By: Uma Smith
Me reviewer! Hear me review… this new Minis title now available on the PlayStation Network. With Me Monstar: Hear Me Roar! as the title, you may quickly think of creatures possessing fearful and disgusting attributes. Well, you’d be right! In this game, you get a monster (or “monstar”) that attacks, farts and eats smaller creatures. Does that gross you out, or pique your interest? Either way, will Cohort Studios’ new release have you roaring for more or will it simply stink, much like the monstar’s in-game flatulence?
As a blue monstar, you are placed in an all-out brawl against rival monstars. It’s a no-holds-barred extravaganza as you chase after smaller, weaker creatures while avoiding the bigger and more harmful ones.
Commands are executed as follows: triangle button shocks and stuns enemies, square makes your monstar fart to dash, X punches, and circle activates power-ups. Movement is executed via either the d-pad or left analog stick, with either one being pretty responsive. For a button masher, this typical control scheme remains effective as always. It’s straightforward and simple to pick up and play.
In terms of visuals, Me Monstar: Hear Me Roar! is glimmering with vibrant colors and animation. The designs in the characters and the arena are well-done for the most part. Playing on the PlayStation Portable looks phenomenal while on the big screen, it looks like one of the best Minis graphically.
The game’s music, unfortunately, makes the experience painful. You don’t get an impressive track to begin with, and then you’re forced to listen to it constantly level after level. Sound effects are decent.
In the beginning of each stage, you start off tiny, thereby leaving you vulnerable to your opponents. Because of this, you’ll have to proceed with caution before engaging in battle. Larger monstars will quickly bring you down while smaller ones will easily bow before your terror. You’ll need to grow your character by consuming either “Dream Essences” (blue floating bubbles) or smaller monstars called “Squirts.”
Keep up with your persistence. As you progressively grow bigger in size, you also change color. You then can attack monstars the same size as yourself — you can easily tell if you can by whether they share the same color and appearance as you.
Each color change denotes another size progression — there are five colors in total with red representing the largest size. On the upper left side of the screen, there is a gauge meter divided into five boxes that fill each time you consume smaller monstars and Dream Essences. A completely filled up box indicates your successive growth state. However, if you get injured by other monstars, this meter depletes, which makes you become smaller until the point of death.
You have 90 seconds to consume and grow as much as you can in an effort to get a higher score. Bronze, silver and gold stars are awarded at the end of each level depending on how you perform. At minimum, a bronze is required before progressing to the next level. In addition, there is an optional objective on each level that gives you a gold coin if completed successfully.
With a variety of power-ups available, such as the Vindaloonatic Curry and Ice Scream, you can acquire different special abilities that last for a short period of time. So basically you get a fast-paced, action-packed button masher. However, this can turn out to be repetitive a few levels into the game.
There are boss battles against such horrid beings as The Banker (you certainly can’t trust it with your money)! And although it adds some diversity to the gameplay, it’s not enough to break the monotony that plagues this title even if the scoring system helps in retaining replay value temporarily.
However, what makes Me Monstar: Hear Me Roar! enjoyable is its humor. Just look at the names in the power-ups — Chunder Cheese and Hoot Mon Haggis. You’ll get a few guilty pleasures and chuckles from stuff like these or even from your monstar’s antics. Coming across these charming moments is what really makes this Minis title shine.
On one hand, you get repetitive gameplay and unimpressive sound effects, while on the other you get stunning visuals with a peculiar humor. At $4.99 it may be a little pricey for a game meant for a short-term casual experience, but as long as you keep your playtime limited you may well find yourself enthusiastically screaming “Me Gamer! Hear me mash buttons!”