Tag Archives: Monster Rancher EVO

Monster Rancher EVO is for circus freaks only

I’ve never been to an actual circus before; all I know about circus life comes from secondary materials, such as the fantastic Mechanique: A Tale of the Circus Tresaulti by Genevieve Valentine or those few hours I spent wandering around the Circus Circus Las Vegas when I was 17 and on vacation with my family. In my mind, a circus is all of this set to accordions and applause: tumbling, dirty floors, spotlights, smoke and mirrors, tents, tension, colorful costumes, and gasping. Freaks of wonder, too, but I’d never call them monsters and raise them as my own. Not in real life, at least.

Well, Monster Rancher EVO is a videogame based around a group of circus performers. Don’t worry, I was just as confused you most likely are now. Granted, I went into this game totally innocent, completely untouched. Through all my years of gaming, I’ve managed to never play a Monster Rancher game. The franchise’s hook was always appealing–use CDs/DVDs to create random monsters for your farm, meaning a seemingly endless amount of user-created content–but the lack of a story or overall goal, other than raising an animal with love and care, kept me away. In fact, I didn’t pick this game out while perusing the local GameStop for my sweet, succulent Suikoden III; Tara found it and so it went with my buy pile. I didn’t give it a try right away.

It’s a rough first hour, full of bad dialogue and way too much information. You get to name the protagonist, but are given no solid indication that it is a he or she, and thanks to the anime-esque look to the majority of circus freaks it’s honestly kind of hard to tell. Naming him Pauly, I lucked out to discover he’s a dude. After that, you meet the gang at the circus and learn how sad the protag is over his latest monster’s lackluster performer. In walks a mysterious woman–I think her name is Marlene–and she teaches us how to make monsters. I put in my copy of Parklife by Blur and get some kind of weird pumpkin beast. Another guy talks about schedules and how to train to put on a great show, and then I’m given direct control of the protag. Tried to read the menus, but it was just an overwhelming amount of data and stats and things to come. Another character gives me a quest: she needs a cake, and even hands over the money to pay for it. Something like 500G, which seems excessive, but I don’t know much about this world; maybe that’s a good deal. I hurried over to the village in search of cake and made a beeline right back, but was told that I took too long and she no longer needed said cake. Eff you, and eff this stupid game. Power switch…OFF!

The cover for Monster Rancher EVO does convene its circus-ness, but I bought the game pre-owned from GameStop in one of those dummy boxes, which is void of pertinent details like that. Lastly, the artwork on the game’s CD limelights a woman in a slutty outfit. Do you equate fishnet stockings with monster-raising?

Also please note that she’s only wearing one fishnet stocking, with the other leg bare of such sexual dressing. Simply boggling. I don’t even know who this character is as I don’t think pointy-haired Pauly met her during the opening hour. I’d like to believe I’d remember something like that.

Right. Monster Rancher EVO. Don’t think I’ll be going back to this one, but if I could find one of the more traditional titles in the series I’m willing to go again. I mean, what else am I going to do with CDs like My Own Prison by Creed and Fairweather Johnson by Hootie and the Blowfish? Throw them out? That’s unheard of.

Five things make a post, and eff you up button

Well, it’s been a busy few days at Grimmauld Place in terms of videogaming. Good thing I have this bloggy blog of mine to put all these random happenings and thoughts. Otherwise, the world might never know what it’s like to play a dancing game on a breaking pad or how deep my love for all things LOTR goes. Anyway, let’s get to the Heading 3s and text below them…

Moar Used Games

After the great success of my first trip to the local GameStop near our new abode, I decided to head back and see if I could find any other titles off my “desired PS2 games” list. Alas, nope. I mean, yeah, some of the bigger titles are there, like Bully and Kingdom Hearts, but those are still around the $20+ mark, and I’d rather find the rarer titles first and wait for those numbers to eventually drop. Instead, I got Mega Man X7, The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring ($1.99 ha!), and Dance Dance Revolution SuperNOVA (for my wife, I swears). Haven’t tried the first two yet, but a good portion of my weekend was spent watching Tara put DDR SuperNOVA to the test; if you’re my friend on Facebook, there’s a video of her going through the song selection while two dogs look heavily uninterested. Also, the UP button on her DDR mat isn’t as responsive as the other buttons, leading us to scream “Eff you up button!” a whole bunch. Not “Eff you, up button!” but “Eff you up button!” The missing comma is important.

Pre-order Hoarder

Generally, I’m not a pre-order kinda gamer. There was that one time eons ago when putting down a few bucks on Final Fantasy VII not only nabbed you a guaranteed copy of the game, but also a t-shirt. I like t-shirts, and this liking of t-shirts strikes again. I also pre-ordered Radiant Historia to get a bonus CD, but other than that…nothing else has made me feel the need for lockdown. Well, until 11/11/11, I guess. Yup, I pre-ordered Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim and LEGO Harry Potter, Years 5-7. Why LEGO would come out on the same day as Skyrim is beyond me, but both games feature dragons, and so that’s a-okay. Also, I believe I am getting a t-shirt with my LEGO Harry Potter pre-order; something about Dumbledore’s Army, but I wasn’t asked for a shirt size so it’s probably one of those XXL or a child’s small. Time will tell.

There’s a midnight release party too, which is just another reason I should schedule to not work that Friday. Too tempting to pick up the game and then not play it for 7.5 hours.

Informed about games

I also decided that I was tired of constantly being asked if I wanted to upgrade from a regular GameStop Power Playa thingy to a silver account. So I did that. Bonuses include coupons for “buy two used games, get one free,” which is fine by me as that’s mostly how I shop, as well as a subscription to Game Informer. I haven’t subscribed to a gaming magazine since the PSM days, and I do miss it despite everything now being available on the Interwebz; still, the magazine is put together rather nicely. Hopefully it’ll fit in our mailbox, let alone reach it.

Ass Neglect Zoo

I’ve been putting this off for a long, long time, but I finally bought a copy of Mass Effect 2.

A new copy, too, which means I got some kind of activation number for the Cerberus Network. Not sure what that means, but it looks like I get a new dude for my team. I’m sure I’ll find out eventually. The reason I’ve waited so long is that I was hoping for a “Game of the Year” or “Master” or “Super Space Marine” edition, which then collected all the DLC and little add-ons the game’s been harvesting since its debut back in…oh my, the beginning of 2010. I’m sure a month before Mass Effect 3 comes out, some special edition will be released. Oh well.

Garnet Tries Harder and I am Trying to Finish This Comic

Zac Groman of Magical Game Time is putting together a zine all about Final Fantasy IX and is asking for submissions. Despite it not being a paying gig, I can’t resist and am working on a little comic about my favorite scene from he game, where Garnet is trying to blend in with the common-folk of Dali. Gotta complete it before the month’s end, but here’s a little preview for y’all:

Okay, that’s five things, which is good enough for a post. Expect plenty more content this week though as I’ve only skimmed the surfaces here. Didn’t even get into the horribleness that is Monster Rancher EVO. Just you wait. Just you wait…

How I finally found you, Suikoden III

Yesterday, according to just about every videogames-covering website ever to be put up on the Internet, was the release date for Professor Layton and the Last Specter. This is a game I’m surprisingly stoked for, and I know why. Certainly, it’s not a love for the series, as I have only played Professor Layton and the Curious Village; granted, that’s a great game, one that packaged both cinematic story and varied gameplay nicely, but I never got around to trying the next two to come out. If anything, they all seemed to be more or less that first game again, with different tweaks here and there. So, why am I all atwitter over the fourth game, which is actually a prequel where I’m assuming we learn why a grown man likes hanging out with a young boy so much?

Well, Professor Layton’s London Life. That’s why. It’s likened more to Animal Crossing than an RPG, and there’s a promise of over a hundred hours of gameplay. Yeah, duh. I think I dropped more than that on Animal Crossing: Wild World easy. With pixelated art and a focus on clothing, filling out a house like the rich and famous, and fetch quests galore…well, where do I sign over my first-born?

However, GameStop decided that Professor Layton and the Last Specter doesn’t come out on October 17, but rather October 18. Why? Why not. They make the rules, and so I disappointingly did not get to pick it up yesterday during my lunch break. When I got home from work, I had some noodles in a cup and mustered up the strength to try again; maybe the GameStops in Pennsylvania were more sensible than those in New Jersey. Nope. The one down the road in PA had no copies on their shelves either. Annoying, but kind of expected. However, this one did have a section for used PlayStation 2 games, a section that most stores have now cut due to saving crucial shelf space for things like Kinect Sports Season Two and Puppies 3D.

In my wallet, among other things, is a list. It’s basically this, but scrawled on a scrap of paper, folded and fading. I’ve been carrying it with me for many months now, and every time Tara and I come across a bin of used PS2 games, we search for those I’d like to add to my collection before they all up and vanish without a sound. I always check the “S” titles first, in hope of finding Suikoden III, a game that I never have hope of actually finding. The Suikoden games are some of my favorite RPGs, and while IV got bad reviews, V was pretty good story-wise, but is currently far away in Arizona. And I always heard good things about III, but never got around to getting it, and by the time that I did begin to earnestly search for it, the dang thing went dark, underground. Phooey.

Imagine my surprise then to find the box for Suikoden III last night, tucked safely behind a dingy copy of The Spiderwick Chronicles. And for $12.99, too. I would’ve gladly paid up to $30.00 for it, so in my mind, this was a steal. I mean, I know how high copies of Suikoden II still go for, and this kind of felt like it had the same rarity as its predecessor. Pretty sure my heart skipped a beat, and I’m so happy that I found found my copy of the game, making its acquiring all the more rewarding. I grabbed another RPG called Ys: The Ark of Napishtim for a few bucks, and Tara slid a copy of Monster Rancher EVO into my hands before we hit the cash register.

I am very much looking forward to seeing what Suikoden III is all about, and you can expect coverage here and maybe somewhere else. Stay tuned, my fellow Stars of Destiny.