Elemental Monster: Online Card Game - PSN Review

Alright then - I am back from Florida. Which, for the record, was a whole lot nicer than Michigan. It is roughly five degrees out this morning. Guh! Ah well, I decided to toss out a quick review to help get the ball rolling this week. I will have another brief guest post tomorrow morning as well.

I think by now I have safely established my love of collectible card games. While none really top my history with Magic: The Gathering, there are a lot of different ones out there. They have been showing up all over mobile devices like the iPad, and there are some good PC ones too - but outside of Magic: The Gathering, there have not been too many console CCG's to date.

This is where Elemental Monster comes in. The game itself is already cheap - like 99 cents on the PlayStation Store the last time I saw it, but I got it for free as part of PlayStation Plus a while back. The premise is fairly straight forward in that you start with a handful of cards and set out on a campaign mode where you play computer opponents. Win, and you can get a new card from one of two pack types of your choice.

There are several different elements, such as fire, light and darkness. Decks can be mixed and matched, but there are benefits in having one type of card - but it also makes your deck somewhat one dimensional when you go up against your opponent. You can build several different types of decks though, and you can unlock bonus elemental types and formations that give your cards some extra juice.

The system is actually surprisingly nuanced. It starts off easy enough, but then there are small wrinkles to the formula that get introduced. The biggest problem however, is a lack of cards. I spent a couple of dozen hours playing it, and eventually all I was getting was duplicates of cards I already had. The thrill of victory became short-lived once that started to happen. You can do a couple of things later in the game that get you an extra rare card, and that is certain nice, but what started out as a really entertaining game became something of a grind for me near the end.

There is multiplayer as well, but I struggled to find many people still playing this. The reason the game itself is so cheap, is it is based around microtransactions - you can actually use your PSN wallet to purchase more packs of cards. I never did this - maybe that would have given me some more variety in my cards. If so, there was no indication of it anywhere however, and I was not going to spend actual money on duplicates, especially since the game's formula was starting to wear a little thin on me by then.

The graphics are okay - standard fare for a card game of this nature. The art on the cards is generally pretty good, with some limited animation and particle effects. The music is alright - nothing memorable, but very repetitive after a time. Maybe if you dump more money into it, you get more out of it, but for me Elemental Monsters was only a 6 out of 10.



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