Monark- Review

Our Score: 8/10

In Monark your world is turned upside down when the mysterious Mist surrounds your school. Enter the Otherworld and harness the power of your insanity to defeat the seven “Pactbearers” who are destroying your world. But, before you succumb to the lunacy, can you save your friends?

Could you face yourself and the threats you face in order to save the people you care about? A delirious Mist immerses Shin Mikado Academy. And only you can save everyone trapped inside. Break the Pactbearers’ pacts and eliminate the corrupting Mist by developing your Ego.

Rise of the King

Monark starts off with fairly standard JRPG material. With a high school student confronting not just their own mortality, but also a large and convoluted web of conspiracies, magic, and secret talents. Throughout Monark’s first several hours of gameplay, one question will definitely arise. Why is any of this happening? Story beats move at a breakneck pace. In a story that is intent on extracting the terrible truths of the human mind and presenting them in detail to those who are listening. Seemingly skipping over character development and world-building in the process.

Monark- MC

Monark takes place in an environment that is all too familiar. High school students find themselves in perplexing situations that grownups could have avoided if they had cared. Shin Mikado Academy’s campus is engulfed in an odd mist that transforms anybody who enters it into a shell of their former self. Additionally, our amnesiac protagonist accepts a phantom phone call and establishes a bargain with a supernatural being named Vanitas in order to save the Unsettled. What’s the plan? To lift the barrier and prevent the Otherworld from taking over, defeat the Pactbearers (one for each of the seven sins).

Call of Madness

The majority of Monark takes place in the Mist. A magical phenomenon that progressively drives humans insane while simultaneously allowing them to go to the Otherworld. A place where Daemons reside. The protagonist must fight these Daemons with their chosen talent as a Pactbearer, someone who has formed a contract with a Monark, a type of Daemon. Exploring the Mist at the school and solving riddles to proceed is actually enjoyable, if a little irritating at times. In contrast Monark doesn’t hold the player’s hand when it comes to figuring out what’s going on, so solving cases or passcodes provides a true sense of accomplishment.

Combat begins once the player has arrived in the Otherworld. And it is a much more tactical form of JRPG than conventional turn-based battling. Positioning on the battlefield, environmental threats, and two different charge meters. Awake and MAD. Handling these skillfully will be interesting. Awake is the more common charge meter, which may be built up through combat on its own or more quickly by taking turns, and aids in the unleashing of powerful powers that can shift the battle tide. Additionally, MAD is far more interesting, as Authorities (essentially the game’s magic) gradually fill this meter. Furthermore, characters can enter a sort of overpowered feral state when they reach 100% MAD. During which they attack anything on sight and can’t be controlled.

Monark’s resonance system is one of its more distinctive features. The main character’s Authorities empower him to share status effects, stats, and even the Authorities of anyone with whom he resonates. There’s also a variation that lets him resonate with adversaries, which means that if you’re Awakened and resonating with a Pactbearer or their Monark, you can use their Authority powers against them.

The Look of a Psyche

Monark’s enemy and world aesthetics are among its best features. There’s a nice mix of bright anime aesthetics and genuinely horrifying depictions of mankind, which creates a memorable atmosphere. Additionally, while the fighting doesn’t quite match the beauty or appeal of the artwork and cutscenes that surround Ideals, it’s still fun to play.

The amazing music of Monark keeps everything moving. VTuber studio Kamitsubaki created the soundtrack in partnership. It features electric Japanese rock and effervescent pop music. Each boss has its own distinct theme tune, and the game’s opening scene is breathtaking.

Final Verdict

Monark is a solid JRPG with a decent combat system and an interesting story. The story and plot feel a bit over the place. However, there’s a lot of room for expansion here and I’m hopeful for a sequel.

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