At a Glance: Bandai promotes running off with strangers, taking drugs, and beating people with baseball bats in their smash hit, "Monster Party," which contains plenty of monsters but not a single party. This game is definitely one of the more psychotic titles to ever come out of the Nintendo-era, and I firmly believe that any nation responsible for producing something like this game does not deserve privileged trade status.
Platform: NES (Download Emulator here - 192k)
Download: Download ROM here - 98 k
Game Plot: You play the role of Mark, a shining Little League Baseball star undoubtedly headed for a bright future with the Japanese minor leagues and ultimately the Seattle Mariners. On the way home from a baseball game one night, Mark encounters a flying purple spiked gargoyle that asks him to go to another dimension with him to fight monsters. This doesn't really strike Mark as that odd, perhaps because his shiny helmet-hair is interfering with his brainwave activity. The gargoyle, named "Bert," explains that evil monsters have taken over his planet / world / dimension / trailer park and Mark is the only person that can banish the hordes of evil. Why? Because Mark has a baseball bat that can "easily defeat them." Yeah, you read that correctly, monsters from another dimension are abducting Japanese children and using them for their Little League Baseball equipment. Mark flies away with Bert and they enter the wonderful and horrifying land of "We Forgot To Name the Monster's World" which is, oddly enough, currently populated with a shitload of monsters who have the magical power of reviving themselves after you kill them and move the screen past where they died. Can you systematically commit genocide to an entire race of monsters with simply a baseball bat? You'd better hope to hell that you can or else Bert will whisk you away to yet another dimension, one full of television sets that only play ZDTV.
What?Weapons: As mentioned above, Bert abducted you for your deadly baseball bat, which apparently outguns every single monster in his dimension. Imagine a world full of the biggest, lamest, weakest monsters possible, one where a shiny-helmet haired 8-year old can decimate your entire race by jumping and swinging a wooden baseball bat. Welcome to Planet of the Sissies.
To add to your expansive arsenal of "a bat," you can also pick up floating pills which turn you into a flying gargoyle that shoots laser beams / fireballs from its mouth. That's right kids, doing drugs pays off! One hit and you'll be flying high, spitting acid death upon your enemies and cackling mercilessly from the heavens. I can't understand why turning into Bert makes you more powerful than normal. I mean, if Bert and his pussy gargoyle race are so goddamn tough and deadly, why are they recruiting preschoolers to fight their battles for them? I think Bert is just really lazy and doesn't want to bother with destroying the monsters himself. While Mark is killing flashing mutants and drunk bad guys, Bert is hanging around Mark's room, eating potato chips and watching "Cops" in his underwear (the gargoyle's underwear, not Mark's. I don't want to think about monsters from another dimension wearing little boys' underwear). Bert and the bat are the only two weapons in the game, bringing a unique strategy to your playing style. This strategy would be "get annoyed really fast and stop playing."
Enemies: This is where "Monster Party" truly shines like the lump of unpolished coal it is. I can safely say that the enemies in this game are the absolute most fucked up assortment of pixels to ever hit a television screen. Regular enemies include:
- A dog with a human's face
- Some guy stuck in the ground, pointing his ass and legs at you
- Floating umbrellas with faces
- Heat seeking sperm
- Walking pants
- Japanese men on fire
- Exotic dancers with a fish torso
- Flying dynamite
- Entire star systems
Now let's move on to the REALLY weird guys; the bosses. You'll fight such incredibly freakish entities such as:
- A fat dragon that shoots out cows that chase you
- An invisible mummy
- A suit
- A gigantic kitten in a gigantic box
- A punk rock musician
- A drum
- A wooden bowling ball man
- An eggplant
- A pumpkin
- A dancing piece of jumbo fried shrimp that turns into an onion ring that eventually turns into three dancing onion rings (I am NOT kidding)
- King Tut
- A skeleton's nose
I wish I could say I was exaggerating on this list, but sadly enough, I'm not. This is what makes "Monster Party" so special to me; try naming another game where you have to fight BOTH dancing onion rings AND a set of walking pants. Without going into Turbografix-16 titles, you simply cannot do it. There is probably a good reason for this, but I can't think of it offhand.
Number of Levels: Eight wonderful and varied levels. The backgrounds and scenery really lend to the whole drug motif that the game has going. You know, because beating a flying piece of shrimp with a baseball bat wasn't enough to thoroughly get that sentiment across.
Number of Bosses: About a million or so. Every time you go through a door, you have to fight a mini-boss, most of which were created by digitally reproducing sketches somebody made on a bar napkin the night before.
Defining Moment: Definitely the dancing shrimp / onion ring / three onion ring warfare. Nothing can prepare you for the joy of battling TGI Friday's appetizers in 8-bit glory. Oh yeah, and the music sounds like a robot trying to shit out a pan flute while falling down a well.
Each category in the rating system is based out of a possible -10 score (-10 being the worst). The overall score is based out of a possible -50 score (-50 being the worst).
Do you remember the crazy clothes and hair of the 1990s? Do you remember Crystal Pepsi and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles? Do you remember where you hid the box your mother gave you?
The singer dove off the stage and crowd surfed in a sort of reverse funeral procession where the person being carried is the only one truly alive. Touching him I felt religious ecstasy and started speaking in tongues and requesting songs that didn't exist.
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The Rom Pit is dedicated to reviewing the most bizarre and screwed up classic console games from the 1980's, the ones that made you wonder what kind of illegal substances the programmers were smoking when they worked on them. Strangely enough, the same illegal substances are often necessary to enjoy or make sense of most of these titles. No horrible Nintendo game is safe from the justice of the ROM Pit.