Review by aicalo7

"A good idea that's lost on monotonous gameplay."

The games of the Monster Rancher series are some of the most innovative games for the Playstation I have seen, and there are some weird games out there. Monster Rancher 2 takes a popular theme- monster raising- and brings it to life.

The basic idea of the game is to be the best trainer in the world, so you set out to breed and raise monsters that come from any CD you own. This game never officially ends, but your goal is to find all species of monsters by using different CD’s, winning battle tournaments, training your monster, and going on expeditions to find rare items for your monster. The challenges of the game are to buy food for your monster, discipline and train it, and to have it win battles and move up in rank. These could have made Monster Rancher 2 surpass Pokemon in so many ways, but there are some flaws.

One major difference between Pokemon and MR2 is the fact that Pokemon has more to it than just repetitive routines. MR2 does try to incorporate this with the expedition feature, but the rest of the game is just doing the same thing over and over again. The repetitiveness is the greatest flaw of MR2, and causes its downfall.

The graphics are very nice; artwork for the monsters and the monsters themselves are smooth and pleasant to look at, and the backgrounds are good too. Sound is mediocre, but not bad- one advantage MR2 has over Pokemon.

Gameplay takes so much time; it takes more than a few hours and more patience on the gamer’s part than for many other games. After you take care of one monster for a long time and finally get it to a high ranking, you have to breed another one, and another, and another… It just feels like there’s something missing from this game that could just make it so much better.

MR2 does an excellent job of putting you in the trainer’s shoes. If you’ve spent so much time feeding, training, and playing with your monster, you get a real sense of achievement after it learns a new attack or wins a big tournament. Not many other games give you this experience, and there’s a real heartfelt side to Monster Rancher 2.

It’s hard to find a good and original game that stands out from the rest; if you have the patience Monster Rancher 2 could be a good, fun game and a breath of fresh air from other linear games, but after the initial burst interest MR2 will move its way to the back of your game shelf.

Reviewer's Rating:   3.5 - Good

Originally Posted: 03/20/02, Updated 03/20/02

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