Monster Max (Game Boy) - Let's Play 1001 Games - Episode 438

Gaming Jay
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An isometric adventure and puzzle classic on the original Gameboy
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I'm Gaming Jay: USvid gamer, let's player, fan of retro games, and determined optimist... Join me in this series while I try out EACH of the video games in the book 1001 VIDEO GAMES YOU MUST PLAY BEFORE YOU DIE, before I die. The game review for each game will focus on the question of whether you MUST play this game before you die. But to be honest, the game review parts are just for fun, and are not meant to be definitive, in depth reviews; this series is more about the USvid gamer journey itself. From Mario games to the Halo series, from arcade games to Commodore 64, PC games to the NES and Sega Genesis, Playstation to the Xbox, let's play those classic retro games that we grew up with, have fond memories of, or heard of but never got a chance to try! And with that said, the game review for today is...
Monster Max
from en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monster_Max
Monster Max is an isometric adventure video game developed by Rare and published by Titus France. It was released for the Game Boy handheld game console in 1994. Monster Max was designed by Jon Ritman and Bernie Drummond and is very similar in both graphics and gameplay to Ritman and Drummond's 1987 title Head over Heels. The game sold poorly but received very positive reviews from critics. It was not released in North America.
Monster Max is a single-player adventure game that is presented from an isometric perspective, similar to Ultimate's Knight Lore. Players control the player character and guitarist Max as he attempts to defeat evil villain Krond, who threatens to ban all music from the world. The game is split into 29 levels in which the player must complete a number of challenges in order to progress, such as solving puzzles, jumping over obstacles, gathering objects, and defeating opponents. The levels also contain several helpful items, such as bombs, which can be used both as weapons and to open blocked or hidden rooms, a bag, to pick up or drop items in, and a force shield, which protects the player from enemies, among others. Upon completing a level, the player is rewarded with a certain amount of credits, which grant players access to new areas of the game's overworld, called the Mega Hero Academy.
Monster Max was developed by UK-based video game company Rare and published by Titus.[2] It was designed and programmed by Jon Ritman, while the art design was done by Bernie Drummond.[2] Both Ritman and Drummond previously developed the critically acclaimed games Batman and Head over Heels for the ZX Spectrum, which share many gameplay features.[3] According to Ritman, "Max was twice the size of Head over Heels with more than 600 locations and each location could be much bigger than any on the previous isometrics."[2] The music of the game was composed by David Wise, whose influences at the time were mostly Rock and Dance music from the 1980s.[4]
While other prior Game Boy titles such as The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening use a battery save inside their cartridges, Monster Max employs a password system to prevent the loss of progress. This choice was made because the additional cost of integrating a battery save was either prohibitive or expensive for the publisher. Ritman also revealed that he passed on the earlier option of having the game published by Nintendo, which would have required replacing the protagonist with an unspecified character from the Mario universe.[5] Although Monster Max was ostensibly released in late 1994, Titus was very slow in distributing it and copies of the game could not be bought until December 1995. As a result, sales for the game were poor.[2] Despite this, it received extremely positive reviews.[2] UK's GB Action magazine gave Monster Max a rating of 94%, while Super Gamer magazine awarded it a rating of 96% under the tagline, "simply the best Game Boy title ever".


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Oct 10, 2019




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Comments 7
ComradeAart 4 months ago
Looks like a nice game, but never heard of it. I have no clue how you could make out all the detail on a Gameboy screen! Like the face of Max; is it a big skull face or is he wearing a dinosaur custom and his face is just above the lower jaw?
Gaming Jay
Gaming Jay 4 months ago
Haha looked like a skull face to me actually. Gotta use your imagination with these Gameboy games sometimes I guess
Old Nerd Playing Old PC Games
Great job ;) Liked
Old Nerd Playing Old PC Games
@Gaming Jay You welcome 😉
Gaming Jay
Gaming Jay 4 months ago
Thanks 😊
Henry Niemi
Henry Niemi 4 months ago
Commodore 64 had few games like this that used really detailed isometric locations, done in two tone palette. I loved them for the incredible detail the style allowed. Head Over Heels and Great Escape were the best of such games on C64.
Gaming Jay
Gaming Jay 4 months ago
I wouldn't mind trying more games like this. I only vaguely remember the genre from being a kid. Never played the games much but wouldn't mind seeing more of them
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