Mega Monster Mania – XBLIG Review

A WDesm review for XBoxHornet

“The addictive randomness of Diablo meets the mechanics of a twin stick shooter, and it ROCKS!”

If you’re like me, a claim of Diablo and twin-stick shooter should make you antsy, given how saturated those genres have become in recent years. And on paper, perhaps Mega Monster Mania seems like it should be rehashed garbage; take two over-mimicked genres, mix, and you always end up with a mess, right?  Well, evidentally not: Mega Monster Mania seems to hit the sweet spot between being instantly comprehensible and not so banal as to offend.  As for me, I’m just glad that Stegersaurus opted to make the deal even sweeter with a two-player mode, because nothing makes a great game greater than playing with your friends.

The game starts you off by choosing a few small options – humourously, you run around the start menu with the same mechanics as you play the game, allowing you to get a handle on gameplay quickly.  Auto-attack seems to be a no-brainer, since there’s no penalty for low accuracy, but you can also choose your starting dungeon level (up to the max that you’ve encountered) and your character image.  After a few seconds, you can throw yourself into the action, swinging swords and quaffing potions.

Like any twin stick shooter, the left stick is movement, and the right stick is attack direction.  Since you primarily use melee weapons, the risk is a lot higher in this game than in other twin stick shooters, so thankfully, you can collect potions rather frequently to improve your odds, be their health potions, damage resistance potions, bombs, or ‘knockback’ crowdclearers, they will make your life easier.  That’s not the only loot you collect, however – monsters and chests randomly drop weapons and armor of all shapes, sizes, and properties, and just like any other Diablo/loothunter game, you’ll be addicted to always getting the better gear and better enchantments.  The controls aren’t perfect, and to be honest, I found movement to be a little ‘floaty’ – it’s a shame that there wasn’t some form of targeting assistance, as it would be nice to be able to lock your aim onto specific high-priority enemies. If that sounds a little contradictory to the usual twin stick shooter mentality, I understand, but the controls just didn’t win me over, and aiming your slow-firing bow at distant targets was not a rewarding experience.

Sadly, the multiplayer is 2-player local only; it would be amazing to have 4-player rumbles ala Castle Crashers, and I can only imagine how deep in the dungeon you could survive with such firepower.  Even as it stands, though, this is one game I strongly encourage you to try.  You may just get hooked on loot collecting and dungeon spelunking, and if you find another pal on the couch to play with, all the better.

Game Score 8.5/10

Download a demo here.


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