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  1. #1

    Monster Boy and the Cursed Kingdom (NSW, PS4, XBone, Win)

    Really, has no one played this to start a first play thread?

    The spiritual successor to the Wonder Boy franchise?

    I deleted it yesterday - pure rage quit. I hate this game. I hate this game so much. I have seldom loathed a videogame as much as this. It is the most dickish spiteful game I've played in years.

    I now realise why I hate it.

    It's not difficult, it's easy. But every room, every single room, is laid out to be irritating. This review's opening paragraph sums it up well:
    I just wanted to get to the other side of the chasm. All I needed to do was ride the undead fire dragon and I’d be home free. But Monster Boy and the Cursed Kingdom had other plans for me. Enemies were there to knock me down. Obstacles appeared one after the other. And then the game faked me out and let the dragon take me to my death when I was supposed to switch to a separate, unseen dragon. Each time most of these happened, I was forced to restart this lengthy section over from the beginning. And the developers adore this kind of thing.
    I just didn’t enjoy my time with the game all that much. It wasn’t because of difficulty either. The game isn’t hard at all, but it frequently gets tedious and obnoxious. As I mentioned in the opening paragraph, the game simply loves to force you into annoying encounters where making a single mistake forces you to restart long sequences from the beginning.
    These sequences are a big part of why I found the game as annoying as I did. They’re all doable with practice, but I kind of hated a lot of them. Insta-kill spikes, insta-kill bombs, falling in lava, having stuff knock me off platforms suddenly. It’s all here, and it’s all a pain in the ass. I wanted to love this game, but I just couldn’t.
    This guy nails it. The game actively hates you and wants to annoy you. It's not hard like Demon's Souls, it's just unbearably irritating. Not difficult, but so annoying.

    Moving plaforms surrounded by flying enemies that take multiple hits to kill. Instant death spikes and boulder traps. Constant running the gauntlet obstacle courses. A ****ty stealth section where being seen forces you to restart an entire lengthy section.

    The boulder section for example, it's not something you can react to. I had to play it around 10 times to learn by rote specific sections in the obstacle course. Failing forces you to restart over. And you do it. And again.

    The game takes pleasure in annoying me. At no point do I feel joy playing it. I dread each room because they are a collection of constant small annoyances. The rooms are easy, I always complete them after like 7 or 8 or 15 attempts. I force myself through, am glad the room is over, and they do it again. And again. And AGAIN. But they're not fun. It's not pleasurable pushing through the obstacle courses. I just want them over with. Look at this siren alarm in the stealth section. The entire game is like this, screaming a loud klaxon in your face and forcing an arduous and laborious restart.

    As another example, why so many bats in the platforming sections? Why do the bats need 10 hits to kill? It's not fun. It's like pouring lemon juice in my eyes.

    So I got to the 70% completion mark and just deleted it from my hard drive. It's not worth the aggravation.

    Man. **** this ****ing game. Score: 0 / 10

    (For context, I platinumed Demon's Souls on PS3. I like difficult games, but I like them when they give me tools and options to overcome the challenge. When they're fair. Monster Boy is just a whining klaxon of irritation.)
    Last edited by Sketcz; 19-01-2020 at 10:43 AM.

  2. #2
    If it’s truly that bad I’d have skipped making a first play thread, to be honest there’s so few of us on here nowadays that first plays don’t pop up as much as they used to. In the past pretty much most games would get a first play but now even some popular games don’t. I just tend to play stuff now without giving detailed first play impressions it’s just not worth the time to devote huge first plays unless it is some super special game.

  3. #3
    I bought this in the Christmas sale and have yet to start it. Worried from this that it'll be like Celeste, which I also hated, purely because although I got some way into it, and I appreciated it was difficult, I wasn't sure when the fun was supposed to happen!

  4. #4
    I have the demo for this sitting on my Pro but I had read it was unnecessarily hard and that has put me off to be honest.

  5. #5
    I really, really wanted this but reading the above (and noting the general lack of presence, anywhere) then I'm guessing if it looks like shish, smells like shish...then it's shish.

    I really love the MW games, all I wanted from this was a souped-up Monster World game with the same mechanics, not constant puzzles and stealth sections.

    Sounds awful. I'm still curious (given its pedigree) but I'll only take a chance on this if it's like £2.19 or less in a sale.

  6. #6
    I really enjoyed it. Played from start to finish in about a week. Loved the artwork and the ramps in difficulty - it was frustrating in parts (partic the volcano level mentioned above) but nothing game-breaking. @JazzFunk: definitely wait for a sale. Itís overpriced as it is.

  7. #7
    I've been playing since December and I'm enjoying it. Not played any previous games in the series.
    It is hard and certain sections are frustrating but there is often a simple solution which often involves changing your character/outfit to solve it.
    I have been using YouTube walkthroughs in some of the later stages, but a lot of the time when you see the solution its not that hard just hard to work at first attempt.
    I'm about 85% through the main story I would say.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by importaku View Post
    to be honest there’s so few of us on here nowadays that first plays don’t pop up as much as they used to
    Why are there so few @importaku ? Why are there so few?!

    I have noticed that too. A lot of big name games aren't even showing up.

    I started this because for anyone who imported or played Japanese games, back in the day, this would have been a big release. It's why I looked forward to the Steam release. The bitter taste it left in my mouth was so intense that I needed to start a topic.

    I think I bought it when on a 70% off Steam sale? Still not worth it, given how high the base price is.

    For those who've played through to the end, I would ask: did you actually feel joy while playing it? Having given thought to my experience since starting this topic, I now realise I basically hated every single section:
    * That terrible Indie Jones boulder section
    * Running through the sky on dissolving clouds section (I died like a million times)
    * The volcano (**** that volcano!)
    * The penguin stealth section
    * The ancient ruins in the mountains (with bombs)
    * The sewers (so many damned sewers!)
    * The ice zone and its slippery walkways, timed underwater sections, and invulnerable mosquitos
    * The escort mission for that dumb blue thing

    I passed all of them no problem. And again, I want to emphasise, it's not that the game is too difficult. Rather that it makes everything a joyless chore. You're not allowed to mess up and then try to recover, it just whisks you away back to a check point, and forces you to redo everything - literally everything - until you are able to get everything right first time perfectly.

    I despise that. it's not good game design.

    If I'm caught during the stealth section then penalise me with health loss, gold loss, make me fight a tough enemy to escape. jeez, anything, but don't whisk me back 57 screens and force me to do the last hour over again. That's being a god damned arsehole designer. I mean, seriously, the designer who thought that would be cool is an arsehole. It's just bad design. It's bad. I mean, it's worse than NES platformers. If you **** up in world 8-2 of Super Mario Bros, you don't go back to world 1-1, you go back to the start of 8-2 and try again.

    Those who've finished it: do you regard it as a fun game?

    Because to me, it's just mean and nasty. Easy, but nasty.

  9. #9
    I considered dropping it a couple of times because of the frustration in certain areas, but kept coming back for the Metroid-style ability upgrades and the desire to unlock new maps and new areas within them. It felt like an old style game (slightly easier) with modern features: warps, for example, and a place you could farm cash. I enjoyed the cloud platforming sequence. but yeah, it could be frustrating at times.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by gordon View Post
    I really enjoyed it. Played from start to finish in about a week. Loved the artwork and the ramps in difficulty - it was frustrating in parts (partic the volcano level mentioned above) but nothing game-breaking. @JazzFunk: definitely wait for a sale. It’s overpriced as it is.
    Oh, I'll deffo end up getting it, despite talking all that jazz about it. Despite the word 'stealth'. It's a new Wonder Boy game (of sorts) and that alone ensures I'll end up getting it at some point.

    I just want to like it, I was expecting an instant classic from this, I guess, I've been following the hype for this since it had the word 'booze' in its title, must be like five years back.

    Deffo interesting reading the contrasting opinions!!!


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