Japanese published Koei Tecmo have announced their plans to bring back the beloved Monster Rancher franchise. Both Monster Rancher and Monster Rancher 2 will be revived for Nintendo Switch, PC, and mobile platforms later this year.
Tecmo released the two JRPGs back in the late 90s for the original PlayStation. Combining simulation and roleplaying mechanics, Monster Hunter and its sequel had you managing a party of bizarre monsters, training them and battling them against other creatures.
Both titles will return on December 9th, 2021 as Monster Rancher 1 & 2 DX. This double pack arrives in time for the series’ 25th anniversary celebration, packing in new content and features for fans both old and new. You’ll be able to play DX on Nintendo Switch, PC via Steam, and iOS devices. Despite making its debut on PlayStation, there’s no confirmation of a PS4 or PS5 version.
Koei Tecmo detailed some of the changes you can expect:
The special collection also includes content that was never originally featured in the original Western release, such as additional save slots, Freeze slots, and Monster Hall of Fame slots. New features have also been added to Monster Rancher 1 & 2 DX, including a memo feature to use while raising monsters, rankings for random battles, and a high-speed mode to play through the game faster.
The Monster Rancher series originally launched with a unique feature that allowed players to use physical CDs to generate monsters in the game, with each CD having a unique ID that would spawn a different monster. This feature has been re-worked in Monster Rancher 1 & 2 DX, allowing players to search a database to find their desired CD and generate a monster from its data. Enjoy searching a vast database of songs from around the world and generating monsters based off of some of your favourite music!
Seeing how the CD feature is implemented will be very interesting. Using the PlayStation’s ability to play CDs, you could insert your favourite albums to summon monsters in-game.
It’s fair to say that Monster Rancher hasn’t been in the spotlight for quite some time, especially outside of Japan. Hopefully, if the DX collection finds an audience, we can expect the series to return with full force.
Source: Press release