Monkey Barrels - Review, a half-successful arcade shooter

Monkey Barrels - Review, a half-successful arcade shooter

A little over a year after its launch on Nintendo Switch, Monkey Barrels finally landed also on PC, more precisely on theEpic Games Store. The title is one shooter from 3D pixel graphics with isometric visual from above, marked with a high degree of challenge and one pace of play extremely pressing. The game, published and developed by the small Japanese team of Good-Feel with the support of the American Nicalis, it is a quality product fluctuating what a mix good playful elements, with heart-pounding fights, to some technical defects that we cannot fail to mention. Before reviewing the game, in fact, we need to do one proper prerequisite, since the version 1.0.0 currently available on PC appears to have a competitive multiplayer absolutely unusable given the lack of a server effective that allows you to find other players around the globe. We are talking about a factor that, although secondary in a title of this kind, must still be specified in the review. So if you are going to play the title in multiplayer, for now you will not have the chance and obviously this, together with other technical problems that we will explain to you later, will have a negative influence on the final grade of this review.

A banal story, in a fascinating universe

La history main of Monkey Barrles is perhaps one of the more components trivial of the title, even if the narrative premises are extremely captivating. The narrative arc proceeds in fact without excessive twists or noteworthy moments, demonstrating that this was perhaps not the fulcrum on which the developers based their efforts, the more a pretext to give the player a hundreds of weapons with which to give battle. narrative premises e the setting they are however very peculiar; in fact, the Monkey Barrels events are included in one Tokyo destroyed and covered with garbage, in a context post apocalyptic where mankind ha ceased to exist, hunted and exterminated by gods smart appliances that he had accumulated so dully, driven by an irrepressible consumerist desire.

In fact, the work of the guys from Good-Feel is at times criticizes towards the consumerist world and are very abundant i environmental references that the team wanted to include in the course of the game. Since humanity has disappeared, kicked out of the same appliances it had created, now only the monkeys to populate a gray world e full of waste. Consequently, it will be up to a small family of evolved monkeys the task of stopping the evil scientist crazy Dr.Crabbenwold, one of the architects of the apocalypse, by reducing the animal world in bondage and annihilate forever "vita" on planet. Narrative premises that, as we said before, are extremely interesting, too bad DON'T are assisted by a sufficiently well-finished narrative structure, with a story that proceeds, as we have already said, with the solo purpose to allow the couple of the protagonists of equip weapons e tear apart thousand of mad robots.

So many strengths and as many weaknesses

Il gameplay of Monkey Barrels is that of one shooter similar arcade insertable in the subgenus of Shoot 'em up, that is to say that type of action video games famous in the nineties as well as for the high degree of challenge, also for the enormous amount of projectiles on the screen that the player must dodge. If we were to draw a parallelism that was not too forced, we could put the game in the same category as the fantastic Cuphead released in 2017, only with an overhead view. Mokey Barells will therefore put us in the shoes of one of the two agile monkeys protagonists, Masaru e Hanako, aided and equipped by the trusty gorilla gunsmith Shibayama who will build weapons of various kinds for them to allow them to face the endless throngs of cybernetic adversaries unscathed.

The title features a tiered structure with numerous groups of enemies to face in environments of varying width, from the smallest rooms to the open fields. Furthermore, at the end of each level there will always be a boss to be eliminated by dodging hundreds of bullets at the same time. The characterization of the boss fights at the end of the level is perhaps the most component criticizes gameplay of the title. In fact, where the game presents an interesting structure of the various settings and a fair variety in the situations to be faced, the same cannot be said of the repetitive enemy at the end of the mission, usually a cybernetic mind flanked by numerous rocket turrets. The model used, although presented to us in many sauces, it is practically always the same, which goes to create a kind of repetitiveness basically extremely marked.

Monkey Barrels - Review, a half-successful arcade shooter

Different speech instead for the bosses to whom a is dedicated entire stage and that turned out to be interesting and terribly difficult to deal with. In particular, one of the latest bosses proved not only incredibly challenging, too interesting from the point of view of the characterization is aesthetics and from a gameplay point of view. A flicker of originality that we would have appreciated even in the common and tragically repetitive enemies of the end of the level. They are also also present variants internship on board various vehicles drivablei like motorcycles and even tanks that increase the already discrete multiplicity of situations that we will encounter.

One of the more features special of the game is definitely there great variety di weaponry available and the aesthetic composition of the same. In fact, almost all guns will present some reference to a critique ofglobal pollution, and are consequently all composed of residues of trash of the human age. Objects that man has considered as garbage and that now instead will rediscover a noble purpose, that of saving what remains of life on planet earth. Among these handcrafted weapons we can for example mention some such as: the "spara moka amaro" built with a coffee container empty, the “Idro-1000 yellow” assembled with a broken hydrant, or the "spicy cecchin-oil" made with one bottle of oil route. Furthermore, the improvised weapons that Shibayama will offer us will not be underestimated as they will be able to annihilate hordes of crazy appliances without any problem and all will have points di force e weaknesses specifications. It will also be possible to expand the arsenal by exploring every single corner of the maps present in search of weapons projects, thus leaving room for the player to make some small detours from the main route.

In Monkey Barrels they are therefore present countless equipment for all tastes and styles of play, even if, to be honest, given the high degree of challenge of the title, only some of them will truly be effective to help us easily reach theepilogue. The "mustard laser sauce" is for example a deadly laser rifle that we like to define as "the boss slayer", precisely because it is capable of pulverizing the vital bar of the most difficult enemies in a short time, especially if used in combo with a mechanics perhaps not exactly balanced, that of "primordial anger". Our monkeys, in fact, will be able to temporarily enter a sort of rage mode with which to destroy, at a higher rate of fire, all nearby enemies. Also, the weapons will have for a few moments infinite chargers - even those that generally download with extreme speed - to allow you to balance the very high dps (damage per second). Well, the pairing oflaser gun more harmful than the game and the rage mode it can allow you to inflict frightening damage for relatively long times, making this little gem a gun perhaps a little too effective in its role and therefore unbalanced compared to the others in killing the most difficult opponents.

The interesting interesting of Monkey Barrels

La technical component by Monkey Barrels is that of a 3D pixel art game not particularly noteworthy aesthetically but that it still succeeds in its task. However, on the Nintendo Switch to PC conversion side, we have some important notes to make. In fact, the settings settings present in-game graphics are almost completely non-existent, allowing us to change the resolution only and decide whether or not to activate the V-sync, leaving players with very few options as a result. The disarming paucity of more specific settings is excused in a small part only by the genre of the title, but we would have expected to be able to set at least a few more parameters.

Monkey Barrels - Review, a half-successful arcade shooter

In addition to this negative factor there is also aoptimization not always perfect that in some specific contexts it even becomes deleterious for the proper development of the gameplay. This unfortunate circumstance occurred in some mid-game stages with a noticeable drop in frame rate. Being a title oriented almost 100% on the reactivity and on reflexes, such shortcomings, however detailed a specific points, I am anyway from report.

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