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So, there's this promotional event with Yahoo! Games Japan right now where you get these like 'tickets' for playing games and then can turn them in for 'tokens' (a random amount) and then put the tickets toward raffles, and one is 11 character tickets for Imperial SaGa, so I'm participating.

It seems like you might be able to earn more tickets for playing more games, and one of the suggest games was called Dragon Quest: Monster Parade, so I figured I'd try it out.

Basically the story is that this King is able to see the future in his dreams, and saw the apocalypse. But everything will be good if caravans go search for this like... maiden person...

This world is full of people called 'Caravan Masters' who basically are like Pokémon Trainers but they raise DQ Monsters, and they use the monsters to protect caravans as they move along roads.

You're just a random kid and one day while wandering on a road, you come across a crashed caravan, and the master is unconscious. Then a talking glove named Hand (lol yeah) jumps off of the guy's hand and talks to you, asking you to help the master.

You take him back to town but he apparently is going to be out of commission for a long time, so someone needs to take over his caravan. Hey, why not you, random kid who just happens to be standing here?

We apparently already have two monster friends -- a Momonja (ugly duck thing with tail) and a Slime named Slylin. But we also get to pick a special one to start our journey from these three. I picked the slime-riding knight guy, who was named Nattle.

The gameplay is pretty simple. (I mean, it's just a browser game lol.) You don't have too much control over what goes on -- you play as Hand, who is a cursor, and you can pick up the monsters and drop them. That's about it. Other than that they'll move around and fight on their own. But you kind of need to shuffle them around to manage them, and I assume later in the game there will be tons of monsters on the battlefield so it will be a bit more exciting. But for now I mostly just watch them walk along and fight.

Bad monsters will pop out sometimes and you just have to prevent them from reaching the caravan. Sometimes they'll pop out behind your monsters, and there's a 'call' button that will warp all your monsters to the caravan. Monsters can learn special moves and magic and stuff as they level up, but they'll just use these at their own discretion and I don't think there's a way to control it.

There's also a "tactics" menu, but the only thing I can really do from it right now is give monsters herbs to heal them. I haven't really looked to see if there were any more options, but the tutorial only showed me that one. I guess I should look again. But it doesn't seem necessary.

There seems to be equipment in the game, though I never found any, but on the menu there are slots to equip three items per monster.

At the end of a route, the monster who dealt the most final blows is given the title of MVP, and they get a little extra bonus EXP, and an MVP ribbon. If you get ten of these, the monster gets a bonus chance, where you get a roulette of boosts to your monster, such as permanently increasing their stats.

Also at the end of a route, you may get a "Scout Chance" where you can recruit one of the monsters you defeated on the route. You try to appeal to the monster and have a certain rate of success, which you can raise before you try to appeal by feeding the monster some food.

Monsters not only have their individual species, but other unique qualities that make each one individual. They have a 'rank' which I think is just sort of like a boost to base stats, represented by a letter grade ranging from F to S (where S is above A). They also have a disposition -- things like "crybaby" or "easily amused" or "hates to lose." I don't really know what these do, but they're probably similar to Pokémon natures. The monsters also have genders, though I have no idea why. Perhaps there's a breeding system later in the game?

Like most of these kinds of games, there are daily login bonuses. It seems they're mostly these tickets which you can redeem for something (I haven't tried it yet), carrots (which give you "stamina," which you need to embark on a route, that otherwise replenishes once a day), and monster food. I don't know what #19 is. Looks kinda like a demon egg lol.

Your monsters get EXP as they fight, and as you complete routes, your caravan levels up, too. It increases the maximum weight you can carry (monsters have 'weight' so you can't have more 'weight' in your party than your maximum capacity) and your available daily stamina.

You also are able to get decorations for your caravan, changing its appearance. I don't know how you get any, but I'm guessing it will be through quests. I did get a quest that let me change my profile picture to a little kid lol.

Towns have various facilities like church, bar, inn, store, guild, etc. where you can do stuff like heal monsters, buy items, and accept quests. Pretty standard stuff. The barkeeper is particularly nice though~ hahaha

Once you get to a certain part in the story, you can sacrifice one monster to increase the power of another. Basically, the two monsters fight, and the 'sacrifice' will run away at the end and be permanently lost from the party, but the staying monster gets a huge boost in experience points. It's good for leveling new monsters to get them up to speed with the rest of your party.

There also seems to be a roulette for getting bonus upgrades to your monster when this happened, but I haven't had it "hit" yet. It seems like you can also add more monsters to the sacrifice pile to increase these chances.

And that's really about all there seems to be to the game. It's very cute and pretty fun for what it is. You don't have a ton of stamina so you can't do very much each day without carrots or leveling up, but I assume it will be like Shepherd's Crossing Online where once you level up enough you can just do so much that you could continue to play indefinitely if you really wanted to.

But the game isn't exactly engaging enough to want to play for a long time. I was already getting kind of sick of it before using up my 14 stamina (the routes are only a couple minutes long at the most).

I think once you get further in the game it will probably be more exciting. Having lots of monsters to manage seems interesting, and the monsters have different abilities, like that archer goblin thing I got actually stands in place when enemies appear and shoots them from afar. They have long "reload" between their attacks, but they stay out of danger and their damage assists the 'front line' monsters. I've also had my monsters be inflicted with status effects and stuff, so I assume we'll be able to do that to enemies later, too. And there will probably be some kind of AI setup to customize your party or something, or a way to influence how they use their special abilities or something.

I'll keep trying it if I remember -- I bookmarked it and put it next to Imperial SaGa, and see how it goes for a while. There doesn't seem to be an English version, sadly, though.

Here are my active parade monsters as of the end of my first session playing:

Dennis (Grapplin)

Lillie (Lilipat)

Nattle (Slime Knight)

Nancy (Sweetbag)


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