Monster Rancher 1 and 2 DX is the answer to the lack of Monster Rancher goodness these past years. Koei Tecmo really did good with this release, but let me iron out the things I noticed as I played along.
First off, the gameplay. With the autosave enabled, it made planning the Monster Fusion easier as you can save the day before a Monster dies, giving you the chance to freeze and preserve its existence as fusion fodder or if you’re feeling pretty sentimental, just keep it there. The added Fast Forward ability allows you to speed through the training sessions that monsters go through, making the grind feel less time consuming, and there’s always the chance your monster might get a Great outcome instead of just the usual Success but the shadow of failure still looms over your head.
The games retain their difficulty, and it’s always a steep climb over to train a monster that’ll live long enough to see Class S, all things considered.
Ranking yourself up as a trainer still is the same along with the risk of travels and all the things that made both games timeless and fun are still intact: the joy of seeing your monster reach great strengths, unlock skills, stand on top of other monsters as a combatant and take home that sweet, sweet trophy of victory.
The fights are still as hectic as before, with some opponents attacking in rapid succession and can still knock your monster down on the ground in no time. But that same rule applies to your monster, as using the same attack over and over again causes the accuracy to drop, albeit slowly in increments of 2-3% per use. Setting up moves with high accuracy are good and keeping distance to regain your meter is key to fighting and winning, if not lowering your enemy’s health down and winning by time out.
I’m sure seasoned players are now wondering, “What about the disc-changing mechanic of both games? What do you do with them?”
Don’t worry, it is replaced with a search function with stored and probably internet-accessed database so you can find tracks or artists with their albums. I spent quite a bit of time searching said database with artists I am familiar with, and even found a few key monsters that I raised well near the end of their days from one artist that I love.
I’m sure you’ll get a few good monsters that you’ll grow to love from your favorite artists or bands as well, dear reader.
Music for Monster Rancher 2 have original and arranged modes, and can be freely interchanged during gameplay, so feel free to use which calls to you more. From the calm music of the ranch to the tense tunes when your monster is either in the hospital or has run away from home to the blood-pumping music of fights either in the ring or out in the errantry, both mixes have your back.
Overall, Monster Rancher 1 and 2 DX is a fine addition for both veterans and newcomers alike. And with a learning curve that is not too steep, it will keep you coming back to play again and again.
As Joe Bob Briggs have said, “Four stars! Check it out!”.
Monster Rancher 1 and 2 DX – Review
When the issues of a game are rolled and stomped by its greatness, then it’s something to invest on if you have some spare.
Fast Forward speeds things up when you train or fight.
The Original Soundtrack. Just, (chef's kiss).
The learning curve can be a bit unforgiving for newcomers or rusty veterans.