Monster Party (NES) Retro Review


Monster Party is a 1989 Platformer for the NES developed by Human Entertainment and published by Bandai. The game pays homage to /parodies various classic horror monsters and locations throughout the game. The version I’m playing is a restoration hack based on the unreleased Japanese prototype and what the game could have looked like if not for copyright and Nintendo of America’s strict censorship.

The aim of the game is to go through levels looking through doors to get the key to win the level whilst beating enemies and bosses.

 

Monster Party Restoration-0

 

Definitely an interesting title screen with the huge mouth and the monsters walking past, looks so much better with red (blood) instead of green (goo). I wasn’t so sure about the music, it wasn’t bad but considering the game its in I wasn’t sure it fit. Although its all seems to be like that so its easy to get used to.

The story seems a little bit dumb and surprisingly it was always meant to be like that and isn’t a consequence of censorship like I initially thought.

 

Monster Party Restoration-1Monster Party Restoration-2

 

Starting the game the graphics seem a bit bad, the trees are blocky for instance but the sudden change in the middle of the first level was awesome (see screenshot) and the graphics from then on are pretty decent. The music even gets much better when that happens too, oddly enough this is present in the released version and its been questioned how it got past censors. The controls were easy to figure out since you only have 1 attack which personally seems quite bad.

At first glance the game seems insanely unfair, you have you incredibly short range bat and they have projectiles, you also only have one life and the first door you walk in seems to be a miniboss (which is a homage to little shop of horrors like it was meant to be unlike the generic thing it got replaced with).

However what you may not realise if you play this without looking it up is that all projectiles can be reflected back which is essentially the players true attack and the only possible way to beat bosses. Its quite hard to do at first but I can say for certain the second i realized it I got hit a lot less. Also while you have one life the possible health you can have is quite a lot which can be refilled if you take advantage of the fact enemies reappear if you walk away after killing them and come back.

 

Monster Party Restoration-3

 

While the bosses were plentiful and unique they sometimes seemed a bit too hard, I don’t know how you were meant to beat that pumpkin ghost but there’s probably a trick to it. After all I easily beat Medusa by being as close as possible and attacking her head with the bat which reflected her projectiles the instant they appeared (I felt quite smart after working that out).

While I didn’t make it that far at all I can say that i enjoyed playing it, this may be another of the old games that would benefit from getting a remake especially if they got permission to use the copyrighted characters it was meant to have.

Overall, I think its a decent platformer that should be tried out at least once although people that don’t like hard games should probably steer clear of it.

If you want to play the hacked version I did you’ll need the original rom (from anywhere), the restoration patch and Lunar Ips to apply said patch (ask and I’ll add links to the post).

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