Thursday, May 29, 2014

Monster Monpiece: "Network Mode Explained" (PS VITA)

Due to the severe length of my main review I opted to leave out a detailed description of Monster Monpiece's "Network" mode. Being the thorough journalist that I am I felt bad in doing so though. As such I'm going to take the time in this follow-up article to explain what the "Network" mode entails, and how battles actually function online (Wifi 3G). Keep in mind I will not be able to go over the local Ad Hoc multiplayer though as I have no friends, or family who own the game. Once again I do apologize for the lack of this info earlier on, and hope you can forgive me for not giving you all of the details the first time around.

Monster Monpiece's 'Network mode', and 'Ad Hoc' multiplayer can each be accessed via the HQ 'Card Gym' main menu. Upon clicking, or touching the "Card Gym" menu you will be taken to a secondary menu system in which you can organize cards, create decks, do some training, and even enter the "Network" menu system. The "Network" menu itself is divided by it's own sub-menu system with several options for setting up, or joining others in online play. Past the "Network" menu option lies two follow-up options/menus including "Network", and "Ad Hoc". By choosing to go with Network" you will find a lobby system filled with three 'Lounge" options. There's the standard "Lounge" in which skilled players can duel to their heart's content, the "Beginner's Lounge" for beginners who are just now grasping an understanding of gameplay, and a "Non-DLC Lounge" for those who can't afford the "Super", and "Rare" card packs sold online.

Within each lounge you will be able to join a match, search for a match, or create a match. You will also find a list of lobby names after your match setting selection that are organized, and titled with scientific flower names. Beside each flower named lobby listing you will find a number which represents the number of players that are in that particular lobby. If the number beside the lobby name is "0" then there is no one playing in that particular lobby. If there is a number however there is at least one person playing. After you've gained access to the lobby of your choice, whether it be "Lounge", "Beginner's Lounge", or the "Non-DLC Lounge" you will notice a listing of PSN IDs that are each associated with the player who is currently playing. Each PSN ID will have a box beside it that will either be blank, or red. If the box is red that means the player whose name it is beside is currently partaking of an online card battle. If the box is blank then that person is available to duel against. During an online battle search it should also be noted that you can set your search according to the preferred "Master Rings" that you need in order to earn your next prize. This Master Ring search setting while help you to better obtain the prizes that can be won through victories.

After picking your battle, or accepting a battle request you will have to battle it out until you've won, or until you've lost using all the skills, and knowledge that you gained from the core game. Should you win you will be rewarded with Master Rings assuming the person you were battling against was in possession of any. In amassing a complete collection of Master rings you will be able to trade them in for one of three different prize payouts. Keep in mind that "all" Master rings must be collected if you hope to claim your prize, and that Master Rings can be won multiple times over. The available prizes to be won from the collection of Master Rings include a "Rare" card pack that features cards not obtainable through story mode/training, keys, and even some RP (Rub Points) for upgrading your collected cards. Should you lose the battle though any rings you have in your possession will be forfeited to the opposing player.

Those are the rules of "Network" multiplayer in a nutshell. The gameplay is just like it is in the offline story mode, and training mode. For those of you wondering about how the game plays online I have found through "Hands On" experience that there is significant lag in some cases, and that moving cards from your card library to the grid playing field will not always work as you'd hoped it would due to said lag. It should also be noted that "Network" matches are each timed including each person's turn. Should you not play a card quick enough you will forfeit your turn, and allow the opposing player to take theirs. As far as lobby population goes I found hardly anyone playing the game online. I did manage to get in a few matches, and won all of them. The unfortunate thing was that one guy I chose to battle kept on forfeiting the match due to connection issues. The one legit win that got was a struggle due to the lag between me, and the other player. I will say that I have not played online enough to come to a proper quality judgment yet though. There's still the possibility that there are some lag-free matches out there.

One thing I forgot to mention earlier is that you have a rank in the "Network" multiplayer, and that the more you win the higher your rank you will get. That rank is of course listed alongside your PSN ID in the match-up menus. Everyone who plays online will start off with an "F" rank, and slowly work their way up to "SS" through continuous battle victories. Remember folks practice makes perfect as does a proper understanding of the game.

Corrected Details ...

Regarding the victory payouts in the online scenario it has come to my attention that win, or lose you will get the rings you have selected to win. You will however not be credited a win, or get an upgrade to your rank. Furthermore you can also setup "Conditions" prior to entering a battle. Available conditions include set time limit, and HQ HP limit amongst other things. Lastly in the main menu under the "Config" option you can also choose which character you want to play as in battles/duels. Characters become available as you meet, and beat them in the story mode. Sorry for any confusion I may have caused earlier.

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