9 Monkeys of Shaolin – BEAT ‘EM BORED – Review

9 Monkeys of Shaolin places you in the shoes of Wei Cheng, a fisherman that has lost his family when his village was destroyed by pirates. Having been found unconscious by monks, Wei trains to become a warrior that can take revenge! So is this action beat ’em up worth your time? Lets find out!

9 Monkeys of Shaolin Story Elements

This is yet another generic revenge story. Wei seeks out to defeat leaders of the Wokou, an enemey that seeks power to, you guessed it, take over the world. And there is really not much more to it than that. Characters seem to be thrown in together here to push the plot forward. The dialogue is so focussed on the next mission or objective, that it seems as though the characters have forgotten how to have a proper conversation. There is not much character development because of this. Most of the conversations consist of statements such as “Go here, do this, there is an issue here, we need this.” I never felt that I could really care for any of the characters, even when dramatic events occurred, because there was no real build up to it.

This does mean that the narrative does become quite underwhelming! By the end of it, I felt that I had to just push through this game to see the conclusion, rather than enjoy the journey through this story. It also does not help that most of the voice cast sound like stereotypical monks from 80s action films. It becomes increasingly difficult to take seriously as the story progresses. 

Some of the dialogue comes across really awkwardly. It feels like the game is trying here, but just not quite getting it!

Well What is the Combat Like?

Like many other beat ‘em ups, the gameplay is definitely the focal point here! However, 9 Monkeys of Shaolin does feel like any of these other brawlers with no real unique elements. Combat is comprised of basic and special attacks as well as moves known as “The Three Ground Seals”. They are moves that have status or position effects on opponents. They are, The Seal of Harmony, which weakens opponents’ defences, The Seal of Levity, which lifts opponents into the air, and The Seal of Concentration, which draws enemies toward you. These moves do not ever seem to give an advantage, so honestly, it is just better to ignore them. They do not really provide much support in any way in combat.

The combat in this title does feel fluid, but there is not enough variance for it to remain interesting. This is especially disappointing because not only is there a small amount of attacks available to the player, there are only few enemy types in this game. This meant that most of my play time was spent doing the same exact moves and same exact combos over and over until all the enemies were defeated. In any beat ‘em up game, variety is vital to keep players interested and invested. Because this game lacks this, it becomes quite stale. 9 Monkeys of Shaolin does have quite an enjoyable first few hours, but because it cannot maintain the excitement, the desire to continue playing through it becomes lost.

9 Monkeys of Shaolin Review - Wei Cheng defending his home in the game's story
Wei Cheng attempts to defend his village from the pirate invaders!

Decision

The game does have a few positives which can give a good few hours of play. But it does not do enough to entice players to finish it in its entirety. With the lack of story available here, naturally there would be more expected to come from the gameplay. Because 9 Monkeys of Shaolin does not really deliver fully in this area, it can leave players very disappointed. Honestly, wait for a sale on this one, or try out the prologue for free!

Review by Samuel Incze

Playable

Whilst 9 Monkeys of Shaolin does entertain for the first few hours, the repetitive and uninspired gameplay make it a chore to play. Add to this an unengaging story, and there becomes no real reason to see this game through to the end.

9 Monkeys of Shaolin was reviewed using a download code provided by Buka Entertainment. The Beta Network uses affiliate partnerships, however this does not influence reviews or any other content published. The Beta Network may earn commissions for products purchased via affiliate links that are on the website.

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