We often reminisce about games of old while playing current titles. And 9 Monkeys of Shaolin is no different. The graphics and camera perspective remind me of beat ’em ups from that past. Even the storyline from Monkeys reminds me of countless games featuring a vengeful protagonist who joins a group trying to stop a vast enemy force. Yet 9 Monkeys of Shaolin does a stellar job of using fun fighting mechanics to make an enjoyable experience.
The star of the game is Wei Cheng, a fisherman who loses his grandfather and village in a brutal attack. Local monks rescue you and recruit you in an attempt to take on the menacing threat to their lives. Luckily, Wei is pretty formidable right from the start, taking out many enemies during the tutorials. But of course, you will need to progress and learn new ways to take on an enemy that become more and more challenging as the game goes on.
To do this, the developers created a pretty robust combat system. Using a variety of fist and feet attacks, you will learn a lot of different ways to attack your opponents. At times, the timing of the combos is a little challenging to learn. But when you get enough practice, you are more than capable of destroying anyone in your path. Not only that, there is plenty of challenges in figuring out which moves will work best for your opponents. It takes some time, but I felt pretty powerful when my strategy worked.
Besides the combos, you have access to a staff that you can change out between levels and as you progress. You also have a Qi meter that helps power up your moves on a temporary basis. The Qi is crucial in most of your fights as you easily and quickly become surrounded by enemies.
The biggest concern with this game is the visuals. I really enjoyed the 3D aspects of the game since it gives a greater sense of movement when you take on multiple enemies. The biggest issue I have is with the muted colors. There are some levels where it’s hard to differentiate different areas of the map, enemy types, and item pickups since most of the area are one muted color. Of course, one must keep in mind that a small team of developers worked on this, so there are probably some challenges that came with art design.
9 Monkeys of Shaolin is a good throwback to side-scrolling action games of old. There is a lot to like, like the intricate combat system that is very satisfying once you master it. Keep in mind that this is very challenging and you will need some patience to master it. However, it’s a good amount of fun and won’t take you too much time to beat. If you’re looking for a quick action game, give this one a try.
Note: GameOctane received a digital code from the publisher for the purpose of reviewing this game. Any code or product intended for reviews is distributed to the team to review and stream for our audience.
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Good combat system
Short but fun
Can be a little too challenging for some players
Hard to pick out details in some levels