Hoshi Saga Monochromatic
Hoshi Saga is back! After a multi-year hiatus on the series, Yoshi Ishii blesses us with Hoshi Saga - Monochromatic. Following in the game's typical mode of operation, this episode has but one request: find the star.
Despite its black and white nature, Monochromatic is not without contrast. This time, with color out of the picture, remaining game elements like texture, shapes, sound, and motion are magnified, producing exciting and renewed gameplay through another lens.
Each level is its own standalone puzzle varying in style, difficulty, and the unique story it wants to tell. The necessity of using dynamic and sometimes opposing strategies propels players through this installment, and the range of style is pleasantly surprising. Players may jump from unveiling a Renaissance painting to chasing after a treasure chest within seconds. It's almost like a Christmastime advent calendar; what will the next piece behold?
The levels system keeps the game engaging. One of the most appealing aspects of Monochromatic - and Hoshi Saga in general - is that it plays on diversity in thinking and players' differing strengths and weaknesses. While some levels are intuitive to certain audiences, they may not be to others. Some people have quick reaction times, while others excel at cracking codes. As such, this chocolates box of a series nearly guarantees that one will find both challenges and victories.
Without a narrative or typical play method, there's no true way to "learn" the game, and players may even come across red herrings that make them second-guess themselves. Nevertheless, these obstacles are all in good fun and part of the adventure.
Monochromatic comes across as a cohesive, refreshing installment filled with ambient vibes and small curiosities. Even if you finish only a few levels, it's still worth a try.