Review by tepanyan
"Easy to master, and addictive as anything"
Introduction - Monster Rancher 2 is a bit more than a step up from its predecessor, the monotonous and polygonal Monster Rancher. As much as I generally dislike breeders (Creatures, anyone?), Monster Rancher 2 has become one of my favorite games of all time.
Gameplay - Extremely fun. Monster Rancher 2 will keep you playing for hours and hours -- most of the game is menu-based, easy to comprehend, and the game itself is completely customized by YOU, the player. You determine how your monster will grow, what will be your monster's strong points, and what your monster will do. There are no ''right'' or ''wrong'' courses of action; there isn't even a true ending to the game. While that might be frustrating to very linear (and likely type A personality) gameplayers, I found it to be refreshing and exciting to always have something to come back to, and to never really have to put the game aside. The only drawback to it, that I found, was that it takes a very long time to build up your monster's stats enough for it to be considered a formidable opponent, and, while not exactly monotonous, the game is very repetitive, and can sometimes seem more like a time-killer than an attention-grabber. 8.5/10
Story - A pretty bland and typical story. You are a novice trainer that wants to be the best in the land by having your monster compete in and win the most important tournaments. The story doesn't exactly have a lot to do with this game, though. 5.5/10
Graphics - For an early psx game, Monster Rancher 2 has extremely good graphics, with a few very minor polygon issues. None of the backgrounds (that I can think of) are prerendered, but they look lovely nonetheless. Each of the 400+ monsters are very detailed, and they all have numerous animations and attacks. Each monster really has a personality of its own. 9/10
Sound - A lot of people have a big problem with Monster Rancher 2's music, but, to be honest, I don't have a problem with it at all (except for the town music -- good lord!). Sure, there's nothing monumental that will keep itself in your head for days and force you to run out and buy the soundtrack, but there's nothing that makes your ears bleed, either. It's pretty average in the music department. The sound effects, on the other hand, I really enjoy. Not the attacks, though, I mean, yes, a punch sounds like a punch, but the monsters' voices. Each monster has a unique voice, with many sounds that he makes, for many different reasons. The sound effects pull the sound category up a lot. 8/10
Play Time/Replayability - As I've said above, there really is no true end to the game, and since, even if you somehow managed to get every single monster, you can raise them differently every time, there's always something to do if you pick up the game again. 10/10
Gameplay (x3) - 8.5
Story (x1) - 5.5
Graphics (x2) - 9
Sound (x2) - 8
Play Time/Replayability (x2) - 10
Final Score: 9/10. Get this game. You won't be disappointed.
Reviewer's Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Originally Posted: 07/04/03, Updated 07/04/03
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