Monster Menu: The Scavenger’s Cookbook is a dungeon crawler RPG with a turn-based combat system. The game has an interesting combination of survival and cooking elements, creating an engaging experience from a tactical depth perspective. However, the game also has some confusing minus points. One of them is that the plot is almost just for free and the kitchen mechanism has not been exploited to its full potential, leaving the writer feeling quite confused.
Specifically, Monster Menu: The Scavenger’s Cookbook opens with the main character starving in the middle of Sealed Land “where is this”. After finding the campground with the corpse of a strange creature, the main character has no choice but to eat that meat to survive and start the adventure. However, the first boss immediately saw you off to the sanatorium. The player can then choose three more characters to form a party to hunt monsters to save hunger. So the work of plowing and hoeing begins in the levels that are randomly generated by the algorithm.
However, the screen creation algorithm in Monster Menu: The Scavenger’s Cookbook does not bring a sense of variety, but just random in a slightly improvised fashion, even much inferior to void* tRrLM2(); //Void Terrarium 2 by the same developer. In addition to the very small change in the texture of the game, the game experience rarely changes in the way you explore and move. Mostly still the gameplay loop: fight enemies, collect loot from them; repeat until you reach the last floor and encounter the boss.
Kill the boss, you unlock the new teleport point as the next starting point. Although the game screen design is relatively small, the number of enemies gradually increases and sometimes feels very unfair. It’s not uncommon for the writer’s party to just approach a new floor, not have time to look at the map structure, and was attacked by the enemy. Worth mentioning, Monster Menu: The Scavenger’s Cookbook has almost no plot. In addition to the opening sequence mentioned above, the experience revolves around fighting in randomly generated levels.
The higher the level, the more challenging the monster’s difficulty. In return, players can camp to rest at the portal between floors, helping the character restore health and dispel hunger. In particular, if you do not decide not to climb the stairs but return to the camp instead of resting and continuing the journey, all characters in the party will return to level 1 in the next adventure. Monster Menu: The Scavenger’s Cookbook also has a day and night system for you to choose from with the main difference being the level of aggression of the enemy.
Players can also cook dishes to buff or debuff party members and craft items for equipment repair. Food is not only a tool to adjust a character’s basic stats, it also gives a character’s fighting skills. Most of the items that you collect when going upstairs are kitchen ingredients. However, even this idea was not particularly focused on by the development team. The writer hardly cares about the kitchen or crafting aspects like experiencing the Atelier Ryza series.
You can choose the available recipes so that the game automatically selects the ingredients at random and cooks for you. That is why the kitchen aspect does not create a sense of reward, especially at the beginning of the experience. That’s not to mention the good storyline and the less diverse screen creation algorithm, plus the not rich enemy shaping that makes the experience of Monster Menu: The Scavenger’s Cookbook quite slow, requiring you to be patient until Open more and more new areas called Orgonne in the game with a party of high level characters.
With such a design, it is likely that players are not patient enough until the moment when Monster Menu: The Scavenger’s Cookbook really shines. That’s the biggest problem with the game. Not only that, the development team also did not make good use of the gameplay mechanics to expand the experience more exciting. For example, build a compelling storyline or develop algorithms to create richer levels to boost replay value. The design of the simple kitchen aspect also contributes to reducing the appeal of the experience at the beginning of the game.
After all, Monster Menu: The Scavenger’s Cookbook offers a fascinating caving experience, but it’s not for everyone. The biggest minus point of the game is the design of simple gameplay mechanics, which have not taken advantage of and expanded these ideas in the game experience, plus the heavy-duty gameplay. In return, the plus points of the game are a harmonious combination of gameplay elements with cute characters and a series of unlockables with high rewards. Do you know “choice of the heart” yet?
Monster Menu: The Scavenger’s Cookbook is available now for PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, and Nintendo Switch.
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