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Quick Look: Monster Train

If you think the outside of the Monster Train is scary, wait until you see the dining car.

Sit back and enjoy as the Giant Bomb team takes an unedited look at the latest video games.

Jun. 4 2020

Cast: Ben, Jan

Posted by: Ben

In This Episode:

Monster Train

19 Comments

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bathala

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is this MOBA of card games

(it got lanes)

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Genji-Gloves

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Mid jungle with Umbra.

I will say I hesitated picking this up at first but I really like slay the spire so I picked it up and have not regretted it.

Thanks Ben and Jan for a great vid.

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TDMule

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The winning a fight music has got some awesome Obra Dinn vibes!

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GhostHouse

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The framerate stuff makes this really hard to watch

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AWKWARDL0SER

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Did Jim Norton make this game...oh wait that’s Monster Rain

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Fear_the_Booboo

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I'm fairly disappointed with this game. It's certainly not bad, but the praise comparing it to Slay the Spire made me expected something that was as intricately designed as Slay the Spire and Monster Train is not on the same level in my opinion.

My main issue is mostly that the power curve on upgraded card is so big that you may as well not use the rest of your deck, either by removing those cards or just ignoring them. You end up with spell that do 2 damage for one mana and another that does 45 and is free to cast. Same thing apply to the monster.

I have found that in my winning game I just ended up putting all my strategy behind a few specific cards and I ignored most of my deck. Maybe I'm playing wrong but I felt Slay the Spire forced me to make harder decisions in how I was constructing my deck.

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Genessee

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Edited By Genessee

I gotcha monstah train right heeya!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uvsV-Zph_m4

hmmm...seems to be a baked-in quirk of this sub-genre of terribad animation...

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Deathpooky

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Edited By Deathpooky

@fear_the_booboo said:

I'm fairly disappointed with this game. It's certainly not bad, but the praise comparing it to Slay the Spire made me expected something that was as intricately designed as Slay the Spire and Monster Train is not on the same level in my opinion.

My main issue is mostly that the power curve on upgraded card is so big that you may as well not use the rest of your deck, either by removing those cards or just ignoring them. You end up with spell that do 2 damage for one mana and another that does 45 and is free to cast. Same thing apply to the monster.

I have found that in my winning game I just ended up putting all my strategy behind a few specific cards and I ignored most of my deck. Maybe I'm playing wrong but I felt Slay the Spire forced me to make harder decisions in how I was constructing my deck.

Yeah, it's definitely very different than StS in terms of balance and power curve. It's very easy to create spells and units with synergies that seem absolutely broken. But you also seem to need to exploit that level of brokenness, especially on higher difficulties - there's no way to beat a 2000+ health boss with that does 30+ damage a combat turn unless you've created your own insane scaling unit or spell that destroys the world.

Given the relatively smaller set of battles and given that you make a ton of upgrade choices at once for cheap, it allows a lot more challenging variety in what you could do during each upgrade session and a deck that scales rapidly, instead of the incremental progress you usually make in StS in building a well-rounded deck over dozens of battles. I'm not sure if it's better or worse than StS long-term, but at least for me it's certainly fun to find new ways to build an invincible shield with constantly growing thorns, monster that gets +5/+5 for every spell I cast in a cycle-heavy deck, demon set that attaches 100+ frostbite a turn, or all the other options the game has.

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Fear_the_Booboo

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@deathpooky: Yeah that makes sense, I don't think I enjoy that dynamic as much personally but I can see how the feeling of "breaking the game" must make some wins extremely satisfying.

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Deathpooky

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@fear_the_booboo: Yeah, I can definitely see not liking it compared to StS. I have a feeling this isn't going to have 300+ hours of playtime for me for the same reasons - breaking the game to win is fun, but it's not something I'm going to like being forced to do every game as it gets more difficult, especially once I get a better grasp on the optimal combos.

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ahifi

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I was thinking 'Oh, he can't be doing Crazy Train, can he?' And, oh my goodness Ben, yes, yes you were, haha! Thanks for the video Ben and Jan, that was fun. Slay the Spire and Dicey Dungeons (BEST MUSIC 2019, DON'T CARE WHAT ANYONE SAYS!) were in my GOTY list last year so I will definitely check this out at some point.

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BisonHero

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@bathala said:

is this MOBA of card games

(it got lanes)

To seriously answer this possibly joke question, it's the tower defense of card games. Only certain boss fights really teleport units into the 2nd or 3rd floor, so anyone experienced with TD will have a bit of a leg up in figuring out unit (tower) placement. *Some* units are cannon fodder that is meant to die, but most of the time your units should be healed/protected and are basically as permanent as towers in TD games.

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BisonHero

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Ben: "A big part of this game I have found early is when to just like not play cards."

Much like jazz, it's all about the cards you don't play.

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Eldredpe

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I'm sure it would be difficult but when I saw it had multiplayer I was hoping it would be head to head multiplayer (maybe with some sort of drafting mechanic, or as a number of rounds where cards are added to the deck in between). Competitive individual run multiplayer is still neat but a lot less appealing.

Anyway, this seems very neat but I'll probably hold off for a sale. Doesn't seem to quite have the depth that Slay had.

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cikame

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I never liked the Blizzard Warcraft art style, so whenever i see someone copy it i'm automatically out.

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LoktarOgar

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Obligatory "Gwent/Thronebreaker coverage when?" comment.

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eccentrix

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I didn't realise the Quick Looks were being done live too. The decision seems odd to me, but I guess at some point they made a commitment to 100% live content.

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suzukagongen

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"Gorgeous George"

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ELpork

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@deathpooky: For sure, on the higher levels of difficulty you get totally boned if you don't abuse the systems.