Monster Lab Review
Wii | DS
Monster Lab box art
System: Wii, PS2, DS Review Rating Legend
Dev: Backbone Vancouver 1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid 4.0 - 4.4 = Great
Pub: Eidos Interactive 2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
Release: Nov. 4, 2008 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 5.0 = The Best
Players: 1-2 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair
ESRB Rating: Everyone 10+ 3.5 - 3.9 = Good

Following every battle, you are given the option to perform field repairs, which can be used to reattach lost parts or fix damaged ones. While this is definitely a necessity if you wish to proceed through multiple fights, it can also become incredibly annoying and monotonous. The reason for this is that you can’t just select a part and choose to repair it. Instead, you’ll need to replay the same mind numbing mini-game countless times to heal your monster. While holding the analog stick in the direction of the part that needs repaired, you’ll need to spin the Wii-mote in circles as quickly as possible to mend them. You are also timed, so if you can’t swirl the Wii-mote fast enough, you will be at a serious disadvantage during your next encounter. This was an unnecessary and tedious procedure that should have been made much quicker and simpler to perform.

Monster Lab screenshot

Aside from the game’s great collecting, creating, and combat aspects, the rest of the game mostly boils down to a compilation of fetch quests. As you navigate through the game’s linear environments, you’ll discover several of Uncanny Valley’s citizens who are in constant need of your help. This usually consists of finding a number of random items in the level or defeating a specific enemy. While this type of story and game progression isn’t terribly compelling, it does serve as both a needed distraction as well as a good excuse for more of Monster Lab’s rewarding combat.

This game also manages to impress visually. Aside from its fairly sterile environments, Monster Lab is host to some great-looking monsters, high quality cinemas, and impressive lighting and particle effects. While you will undoubtedly see repeat animations, they are still rather smooth and realistic-looking. Attacks are especially cinematic, with the camera panning and entering into slow motion to highlight particularly devastating blows. Even the sound in the game is well-polished, with every line of dialogue receiving voice work.

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Despite some of its shortcomings, Monster Lab provides an enjoyable experience overall. Collecting and combining ingredients to make better monster parts is not only essential to progression, it is also fun and incredibly addictive. The game’s combat is fairly simple to get the hang of but incredibly deep and saturated with interesting strategy elements. So, if you are into strategy, depth, polished visuals, and a lengthy experience not typically found in most Wii titles, you should definitely give Monster Lab a try.

By Adam Brown
CCC Staff Contributor

RATING OUT OF 5
RATING DESCRIPTION
3.8
Graphics
With impressive lighting effects, smooth animations, and varied characters, the only downside are the game’s rather bland and linear environments.
3.6
Control
While some of the included mini-games are a little wonky, most control respectably. The game’s combat also handles quite well.
3.9
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
The sound effects and music are fairly good, with all of the voiced dialogue being the icing on the cake.
3.9

Play Value
This game will take you awhile to beat, especially if you get caught up in constantly upgrading your monsters. The ability to battle a friend’s monster over Nintendo’s Wi-Fi Connection is also a nice option.

3.8
Overall Rating - Good
Not an average. See Rating legend above for a final score breakdown.

Game Features:

  • Step into the shoes of a Mad Scientist: Starting as an apprentice working under three eccentric mentors, level up through the ranks as you master the mad sciences.
  • Outrageous Experiments: Cultivate your science skills through crazy yet ingenious experiments both in and outside the lab.
  • Create your own Mad Monsters: Over 150 million monster combinations allow you to create a truly unique creature. Monster Generation System: Never fight the same monster twice.
  • Explore a challenging fantasy realm: Delve into six eerie regions facing quests, challenges and collecting powerful ingredients needed for your next mad monster creation
  • Gesture Combat: Go head-to-head against evil Monster minions in a fast-paced, ferocious, turn-based combat system


  • Screenshots / Images
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