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Preview:Merciful Mungbeans

I had the opportunity today to play a short demo of Meowskivich’s upcoming game, Merciful Mungbeans. Let me start by saying that there really isn’t a whole lot of content available to see at this point, though the game itself still has me intrigued.

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You play as a band of Mungbeans(??) who are about to storm a castle, or at least that’s what I think is going to happen. I was under the impression that mung beans looked a bit different than straight-edge blocks, but perhaps the heroes have nothing to do with mung beans at all. Meowskivich mentioned that it was a WIP title, so perhaps it will be changed at a future date. I don’t really mind the title at all, though it might be nice to know exactly what it means.

It isn’t made very clear as to who the heroes are and why they are storming this castle, but I’m only going to assume that it is clarified later in the game. All of the characters appear to have foundations for backstories, but none of them flesh out beyond a few sentences in the current content.mercifulmungbeans0003

The graphics are somewhat basic but have a nice touch to them. The author does use an excessive amount of flat gradients but the light sources are a little different for each graphic which helps add a little variety into the mix of things. I am a little clueless why Yedrick, the yellow hero, has a couple extra pixels outside of his other companions though.

The maps themselves are fairly straightforward, though you do have the choice of multiple paths in certain places. Going off the beaten path tends to reward you with treasure chests, so it’s usually a good idea to explore around. Unfortunately you can probably do without most of the rewards as there is very little challenge in the game at this point.

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I almost get a feel as if your party at the beginning is intended to be super powerful. Perhaps they eventually meet the last boss or a powerful enemy, and then it flashes forward to the real, initially wimpy hero? As of right now, your heroes start out at level 40 with tons of abilities, and generally destroy everything in their path. I guess only time will tell whether your initial party is used throughout the entire game or if new ones are introduced later.

I liked that the combat is turn-based compared to the usual ATB system. Unfortunately most battles are really easy and it is highly unlikely you will be biting your nails over any of them at this point. There are a TON of abilities to choose from, and I wasn’t able to try all of them out during my first playthrough. All of the ones I tried appeared to not be completely broken, though several of them suffered from balance issues.

For example, Deril’s Soul Whirl strikes all enemies for a decent amount of damage at the cost of 15 health. Deril starts out with over 400 health, so it’s obviously not a big deal just to spam this all the time. I think it is a great ability but it needs to be tweaked some so that it is either not near as strong, or it costs much more to perform.

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On the other hand, some of the abilities do next to nothing compared to the character’s melee attacks. I didn’t find much use in Yedrick’s Corrosive arrows because his melee attack would cause about the same damage and requires no MP to use. It does have a chance to poison the target but that additional damage is not really worth it. I really appreciate the variety of spells, but some of them did not seem worthwhile in their current form.

I was a little confused as to where the game actually ended. You get to a certain point and an NPC tells you that is the “end of the demo”, yet you can continue on if you go behind him. I don’t know whether you are supposed to stop there or not, but I decided to continue on anyways.

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The second map appears to be incomplete because there is a room where you essentially get stuck and cannot progress or turn back to another area. There was a room with blue balls zooming around but I couldn’t get past them to save my life. I do believe that Meowskivich is working on that section currently, but it would have been nice to know which areas were WIP and which were ready for an actual playthrough.

Overall, there really wasn’t a whole lot available to see given the current content of the game. There are some things that seem promising and other things that should be fixed, but I’d definitely like to see more when it is available. At this point it is hard to say exactly how Merciful Mungbeans will fare as a complete game though.