at,noisypixel.net noisy pixel is run by a,group of gamers who work hard to deliver,news reviews previews and more please,subscribe to keep up with all our future,content,[Music],pixel

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Monark Is INEXCUSABLE in 2022, Heres Why

monarch is a cool rpg with a lot of neat,ideas going on but it has one giant,problem thats completely inexcusable in,2022 stay tuned until the end of this,review and ill tell you all about it,for now lets start with the story shall,we the plot is pretty straightforward,and gets going right away youre a,student at shin mekado academy and the,school gets trapped in some kind of,mysterious bubble making it impossible,to leave most of the school buildings,are engulfed in a weird mist that causes,students and staff to act strangely your,phone also transports you to another,dimension when you fight battles at the,beginning of the game youre chosen by,the dean to get to the bottom of this,mystery the act structure is set up in a,very similar way to persona 4 and,persona 5. humans known as packed bears,have magical footholds on certain,buildings and its students some students,are mind controlled love sick or,straight up in unexplainable pain as you,explore the various school buildings,youll learn more about these pack bears,deepest secrets and why theyre acting,the way they are it can feel a little,formulaic after a while but honestly,its a nice structure the overarching,plot kept me intrigued as well sometimes,the dialogue does get a little wordy,though it feels like certain segments go,on longer than they needed to or they,just say the same thing five different,ways i just wish they would get to the,point and move on overall though i was,always interested to see what happened,next and ultimately find out what caused,the mist and these weird phone calls,now actually playing monarch has a few,wrinkles to it that you might not expect,its a mix between mystery adventure,segments and a strategy rpg battle,system for the mystery adventure,segments youre essentially trying to,navigate through the mist to find a,phone so you can initiate a battle each,of these battles has a giant crystal in,it that is a physical manifestation of a,packed bears ideals youll want to,destroy these ideals to set the students,and the staff free and dissipate the,mist now as you make your way through,these adventure segments its much more,involved than you might expect usually,theres a locked door or a character,that needs some kind of item and to,accomplish either of these youll have,to either unlock some kind of locker,with a four digit code on it or log into,a computer with passwords and ids at the,beginning these are pretty,straightforward the answers are,typically found on notes throughout the,environment however as the game goes on,youll need to dig through menus and it,gets very involved you really have to,play detective to kind of piece together,the clues to find the passwords and when,i say ids and passwords you have to,actually physically type them in with a,keyboard so you cant just fumble your,way through it you have to actually find,the real answers now some of these are,pretty fun and satisfying to figure out,but some near the end are really,annoying in fact i needed help from,fellow reviewers just to get through the,game so whether you like these types of,segments or not be prepared to dig and,do some investigating or just get a,walkthrough ready so you can find the,answers something else to keep in mind,is your madness meter this will slowly,tick up as you explore the mist you can,reduce it by visiting the infirmary to,reduce it back to zero or using a mental,stabilizer item to reduce it by 30,percent now im not totally sure what,happens if you ever reach 100 as i never,reached it while exploring the mist,myself im assuming you either get a,game over or you just start from the,beginning in battles the madness,increases when you do certain moves and,when you hit 100 in battle youll lose,control over that character for a few,turns you can end up hitting your own,characters or hitting the enemies its,just a total mystery so you really dont,want to ever have your characters hit,your madness at 100,speaking of which lets actually talk,about the battles themselves battles are,like valkyria chronicles with melee,combat even though there are ranged,characters in this game really its all,about positioning you want to get your,characters in positions to do follow-up,attacks when you attack an enemy if you,have a character in range of that same,enemy they can perform follow-up attacks,and youre really incentivized to do big,long chains of follow-up attacks because,the better you do in battle the more,spirit points youll get after you,finish a battle now the battles,themselves are fairly short and i,actually like that it felt like a great,mix between snappy turn-based combat and,longer strategy battles and to me some,of the more annoying things about,strategy rpg battles that can go on so,long but here in monarch its actually,pretty quick and you can go through a,couple battles really easily now the way,you actually level up your characters in,monarch is pretty different and,interesting essentially you spend the,spirit points you earn from battle to,unlock and level up certain abilities,and each time you level up or unlock a,new ability for a character that,character will level up now at first i,didnt really realize this and i kind of,had an unbalanced team once i got to the,first boss so i had to go back and grind,thankfully you can grind infinitely by,calling up certain numbers and just do,battles over and over again and the,better you do in these battles the,higher amounts of sp you get so you,really want to do more follow-up attacks,not have any characters die hit critical,attacks and stuff like that throughout,the game youll get four of the,characters that you can recruit to be on,your team however you can only ever have,one in your party at a time which is a,little bit annoying but for the rest of,your party itll be made up of these,things called fiends essentially theyre,robots that you can customize each fiend,has three slots for different armor and,youll get armor as you win battles,weirdly enough your main characters,dont change their equipment it seems,like the focus seems to be on ability,management overall monarch has a pretty,great xp balance each time you get to a,new level youll get an increased amount,of sp for every battle you win so,battles and grinding always feel,satisfying and fun,monarch looks decent but not great,theres not a ton of details on,character models or environments and,its not super stylized in any way the,character portraits do look pretty nice,and different but again nothing all that,special the music overall is kind of,forgettable it plays the same tracks,over and over again nothing to stand out,but i will say the music for boss,battles is awesome it seems like its,almost a different artist thats making,this music because they all have lyrics,to them and they just have different,vibes and all the boss battle music was,fantastic now lets finally get to the,biggest issue monarch has this game runs,like absolute garbage on playstation 4.,even in small rooms where theres not,many characters theres not that much,things to interact with it runs terrible,even in small hallways where theres not,a lot to see it runs so bad this is so,shocking for a game that visually is not,all that demanding and i dont,understand why it runs so poorly and,when i say bad its basically 10 frames,per second super jittery and at times,nearly unplayable whats weird though is,theres some areas that run completely,fine and at 60 frames per second and in,other areas it just runs so bad honestly,monarch is one of the most poorly,optimized games ive played in a long,time and this is seriously inexcusable,for a game in 2022 i honestly cant,believe they even gave out codes with a,game running this poorly now to be,completely transparent i played on a,base playstation 4 and my friend alex,from backlog battle played on ps4 pro,and mentioned that it runs fine there,also about halfway through my,playthrough i switched to the,playstation 5 version and it runs like a,dream there so if

Monark | REVIEW | Tugenden und Spielspaßsünden

Das JRPG Monark wagt sich an ein interessantes  Konzept. Im Spiel verfolgen wir nicht wie üblich  ,die Geschichte eines einzelnen Helden, stattdessen  wird uns ein kleiner Kreis an Protagonisten und  ,Antagonisten vorgestellt. Die Charakterriege,  kombiniert mit dem Schul-Setting, erinnert stark  ,an die Shin-Megami-Tensei-Reihe. Kein Wunder:  Bei Monark sind Entwickler an Bord, die auch an  ,der beliebten Serie mitgearbeitet haben.,So düster, wie wir es aus dem bekannten  ,Franchise kennen, geht es auch in Monark zu –  unsere Spielfigur stirbt innerhalb der ersten  ,fünf Minuten. Dazu wird unsere Schule  von einem mysteriösen Nebel verhüllt,  ,der Schüler sowie Lehrer in den Wahnsinn  treibt. Wie sich dieser Wahnsinn zeigt und  ,welche düsteren Themen während des Spielverlaufs  angesprochen werden, erfahrt ihr in unserem Test!,Das Wichtigste, was uns Menschen ausmacht, ist das  Ego. Es treibt uns an und macht uns zu dem, der  ,wir sind. In Monark werden die unterschiedlichen  Aspekte des Egos unter den sieben Todsünden  ,zusammengefasst. Wir bekommen einen stillen  Protagonisten vorgesetzt, in dessen Hülle wir  ,unsere Persönlichkeit projizieren sollen. Um die zu formen, füllen wir zu Beginn des  ,Spiels einen Fragebogen aus, bei dem wir uns so  fühlen, als säßen wir bei einer Therapiesitzung.  ,Die unbekannte Frau gegenüber erklärt, dass es von  nun an unsere Aufgabe sei, den mysteriösen Nebel  ,loszuwerden. Hier bemerken wir bereits: Monark ist  kein Spiel, bei dem es nur um die Spielcharaktere  ,geht, wir selbst sind ebenfalls Teil des Konzepts.  Die Fragen, die wir beantworten, zwingen uns  ,förmlich zur Selbstreflektion und Schwuppdiwupp!  Wir erhalten unser Pseudo-psychologisches Profil,  ,aufgeschlüsselt anhand der sieben Todsünden, die  von nun an jeweils einen Statuswert darstellen. ,Zumindest in unserem Fall fanden wir uns im Profil  zu großen Teilen wieder und waren überrascht,  ,wieviel Tiefe das Spiel zu Beginn verspricht.  Die Persönlichkeitstests finden wir bei NPCs  ,immer wieder, was uns weitere Blick in uns selbst  ermöglicht und einen der Todsünden-Stats erhöht. ,Das ist nicht bloß Spielerei, wir benötigen hohe  Werte im Spielverlauf, um Buffs zu bekommen, die  ,unsere Kampf-Fertigkeiten permanent verbessern. Die Mechanik um die Todsünden und Tests ist zwar  ,interessant, doch es nervt, wenn unsere  Stats in einem Aspekt so schlecht sind,  ,dass wir einige Buffs gar nicht aufsammeln können.  Wir fühlen uns dann wie dieser Kollege hier. ,So werden wir verleitet, bei Tests Antworten  zu geben, die unserer Persönlichkeit gar nicht  ,entsprechen und verfälschen damit unser  Profil, um einen Vorteil zu bekommen. So  ,erhalten wir natürlich keine wahrhaften  Einblicke in unsere Persönlichkeit. Um  ,die authentischste Spielerfahrung zu haben,  empfehlen wir bei den Tests nicht zu flunkern. ,Der Nebel, der sich auf dem Campus  breitmacht, bringt Schüler und  ,Lehrer dazu, den Verstand zu verlieren. In Bereichen, in die der Nebel bereits  ,vorgedrungen ist, sehen wir Schüler, wie sie die  immer gleichen Sätze vor sich hinmurmeln. Zusammen  ,mit der eingeschränkten Sicht und der schaurigen  Hintergrundmusik kommt oft Horror-Atmosphäre auf. ,Hin und wieder bekommen wir innerhalb  der vernebelten Areale Anrufe,  ,die unseren Verrücktheits-Level erhöhen.  Nehmen wir einen solchen Anruf an, wird  ,ein schwieriger Kampf ausgelöst, den wir nicht  gewinnen können, sodass wir im Krankenzimmer  ,enden. Allerdings führen viele Wege nach Rom;  Erreichen wir einen Verrücktheits-Wert von 100%,  ,landen wir in genau dem gleichen Raum. Die  Mechanik ist zwar immersiv, da auch wir von den  ,Effekten des Spuks betroffen sind, doch sie nervt  nach kurzer Zeit wegen des künstlichen Zeitdrucks. ,Hauptsächlich zeigen sich die Effekte des  Nebels bei NPCs, einige Mitglieder der Akademie  ,drehen mehr durch als andere. Wie wir schnell in  Erfahrung bringen, sind die besonders Betroffenen  ,sogenannte Pakt-Träger, die einen Bund mit  einem Dämon geschlossen haben, der eine Todsünde  ,verkörpert. Die Aspekte der Persönlichkeit, die  zu dieser Sünde passen, sind bei den Charakteren  ,ins Unermessliche gesteigert. Wir müssen in  die Anderswelt eintauchen und die als Kristall  ,manifestierten Ideale dieser Menschen zerstören. Dabei ist der Ablauf immer gleich: Wir kommen in  ,die Anderswelt, einer der Antagonisten erzählt uns  etwas über seinen Wunsch, wir zerstören nach einem  ,Kampf eines seiner Ideale und lernen im gleichen  Atemzug die nachvollziehbaren Beweggründe und die  ,Emotionswelt der Charaktere kennen. All das wird  in kurzen, aber effektiven Monologen dargestellt. ,Zwar sind die Grafiken in den Zwischensequenzen  wunderschön und stimmungsvoll inszeniert,  ,der Rest des Spiels punktet in  dieser Kategorie jedoch nicht. ,Das triste Schulgebäude, gepaart mit Grafik auf  PS2-Niveau, liefert keinerlei faszinierenden  ,Schauplätze. Dass sich Charaktere selbst im  Streit beinahe regungslos gegenüberstehen  ,und mittels steifer Animationen ein Wortgefecht  liefern, macht den Eindruck nicht besser. Die  ,Dialoge haben zwar meist Gewicht, besser  inszeniert könnten sie trotzdem sein ,Wir selbst sind ebenfalls Pakt-Träger, jedoch  halten wir nicht die Macht einer Sünde inne,  ,sondern besitzen eine bisher unbekannte  Kraft, die wir am Anfang des Abenteuers  ,nach einem Besuch in der Anderswelt erhalten.,Wie wir dort hinkommen? Wie überall heutzutage:  ,per Smartphone. Entweder erhalten wir einen Anruf  und werden so in die Anderswelt gezogen, oder wir  ,geben selbst Nummern ein, um zum Ziel zu gelangen. In der Haupt-Story gibt es einen Haufen Handys zu  ,finden, die uns per Anruf in die Anderswelt eines  Antagonisten befördern. Und um die Bösewichter  ,zu finden, lösen wir Rätsel, die meistens mit dem  Drama der Schüler untereinander zu tun haben. Wir  ,hören, was Klassenkameraden zu sagen haben,  lesen ihre Profile und beschäftigen uns mit  ,ihren Freunden. So lösen wir nicht selten  Beziehungsprobleme und weitere Konflikte,  ,um zu unserem eigentlichen Ziel zu gelangen. Oftmals sind die Probleme simpel zu lösen,  ,vorausgesetzt, wir lesen Notizen und hören  uns an, welcher Schüler mit wem fremdgegangen  ,ist. Zumindest theoretisch. Denn: Ein bestimmtes  Rätsel hat uns tatsächlich lange um den Verstand  ,gebracht, passend zum Thema des Spiels. Auf solche  Spaßbremsen-Momente solltet ihr euch einstellen. ,Auch Handynummern finden wir auf Notizzetteln, die  bringen uns ebenfalls per Anruf in die Anderswelt.  ,Dort gibt es nichts zu erforschen, es warten  lediglich Kämpfe und manchmal, im Rahmen der  ,Hauptgeschichte, Zwischensequenzen. Nummern zu  finden ist essenziell um unser Level zu erhöhen,  ,denn Kämpfe sind ansonsten lediglich in  der Haupt-Story zu finden. Wollen wir diese  ,Auseinandersetzungen bestreiten, müssen wir  uns selbstständig um das Aufleveln kümmern.  ,Die rundenbasierten Kämpfe machen viel  Spaß und bringen frischen Wind ins Genre. ,Anstatt klassisch Runde für Runde auf Gegner  einzuprügeln, befinden wir uns in 3D-Arenen.  ,Zuerst ist unser Team an der Reihe, von dem  wir jedes Gruppenmitglied einzeln steuern,  ,danach dürfen unsere Widersacher ran. Wir müssen  unsere Einheiten taktisch positionieren. Aspekte  ,wie Reichweite, Schaden, Heilungsfähigkeiten  und Buffs spielen eine wichtige Rolle. Wenn  ,wir eine Attacke nutzen, greifen Kollegen in  Angriffsreichweite ebenfalls an. Obendrein  ,können unsere Einheiten eine Aktion opfern,  um einem Verbündeten einen zusätzlichen Zug  ,zu ermöglichen. So entsteht taktische Tiefe, die  von unserer Verrücktheits-Anzeige erweitert wird. ,Spezielle Fertigkeiten kosten nämlich keine Magie-  oder Manapunkte, sondern Verstand. Das heißt:  ,Wir steigern mit der Nutzung unserer Fertigkeiten  auch unseren Verrücktheits-Level. Erreicht der  ,100, können wir unseren Charakter nicht  mehr steuern und er greift wahllos an,  ,was sich in der Nähe befindet, bis er nach  drei Runden zu Boden geht und kampfunfähig  ,i

Monark Nintendo Switch Review!

i had exactly zero expectations when it,came to monarch on the nintendo switch,it was developed by furyu corporation,and published by nis america then i,realized that a few of the development,team also worked on shimagami tensei and,i was a little more excited and its yet,another rpg set inside a school where a,mystical other world is causing issues,is this one the monarch of jrpgs or,another lowly eshop peasant well lets,find out this is madness,narratively speaking monarch isnt,dissimilar to a hundred games before it,you get to name your protagonist but,hes lost his memory and after a series,of lucid dreams set in another dimension,he wakes up in a school to find some,concerned people most importantly his,sister whom he cant remember what,amounts to the president of the students,union and the school doctor theres a,lockdown in the school caused by a,mysterious force which stops anyone from,leaving certain flaws are invaded by a,mist which has caused a madness from,those trapped within the only way to,dissipate the mist and return the school,to normal is to defeat the pact bearers,these powerful individuals have the,power to command their egos with ego,within this game being a form of power,allowing them to dominate those around,them and impose their will once defeated,the mist clears and that area of the,school is returned to normal there are,an interesting cast of side characters,all of whom are voice acted but some of,the exposition is a touch nonsensical,insanity is an aberration,it isnt one of the deadly sin and the,games use of the words ego authority,pact bearers will initially leave you,scratching your head as to what on earth,is going on as their meanings have,certainly been adapted youll find a,number of jrpg tropes with the pompous,overpowered antagonists who like the,sound of their own voice to the bad boy,ladies man whos a bit of an arrogant,twit you cant spell pacifist without,fist,but stereotypes and tropes tend to come,from those things being quite enjoyable,to actually play with and thats,certainly the case here at times it can,feel like a box ticking exercise as a,new character pops up to feel a certain,role but i felt like the dialogue was,good enough to carry it across gameplay,is segmented into two distinctive areas,exploration allowing you to move around,the school fast travel between,previously visited locations and,interact with pieces of information or,clothes before you begin you get to name,your character and youll undergo an ego,test this is essentially a personality,test with a series of questions which,will shape your characters build based,on seven distinctive areas they reflect,the seven deadly sins and you can also,increase these areas through dialogues,with other characters in the game giving,you access to whats known as alter egos,well try and keep it as simple as,possible here though and focus on the,real core aspects the mobile phone is,the heart of the menu system and its,from here that youll be customizing,your character accessing the map screen,or your current objectives and every,piece of information that you gather or,learn will be held here one nice aspect,are the few puzzles where youll need to,rely on information gathered from pupils,around the school with every pupil you,speak to having their profile unlocked,for you to access such as a password,being needed but you find out its the,last four digits of their id,so the aim of the game then to enter the,foggy areas and to eventually defeat the,packed bearers but once youre in these,youll notice a madness gauge in the,bottom corner of the screen what does,this do exactly well it gradually makes,you go crazy if you reach a hundred,after a while youre gonna black out,waking up in the infirmary but it also,affects the other pupils in the area,sending them crazy and heres where,things get a little more interesting and,equally strange occasionally within,these areas youll receive death calls,if you answer the phone during this time,youll be transported into a battle with,enemies far above your own level and,its essentially a death sentence if you,ignore your phone though any pupils,caught within the madness area of the,fog will begin to move towards you and,one touch from them and well you will,join them in their delirium and wake up,in the infirmary this is only a minor,part of the game and its not where the,main combat comes from thats where your,slightly unusual companion vanitas comes,in this demonic bunny rabbit bridges the,gap between the two worlds and allows,you to make phone calls when within its,proximity essentially giving you the,option to choose your fights this all,might sound confusing but basically when,you need to grind you go to the floating,bunny rabbit make a phone call and,youre teleported into the other realm,to fight and this is where combat begins,after having chosen which characters are,going to take part youre shown a list,of criteria as well as a turn count to,achieve the highest possible score,youve shown a movement sphere and can,travel freely within it you can manually,select which character you want using,the bumper buttons and once it turns,over it will simply move on to the next,available character until all turns in,your party have been used sounds really,really standard doesnt it but where,this changes is in the deferral system,you could move to the extent of your,range and then defer your turn to,another player this then allows them to,have a second go they can move and,attack once more but it will raise their,madness gauge within combat madness acts,almost like a fury but inevitably it,will have the same outcome if you reach,100 youre mad for a set period that,character will eventually pass out the,madness gauge is also increasing every,time you use your demonic authority,powers shown down here its a balancing,act between keeping that lower but also,being able to defeat the enemies using,some of your skills but its that,deferral mechanic that makes it special,and it allows for some real strategy now,when your players are close to the enemy,as weve seen in many tactical,turn-based games you can rely on them to,follow up your attacks as long as,theyre within range combat can,initially feel far too difficult and i,think much of that is caused by,confusion leveling up doesnt happen in,the traditional sense when you win a,battle youre not given equal,distribution of xp between your,characters but what you are given is a,currency that you can later apply and,choose exactly who you want to level up,and in what way and if you dont like,the way that youve chosen you can undo,this at any point it turns out to be a,really nice system and on balance i,prefer being able to choose to go and,fight to grind rather than having random,battles or having combat forced upon me,this isnt going to be the case for,everyone but be aware an intrinsic part,of the experience is seeking out combat,through that phone call system to make,sure youre a high enough level for some,of those trickier fights even with that,system in place it does feel like the,balancing of difficulty is skewed out,the players favor especially in the,earlier stages its particularly,annoying in combat when your main player,dies and its game over and you have to,head back to the infirmary simply having,them knocked unconscious with the,ability for other players to resurrect,them or revive them would have made more,sense as sometimes youll just get,unlucky and find yourself combat locked,and dead before you can even do a thing,about it aside from party members that,youll meet in the real world youll,also gain a few others these can be,customized by yourself and renamed and,they have access to unique equippable,items which are gained through combat,theyre an unusual but nice touch and i,wouldnt be without glenn and bob two,more wonderful individuals never have i,met once youve got to grips with the,flow of monarch its a very enjoyable,jrpg but does falter a little when it,comes to g

Monark Review: Sleeper HIT of the Year (Nintendo Switch, PS5 & PC)

monarch is a game that immediately,piqued my interest when it first leaked,in june of 2021 the game is said to be,inspired by old school megami tensei,titles such as shimagamitense if,needless to say that i was over the moon,when we live reacted to the official,reveal a couple of days later monarch is,a very unique japanese role-playing game,developed by langkars longkars is a,small team of japanese developers that,worked on a decent number of atlas,titles such as shimagami tenseis,strange journey the original etreon,odyssey and more recently persona q2,please note that a nintendo switch,review copy of the game was provided by,nipponi chi software of america the,story for monarch isnt a simple one,its a complex psychological horror,mystery,you are a second grade high schooler at,shim mikado academy that was hit by,amnesia with no knowledge of who you are,and what purpose you serve your school,is enveloped in a large miss banner that,separates you and your campus from the,outside world as the player you embark,on a very dark and horrific story,through the narrow alleys of shin,mercado you are assisted by other,students from the true student council,and by a demonic power that is a,manifestation of your inner ego a,manifestation of your inner soul a demon,its definitely a slow start at first,but once you get through the first hour,of dialogue it starts to get very,absorbing this story is one mystery,after another and in my opinion it,serves its purpose in a very effective,way the atmosphere and setting of this,game is very dark and will totally make,you feel real emotions while playing,whether it was through the dark alleys,of shimakato or in a garden enveloped in,mist i always felt on guard because of,the music and just overall audio,direction you can hear small noises from,a distance get louder as you walk closer,to the source of it i had this very,nerve-racking moment when i kept hearing,this bang,bang bang with the exact same amount of,time between each bang getting louder,and louder as i progress through the,hallway and it turns out it was a,possessed student smashing their head,against the locker at the end of the,hallway its small moments like this,that makes monarchs stand out amongst,other japanese role-playing games in,terms of setting i always praised smt,strange journey for its atmosphere and,im happy to report that monarch is,similar in that regards very different,setting but it excels in terms of,atmosphere,the game is fully voiced from minor,roles to characters from the main cast,everyone is sounding very good and that,was one of the big surprises when i,started to play the game sometimes,smaller niche japanese rpgs dont have,the budget for so many dublins but im,glad that the team at lan cars did,because it helped a lot with the,immersion and it really feels like a,must for this horrifying setting the,soundtrack is also a standoff for,mourinho the composer behind this ost is,none other than sukasa masuko the man,the myth the legend behind a ton of,megami tensei soundtracks such as,shimagami tensei 1 and 2 if,as well as the whole devil summoner,series so its really not surprising,that from the nbn tracks to the boss,battle teams its pure fire for monarch,most of the characters from the main,cast are distinctive and very memorable,in their own ways rpg cliches arent,present and thats a solid point for,monarch because its a common issues in,rpgs of that scope and size,at first i was a little bummed to see,that from a chapter to another you dont,really utilize your other party members,once their main chapter is completed but,once you get to a certain part of the,story which i dont want to spoil the,game gives a lot of importance to all,the party members again which totally,solved this issue for me the plot,unravels in a very solid way with great,pacing and it managed to keep me engaged,from start to finish of this 40 hours,plus game you have multiple routes that,you can go through that are decided by,certain choices that the player has to,take fortunately one of my rpg pet,peeves is indeed part of this game and,that being what i like to call worthless,dialogue options this is when youre,asked to make a decision,but both answers will result in the same,conclusion its not a deal breaker but,completely useless if you ask me kind of,annoying,in terms of gameplay this is where,monarch really shines while playing,through the main story you will have to,progress by completing certain puzzles,not a lot of them but a small number of,very complex puzzles that i personally,really really really enjoy that being,said a couple of them are extremely hard,and not necessarily what i would call,intuitive so if you need help while,playing monarch just send me a quick dm,ill be happy to help you battles are,played turn by turn the player has full,control over all their party humans and,fiends alike you move freely around each,maps and strategy is a must if you want,to succeed even small batters can be a,real challenge if you dont place your,units the right way or time your turns,at the right time combat animations are,looking extremely good and diverse from,a unit to another,in battle there are two special feature,that makes this combat system stand out,from other strategy rpgs there is the,mad god,once this gauge reaches 100,your character will turn into a state of,madness where you cant control him or,her for a certain number of time and,this specific unit will also be debuffed,while active this meter is also a thing,for enemies which can lead to some very,interesting moments in battle,the other special feature is another god,the awake god when the second gods,reaches 100,you will enter a state of awakening that,will greatly buff your unit once again,this is another feature that is,available to certain enemies when both,gods are full you go full super saiyan,as you enter the enlightenment where,your unit will be able to use all,abilities and hearts and hutorities,combined for no additional cost,on field there is a lot of hazards that,can happen whether its destructible,environments or just standard healing,spots and it once again shouldnt be,neglected because it has a lot to the,strategic elements of this game its a,very good thing that the combat in,monarch is engaging and addictive,because as i briefly mentioned earlier,this game is hard as hell you will,absolutely need to grind to get through,certain boss fights even if you are,playing on casual mode not a lot of,grinding is required but certainly a,decent amount of side battles to keep up,with the level of your enemies,fortunately monarch has two major,difficulty spikes in game,the first one at around halfway through,the main story and another one near the,end of the game it was not a deal,breaker to me but if a couple of hours,of grinding is a massive issue for you,just keep that in mind because for those,two difficulty spikes they will put a,pause on your playthrough and you will,have to grind a little bit this grinding,is the hub getting spirits which allows,you to fully customize your fiends units,and main party members this progression,system is very extensive and addictive,as i found myself grinding a whole bunch,even when it wasnt required just to get,a certain spell unlocked or another one,to max level another negative aspect of,this game is the performance on nintendo,switch unreal engine 4 is an engine that,can work very well on switch if,optimized properly but unfortunately it,doesnt perform too well with this game,ive played around 3 hours of the,playstation 5 version of the game and i,completed the whole game on nintendo,switch for more or less 50 hours in,handheld mode most of the game runs,decently with minor frame drops during,exploration outside of the school for,some reason,these frame drops were way more,noticeable to me in docked mode while,exploring it unfortunately doesnt seem,to be an issue with the hardware itself,and more with the optimization since the,main problematic locatio

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