PSP: Monster Kingdom: Jewel Summoner

Picked this up the other day for the PSP, and highly recommend it to anyone looking for a decent RPG on the PSP. It’s like Pokemon, only the monsters look like they’re right out of a MegaTen game, and the characters are adult. Surprising amount of spoken dialogue in the game, as well.

You get to pick the other 2 members of your 3 man party from a pool of 4 potentials, and each member of your party can carry 3 monsters at a time; this creates a lot more depth to the combat system and the elemental monster matchups.

Anyway, it feels like an overlooked title for the PSP, but it’s easily one of the best I’ve played so far for the system.

How long did the game take to complete? Did it hold up all the way through?

I’m about 20 hours into it so far, and just started doing some amalgamations to change some of my Jewel Monsters into bigger, badder, different versions.

This is really where the game shines, and differentiates itself from Pokemon games. Once you get access to the Jewel Meisters, you can fuse different crystals into your existing Jewel Monsters to add abilities, or affect their stats, or transform them into different evolutions.

For example, say you capture a Baby Wyvern with a Wind Crystal. Now, you can summon and fight and level up this creature, and it will learn some new abilities as it progresses. But, to get the most effectiveness out of it, you can fuse enough Wind shards into it to evolve it into a standard Wyvern (Wind Element), with better stats and new abilities. Alternately, you can fuse Fire shards into it to evolve it into a Fire Wyvern, and change it’s element type to Fire; it still retains its previous Wind-element abilities, but now it adds and learns Fire element skills to supplement or replace these. Or, you can fuse Dark shards into it to evolve it into a Dark Wyvern. These secondary forms can evolve into further forms, depending on what you fuse into them.

Even without evolving the monsters, fusing different elements into them offers abilities outside their norm, and also affects the elemental strengths and weaknesses of the creature. For example, a Fire element creature is strong against Ice, but weak against Water. Furthermore, since Fire is affiliated with the Light element, it is both a stronger attacker and weaker defender against Dark affiliated elements. BUT, if you fuse some Thunder shards into this Fire creature, it will gain some abilities and traits of that element; since Thunder is strong against Water, this will help shore up this creature’s weakness against Water, but also convey more weakness against Earth (Thunder is weak to Earth).

One thing about this system is that the Jewel Fusions are on timers that take place in real-time, so that sometimes you’ll have a Fusion set up, but won’t be able to use the completed creature until several hours have passed in real life. I suppose it forces you to keep a diverse stable of Monsters, but some people might not like that aspect of the game.

Anyway, I’m still having a blast with it. I’ll see how it holds up once I get closer to the endgame.

Some quick impressions 10 hours in:

+Nice Graphics, excellent presentation
+Interesting story, text heavy but doesn’t suffer from poor translation
+Monster Collecting can be entertaining

-Combat is too easy. There is really no need fuse creatures because most enemies will never challenge you. In fact, there is almost no challenge to the combat whatsoever. Play blindfolded and you’d still win 90% of the battles.
-Certain NPCs are very annoying.
-No true town exploration

Thanks guys.

The dialog really outweighs the pokemon fun, strictly speaking of amount. It’s nice to have a game with lots of voiced dialog, but I’d rather but trying to turn this bunny rabbit into a shadow bunny rabbit.