Hey there friends and fellow nerds, it is once again time for another installment of What I am Playing. This week I will be discussing the Android Market(Google Play) game, My Monster Rancher.
My Monster Rancher is a game offered by social gaming media company Mobage. Mobage is the company behind such games as Tiny Tower and Pocket Frogs. Mobage takes a social edge and applies it to fun and fairly decent games. If you read my review of Tiny Tower, the you should already be familiar with Mobage’s work.
Monster Rancher was previously available on most of the consoles in various incarnations beginning with the sleeper hit, Monster Rancher. Couple that with a cartoon series from Koie Animation, you have the platform for a semi-successful game franchise. Monster Rancher became available in a Pokemon rich market and while it did not dominate, it did do well.
The basis of Monster Rancher on the console was simple. Generate a monster. Raise it. Battle it against other monsters. End. Simple e
nough? Not really. The game has all kinds of neat features that are used across the board in most of the console games. One of my favorite features is the actual regeneration system. Essentially, the game reads the ISO image of any other game, dvd, or cd and then generates a monster based on that image. Fans of the game became obsessed an eventually made lists of what disks made which monsters. I myself became obsessed with it. I fondly remember trying to generate a Joker and driving across town to find a used copy of an obscure movie.
The name of the game has always been statistics. Where Pokemon is mostly a game of battle, Monster Rancher is based more in stats. The goal is to reach certain levels to win tournaments and to accomplish adventure goals. You don’t really see them battle in most of the games but, after a while, it becomes satisfying.
The console games were very fun and they amazingly translated well over to the mobile gaming platform. The game is essentially the same in a lot of ways and, improvements have even been made and, with the scope of Mobage and the Android OS, this game is very pleasing.
One of the initial differences is the ISO generation trick is gone. You instead use profiles of friends and neighbor linked to your account. Also, you can breed your monsters with the monsters of neighbors to make new and rare monsters. I really like the social aspect of it because it gives you the ability to interact with others and get more out of the monster training and generating process.
Since the game is based within a virtual world where interaction is key, you also have duels and tournament battles with people around the world. The tournament system is very well done too as each has its own reward and, if you play in the bracketed tournaments, you will find that each day has its own unique prize.
The breeding system is fairly basic but is very cool due to the ability to breed with neighbors. I also really like that the bestiary is expansive. Since this is an online game, changes and new monsters/items are always being added. Given the current framework of the game, it does look like there will be more to come as time passes.
Much like Tiny Tower, this game is time sensitive. There is downtime/recovery time between training sessions and events in the game and like adventures and tournaments become time oriented. Sometimes you are stuck with five minutes between events, sometimes three hours. It can be frustrating but has the potential to be rewarding as well.
In the end, I really like this game. I was a fan of it on the PS2 and loved it on the DS. The mobile version is different but, it is a good different for me. I enjoy all of the little details Mobage and Toie but into it and recommend it for anyone who likes Monster Rancher or who want something more elaborate than casual games for their phone.