Comparison Of All Monster Rancher Games (Buying Guide)

Monster Rancher Metropolis: The Cafe: Comparison Of All Monster Rancher Games (Buying Guide)
By
Lisa Shock on Wednesday, December 12, 2001 - 05:31 pm:

Basic Comparison (US Versions)
All Monster Rancher games are rated K-A (Kids to Adult) or E (Everyone)
the annotation is "Animated Violence" or "Comic Mischief".
Essentially, you raise cartoon monsters to do battle against other monsters.
(Except in Hop-A-Bout, the card games & Explorer)

In some games, monsters die either in battle or of old age.

Game TitleReleasedHardware SystemGame TypePlusesMinuses
Monster Rancher11/19/1997PlayStationRanching SimOriginal Game, MusicEasy To Play
Not So Cute
Monster Rancher 29/3/1999PlayStationRanching SimComplex
Lots Of Breeds
Harder
Some Cute Breeds
Monster Rancher
Battlecard
4/17/2000Game Boy ColorCard GameWell Structuredsparse instructions
Monster Rancher
Battlecard Ep.II
8/2/2000PlayStationCard GameFun CCG game
Good Tutorial
Repetetive
Monster Rancher
Explorer
10/28/2000Game Boy ColorTimed SidescrollerTypical GB GameNot Very MR Related
Monster Rancher
Hop-A-Bout
11/30/2000PlaystationHopscotch W/MonstersMakes Rare Monsters in MR3
Easy
Fun for younger players
Relentlessly Cute
Cute Music
Just Hopping on a Grid
Monster Rancher 39/25/2001Ps2Ranching Sim3D
New Sub-breed System
Music
5 Raising areas
Cel Shaded
Cute, Very Easy
Monster Rancher
Advance
11/29/2001Game Boy AdvanceRanching SimClassic MR1&2 Style Play
Excellent Graphics
New Twists
Sub-breeds Are Just Different Colors
Simplified Combining
Monster Rancher
Advance2
11/18/2002Game Boy AdvanceRanching SimMR1&2 Style Play
Long Storyline
Expeditions
Lots of Monsters
Complex gameplay
Most subs are just color changes
Monster Rancher 411/13/03PS2Ranching Simgreat graphics
exploring
more items
combining
third person
repetitive dungeons
Monster Rancher EVO04/13/06PS2Role Playing Gamegreat graphics
lots of characters
big storyline
combining
third person
few battles
required minigames
Monster Rancher DS08/03/10Nintendo DSRanching Simexploring the ranch
unique monster generation
more items
short lifespans
repetitive ventures



Detailed Comparison of Ranching Games

GameDeathGood & Evil NatureCombiningHeart CrystalsEvolutionAccessoriesCharacteristicsExploringCoaches
MR1yesnoyesnonononoyesno
MR2yesyesyesnonononoyesno
MR3yesnonoyesyesyesyesyesno
MRAnonoyesnononoyesnoyes
MRA2nonoyesnononoyesyesyes
MR4nonoyesnononoyesyesno
MR:EVOnonoyesnononononono
MR:DSyesnoyesnononoyesyesyes


Number of Playable Monsters
Game Monsters
MR1215
MR2390
MR3222
MRA440
MRA2512
MR4328
MR:EVO246
MR:DS270


The Monster Rancher games that are Ranching Sims (MR1,2,3, and MRA) all allow the person playing the game to raise monsters and make decisions about them on a week by week basis. No two adult monsters will ever be alike, because each person can make a wide variety of choices in how they are raised.

The game "viewpoint" is true first-person, just like Sim City. It's you the player making all the decisions as yourself, there are no characters to control and no identities to assume.

The games appeal to a wide audience. Many regulars who frequent this board are well over 30 years of age. The games tend to have a complexity level that seems to not attract many players under the age of 10. (Although, MR3 is quite playable and accessible to the 7-10 year old set.) None of the games are "twitch" games. Long term planning is an esential part of success in the games.

Younger kids, who have enjoyed the television show, may enjoy the Hop-A-Bout game. Which is a simple hopping game accross a puzzle field, featuring the main TV show characters, Suezo, Hare, Golem and Mocchi. All the other games have very little to do with the TV show, because the show was produced independently from Tecmo.

Will you like a Monster Rancher game? This is a tough call. People who like the games find challenges in raising new breeds, finding rares on CDs (MR1,2,3), and improving upon their prior work. They do involve attention to detail and patience. Those who do not like the games tend to find the Sim genre in general repetetive and unrewarding. If you can, try and rent a game and see for yourself!

Monster Rancher:EVO is a completely different type of game. It's an RPG aimed at a pre-teen audience. It features mini-games that you must master for your character (just one no choices) to progress in the story about a young boy's life in the circus. Battles are special events, and there's not much real ranching either.

Special Note: We do NOT recommend purchasing Monster Rancher Advance or MRA2, as a used game. The cartridges have an automatic save system built into hem, so they save the player's game each week. Some players try and beat this by turning their Game Boy Advance off and on again to replay the same week (before the cart has a chance to save). If they do this too often, especially during the wrong moment, they can corrupt the save file and ruin the cartridge. Carts that won't save at all are very common. So, be safe, and buy the game new!

Review resources that we like:

Monster Rancher (the very first one) Review from absolute-playstation.com
Monster Rancher 4 Review by Gamecritics.com
Monster Rancher Advance 2 Review by Dailygame.com
Monster Rancher:Evo in-depth review at IGN