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Gadgets & Home Improvement

Monster Blade

The premise of the game is simple: kill monsters, get better equipment, kill more monsters.
The Straits Times - May 10, 2013
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Monster Blade

The premise of the game is simple: kill monsters, get better equipment, kill more monsters.

But beneath the apparent simplicity dwells a deep and visually brilliant game that kept me hooked for weeks.

While monster hunting sounds a lot like the hit Japanese console game Monster Hunter, this game plays more like Infinity Blade.

Like Infinity Blade, you use your fingers to swipe commands on the screen to execute attacks, dodges and blocks. Combat success comes with a keen eye, fast fingers and good coordination.

You can defend and wait to execute the perfect dodge or block that stuns the monster for a few seconds before you counter-attack. But your timing needs to be perfect. In some fights, there is a time limit, so the turtling strategy cannot work. I found I had to keep slashing while looking out for signs of where the attack was coming from.

This is not easy as there are eight to 10 types of monsters, each with a different style of attack, which I had to learn through trial and error.

Larger creatures, such as the bull and crocodilean ones, hit hard but are slow. Flying serpents and raptors hit fast but do less damage per strike.

At the end of each stage, there is a creature you have to fight: a three- headed hydra, fire-breathing dire wolf or a purple dragon that breathes fireballs. These are just a few of the big guys I had to take down.

Each monster belongs to one of the five elements - fire, earth, water, lightning and metal. The first three play out like scissors-paper-stone.

Using a fire weapon against an earth creature does double damage. It is only half as effective against a water creature. Don earth armour and you can better defend against water creatures but are weak against fire monsters.

Lightning and metal are neutral, so they always do and receive the same damage against the first three elements, but are twice as effective against each other.

The tough part is getting powerful weapons and armour of the right element to take out the big guys.

You will need to kill the correct monsters to acquire loot of the right element and then merge them with other equipment to make them even more powerful. All this takes a lot of time and patience.

While it can get repetitive killing the same monster over and over again, it is still fun because it will take many bouts to really figure out each monster's move.

As with all free-to-play games, you can always cheat by using real money to buy green diamonds that will buy you powerful equipment. But the beauty of this game is that you can still enjoy playing it without paying a single cent.

Throw in some amazing artwork and it is not hard to understand why this game has been downloaded more than 100,000 times worldwide in just over two weeks, and is now at No. 18 in the Google Play Store for Top New Free App and No. 17 in the Top Free Arcade and Action categories.

In my opinion, it is even better than Infinity Blade.

ginlee@sph.com.sg

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