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Author Topic: Mail Order Monsters: Spiritual Successor? [Monster Lab - Wii]  (Read 1322 times)
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coopasonic
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« on: April 26, 2010, 01:42:26 PM »

OK, I tricked you into looking at this thread. I'll admit it, but realistically how else am I going to get you to open a thread on a year and a half old Wii game that nobody played?

http://www.metacritic.com/games/platforms/wii/monsterlab

Monster Lab is a Wii game from Christmas 2008. I'd say it's targeted at kids, but it's kind of along the lines of Pokemon in that it's a kids game with ganmeplay that can be appreciated by adults. I also think it's more tactically interesting than Pokemon. I bought it for my son, but I'm really enjoying it myself.

You fight to get ingredients,you combine ingredients to create parts, combine parts to make monsters, make monsters to fight.

Combat is simultaneous turn-based, each body part (legs, 2xarms, head) except the torso has two possible actions, each action has an energy cost, damage amount and targets various, generally multiple enemy body parts. The torso has two actions, recharge which fully recharges energy and dodge which partially recharges energy and has a high chance to dodge the incoming attack. You can destroy body parts which eliminates attacks from that body part. Destroying everything but torso, or the torso wins the match. There's a rock, paper, scissors mechanic in that the parts are categorized as mechanical, biological or alchemical. Mech is strong against Bio is strong against alch is strong against mech. The nice part is your monster can be a mix of all of the above and generally so are your enemies, making more complex than your standard
RPS mechanic.

Winning a fights gets you ingredients which you take back to the lab and combine to make new parts. There is a lab for each category of mech, bio and alch. Each lab has 4 machines each with their own minigame that is used to create, legs, arms, torsos or heads. There are 60-ish primary components and I forget how many secondary components. Getting the right combo gets you bonuses or penalties to the part's effectiveness. Doing well or poorly in the minigame determines the parts health points. You get recipes as you play and you can experiment on yor own to find good parts. You get lots of drops so there's no shortage of stuff to experiment with.

Monster building is as simple as picking parts and putting them together. There are lots of considerations, generally you want high health in all part s as that is your main defense. The higher energy your torso has the more attacks you can get off before wasting a turn recharging or dodging. The variety of attacks makes for lots of choices. Do you want to focus strogn attacks on the torso or attacks that hit everything for smaller amounts? Or different parts with strong attacks on various body parts? Say you decide your going to generally go with torso attacks. Head Butt is a very strong head and torso attack that I use often to great effect, but what happens when the enemy knocks my proverbial block off? I need other attacks available to get the job done.

Over the first two hours you are unlocking all of the various part creation tools and then as your progress through the story and various areas you get higher tier secondary pieces that ramp up the difficulty of the part creation mini-games and the quality of the resulting pieces. Completing missions, fights and minigames earns xp which earns levels which opens gates on the levels of parts you can use on your monsters. You can create parts that you can't use yet. The games warns you when doing this. The story is predictably very silly. You must stop the evil baron whatshisname by building monsters to complete quests and unlock areas and the cycle continues.

The only complaint I ahve about the game is the Field Repair minigame. After a fight you can/should fix your monster before going to find the next fight. You get 15 seconds to rotate your wii remote as past as possible while using the nunchuk control stick to select body parts. Hello RSI.

I picked this up at walmart new for $15 Saturday, great price for a great game. It's also one of the nicer looking Wii games I've played. I can't believe this never got any attention.
« Last Edit: April 27, 2010, 10:58:16 PM by coopasonic » Logged

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Cragmyre
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« Reply #1 on: April 26, 2010, 01:53:33 PM »

Is Multiplayer Wi-Fi only? or is there any form of two player mode so I can play alongside my kid?
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coopasonic
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« Reply #2 on: April 26, 2010, 02:01:25 PM »

Quote from: Cragmyre on April 26, 2010, 01:53:33 PM

Is Multiplayer Wi-Fi only? or is there any form of two player mode so I can play alongside my kid?

Sadly, no split screen or any kind of local multi. I didn't try the online stuff, but it sounds like it's just combat. I'd say if yuour kid can handle the pokemon games, this would be about right as well. I'm not sure what age the pokemon games are good for. My oldest is about to turn 4 and there's no way he could play this himself.
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« Reply #3 on: April 26, 2010, 02:04:39 PM »

Ha!  I just got the DS version of this last week for my son for his birthday.  So far both he and his older brother seem to be enjoying it.  They appear to have altered or modified a few of the mini-games to fit the DS touchscreen and stylus really well. 
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Cragmyre
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« Reply #4 on: April 26, 2010, 02:41:39 PM »

My kids are 8 and 10, so no issues there.  Plus, you had me at Mail Order Monsters.  I just ordered this game from amazon ( for under $10 ) and will get it Wednesday.  I'll have to add my Wii Friend code to the GT list smile
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« Reply #5 on: April 27, 2010, 02:52:04 PM »

dang it, I was hoping for a closer successor to MOM with the fighting portion being real time like the original, not turn based  crybaby
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« Reply #6 on: April 27, 2010, 03:31:43 PM »

I know Bill Harris blogged about really enjoying this one with his son.
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« Reply #7 on: April 27, 2010, 03:57:47 PM »

I've almost picked up this game a bunch of times.  I've only been waiting to find it at the right price.
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coopasonic
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« Reply #8 on: April 27, 2010, 04:12:03 PM »

Quote from: Bullwinkle on April 27, 2010, 03:57:47 PM

I've only been waiting to find it at the right price.

$9.96 at Amazon. I don't know if a price gets any mroe right than that. I found it well worth the $15 + tax Walmart wanted for it.
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« Reply #9 on: May 12, 2010, 07:13:49 PM »

Got this at a closing FYE in Tyson's Corner for $3.50 last Saturday, I've played for a bit, gotten to the second set of part making tools, and have generally enjoyed it immensely. It's a tad repetitive, would love to play against some you all's monsters, but hell, for $3.50 who can really complain?
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coopasonic
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« Reply #10 on: May 12, 2010, 08:09:50 PM »

It is definitely repetitive. I'm at 100+ wins and 3 losses and just starting the final location. There's definitely a bit more challenge on the last island though. I'd love to beat the crap out of someone else. It wouldn't really be very fair to fight epopel who aren't at a similar stage in the game. If I go back two islands I one shot pretty much everything I face.
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coopasonic
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« Reply #11 on: May 17, 2010, 12:11:31 PM »

Quote from: Tebunker on May 12, 2010, 07:13:49 PM

would love to play against some you all's monsters

My code: 2236 0299 6815

I beat the final boss last night and had an end game record of 140-4, damn final boss beat me the first time! In post-game play I finally put together a second monster. I had to see what the T-Rex parts looked like. slywink There are a few improvements I'd like to make with my Primary monster so I may do some more post-game grinding. One important thing I learned, the difficulty of any specific part depends on your level. There are some of those minigames that KILL me at L4 (bio torsos, bio arms, bio legs - screw bio!)  but if you keep playing they will eventually drop to level 3 at least. Sadly your character levels aren't numeric and I can't find a list so it's hard to compare, but I'm at about 22 million xp.

If anyone wants to square off, let me know and we can try to work something out. biggrin sadly the multi is friends only.
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