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Monaco: What’s Yours is Mine – Xbox 360 (Live Arcade)

Monaco: What’s Yours is Mine – Xbox 360 (Live Arcade)

 Monaco_game_cover Platform: Xbox 360 (Live Arcade)

Developer: Pocketwatch Games

Publisher: Majesco Entertainment

Release Date (NA): May 10, 2013

Genre: ActionStealth

Nerd Rating: 6.5 / 10

Reviewed by Rhutsczar

Hello everybody! After a minor hiatus from writing, I recently found the time to dig through my game library! First up from my little gaming bender is Monaco: What’s Yours Is MineI just picked up Xbox Live again, so you will be seeing plenty of Game for Gold games on here.

While there isn’t much above a generic story in Monaco, the game does a pretty decent job at creating four different campaigns for the player to complete. There are two main campaigns that tell the events of the game from two different viewpoints, the Locksmith and the Pickpocket. The remaining two serve as the back story for the individual characters and the epilogue or what happens after the main missions. The two main campaigns are obviously the “meat and potatoes” of the game, as it is definitely enjoyable to see how two very different characters interpret their side of the story.

Monaco: What’s Yours is Mine isn’t a stealth game, Monaco is a heist game. There’s a clear difference that is important to understand. In Stealth games you really can’t mess up at all, for if you do you will be doomed to fail and start over. Monaco takes the high road and doesn’t even recommend that you try to complete the mission with maximum stealth. The thing that makes it a heist game is that inevitably heists will go horribly wrong. When they do, that’s when the game is the most fun.

monaco-3Unlike most heist games where you play as a member of the heist, typically in first or third person, Monaco is played from a top-down perspective with a great implementation of line-of-sight knowledge. If you or your team have never been in an area, it will be entirely blacked out and not visible. Once you investigate the area, it will change to grey, denoting that you have fully investigated the area.  You can still be caught by the suspicious guard patrols if you aren’t careful.

I do want to mention that things will go wrong all the time in Monaco, but you will be able to recover from small mistakes without taking too much time and resources. If you think this makes the game a lot less challenging, then you have the wrong idea. I started playing Monaco in October (2014) and was stuck on late game mission for a week and decided to shelf it, not for too long though as I was determined to win. In the endgame I did win, but at a price. While the game is incredibly fun, I was stuck on the level for far too long, it was embarrassing.

There are quite a few different characters each with their specialties, I will list them below. While many of them are unlock able, it is not that hard to unlock them. I personally found the locksmith the most versatile character as I was able to speed through a few levels with ease.

  • The Locksmith: Pick doors and safes the fastest.468px-Character
  • The Pickpocket: Send his pet monkey to grab coins without setting off alarms.
  • The Cleaner: Knock out unsuspecting enemies.
  • The Lookout: Ability to see every NPC, even through walls.
  • The Mole: Ability to dig through walls.
  • The Gentleman: Disguise himself when hidden.
  • The Hacker: Make viruses from wall outlets.
  • The Redhead: Ability to charm a single enemy.

Another element that stands out in Monaco is its difficulty curve. The curve is rapidly increased the further you get into the game, by far one of the steepest curves I have ever experienced. I chalk this up to all of the different “cogs in the machine.” At first, levels are simple in their layout and I could easily complete it with my locksmith. Later levels, however, are so chock-full of different obstacles and variables that things become very frustrating, leading me to shelf the game 75% of the way complete. I am barely doing the game justice as each level in Monaco is full of other ridiculous challenges, you will just have to play it yourself so you can experience it the same way I have.

Due to how the game is designed, once you reach the later levels, the best way to tackle them is through trial and error. You may find that a level filled with computers is better suited for the hacker than the pickpocket or the redhead. Unfortunately there is no indication of what the next level will contain. Looking at the displayed leaderboards definitely helped quite a bit as I was able to obtain a good sense of who to use in which particular situation.

Redhead_with_a_crossbow

While Monaco is actually quite fun to play solo, it is definitely designed as a co-op game. Things get far easier in co-op mode, because two or more characters can be used to form a cohesive team of thieves. Approaching a level with the combined skills of the Mole, the Lookout, and the Cleaner is far more satisfying and manageable than attempting to go it alone. Co-op play leads to detailed planning and interesting teamwork choices while actually affording a level of patience and forethought that cannot be found in the game’s solo experience. Tackling things with friends often offers up Ocean’s Eleven-esque levels of heist hijinks, whilst playing alone is more like trying to rob a bank in oven mitts and a blindfold.

Monaco’score fits the atmosphere perfectly. Who knew some calming piano music could get you in the mood for planning a heist? The soundtrack matches the pace of the game, as it becomes more chaotic the more chaos you cause (you like that?). I will definitely be buying the score just so I can plan my own heists in my head.

monaco

Overall, Monaco: What’s Yours is Mine has to be one of the funnest free games I have been able to play all year. From the non-traditional art style to a tactical hud and even a piano score, you can’t get more Ocean than this. I definitely recommend picking it up over on the Xbox 360’s Live Arcade, just make sure you play with one of your many cohorts. This way you will get even more out of the experience. Stay tuned for bi-weekly reviews from Rhutsczar, as there are plenty hiding in the pipeline.

Be sure to also check me out over  @ Media in Review where I cover film, television, and anime, four times a week!

Written by Rhutsczar


Hello everybody! Thanks for reaching the end of whatever my newest/current addiction is above me. I’m pretty sure it’s an RPG, since it’s my favorite genre I try to find the most underrated and niche games possible. Anyway if you like what you read and would like to check out more, follow the links below. Also be sure to check out the RBG over on Beyond Bacon!.

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2 Comments

  1. FrozenMallet says:

    I got it with GWG also. I tried it once with my 10 and 11 year old but as soon as something went wrong during the heists the finger pointing and bickering started…

     
    • That is exactly what happened when I first started. I let my 12 year old brother play co-op with me and lets just say we didn’t get very far until we parted ways. This is one GWG I finished by myself.

       

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