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Monster Rancher (originally Monster
Farm in Japan) was a game released by Tecmo in North America for the
Sony PlayStation in November of 1997. It would go on to receive a cult
following, earning four more sequels spanning from the PlayStation 1 to
the PlayStation 2 and spin-off games for various consoles and even an
Anime. Needless to say Monster Rancher has found a place in many people
hearts, but let take a look at the first game. The one that started it
You start the game off as a Beginner Monster Breeder and after choosing
your name via signing for a package delivered at your home, you set off
to acquire your Breeder’s Assistant, Holly, who will help with the day
to day operations of running the ranch and raising your monster.
After that you’re off to town to find your first monster. Now the big
innovation of this game is the ability to swap a CD ROM (called Mystery
Discs in the game) with the Monster Rancher game disc at The Shrine in
order to generate a monster for you to breed. Discs can be anything from
other Playstation games, computer games, soundtracks and demos. This
was the game biggest marketing plug as even the back of the CD case
warns you not to sit too close to your collection of CDs, as if a
monster is going to latch out from them and grab you. Wonder what the
children thought of that one….
You have the option of getting monsters in-game without having to use a
CD ROM but that limits you to three of the most basic monsters in the
game, for anything else you’d have to dig through your collection of
CDs. You can also combine monsters to get different types and even use
items to acquire rare monsters you wouldn’t get in the game otherwise.
The main goal of the game is to be the very best! The best there ever
was – by competing in fighting tournaments against other monsters and
rising up the ranks to become eligible for the “Big Four” not to be
confused with the “Elite Four” from Pokemon. To achieve this you have to
work on your monster’s stats; life, power, defense, skill, speed and
intelligence. You can raise these for your monsters by doing jobs for
gold (cash) or by going through a Training program that cost 2,000 gold
(or 1,000 gold if you do it on a month where there’s a discount).
The game time format goes by weeks, starting off on the first week of
April in the year 1000. So it would be April Week One, April Week Two,
and etc. etc. At the beginning of each month you can choose between
three items for your monster to eat, because I guess a monster only
needs to eat every 30 days, and official tournaments are held at the end
of the month every couple of months. Working and Resting only last one
week while Training lasts four. By the way wouldn’t it be awesome to be
able to sleep in for seven straight days in a row? On top of the stats
you also have to keep a watch on the monster’s loyalty to you as the
higher it is the less likely he’s to be confused during tournament
Battles aren't all that complicated but depending on how your stats
measure up to your opponent, it can be a pain in the ass. You fight with
a time limit and the most you can do, if you choose to instruct your
monster, is close in, back off and attack with the available attacks he
has on his command list. Your monster’s will power determines how much
damage he can inflict and when it gets low you have to wait before you
can attack again. The way to win is to either Knock Out your opponent or
have the most health when the time limit runs out. At the end of each
tournament you’ll receive a prize money and your monster fame level will
increase or decrease accordingly. In some tournaments you can also
compete for an item.
Cons: if I had to give the game one major criticism it would be in how
repetitive it can become the longer you play it. This is an unfortunate
setback to the game’s style but ultimately the most you can do is put
your monster to work, train him, watch him sleep and battle. As you
progress in the game you’ll have the option to go on expeditions to
collect rare items you can use for combining monsters at a later date
but even those get old and repetitive after a while. Each monster type
offers a new animation while its working, training and sleeping but
there’s only so much one can expect from this game. If you’re the type
who can get bore easy then this might not be the game for you.
While it’s important that you raise your monster stats up for battle, it
can take a while and the problem is your monster only has so many years
in them to begin with. That’s right, the monster you’re breeding can
die. The average monster life span is three years with some living a
little bit longer, but wait too long and your monster will kick the
bucket and you can opt to have a funeral ceremony for him or a private
send-off. You can usually tell when the end is near when Holly is
telling you that your monster should retire. You can add some more years
on their life by freezing them and raising another monster in the
meanwhile but you’re only prolonging the inevitable. You can retire an
existing monster by going to the Market place in town and giving them
away. The death itself isn’t so much of a con as an inconvenience since
many players I know have been caught off guard by it while trying to be
patient with raising their monster’s stats.
All in all if you enjoy a game where you get to raise a monster and have
it fight, I’d recommend giving this game a go. If you’re the type that
can get bore easy from the same old routine you probably aren’t going to
like this game. I’d personally give it an 8.5/10 because it is a good
game and both children and adults alike can get into it despite some
repetitiveness and how difficult getting to the Big Four with one
monster can be. And well, that’s Monster Rancher. I guess there’s
nothing else left to say but,
I wanna be the very best
like no one ever was.
to unlock them is my real test
to breed them is my cause.
I will travel across the CD rack
searching far and wide.
teach the monsters to understand
the power that’s inside.
Monster Rancher! Gotta unlock’em all!
its you and me.Me
Get off.I know its my destiny!
Oh you’re my best friend
in a world we must defend (from a cow?)Monster Rancher! Gotta unlock’em all!
a heart so true
our courage will put us through.
You teach me and I’ll scold you
Gotta unlock’em all!
Gotta unlock’em all!