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Name: Monarch Monarch (100.00% in 1 votes)
Type: STG
Platform: WINDOWS
Company: Falcom
Release date: 1998
Reviewed by: Kyubi Fox

Even though this game is in the SLG genre, this is not a normal strategy game. This is the continuation of the Lord Monarch series from Falcom. Instead of controling units that mostly follow your orders, the units in Mona^2 actually think for themselves. Even if you do not order them, they will think and do things you like.

The main mechanics of the game is like this: you go build villages, which in turn create units and give you taxes. You then use the units to create more villages to take over the entire map.

With the units, you can tell them to: 1) stand and wait; 2) follow and attack someone; 3) combine with another unit to create a larger and much more powerful unit; 4) build villages; 5) destroy things; 6) build fences; 7) build bridges. With the exception of 6 and 7, the AI for each individual unit will execute those commands themselve even if you do nothing. This is a very interesting concept.

So the game should be very easy if the computer will do everything for you, but your enemies have the same AI to assist them. On every map you have to fight with 3 other computers for total control, each working for themselves. While everyone starts out with the same number of villages and units, the terrain varies and in later levels, the terrain REALLY works against you. For example in one stage your island is surrounded by huge mountains and thousands of monsters when your enemies have tons of space for development.

In the beginning stages up to around 20 it's pretty much child's play. And then it gets harder, and strategic timing and positioning become THE factors that will affect the outcome. I have to say this game has taught me some great lessons.


Gameplay: 6/10 - This is a very entertaining game will very interesting gameplay, but it's simplicity is also its flaw. There are just way too many levels to make it quite repetitive in the later part of the game, but none the less it is a wonderful time filler considering each level only takes about 45 minutes.

Story: 1/10 - No story except that little furry thing that writes in his diary. Sometimes there are animated comics too but they are really weak. This pretty much bring the whole game down to a puzzle game with no motivation to go foward (which contributed to the score in gameplay).

Graphics: 7/10 - Standard graphics. There are different graphics for different kinds of terrain which makes for some variety.

Music/Sound: 6/10 - Ok background music. Again, with so many stages it gets repetitive fast.

Overall: 6/10 - A nice little time waster that also teaches your strategy. But if you are looking for something with a nice story, look somewhere else.

Japanese level: 1/10 - You don't need any Japanese knowledge to fully enjoy this game. There are enough icons for you to guess the commands. Of course a little bit knowledge of Japanese will help you figure it out faster ^^
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