Elemental Monster TD Portable: review

  • Format: PSP (version reviewed), iPhone, iPod Touch, DS
  • Unleashed: Out Now
  • Publisher: Hudson Soft Co Ltd
  • Developer: Hudson Soft
  • Players: 1
  • Site: http://www.hudsonsoft.net/

The Tower Defence style of game has been around since 1990 thanks to Rampart. Elemental Monster started its life as a well received iPhone/iPod Touch game, but has now made the leap to Sony’s PSP. Can it work its magic on PSP users?

Tower Defence games are very popular on PSN with PixelJunk Monsters and Savage Moon being prime examples. This game stands out from the crowd with its use of a deck of cards as the principle weapon. The basic gist of the game is that you have to defend a set route to a castle, from waves of invading monsters. This is achieved by first picking 5 cards, which represent the titular monsters, from the main deck. You pick the cards from a possible 63 (You start off with a meagre 5, but more are unlocked as you progress through the game.) Each monster is assigned mana and an element, which is used to battle the invading enemy monsters. The elements are Fire, Water and Forest, and Light and Dark. If you have a monster with Fire for example, it would have an advantage over an enemy with Forest; while Water would have the advantage over Fire. As you defeat each enemy you are rewarded with mana, which is used to level up the monsters and make them stronger.

The battles rage across a set pathway to your base.

The game has separate Phases, which each have set Waves of enemies to deal with. The game ends if you defeat the final Wave, or your base is overrun. With each enemy that gets through your defences, you lose 1 point from your base defence of 20. If this resistance reaches 0 then it’s game over.

When you reach the end of the Phase, you are awarded money that you can use to purchase additional monsters for your deck. This is the main crux of the game, as you need a pretty even hand that can tackle any elemental monster that is thrown at you. It really is difficult to get the balance right, and to begin with is really challenging. When you get past the 5th Stage you can purchase 3 cards from Sony’s “The Eye of Judgment” card battler on PS3. These uber powerful cards are really hard to obtain, as you need a right good wad of cash, and the only way to obtain the cash is the good old staple of RPGs, grinding! This can be a bit tedious, as it is in RPGs, but the game does draw you back in, as you seek the ultimate hand. As they say in Pokemonland, you just got to collect them all!

Like a good poker player you need a hand with plenty sting!

A couple of drawbacks of the game are the amount of waves you need to defeat to complete a phase. It does get a tad repetitive by the time you reach the 44th wave!! Also the fact the game is on iPhone for £2.39 compared to the £6.29 on PSN makes it a tad expensive. It should perhaps have been priced at the Minis price range. However, once you get deep into the game, it has unrivalled depth compared to other entrants in the genre, and will give you hours of pleasure if you have the patience to keep playing. This is one monster that once it bites you, if you can withstand the initial pain, is hard to shake off.


3/5

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Written by Kevin M

I’ve been addicted to gaming since my parents bought an Atari console way back in the 70’s. I progressed to the iconic Speccy, Amiga, and all the Playstation platforms. Having seen games evolve from single pixel bat and ball, to HD constructed environments, gaming has changed much from my early years. Having defeated the rock hard R-Type on the Speccy, the biggest challenge I’ve faced so far is putting up with the hordes of American teens spouting abuse in the current generation of consoles, noob indeed!

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