Moshi Monsters: Katsuma Unleashed Review: Platforming 101

Moshi Monsters: Katsuma Unleashed Review: Platforming 101 Moshi Monsters: Katsuma Unleashed is the third game from Mind Candy, developer Sumo Digital, and publisher Activision that, like its two predecessors, applies the popular (outside of the United States, anyway) Moshi Monsters brand to a specific gaming genre, in this case platforming. Geared squarely at younger gamers with little experience, Katsuma Unleashed partially takes advantage of the massive roster of Moshis Mind Candy has conjured up and works best as an introductory guide to platforming 101 course for youngsters to enjoy before the frustration of tackling more demanding Mario games is inevitably encountered.

Katsuma is the first Moshi to be featured as a main character in this expanding franchise and the lone playable character in the game’s campaign. He’s an orange and fiery red cross between a cat and possibly rabbit — given the huge ears — whose lone core attack is a spinning move that whips his tail around to damage enemies. Katsuma can also jump and run up select marked surfaces as the first of six game worlds is entered and played.

As the game begins, Katsuma learns that the nefarious Dr. Strangeglove, the main Moshi baddie whose eyes peer out from the top of a top hat, has kidnapped all of his friends, including the all-powerful Elder Furi, and created evil robotic versions of several of them. It’s up to Katsuma to not only fight through six worlds worlds full of Glumps, robots and their bosses to ultimately defeat Dr. Strangeglove, but find his kidnapped Moshi friends in not-so-obvious locations along the way.

Moshi Monsters: Katsuma Unleashed Review: Platforming 101

First and foremost Unleashed caters to a beginner crowd. Katsuma works his way from left to right across the screen as catchy music plays in the background, jumping on enemies or hitting them with his spin attack to take them out. The control mechanics couldn’t possibly be any more straightforward for introductory players to immediately grasp and successfully execute.

The bottom screen on the DS or 3DS comes into play after the first boss is defeated and Zommer is freed. Katsuma gains an ability from Zommer for his efforts, throwing eyeballs, which can be activated at any time by pressing the Zommer icon on the bottom screen. As with any other similar game with “special” powers, there’s a power bar attached to Zommer’s attack that slowly winds down when it’s activated. When the attack is turned off, the bar slowly builds back up.

Over the course of the game additional abilities will be unlocked as bosses are defeated. Katsuma will gain the ability to become indestructible, punch super hard, slow down time, and ultimately fly around as if he were a hot air balloon. There are hidden areas within each level of the game that require these abilities to reach in order to find kidnapped Moshis or coin pieces taken from Elder Furi, so once the story is completed, the completion percentage will be around one-third as it is in Activision’s Skylanders games. There’s still much work to do long after the final boss is taken down.

Moshi Monsters: Katsuma Unleashed Review: Platforming 101

Defeating the bosses by targeting their one clearly marked weakness is as straightforward as the levels, and in some instances much easier. As Katsuma gains powers further along in the game, he gets to the point where he’s basically a Super Moshi that can get past any situation without taking a single blow by utilizing the shield ability. Even toppling Dr. Strangeglove is a piece of cake thanks to the extra powers Katsuma has earned.

As each main level is completed, extra paths are opened on the map that lead to previous levels and a strange alternate world where mini-games revolving around the powers of the other main Moshis such as Zommer, Furi, Diavlo and others. These are fun little excursions that if nothing else give kids the opportunity to control characters other than Katsuma.

There’s a roster of around 100 Moshis in Katsuma Unleashed that are each filed away in a virtual Moshi Encyclopedia after they are rescued, either by finding them during the campaign or beating the mini-game missions. It would have been nice to have seen a greater variety of playable Moshis in the game itself, as well as the robotic enemy variety that tops out around five.

Moshi Monsters: Katsuma Unleashed Review: Platforming 101

Two other small issues with Moshi Monsters: Katsuma Unleashed involve the camera and jumping off springboards. The camera has a hard time reversing direction after Katsuma does. Instead of a clean change of direction from left to right or up and down, the camera bounces into the new direction. This can be especially frustrating to experience in 3D on the 3DS version, with the 3D presentation being otherwise well done with multi-layered level backgrounds and color level design.

Jumping issues are present due to extreme sensitivity in Katsuma’s leaps. When there’s a small springboard and something for Katsuma to either break or reach high above, it takes three to four jumps in order for Katsuma to reach his maximum jumping height. This wouldn’t be an issue if Katsuma jumped straight into the air, but he veers to the side based on slight angled variations when hitting the springboard, so instead he drifts off to the side and can easily miss the springboard for the next jump as a result.

There’s a lot of simplistic fun to be had playing Moshi Monsters: Katsuma Unleashed and far fewer frustrations for younger gamers trying not accustomed to platformers than would be found jumping directly into a Mario game. Moshi fans will get even more out the game unlocking their favorite Moshis and adding them to the Encyclopedia, while newcomers might be enticed to log onto the Moshis website where that world thrives and use one of the online codes unlocked while collecting Rox, the game’s currency. As a seasoned gamer I will freely admit that some of the hidden captured Moshis are not easy to find in the least.

– Dan Bradley

Moshi Monsters: Katsuma Unleashed was reviewed on 3DS using a copy purchased at retail. It was released November 5, 2013 for Nintendo 3DS and DS.

Shop for Moshi Monsters: Katsuma Unleashed on 3DS or DS at

Moshi Monsters: Katsuma Unleashed Review: Platforming 101

TheHDRoom may be paid a small commission for any services or products ordered through select links on this page.