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Monster Kingdom Jewel Summoner review

Solid
AT A GLANCE
  • Enjoyable characters and voice acting
  • A fantastic art direction
  • Great music
  • Repeated dungeon backtracking
  • Plot is a bit generic
  • Story and gameplay aren't balanced

If you're interested in this game, then you've done your homework. Monster Kingdom: Jewel Summoner isn't getting much hype or publicity, and it isn't quite a diamond in the rough, but Monster Kingdom is still a welcome morsel for the RPG-starved PSP.

Monster Kingdom obviously relies on Pokemon -style monster gathering and the battles that accompany the hobby everywhere in the universe. With a possible nine monsters in stack for each battle, there's enough opportunity to vary your elements and form tactics against bosses. Level-grinding isn't too bad here, actually, and the advantageous creatures are thankfully in the right spots at the right times. As is common with RPGs, battles pop up a tad too frequently, and the combat system is slightly unbalanced - once you form a good monster party, you can almost assure yourself victory.



Monster Kingdom doesn't have the most original set-up of ideas for its plot: a spiky-haired hero is haunted by a past event and inevitably joins an organization to help purify the world; many cases of serendipity with suspicious characters result. The character interaction and heavy dialogue scenes are enough to boost Monster Kingdom 's otherwise-typical plot, even if their overall volume can get boring - there's so much talking, we often found ourselves anxious to move on and actually do something. Luckily, thanks to amusing characters and high-quality voice-acting, it's all tolerable.

Dungeons can easily get monotonous, unfortunately, despite the game's attempt to make exploring old territory worthwhile (acquiring an ability to dive deeper into the dungeon, for instance). Ultimately, Monster Kingdom indeed has a lot of backtracking in towns, which isn't too bad, but also in dungeons…and with the combination of frequent, slow-loading random battles we've already mentioned, it can start to feel redundant.

It won't make you say wow, but visually, Monster Kingdom is pleasant to play in. We're particularly fond of the fantastic art direction. As if the eye candy wasn't enough, Monster Kingdom has a great soundtrack, devised by top-caliber composers. The tunes are varied, catchy, match the settings, and show off the PSP's sound system.

Monster Kingdom doesn't have the depth or polish of a Pokemon title, so on another console or portable with an impressive RPG roster, we'd score it the same, but might not recommend it so heavily. Here on PSP, where there's sadly less from which to choose, Monster Kingdom is a flawed, but enjoyable creature.

More Info

Release date: Feb 14 2007 - PSP (US)
Feb 14 2007 - PSP (UK)
Available Platforms: PSP
Genre: Role Playing
Published by: Atlus
Developed by: Gaia
ESRB Rating:
Teen

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