I played this game back in February and I'm getting back to it. I have about 9 hours game time and already beat the red flan tomato boss with hope in the jungle area, on the steppe area with the big dinosaur blocking that dragon and finished a couple of the earlier areas.
1. I captured the Behemoth monster in the dark shadowy areas in that area where it spawns. I recall somebody said it was a good monster to capture early on but I could be mistaken.
2. Also, I've stuck to one role for Noel and Sarah. They are both level 65ish. Is this a bad idea? Noel is com and Sarah is rav. Should I give them a 2nd role or something?
3. IF the Behemoth isn't a good "early" monster to capture, who is then? I would prefer a tank or healer, but I'm ignorant since I'm a new player.
4. Finally, how easy/hard is it to obtain materials to level monsters? If I'm not mistaken, monsters level up through materials you find. How easy are they to find?
I got the xbox 360 if it matters.
this screenshot is for warcraft 3 players: http://img10.imageshack.us/img10/5835/masscritters.jpg
1. I got behemoth early on. He was great for quite a while. But becomes expensive to train later on.
2. How you level your characters doesn't matter too much for the main game. There are enough levels to max out every role. But by specialising like that your max max stats will be less than optimal. So post-game content will be a bit more difficult. Also, I had a medic in my paradigm pack right-through the game with no problems, but many people recommend having Serah and Noel learn medic then using a different monster (a sentinal) I would, however, recommend making one of them a Sab though. Monster sabs have poor AI and all sabateuring should be done by the players if you want it done effectively.
3. For Med I used Cait-Sith (the one you get at the beginning of the game) for a large part and replaced it with a green chocobo later. Apparently Flanitor is better. Don't remember where they are, but I think they're in Augusta Tower. You should have access to that already. Other than that, most people recommend Cloudburst from the Steppe (where you are now). Also, goblin Chieftain from the Steppe.
Cloudburst is a rav, chieftain is a sen. I didn't use a sen untill post-platinum, but other people recommend them throughout the game. It is important to have a com and rav monster. The third can be anything else. I used medic, as you know. Others use sen. So I'd recommend behemoth+cloudburst+Flanitor for you. (particularly since your characters cant do medic)
4. The materials are easy to find. Particularly the level 1-4 materials. They are common monster drops. The level 5 materials (besides potent) are a pain to get your hands on. For the behemoth you should only use materials that have "power" in its name when training it.