have it 100% payed for in a pre-order like most games for series I know I like --- My systems: Genesis/32X, Saturn, Dreamcast, GG, SNES, N64, GCN, Wii, Wii U, Xbox360, PS1, PS2, PS3, GBC, DS Lite, DSi XL, 3DS, PS VITA
So on the surface it's Dark and Steel vs Natures, Double Battles, Abilities.
More like this...
Gen 2: +Steel and Dark Types +The world physically getting larger (Johto is right beside Kanto, kind of a Loz1&2 thing) +Day & Night System (yes, this was touted as a major feature at the time) +New evos and pre-evos of existing Pokemon +New Pokemon that filled in pretty massive gaps (elephants, bears, owls, oh my!) +Gyms and Elite 4 for each remaining type +The Team Rocket story continues, this time with LANCE +Shinies +Animated Pokemon (Crystal only)
Gen 3: +Abilities +Double Battles +Natures +New berries +A brand new region to explore (disconnected from prior regions) +Weather (grealy expanded on. I actually had to confirm that Gen II introduced this) +Two seperate stories between the games (Magma vs. Aqua, even though this turned out to be pretty tame, but it was a selling point at the tiime) +New PC system +2 bikes +More pokemon than gen 2 introduced +Pokeblocks +Contest +Battle Frontier +VS Seeker +Running Shoes +Non-restrictive clock +Underwater +Overworld weather +Secret bases
Again, not bad games, but things were slowing down. Gen 4 was far worse than Gen 3 for this, which is likely why it gets badmouthed so often around these parts.
A couple things I hated in Gen III were the lack of visible passage of time, and the overall aesthetic in the GBA games. So far the 3DS aesthetic looks pretty good, and I fully expect them to maintain the day/night passage, so that would be two key issues fixed for me.
I'd give it a shot, I think. --- I like Monster Rancher.