Monster Blade is a free-to-play 3D action game presented by Nubee. The game reminds players of the popular Monster Hunter series since their themes are quite similar: players slay monsters, gain experience points to level up and win gold to upgrade the equipments. Nevertheless, the outstanding visual effects among others do help lift this game to a higher level that makes it stand out among those of the same kind.
Most players will be astonished at first sight for its beautiful art design rendered in HD. Flourishing forests, vast deserts and white serene snow mountains and other fields are all rendered delicately. However, the seemingly peaceful Gaia land is shrouded by potential dangers and threats posed by the rising Godbeasts. You can’t enjoy the beauty unless all the evils are wiped out. Therefore, players cast in the role of the slayers must go out, hunt and kill the monsters to restore order and peace on the land again.
Though it’s an action game, it doesn’t display any bloody and disgusting scenes. Instead, it offers many aesthetic and lovely elements to create a moderate yet thrilling gaming environment. At the beginning, a cute white rabbit named Ocha will pop up to guide you through the hunt. It is Ocha who always wears a smile that turns to you for help in the first place. Its long ears bearing a resemblance to a pair of scissors sway gentling all the time and its body keeps wiggling. You just can’t bear to say no to such an adorable character. When you have trouble in fighting against the monsters, it will come out and give you some suggestions.
Having accepted your mission, you have to commit yourself to killing all of Vahagn’s minions before you confront the ultimate enemy – the Great Dragon. Monster Blade abounds with a variety of offerings: diamonds, gold, lightening, XPs, battle points, a comprehensive set of equipments, and secret skills. All of those are trophies that can be collected in battles. In the game, the hunt is divided into different themes, each of which consists of many areas, which can be unlocked one by one so that you can play on and on. For example, Death from Above contains Western Fringe, Greenwood Forest, and Emerald Heart etc.
The game features simple and intuitive controls: tap and swipe on the screen. It doesn’t actually ask you to travel through the vast fields to search for the vicious monsters carefully. Once you’re in an area, you are placed directly in front of your enemy. By tapping on the enemy, you can start a battle instantly. During a battle, there are five buttons listed on the screen. The left and the right arrows are used to dodge from an attack. The shield button is used to block one. If the timing is right, you can materialize a perfect block, which will inflict larger damage and stun monsters for a few seconds. Swiping initiates an attack. Swiping in different directions will generate more powerful attacks and may activate some secret combos. You can also create combos by combining the left and the arrows and the shield icon. In this case, the most common combos are phoenix talons, eagle claws and viper strikes. The other two buttons are the SUPER button and Friend Assist button. The former is used to inflict damage and stun monsters while the latter is used to request help from a friend. When you tap the Friend Assist button, the friend chosen in advance will appear by your side and unleash his or her skill to help. He or she may heal you when you’re out of health points or initiate his or her unique skills to help defeat the monster. These two buttons can only be used once in every hunt. In addition, it’s very easy to tap these two buttons when you don’t intend to if you are engaged in a fierce battle. In my opinion, this is a minor flaw of the game.
Every time you have to fight against three monsters, including a boss. The monsters can be mutant oxen, vipers, and dinosaurs etc. If you manage to end the battles with three gold medals consecutively, a mystery treasure will be unlocked and you’ll get some really good stuff. If you fail in the middle, you can either give up and start over or continue the battle at the cost of a diamond.
Monster Blade also enables you to customize your role with over 400 unique weapons and armors, which can be further divided into blades, caps, straps, boots, leggings and jerkins etc. All these items can be upgraded into more powerful versions with a certain amount of gold. And of course, you are allowed to sell those less useful items for gold so that you can upgrade the crucial ones.
One innovation of this game is that it adopts the concept of elemental balance, reminiscent of the five elements (earth, water, metal, wood and fire) in Chinese culture. But the counterparts of this game are earth, ice, lightening, fire and wood. All the weapons and monsters bear attributes of one or more of the five elements. You need to figure out the interconnections between each other. For example, earth element weapons inflict x2 damage against ice element monsters. Also, armor of a specific element halves the damage done to you by a monster of the opposing element. Therefore, you need to choose the equipments accordingly to strike attacks as effectively as possible so that you will have a better chance to win.
It's really praiseworthy for Nubee, a company famous for Animal Collections, Japan Life and Vegas Life etc., to present such a great action game. And Monster Blade isn't disappointing given its aesthetic visuals, intuitive controls, customization features and diversified levels.