Monstro Giganto - Hayesmaker64 gives this latest PETSCII C64 brawler a Full Review!

Monstro Giganto (C64)

Out Now

Publisher: RGCD

Cart: £35.00 (RGCD)

Digital: $7.99 (itch.io)


Monstro Giganto is the second game (following “Boxy Moxy”) developed by “The Pirates of Zanzibar”, A C64 dev team power house comprising Antonio Savona (P0 Snake, Planet Golf, L’abbaye Des Morts, Fix it Felix Jr.), Lobo (graphics) and Aldo Chiummo (music). It’s fairly unique because the graphics are drawn entirely from the PETSCII (8 bit Commodore’s equivalent of ASCII) character set and features great colour, music and of course, being an Antonio Savona game tons of awesome sampled speech - which was provided by a professional voice actor.



The presentation is excellent, starting with a colourful title screen and attract mode with gameplay demos and a main menu. The menu allows starting a 2 player game, a VS AI game, viewing the Hall of Fame high scores, Instructions and Origin stories of the characters featured in the game. But only one is unlocked at the start, you can unlock more as you play the VS mode. There’s also a Jukebox music player available by pressing space from the Instructions screens. When you start a game you are treated to a great character select screen with the monsters rotating around a carousel and dancing to the music!


By default there are 4 characters, or "Monstros" to fight as: EyeEye, Gorgo, Jojo and Mojo. Each Monstro has unique Defence, Strength, Speed, and Attack statistics and as you fight you’ll notice the range of each Monstro’s attack differs from one another. Once selected you have to fight each of the Monstros and the winner is the first to win 2 rounds. If you fail to win 2 rounds, you will see the game over screen and either enter your high score into the "Hall of Fame" or return to the main menu.


The fighting consists of two huge PETSCII monstros who can both attack and defend with 3 offensive moves: Headbut, left/right punches and "Super Punch" as well as block. Fighting features a scrolling foreground landscape which moves as you do. The yellow health bars diminish as blows are landed, and a red stamina bar increases the more moves you make in quick succession. You must be careful not to exceed the Stamina limit, or your Monstro will become dazed, and not be able to attack momentarily. This usually leads to the other player getting one or two free attacks. The responsive controls and fluid combat mechanics make the fights an absolute joy, but you won’t be tested too much for the first few fights.



Once you’ve beaten each of the 4 other Monstros in the first 4 stages, you’ll then be returned to fight them again, but this time they will be tougher. If you can beat this harder set of Monstros, you’ll get to fight a surprise 5th character, and if you beat them you’ll unlock the origin story for your current Monstro. These origin stories feature unique cutscenes, tons of speech and great stories which I found hilarious. 

If you’re playing the digital version however, you’ll not be able to save on real hardware, as the unlocks rely on the GMOD2 cartridge format for saving to the built in eeprom. (GMOD2 crts are not currently supported on any real hardware loading device). Although you will be able to save if you’re playing in VICE 3.1+, or from the physical cart. If you’re not playing on original hardware, be aware that the awesome speech will sound awful on The MiSTER FPGA and The Ultimate 64 - unless you have original SIDs on the Ultimate 64. But modern ViCE installs seems to handle them much better. It was the same with Fix if Felix Jr.



Overall I think Monstro Giganto is fantastic. Even though there are only 4 main Monstros who only have a few moves each, compare this to other excellent C64 1v1 fighting games like Way of the Exploding Fist, or International Karate which only have one. Even as a one player game I can sit down and play this for hours without getting bored, and in 2 player the game is twice as fun! Combined with the stunning visuals, awesome music, and presentation this game is a must have for every C64 owner.

Rating:

Monstro Fantastico!

Monstro Giganto is out now, check here for availability:


posted by @hayesmaker64

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