Monday, 7 January 2013

Monster Galaxy and Monster Galaxy Exile (2 -in-1 Review)


 Monster Galaxy: The Zodiac Islands and it's sequel  Monster Galaxy: Exile bring you a FREE game that is largely based on the Pokemon type of gameplay and yet has a unique touch to it. A shared theme is that you gotta catch em' all. I am not sure how necessary catching all of them are, or how unnecessary, because I was tempted into catching them all anyways. One thing that differentiates the Monster Galaxy games from the Nintendo games is the humor. It's funniness and unique and interesting characters plays a large factor in the playability of the game. Another difference is that this smartphone app uses the Energy concept also found on some other apps. Energy(represented with a lightning icon) can be replenished or gained by 1 for every 4 or 5 minutes and has a maximum of 100. Coffee, which also looks like a teacup, are this worlds version of potion or revive. You may also use one coffee to fully restore your energy.  Starseeds are this worlds version of Pokeballs. There is only one type of Starseed (unlike post generation 1 Pokemon games if you don't count the 1 Masterball). It's graphics/artwork reminds me of computer internet flash games. I believe the MQ series was originally a browser based game, for example on Facebook, before becoming applications. Oh, and you can only carry up to 3 Moga's with you at a time. Don't worry, the same goes for your opponents too. There are more than 125 monsters to get.

You can name your pet monster too.
  Story: In Monster Galaxy 1 you discover that you have the power to tame(catch) creatures called mogas. The world is doing kinda bad under the ruler/tyrant, King Otho. You take it upon yourself to approach him by going through a series of islands that the king has control over. On the way you meet a bunch of characters, and I mean characters. Hints:Your Moga's heal upon leveling up, so try to use this to your advantage to save from having to use up coffee.

Story in Monster Galaxy Exile: So you were unsuccessful in part one. In the previous game you probably won the battle against the evil King Otho, but upon defeat he banished or sent you to another dimension and you ended up in a space-like more purple world. Again you try to find a way back home or defeat the king. Whatever the purpose, you must travel through islands and deal with humorous characters again. 


Also unlike Pokemon, it will delay your progress if you try to keep each moga for more than two islands(including your starter moga). In fact, most of the monsters aren't really meant to be used to battle anyways. At least 6 monsters from each island are common. The rarity of the moga reflects the mogas stats and usefulness. All attack and HP rely on a monsters level and rarity. For example, Two different types or species of monsters that are at the same level and rareness will do the exact same amount of damage if their attack bar was stopped at the exact same spot during an attack.There are no defense or speed stats in this game. DO NOT STRESS ON CHOOSING YOUR STARTING MOGA, YOU WILL GET RID OF IT LIKE BAD POKEMON TRAINERS DO WITH WEAK POKEMON.

Be sure to often check your QUESTS in your menu before leaving each island. Completing quests will earn you more coffee and starseeds so you will have to search for them less. In the beginning you will have plenty of those items, but late game you may need to battle monsters just to see if you found some. Battles that complete your quests will guarantee you a prize, while other battles do not. I had to go back and do battles with some weak monsters to complete missions because I ran out of said items. Those weak battles did not make my strong monsters any stronger. Each island has a level cap. If a moga has reached the maximum level for that island, it will no longer get experience for battles(sometimes this wasn't completely true in the first game. Although the experience bar showed no progression, it seems less experience was gained). This makes those quests more efficient use of your Energy while you are around that islands level cap, preferably right below of course.

Tip:Be Sure to collect or claim your daily prize.

How to Battle
While on an island, you may only go to the an area adjacent to where you have been. Once you select an area, it's name, description, and Energy requirement will be shown. Once you select that the battles commences. Battles are not in real-time so, but attacks and action selections have timers on them.
-Choose a Moga to send out and start the battle. 
-Attack or use a Zodiac Attack (Special Attack)  
ATTACKING Once you select to attack in MG1, a circular meter will pop out and you will have to tap the screen to stop the moving icon at a desirable location on the bar. If you don't stop it, the attack will miss or do 0 damage. (reminds me of field goals in Madden or 2K games). Increases in damage according to the bar are more exponential than in regular increments.
In MG2, a horizontal bar will pop out at the bottom of the screen and have the same function. This bar made it a lot harder for me to gauge my timing for specific amounts of damage for the purpose of catching a monster. I had done many battles in MG1 and completed it. For both games the Zodiac Special Attack is carried out by tapping the screen to fill up the sign before the time runs out. If the bar/sign isn't filled up when time runs out, the attack will do nothing and you would had lost that turn.

-You can Switch out your moga with one of the other moga's you have with you by tapping on the current moga's icon on the top left hand corner. A list with icons of the other Moga's will drop down and you can select one to come out. You can also give coffee/heal/recover a Moga with this drop down list. 

(ASIDE) The strength of a Special Attack at full strenth is based on the zodiac sign of your current moga and the enemy moga. Each zodiac have advantages over others, some neutral, and some disadvantages. Personally I was too lazy to remember the advantages of each sign so I just waited until the computer did a zodiac attack against me. If it was ineffective against me, then I would know that I should use my zodiac attack because mine would be effective against the enemy. I forgot but it was either 150% or 200% as damaging as a perfectly timed regular attack. There are no critical hits in these two games.



Catching a Moga
This part is similar to Pokemon. Your chances of a successful starseed/pokeball throw depends on the opponents remaining HP. This is where attacking from 1 - maximum strength with the attack bars in MQ games come in handy. Minimum attacks increase from 1 as you reach higher levels. I am not sure it is necessary to have the target moga's hp down to the lowest possible because the chances of catching them that is shown seems to not change very much when already low. Although rare, high level moga's may be captured with just one or two starseeds. This is less rare than in the pokemon games.  Once you throw, the moga picture starts slides back and forth. If it wiggles/almost like vibrating instead of sliding a second time, then you have captured it. Catches are more obvious than in Pokemon. Sorry for the many references or comparisons, I just can't help it.

Each island has a rare moga that will show up(be catchable) once you "master the island" by getting the maximum 3 stars at each location on that island(defeat the island). You may need to level up before attempting to catch the moga because it's level will be higher than average on that island. It is not necessary for you to defeat or capture this moga before accessing the next island. 

Monster Galaxy 2 is a lot more purple.

Differences in 1 and 2.
One has a more natural green world that I like than 2. However, the artwork in 2 is more vibrant and seems to have cleaner drawings and edges. Both have good looking backgrounds that look hand painted and are uncommon in apps. All monsters have the same regular attack animations and maybe zodiac attacks special effects. (In the trailers they have unique looking attacks, but this could be from the browser version). Monsters are nicely drawn and have different levels of originality and creativity. It's tough to come up with monsters now that there have been hundreds of pocket monsters created. The artist(s) still manage to create lots of unique and interesting looking monsters. It's a good trait that rarer stronger monsters do look better and stronger than nonimportant monsters. Oh and you can choose to be a female in part 2. Comparisons to the record breaking pikachu games are unavoidable. I still give props to Monster Galaxy designers for their creativity in monster design and humor to make itself similar and different enough.
 

I didn't get very far in Monster Galaxy Exile. Both smartphone applications require a decent amount of internal memory which my phone lacks. For testing of further apps, I had to uninstall them as I was just about done researching and testing them two. It was fun while it lasted though. The energy requirement may be annoying at times, but it keeps the game going longer and still be enjoyable. My biggest complaint is that at later stages of the game, it takes more than a few scrolls to reach the end of the list of collected monsters(starts from lowest level to highest). This gets irritating because switching out monsters in your three slots is often necessary in the game(almost after every high level battle). Both Monster Galaxy 1 and 2 has an average rating of over 4/5 stars on both Google Play and iTunes. The games are brought to you and developed by Gaia Interactive. I believe they are the same ones responsible for Gaia Online. Get your FREE copy and enjoy. And that's me taking a shot at getting 2 birds or apps with one stone or article.  Oh and this page/forum helped me keep track a lot easier after I started the game and lost track of who I caught and didn't catch. http://www.gaiaonline.com/forum/ios-android/a-full-list-of-mogas-and-where-to-find-them/t.74647353_1       Other pages probably had the browser editions and that had a different list of monsters.

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