Review by SPantera

"It is definitely worth your money to buy this classic. It's time for Pokémon to move on over."

INFORMATION: Monster Rancher 2 is a sequel to a similar game. Although I haven't played the original, I'll tell you that number 2 is definitely worth your money. Basically you raise monsters on your ranch. There are over 400 monsters (408 I think) for you to train, freeze, combine, fight, and even play with. And in addition to all of this fun any CD you have, any music, comedy album, sound track, video game (Playstation, Sega Saturn, Dreamcast, PC, etc.), etc, old or new (this only excludes, however, DVD's), contains a monster that you can get. The only problem with this is to get most main type monsters you have to have a certain prerequisite (for instance to get Golems and Bakus you have to buy upgrades for your ranch). The only thing I don't like is this: your monsters (whom you train hard and well) actually die, that's right, they die, usually after 3 years although I have hear rumors of a monster that lasted 7 years...

MY EXPIERIENCE: I had first seen the television show on Fox and thought that it looked neat so I decided to try the game for myself. I began playing the game and was immediately hooked. They make it easy for a beginner to understand the basic concepts of the game. My first monster was a Zuum (Zuum/Zuum, duh), whom I chose just because they looked the coolest. I played the game with the Zuum for 2 years (game time, I didn't actually play for 2 years) and got bored so I switched to a Gaboo and went from there. Over the course of my game I've trained other monsters such as a Cabalos (Tiger/Naga), Wall Mimic (Jell/Golem), Fake Penguin (Mocchi/Tiger), and Ice Cube (Monol/Jell). After about 10 years into the game I got bored with it but recently I've been wanting to play the game, so I will be buying it soon (I had only rented it). Now here are the ratings:

STORY 8/10: Basically you are a monster trainer who wants to become the best monster trainer. Not much of a story but at least the story doesn't always get in the way of the game.

GRAPHICS 9/10: This isn't any Final Fantasy VIII but the graphics aren't that bad. Each of the monster main types look distinctly different, and you can always meet a new monster when you get bored with one monster's appearance (I got bored with Zuum eventually got to more interesting ones like the Fake Penguin). In addition to interesting monsters, each monster main type has its own animations (such as dodges, ''cheers'', ''yuks'', and so on)

MUSIC 10/10: The game's music isn't neccessarily top notch, but I'll tell you why I gave it a 10: first of all it isn't distracting, you can hum it and play the game at the same time (a habit of mine, I happen to like contemporary classical music, as in music that doesn't have words to it), second the music fits the mood of every area, for instance when you are on your ranch the music is peaceful and passive (like you'd think of for a farm that doesn't have anything really exciting going on), the music in town is lively but not quite exciting, and the best part: the arena's music, it may not sound like heavy metal or even rock and roll but it certainly portrays the mood of an arena, and it gets more dramatic as you progress through the ranks. Now that I've said all that I should move on to:

SOUND 9/10: The sound isn't spectacular but it doesn't get in the way. Each monster main type has its own sounds and there are not much in the way of those constant annoying noises (there is an ''occasional'' ''BOO'' from the crowd when a monster misses an attack).

CONTROL 9/10: Navigating the menus, such as to and from the ranch, is a breeze, the only problem with the controls comes when you do the battles. The battle control isn't very good in my opinion, the monsters move slowly and you have to be a certain distance from the enemy to do certain attacks (luckily there is an easy way to see how far you are from your opponent in relative to the attacks range). However there is an option to let your monster fight without you controlling it but I don't like to use that option myself. Of course as with all so-so controlling systems you can get better at it with practice.

FUN FACTOR 9/10: This is certainly a fun game. The only problem I ran into with fun is that it takes lots of hard work to train your monster and you can easily get bored training another monster after yours gets killed or you have to stop using due to old age.

CHALLENGE 10/10: This game has a great challenge, that is if you are up to it. Raising and training a monster takes a lot of effort (it certainly takes much more effort than force-feeding your monster tons or Rare Candy in Pokémon).

REPLAY VALUE 10/10: Like I mentioned above, you may get bored with it, but if you take a brake, maybe spend some time on some medium length games like Grandia or SaGa Frontier 2, then come back, you'll have even more fun the second time around.

RENT OR BUY: Like I've said a few times already, this is definitely worth your money.

OVERALL 10/10: This is a great game, I know I'll probably come back to this game when I'm bored even years from now.

Reviewer's Rating:   5.0 - Flawless

Originally Posted: 03/07/00, Updated 03/07/00

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