So I'm finally playing Monster Tale. As you guys should probably know by now, I totally love Henry Hatsworth, and Monster Tale has the same designer or something like that. And you can definitely feel that, in the use of dual screens and the art style and the overall "feel" of the fighting / shooting / platforming mechanics...
But I'm about 2 hours into it and I just don't think this game lives up.
First things first, it has been incredibly easy so far. Henry Hatsworth starts off kind of easy, but it slowly picks up and then near the last few worlds it gets insanely hard, which I love. I guess this could still happen with Monster Tale, but it hasn't really been picking up at all.
Secondly, the dual screen mechanic seems a tad bit simplistic. It's sort of neat to raise the monster on the bottom screen and have him come up and help on the top screen, but you don't really do much besides hit the button to switch what screen he is on.
Finally though, and this is probably my main complaint... the game is a Metroidvania game without really understanding what makes Metroidvania interesting. 1. Although it has this Metroidvania-ish map, you always know exactly where to go next, and for the most part there really isn't any point in deviating from that direct path. So there is little sense of exploration. 2. You are running back and forth way too much... yeah Metroidvania games are non-linear, but this game has you run all the way to the end of one area, to get some item and run to some place a few areas over, to get some item and run... you get the picture.
So yeah, I'm hoping it gets better further on, but so far I can't say I'm anywhere nearly as impressed as I was with Henry Hatsworth. It's still an ok game, just flawed.
So... finished the game. It grew on me a bit. Once you get a bunch of powers the controls are very similar to Henry Hatsworth + Mega Man X, which is cool. The worlds feel pretty unique for being based on the same basic themes you see in a lot of games (water, ice, etc.), especially since each one is broken up into a few different sections that all have their own vibe (for instance in the water world there was a beach area, underwater sewer-ish area, etc.) And the challenge picks up a lot near the end. Almost too much, really... the game is easy for like 90% of it, then it throws these long stretches with no saves and Henry Hatsworth-esque (though not quite as bad) "clear out a bunch of enemies in a single room" parts. It can get frustrating, especially since nothing up to that point suggested this huge leap in difficulty was coming.
The monster raising element is cool but it's sort of under-utilized? Or maybe not even that, but I dunno, I don't think it added a whole lot to the game, especially the dual screen implementation, which had a few neat uses but not much.
And I still believe that the Metroid-esque world was done wrong. Way too many run all the way to one side of the map to get some upgrade and then run all the way back. There were times when it literally felt like the game was trolling me. No warps or anything either, and the rooms never really change, so it's just running through the same areas you have already run through.
According to my activity log it took me 7 hours and 45 minutes to finish.
So yeah. An ok game, worth playing, but not quite at the level of Henry Hatsworth or Shantae or some of these other games one might compare it to. Thus ends my discussion with myself... unless someone else has actually played this game and wants to join in!
Was able to get it for cheap and having loved Henry Hatsworth, this game did not live up to it at all. I didn't even finish it because of its horrible level design. Like you said, while it does have a Metroidvania layout, it does not understand what makes it fun. The game will make you go all across the map when you find a new power up... only to have to return where you previously were once you reach that area. It's ridiculous and insulting to players to make them backtrack so much.