A new game category that’ll have its tips and analysis! A beloved series with an adorable mascot, I didn’t expect to enjoy Monster Rancher (Monster Farm in Japan; モンスターファーム; monsta faamu) series so much. Monster Rancher, also called MR, MF, or MonFa, is a game series by TECMO (currently KOEI TECMO) of the training simulation genre, which is based upon “growing a character”. The character can be a humanoid or animal.
In MR’s case, it is “growing a pet”, while also having the RPG elements of story, adventure/search, and growing in strength. One thing that makes the series great is that there is actual consequences as to how you approach the way you train. Just like real animals.
My lack of time can’t make me cover everything or say what I want to say in broad detail, so I’ll do it in parts. I’ll post what to expect in succinct summaries for now.
So it’s almost like “Sonic Memories”.
Various Animals and Growth + CD System
You could say that these type of games could provoke a compulsive side.
Dogs, rabbits, dinos, golems, and even ghosts, there are animals with different abilities. The growth of their parameters vary depending on the monster; some may have better stamina than others, or slower than most. It is typical, and its not like you can allocate points to stats such as with Dark Souls or Dragon Age. Still, it is a challenge and a question if your monster can make it. You have limited time with each monster, and also, not only do you have to train to increase your stats, you have to train to learn your techniques.
Teach a dog new tricks — thus, its training simulation. However, it’s not always guaranteed that you’ll get the technique, and sometimes you’ll have to soft reset.
Also, you can obtain your monsters through CDs. That’s right, using actual CDs such as game and music CDs.
Strategic Battle Simulation
One of the best, most distinct things about this series are the battle tournaments and rival battles. It’s also something that really inspires you — to do better. There isn’t a case where you increase a stats in one area (or in a typical party RPG, find the strongest sword that can deal max damage) and expect to win with just speed and strength. You’ll still on edge against other opponents. That is something that must be described further another time.
Adapted into an Anime
“Boy Genki and unique monster group goes on adventure with flowing friendship and courage.” That fits the show SO well. There are some unforgettable eps especially that touches you if you had a pet before. Or rather, I think there are eps that epitomizes the very thing about Monster Rancher series. The anime has a very simple story, elite cast but not an interesting in-show soundtrack.
I’ll say this, it is a show that has me love all of the OP and ED. That is a hard feat; another is Mobile Suit Gundam X, even though that’s a short show and only has two OP and a few ED. Monster Rancher has 5 OP and ED, and I love every single one of them. If you’re a Utada Hikaru fan, listen to her theme!
You have your basic familiar monsters, except Dino, in the lead group, and various other monsters as allies and enemies. Anime was adapted into different languages such as German and English; in the latter, dubbed by Ocean Group, there was censorship and a change in soundtrack. In Japanese version, Yao Kazuki (voice Tiger or Raiga) was absolutely sexy.