The graphics put me off playing Monster Bash HD. Yet when I played it I did enjoy it more than expected. It was developed by Emberheart Games and is an HD remaster of Monster Bash that was released back in 1993 for DOS. Monster Bash HD is a side-scrolling action-adventure game.
Plot of Monster Bash HD
For a game from its era, the plot is rather simple. You step into the shoes of Johnny Dash. Save all the pets to progress and then rescue your own dog from the evil clutches of Count Chuck. Very simple and to be honest was more than the game actually needed to be fun.
Monster Bash HD Gameplay
The player controls Johnny Dash. He can move in various directions and uses a slingshot to defeat his enemies. It takes a while to get used to his jump potential so that you can land on the platforms. The enemies are many and varied. Each with its own attack patterns. Sometimes it can be unfair when being hit by an enemy as sometimes it appears completely random. They are also very quick and can eat into your health fast.
Luckily there is a checkpoint system that you return to should you die. There are also many health pickups that restore all your health. This makes the unfair enemies a bit more bearable and you never feel under pressure if you do have low life. As you will revert back to the checkpoint. Unless you run out of lives. In which case you are sent back to the beginning of the game. Even this doesn’t feel that painful, as it shouldn’t take you that long to get back to where you started.
The slingshot weapon is far better than I expected. Instead of firing stones that go in a straight line forever. They start to dip as they get further away from the player. This makes it easier to take out enemies that are below you since you can’t aim down. Another feature is they rebound once on walls, which again can be used to defeat enemies. The slingshot is also used to free the pets from cages. You need to use the above skills to be able to get them all.
This is where Monster Bash HD falls down. I’ve compared the graphics to videos of the original version and yes the graphics have improved. But it is still an ugly game. It reminds me of Ghost and Ghouls. But I never played the original so for a returning player, the graphics would be a welcome addition. It would have been better if they updated the graphics to today’s standard. As I imagine it will put off new players.
Like the graphics, the music seems to be stuck in the 90s. with slight improvements so that you can identify the instruments being played. It gets the job done and so do the sound effects. But it is far from a standout.
This is where the game shines through. Before you start each part you are given a rundown of feats that you can do. After completing a level you are then awarded a score and time. There is a par time which you can aim to beat which is far easier the second time around. Some of the levels were taking me ten minutes when the par time was two minutes.
On top of the main campaign, there is a level editor. Where you can design levels for other players to have a go at. This is a great feature and I would expect the number of levels available to increase. Which further improves the replayability of this title. If I ever want a quick game, I can hop onto one of the user-created levels.
Monster Bash HD is a graphical upgrade on the original. With great platforming and a simple story. Along with a level, editor to expand the replayability. While the slingshot mechanics beat out its contemporaries.
It is not without its faults. The gameplay is still stuck in the 90s and the graphics are not as improved as I would have liked. The music also feels very dated. There is also no tutorial which can be a barrier for new players.
Omit I have enjoyed my time with Monster Bash HD. But I’m unlikely to play it again or recommend it to friends. It’s a solid platformer, with very little to offer. If you played the original I would recommend this version to you. Otherwise, new players can skip this.