Monster Rancher


Review by Joe Santulli



Graphics: ?

Sound: ?

Gameplay: ?

Overall: 6

monsterrancger1ps1.jpg (44110 bytes)I really hope the "virtual pet" fad is near an end. First it was those silly keychains, and now it’s creeping into our video games. Monster Rancher may be the first to capitalize on the fad, but I’m sure it won’t be the last. The problem with fads is that years down the road we all wonder why we were so enamored by them. I can only hope that the people who think Monster Rancher is such a "deep, innovative game" will realize when reading their work years from now that they simply got suckered into the trend.

Just for a moment I will entertain the possibility that this game is in no way inspired by or attempts to be a Tamogachi pet. It is a game where you create a baby monster either by purchasing from town or creating one in the shrine (you can use any CD to randomly generate a new monster, a good feature). You then raise the pet by feeding it properly, training it, making it work, getting it into tournaments, and exploring. The feeding, training, and work are non-interactive menu selections essentially - just choices you can make to add to your pet’s skills. The tournament battles are somewhat interactive in that you choose how your monster will attack. The explorations require you to find items within a set time limit in a somewhat complex maze.

monsterrancher2ps1.jpg (45448 bytes)You’ll find that 90% of the game is spent in battles, and here is where I have a real problem. If YOU knew that your game was going to be primarily a fighting game, wouldn’t YOU make the fighting game something to look forward to? Instead of a fighter, however, you are stuck in a decision making process that for some reason ALSO includes some button punching. It’s a weird concept. Now, had Tecmo made the fighting portion akin to Bloody Roar, or any decent fighting game, they would have really made me happy. As it stands, however, I’m not amused by this sequence that takes too long to get started (there’s an introduction before every fight that you cannot bypass) and doesn’t involve the player enough.

Monsters age, die, and you can breed them to create new, tougher kids. But as hard as I tried, I just couldn’t get into it. The fighting dragged the entire strategy element down for me.

If you want to play something really innovative by Tecmo, try Tecmo’s Deception, which is still in my opinion one of the great underrated strategy/RPG’s of all time.


Go to Digital Press HQ
Return to Digital Press Home

Last updated: Friday, October 07, 2005 10:01 PM