This week on Nostalgia Trip, Monsters in My Pocket. In a time before Japanese pocket monsters made waves in North America in the mid-90s, another set of diminutive monsters attacked our games.
Released in 1992, Monsters in My Pocket was developed by Konami, and released on the NES. The game, based on the late 80’s/early 90’s toy series, follows the adventures of the Vampire and the Monster as the travel through living rooms, kitchens, sewers, construction sites, oriental gardens and caves. They are bent on stopping the evil warlock from doing stuff. The game never fully explains the true extent of the plans. I never had any of the toys or comics, and the animated show only had the one episode aired (look it up on Youtube, it’s worth watching for the laughs). Therefore my knowledge of the property is minuscule.
Commercials were hard to come by, I chose the English over the Spanish one.
The game is your basic side-scrolling platformer where you have to get from point A to point B while fighting enemies with your punch that shoots out energy waves. You have access to a double jump which is mostly used for platforming and hitting the occasional flying enemy. The enemies are all based on your basic horror/mythological monsters. So you’ll face things like ghosts, goblins, zombies, mummies, chimera, etc. The games uses a lot of them, including in the last level, several Godzilla’s and King Ghidorah’s. The bosses are all “famous” monsters such as Springheel Jack, Bigfoot, the Kraken, the Gremlin, and Medusa. The Warlock is the final boss. All bosses are fought twice, once on their perspective level and then again during the boss gauntlet on the 6th level before The Warlock.
The bosses in all their glorylessness...
The game has a hi-score system and score is reset if you have lost all your lives and use a continue. The game uses a health bar system, where you have access to 5 bars of health. Get hit 5 times, and you lose a life. You start off with 3 lives, and gain a life after the first 500 points, and then every 2000 points gained afterwards. The points are gained by killing enemies as you progress through the game. You also get bonus points at the end of each level based on time and health remaining.
Best images of the vampire and monster you will see in the game.
Why is it nostalgic? Having a NES and only access to a few games for it. Monsters in My Pocket turned out to be a one of my favorites. That is right behind Kirby Adventure and the first and third Super Mario Brothers. Playing as a vampire and “Frankenstein” was a fun experience considering I was 4 or 5 at the time. The experience didn’t last long as I soon had access to a SNES.
Does the game hold up? Not really, having not actually finished the game until going back to it for this article. I didn’t realize it was really, really short. Playing through the game for the first time in ages, I had to use all my continues and almost down to my last life before I beat it. The second time I played through it, I only took a half hour with no continues used, only losing a few lives. The bosses are quite easy, once you get their patterns down, you rarely get hit by them. The game has little difficulty to it, and was way way too short. Some enemies can be annoying, most die in one hit, but those who don’t tend to get on your nerves.
Oh yea! Foreground scenery sucks, PERIOD!
Next week on Nostalgia Trip: A world where battle bots never died.
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AlmightyDuke is a casual gamer that’s stuck on a island called Newfoundland. So, he uses the internet to spread his know-how and opinions about gaming to a larger audience. Follow him on Twitter @AlmightyDuke_NL