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Monster Party: Let's Go Again (One Off #6 - Ch. 1)

Posted October 20th, 2017 at 8:34 PM by Rainbow Chara X
Updated November 6th, 2017 at 3:51 PM by Rainbow Chara X
Tags one off


Wait, what? I thought I crashed this party last year!

Well friends, as it turns out, this is a rom hack called Monster Party: Let's Go Again.

It was released by a dedicated group of friends called The Monster Party Overhaul Project as late as 2014 and updated again in 2015.

The deal about the project is that they were inspired by people working to recreate the beta elements of Monster Party and wanted to make their own adjustments to the game. However, somewhere along the line, they wound up making a full-blown semi-sequel rom hack called Let's Go Again... and that's where we come in.

The interesting thing about this hack is that not only is it different enough from the source material to justify a spot in the 2017 Halloween-a-thon (because why would I play the same game I went through last year?), but also because the guys who worked on this knew what they were doing.

I personally love Monster Party and playing the original is good and all, but they're not calling it an overhaul project for nothing, folks. Just wait and see in...

Chapter #1 - Mega Monster Mash
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Spoiler:




[Current OST: Prologue]

Not much is changed in terms of the story, but Mark is blonde now I guess?

At least we get to listen to my favorite song again.



For those of you wondering what kind of wacky text is in this game, go read through the original LP.

That said, "Mark's eyes get moist from the star's beauty" is still in this game. Excellent.



So... a gargoyle alien monster falls out of the skies without you noticing and you still engage in casual conversation with them.

~what a wacky game~



This is the only line that was changed and Bert isn't purple anymore. Aw.



I know this is a game where logic is supposed to take a back seat, but Bert straight up kidnaps a kid to help him fight the forces of darkness. Can you say... stranger danger?



Yeah, yep. They're fusing together. They should have gone the full mile and called it a Bizarre Adventure. (Cut me down for my Jojo sins.)



The more detailed skulls are a nice touch, but that doesn't change the fact that the original was pretty much the same.

I am still astonished Nintendo of America allowed this to pass back in the day because christ, that's gruesome.



[Current OST: Round 1]

Damn, that looks nice.

Round 1 has a more natural look to it in this game, as opposed to the original where it just had pink pillars in the background for some reason.

Also, the burning Japanese schoolboys have been replaced with burning... uh... baseball women? I'd hazard a guess to say they're female delinquents, but that's just me.



Behold - the leg monsters now have a defined ass. This already shoots it up way higher than the original.

... But no seriously though, these guys must be massive if their bottom half is already the size of Mark.



They made the blocks solid from the bottom? That's weird. I can't jump through them anymore.

Our life bar has been changed to be little splatters and that's cute. I'm not sure if we actually have the same health as the base game or if we have more, but I did notice we were able to survive a lot longer than before.

(Of course that could just be me getting better at the game, but oh well.)



Oh hell yeah.

Bert now has armor to reflect his appearance in the prologue and he even shoots fireballs as opposed to lasers. He controls the same way, but the graphical update is nice.

But hey, there's a boss door right there. What are we going to find inside?



[Current OST: Boss Battle]

Oh.

You sure got prettier as the years passed.

The "Sorry I'm dead" routine will never fail to amuse me, though. In fact, it's even more ingenious here because it's the first boss you "encounter". What better way to start off the game than with a boss fight you can't lose?



The real target is the fly that buzzes around the corpse, but they bite it in less than a minute.

These new battle backgrounds are pretty snazzy, though.



A major design flaw of the original Monster Party is that it was chock full of empty rooms that did nothing except maybe give you a random question mark prize.

This hack decides to remove them (almost) completely and instead leave teleport doors - I think it's a neat mechanic, but something tells me we won't need it just yet.



One design flaw in this game, however, is that sometimes they'll have platforms that are too far away for Mark to jump over. Maybe they wanted you to use Bert to fly through the stage, but that's a temporary power-up you have to beat out of your enemies.

Whatever. Mark is a tough boy - spikes don't do muk to him. (Unlike a certain blue bomber)



Oh, you again! You may have fooled me last Halloween, but you won't be so lucky this time.



It helps that I've actually figured out his pattern too - he hops back and forth across the stage, but doesn't do much else aside from shooting pumpkin heads at you. I could have definitely used this information last year and saved myself a death or two.

We seem to be missing the plant boss, but otherwise the game seems to just be a graphical revamp of the original. What's the deal?



Oh god, the cactus again. Please be nice this time.








[Current OST: Round 1 - World of Horror]

Holy psyduck.

I don't know how the guys at the Overhaul Project did it, but they managed to top the original in terms of pure terror. Like alright, the original was pretty spooky, but this is a just a nightmare... in a good way.

The once blue skies are now dark red, the sun is gone and everything is dripping with blood. I still can't imagine just what happened that led to this place getting so psyducked up, but good horror has you ask questions that nobody can really answer anyway.

Oh and it gets better - watch it in motion:



That's some great animation for a bloody wasteland covered in corpses.

One of the main concerns about making Let's Go Again was to update the graphics because admittedly, the original had some pretty dopey sprites... but trust me when I say that there's even more than this.



The human-headed dog is still the same, of course, but wow. Imagine the night terrors all the kids would have if they played this instead - it's like something out of a creepypasta but for real.



I know it's just part of the tileset, but the tree full of faces will never stop being terrifying to me.

Also, oh my god look at the door.



That is beautiful.

I don't know how Mark has the courage to step in there, but he deserves a medal for it.



The last boss of Round 1 is up ahead, but I just have to stop and talk about the pools of blood around here. In the original it was a vaguely blue and red liquid that hurt you if you stepped in it, but in here it's more obvious and fully animated.

I got a bit squeamish when I saw my cousin accidentally stab himself while trying to separate frozen hash browns (he's fine now, by the way), so imagine what my reaction would be if I were in Mark's shoes.



...



So this is what they replace the plant boss with?! Where do I even start with this, holy hell.

One, Katy Perrish. I can see this as a fitting replacement for Not-Audrey from the Little Shop of Horrors, but wow that's just too much cheese for me.

I love the little stage and audience though, especially when you realize they're made up of parts of a beta boss from the original Monster Party. (The scrapped totem boss in particular.)

Also, no, that blue Poyozo Doll from Chrono Trigger is not meant to be there. We're actually supposed to get a good view of Zombie Katy's cooch and well... yeah, I can't have that.



The fight is the same, but I still can't believe that this is the direction they went in. Not saying that's a bad thing because this is still nuts (if a bit risque for Monster Party standards), but just... what?

They did a great job on the sprite though, especially if I had to go out of my way to edit out nudity. (The poor Poyozo Doll will never recover from this.)



Mark will never be the same either.

But hey, at least we got the key! Normally this would be the end of the level, but they actually added in more content!



Due to the blocks being solid now, you have to slide under them. You go at a snail's pace as Mark, but you can at least speed it up with Bert's flying.



Our reward for wading through the blocks is this neat little message from one of the game's creators! I'll be sure to keep that in mind for later.



I'm kinda disappointed they didn't keep the skull frame door from the original, but at least it's more obvious that we're entering a building.

You get a ton of health for completing a level as a reward, so I'm glad for that at least.



You still get passwords because I don't they could change the game up that much, but whatever. Savestates are my forte anyway.



Anyway, Round 2. Let's see what changed.



[Current OST: Round 2]

The Dark World Sewers got a bit danker since we were last here and now the Fish with Legs (yup yuuuup) are red. I mean, they sort of have to be if we're directly below the hellscape that is the first level.



There's blood splattered everywhere and eyes behind cages that even blink. They somehow made this place a little bit spooky, almost as if this is more than just a sewer.

... I don't understand the "free Kevin" sign below Bert, though. They stuffed the game full of references and I'm sad to say I won't get some of the new ones.



(If you're wondering why Bert is pale blue, he's about to turn back into Mark. At least this time the transformation sequence is shorter.)

Medusa is still a snake with snake hair, but at least she's "mixing it up" with a corny one-liner.



She shoots out more fat snakes that are supposed to be Tsuchinoko (a mythical snake cryptid), but she's not that much harder than before.

... Holy crap, I did not notice the woman behind her when playing through. I was so distracted on killing Medusa that I didn't see her. I would ask why there's a woman chained against the wall, but I'm pretty sure I won't like the answer.



Ouch! When the alligators shoot their tails at you, they bleed. At least it grows back instantly due to them being... lizards, I guess?

The eggs that shot bubbles have been properly restored to shooting Facehuggers, so that's neat.

The blood-spewing wall mouths are completely gone, though. I appreciate the change, mostly because they killed the pace of an otherwise straight line level.



The Haunted Well boss is still great, although it's more or less a palette swap. If anybody wants to know the origins of this thing, you can read it in the first LP.



Much like Round 1, this door is supposed to take you back and forth between the ends of the sewer. This is where the guys took some creative liberties as the end level door is not all the way to the right like in the original.

Instead, there's another boss and the final door is in the middle of the stage. I'll admit, that's a cool way to spice things up.



"Maybe you'll die!!"

... Teehee.

If anybody's confused by this, this boss isn't a brand new thing and all that happened was the graphics got touched up a bit. (In fact, now that I mention it, what was up with the boss stages in the original Round 2 having veins with skulls entangled in them? It made sense due to what was above ground, but I dunno.)

Basically the joke is that The Fly (a horror movie where a man is mutated into a fly hybrid through science!! ) and fry sound the same in Japanese, they just decided to make it a bit more obvious here.




They're exactly the same in terms of difficulty, but I'll admit. Every time a food item crops up in a video game, I can't help but get hungry even if it's a predictable response.

It's a natural instinct of mine.



Killing the evil sentient food gives us the last key and we get to move on!



Round 3 is pretty much the same barring one boss, but that doesn't mean it's any less difficult.



[Current OST: Round 3]

This is still my favorite looking level out of the first Monster Party.

In fact, I remember wanting to get a physical copy of this game because it enchanted me that much, but the oldest system I had was a Super Nintendo so I couldn't play it even if I wanted to. Oh well.



One major and aggravating change to the level is that the spikes that fall are indistinguishable from the ones that don't. Since I was pretty impatient this time around, I breezed through this place at the cost of most of my health.



It's nice to see the bones and bat ghost agan, although they totally could have made them into Dracula Ghost just to be cheeky.



Oh, damn. You know he's mad when he's not even going to make a silly joke like "mooove it!" this time around... not helped by the fact he looks kind of creepy with his blank eyes. (The first Monster Part had them too, but here it just looks intense.)

The boss battle background has been dramatically improved, though. It went from being a weird green intestine room to being a realistic (for the NES) cave complete with actual stalactites.



Minotaur Man still shoots the same cute cartoon cows at you, but I took a beating from him. I don't remember if he was this punishing in the original or if I was just being a dummy, but all the beautiful health we had at the beginning is practically gone.



[Current OST: Sphinx Battle]

The Invisible Man boss is now a proper mummy, but the song title kind of loses its meaning when there's no weird-looking Sphinx in sight.



It's still as stressful as before though, especially since there's no real pattern to his movement.



Yep, I can't believe Mark is dead. I find it clever how he's literally pushing up daisies, though.



[Current OST: Game Over]

Hey, at least the game over theme is still as catchy as ever. (I also think it's nice how they use the same font from the title screen for Game Over as opposed to plain NES text)



Thankfully we manage to get rid of the Mummy without losing our life (and sanity). I don't think this would be possible without Bert, honestly.



Umbrella Bats are as adorable as ever, though.

(In fact, this little fella even gave me a giant health boost! Now that's generous.)



WHAT?!

What the hell is that?! Is that supposed to be another reference to John Carpenter's The Thing? Only this time it's a disembodied woman's torso with multiple legs and what I assume is more vag...

Crono's not having a good time censoring this one, the poor bastard.



Despite the very... odd design this boss has, she(?) moves like the spider boss from the original... oh, and she even throws her legs at you like this needed to be more disgusting.



The bosses in this hack put me in like a zen mode of weird. It's hard to describe, but how can I when an evil, decaying Katy Perry and an angry torso are trying to kill me?



I kind of don't like how the end level doors are generic metal ones now... but at the same time, the original ones didn't make much sense considering you had to use keys to open them.

Yeah, you need a key to open an visibly open cave entrance in the first Monster Party.



[Current OST: Round 4]

Round 4 has had its palette updated to have more realistic colors as opposed to the weird blue/white combo it had before. I guess that's fine, but there was just something about the strange color palette that made this place more alien and unwelcoming.

Like I dunno, part of the appeal of the Dark World for me is that it was so alien that I couldn't make sense of what was happening. I mean, that's certainly still here and the team did a damn good job, but oh well.



The boss backgrounds are now a real Egyptian tomb as opposed to a strange purple orb room that didn't seem to be connected to anything.

... Have I ever questioned why a ghost samurai is inside of an Egyptian tomb? Maybe I shouldn't start now.



Beating him this time reveals that he's controlled by... the old Mark sprite on stilts? Wait, wh... how did...

It's hilarious, but I'm so confused right now.



Oooh, spooky. This is one of the only few empty rooms they decided to keep in and I like that they use it to enhance the atmosphere instead of just tricking you for no reason.



Level-wise, Round 4 isn't much different. Although, there is a bit at the end that gets on my nerves because it's too tall for Mark to jump by himself... so he needs Bert to get across. I kind of consider that bad design because there's no enemy nearby that drops a pill, forcing you to walk back to one that does.

It gets on my nerves, but alright.



Wow, that's super cute.

I love it whenever I can get a good animated gif out of the game I'm playing.



That said, holy muk that cat is a serial killer!

The original just had her shooting gremlin babies at you, but here she's throwing severed Mark heads at you. That's pretty metal.

Oh but wait... this isn't even the highlight of Round 4. No, feast your eyes... on this!:





O-Oh.

Is that who I think it is?



[Current OST: Rocker Boss]

AMAZING.

It's Max Headroom, everybody! For the un-initiated, Max Headroom was an artificial intelligence character that someone used the likeness of to hijack a TV network in Chicago on November 22nd, 1987.

The hijacking is pretty creepy and I don't know where the hijacker is today, but my god the amount of effort put into this boss fight is ridiculous. Those graphics are damn good for the NES (especially the animated monitors, holy crap), so I just have to give the Overhaul Project guys a round of applause for their work here.

Gameplay-wise, Max Headroom is just the Rocker Boss from the original... but I couldn't figure out what part of him was the hitbox, so I just swung at whatever.



I nearly died, but at the same time, that was.... an experience.



Next time on Monster Party: Let's Go Again, we visit the second half of the renovated Dark World and see what else the kooky people at the Overhaul Project have up their sleeves.

On a side note, I'm glad I found this to begin with because those new bosses were uh... quite something.

See you guys then.


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