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Monster Max (Game Boy) Playthrough - NintendoComplete

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A playthrough of Titus's 1994 isometric 3D adventure/puzzle game for the Nintendo Game Boy, Monster Max.
The video shows every one of the 29 stages played through - while I had more than enough credits to skip several stages, I wanted to make the video as complete as possible. So much work went into this one!
Monster Max is a pretty amazing isometric pseudo-3D adventure game, and is one of only two to appear on the original Game Boy (the other being Altered Space, the second game of the Software Creations series that was bookended by Solstice on the NES and Equinox on the SNES). Monster Max's designers had previously done Head over Heels, released on several PCs in the 80s, and this game is very much so a spiritual successor to it.
Don't run when you see the Titus fox logo on the intro screens - this is FAR better than most of the stuff they put out. And it was developed by Rare, and it's one of Rare's strongest GB titles. That soundtrack, alone - damn, David Wise, I hope you're a millionaire for the quality and sheer volume of your work in 80s and 90s games!
Monster Max is much lighter-hearted in its tone compared to other games in the genre. Rather than going with sci-fi or fantasy, as it seems the great majority did, this one focuses on a heavy-metal rocker (Max, of course) taking on Krond, who plans to impose a worldwide ban on all music. So, you know, OMG, time to save the day. He has to clear each floor of the Mega Hero Academy to earn enough credits to ride the lift to the next floor, ultimately meeting Krond on the tenth story. I love how Max looks like a combination of a member of Gwar and a dinosaur. It's almost cute in how weird it is. The levels take on all sorts of themes, spanning children's play rooms, pirate ships, forests, high-tech labs, among others. The game is huge - it apparently contains over 600 rooms, dwarfing the likes of Altered Space, Air Ball, Solstice, or any other similar game. How did they ever cram it all into 256k?!
The graphics are UNBELIEVABLE for a Game Boy game. The level of detail is crazy, but a heads up: if you've played the game on an emulator or a Super Game Boy, you know it can be very hard to make out details. At such a low resolution, much of it blurs into a mess that can make distinguishing many details virtually impossible. It is far easier to see on the original Game Boy LCD screen. The "dot-matrix" display really helps the eyes to resolve the details in the image - you'll see what I mean if you look at any other video on USvid using a standard emulator image versus this one, since I'm using a Retroarch LCD shader to mimic the handheld's original look. If you aren't playing on real hardware, I'd certainly recommend using Retroarch with the DMG shader. It's better looking and much easier to play, especially in lining up jumps and pushing things into very specific locations. No matter how you play, it can be difficult to see everything, but no matter - it's more than good enough that you'll relent, and the effort will be certainly be worth your while.
Unfortunately, the Americans never got the opportunity to play it - it ended up being released only in the UK. Luckily, I lived in England at the time, and I really wanted this game when it was first released, but I couldn't find it ANYWHERE! I'd salivated over the reviews in Super Play and other magazines, but the stores didn't even know what it was! According to the Wikipedia article, Titus apparently botched the released pretty badly - while its release date officially is December 1994, Titus screwed up production and distribution, and it didn't appear in shops until a full year later in December 1995. At that point, all of the hype and fanfare generated by the gaming media had died down and everybody had completely forgotten about it. The sales were abysmal despite stellar reviews, and the game still hasn't really received the recognition that it truly deserves.
If you like puzzle or adventure games, play this incredible game. Such a quality production deserves a whole lot larger of a place in gaming history than Monster Max ever got the benefit of. I'd play it over Solstice any day!
___
No cheats were used during the recording of this video.
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Feb 9, 2017

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Comments 36
Kevin Scott
Kevin Scott Year ago
One of the best games on the GameBoy. I’ve still got my game, box and instructions. 😎
James Offutt
James Offutt Year ago
Why did not Nintendo buy rare where!?
Micah Dunlap
Micah Dunlap Year ago
looks a LOT like Altered Space if you ask me, and that came out 3 years earlier.
This Name Was Available!
The pinnacle of 8 bit isometric games is Head Over Heels (released 1987) by Ritman and Drummond (the people that made the game in this video). The altered space programmer was inspired by Knightlore AND Head Over Heels it seems.This game owes NOTHING to Altered Space.
Dillon Tam
Dillon Tam Year ago
A little late, but uh just wanna mention that Bit Managers (the Metal Masters, Asterix and Smurfs people) made a pair of isometrics (Die Maus and Otto's Ottifanten: Baby Bruno's Nightmare) for the good ol' GB as well.
Daddelbox
Daddelbox 21 day ago
Are you German? I used to play the heck out of Die Ottifanten on Sega Mega Drive and Gameboy. And Asterix and the Smurfs are a major part of my gaming childhood.
Pablo Escobar
Pablo Escobar Year ago
I had always remembered this game as kid, because it was a really great and funny game, it was on of my greatest favourite Game Boy games ever with really great Soundtrack, but never knew what the title was after all this years for searching finally i found it here. *I celebrate it*😍💪❤👍 Thank you very much for this upload. It goes definitely to my search and buy list.👌
sin reglas
sin reglas 2 years ago
Toda una joya isometrica y con un acompañamiento musical inigualable
Z
Z 2 years ago
This game sold very poorly which was strange considering the game received great reviews. It's definitely one of the better games on the system. I remember buying it for £19.99 from Dixons in the UK. I miss seeing the cardboard boxed games on a shelf.
DaveQB
DaveQB 2 years ago
The reason I can't forget this game is that in March 1995, an Italian console gaming magazine decided to give it the cover. A rarity for an handheld game in general, and even more if you consider that full coverage of releases on PSX and Saturn had just started back then, with very high hype for the new 32-bit generation while waiting for their official European distribution. Must have been a review copy; sad to learn that Titus, when they had a truly great game in their hands - still liked Titus the Fox and Prehistorik 2 though - messed up so badly. By the way, looking at some other videos, it doesn't seem too bad at making out the details if you use the gray palette, but it's something I'd have to try personally.
Crushenator500
Crushenator500 2 years ago
Man, I used to love this game... I played it all the time when I was a little kid
The Pumpking King
The Pumpking King 3 years ago
As an Isometric Fan . Been loving this ever since I bought it back in 96.
The Pumpking King
The Pumpking King 3 years ago
No. But it is on the Bucket list.
NintendoComplete
NintendoComplete 3 years ago
+The Pumpking King Have you tried Airball? It's another really good one with an insanely awesome soundtrack (especially the NES version!)
For Glory!
For Glory! 3 years ago
Other than the fact that this was COMPLETELY before my time, how did this game escape my attention?? Line up all the game informants, this deserves a complete and summary massacre!
For Glory!
For Glory! 3 years ago
Thanks for the tip. As I said to the channel-diety a moment ago, really like those old retro iso's for some reason. Add to that list Solstice which I have been considering. I remember falling in love with Crystal Castles when I first saw it, which as you know is as retro as it gets.
For Glory!
For Glory! 3 years ago
I badly want to do a Deadly Towers LP, and planning on doing one. I love these iso's so much that as bad as the graphics were on that game, I fell in love with it because of the dungeon crawl/RPG/iso aspect. I also get a kick out of the iso marble-madness games, and found recently bought a copy of Shining Soul for GBA. There's something really fun about them for me, not sure why other than the illusion of 3D that it gives with the retro style...
The Pumpking King
The Pumpking King 3 years ago
If you love this game then you want to look out for " Head Over Heels " done by the same coding team of two. It was a ZX Speccy game back in the 80's. A pc remake was also done. Fact: Game developed by RARE. But Released by Titus. retrospec.sgn.net/game/hoh
NintendoComplete
NintendoComplete 3 years ago
+mthrswd It's excellent. I'm glad you at least now know about it :)
For Glory!
For Glory! 3 years ago
This actually looks like a good game. Someone isn't doing their job if I never heard of this game. So yeah, it's going down, body by body.
Damin Groot
Damin Groot 3 years ago
The music in this game was absolutely fantastic, it's truly impressive what they were able to do with such strict hardware limitations.
Giuseppe Fagioli
Damin Groot it’s David Wise, after all. 😉
Jeremy Riley
Jeremy Riley 3 years ago
This was never released in America, despite Nintendo Power having a six page feature on it in one of its issues? That's messed up.
DaveQB
DaveQB 2 years ago
Probably review copies were given out before the developers ever imagined Titus would mess things up so badly.
Majoras
Majoras 3 years ago
i was going to ask if you prefer this over altered space but you can't really compete with a game of 600+ rooms amirite? 😆
NintendoComplete
NintendoComplete 3 years ago
:) Hahaha, I actually really like them both. If I had to call out a flaw on this one, it's that it grows a bit long in the tooth by the end. Of course, that's probably because you aren't at all required to go through every level in a single playthrough, but I always have. I definitely prefer this one's somewhat lower difficulty level, though. Altered Space was a bit too hard for my liking toward the end, especially since its graphics were a bit too dark and hard to see in some scenes. This one is hard, but always feels pretty manageable. So, I dunno. They're both great, but I think this one edges out Altered Space just ever so slightly for me :D
Oswald Epic Loquendero
At least you don't fly throw rings, or lifting cars.
BirdsofDestiny
BirdsofDestiny 8 days ago
What's does superman 64 have anything to do with this game
Gustavo P. Lima
Gustavo P. Lima 3 years ago
please, whats the name of the emulator you are using look like a real game boy
NintendoComplete
NintendoComplete 3 years ago
Gambatte through Retroarch with the DMG shader turned on.
RockmanSam
RockmanSam 3 years ago
Yup!!^^ That's David Wise, alright!!(^ v ^)
purpledonatello
purpledonatello 3 years ago
I was thinking same thing.
NintendoComplete
NintendoComplete 3 years ago
Even if Titus torpedoed any chance of this game doing well by so badly botching the release, this is easily one of the best puzzlers of its era. And better yet, the entire thing is a Rare production, and David Wise's presence is certainly felt!
Bloodreign1
Bloodreign1 3 months ago
@Chris Bolton Bomberman was already out long before this game was a thing. It plays much like Solstice, and Equinox, as well as Altered Space.
Chris Bolton
Chris Bolton 3 months ago
OMG I've never heard of this game, this looks amazing, precursor to bomberman/portal impressive stuff
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