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Monster Rancher 1 & 2 DX

Dec 9, 2021 - Nintendo Switch, PC

OpenCritic Rating


Top Critic Average


Critics Recommend

4 / 5
60 / 100
Daily Mirror
3 / 5
6.5 / 10
Gaming Nexus
7.4 / 10
The Games Machine
7.5 / 10
Nintendo Life
7 / 10
Digital Chumps
8.5 / 10
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Monster Rancher 1 & 2 DX Trailers

Monster Rancher 1 & 2 DX - Tournament Announcement thumbnail

Monster Rancher 1 & 2 DX - Tournament Announcement

Monster Rancher 1 & 2 DX - Announcement Trailer thumbnail

Monster Rancher 1 & 2 DX - Announcement Trailer

Monster Rancher 1 & 2 DX Screenshots

Critic Reviews for Monster Rancher 1 & 2 DX

Monster Rancher 1 & 2 DX is undeniably engrossing and though it doesn’t have all the bells and whistles of a modern game, it manages to hold its own due to its sheer charm and enjoyable gameplay. Even if you’re not completely biased because of childhood nostalgia like me, if you love collecting, raising, and battling with monsters, you’ll be hooked from your very first shrine summon.

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The combination of rumor, magazine publication, and CD trading is what made the Monster Rancher games special. It’s hard to recreate that kind of feeling today. But, Koei Tecmo did it very well. The only problem is that there’s not much content in the game, and without multiplayer capabilities, mileage doesn’t go very far. If I have any advice for anyone attempting to play this game, it’s to share this nostalgic story of how the game worked, and don’t just look up the stats of the best monsters on the internet. Play with some friends, use your favorite albums, and see what you get, because that is what makes Monster Rancher 1 & 2 DX unique. Monster Rancher 1 & 2 DX is an effective nostalgic novelty, but as a monster raising sim, it’s pretty meh.

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Monster Rancher 1 & 2 DX retains all the features and content that made them such unique titles when first released. However, after the long wait, I feel this revival is slightly half-hearted as it still features dated graphics, dated audio and the lack of aspect ratio options is a big miss. It's great that they have been revitalised after so long, but I feel this one is solely for the fans as there is too much choice within the monster tamer genre for this to stand out.

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6.5 / 10.0
Ken McKown

Monster Rancher was a product of its time and it has aged better than some. For those wanting a Pokemon equivalent, this game is not for you. This is more aimed at hardcore simulation fans who carry a nostalgia from that era of gaming. It is cool to have these games available again, but without the CD functionality it feels like a hollow gesture. I wish we could have used QR codes or something to that effect, that is what made Monster Rancher unique, and now it is just a really deep simulation with a nostalgic wrapper.

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I don't know what I expected from Monster Rancher 1 & 2 DX. Never playing a game in the series but wanting to try it out might have set my expectations too high. Monster Rancher is a unique take on a game, it also takes someone who wants to play a unique kind of game to get the maximum enjoyment from it. I don't think that was me, but I can appreciate two well made games, even if they're not my perfect cup of tea. The Nintendo Switch might be the best place for this type of slower paced, menu based game. Overall I enjoyed my time with the games, but not as much as I hoped to.

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Monster Rancher 1 & 2 DX is mainly aimed at the fans of the franchise. Don't expect a remaster, though: the only difference with the originals is the new monster generating system, now based on an in-game database.

Review in Italian | Read full review

Both Monster Rancher games are fun throwbacks and this package is a tribute to a series that arguably never got the love it deserved, especially in Europe. Retro gamers and those who enjoy finding hidden gems should definitely consider picking up Monster Rancher 1 & 2 DX for a taste of late-'90s non-Pokémon monster battling. Once you get your head around the unusual controls and the dated presentation, there's lots to like here - and it feels like nothing else released before or since. Go in expecting to make mistakes and stumble through some of the gameplay features and there is plenty of fun to be had.

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Monster Rancher 1 & 2 DX is a remaster of two classic games that I am very glad to see in 2021, it just kills me that Koei Tecmo waited so long to bring this series to international audiences. The UI needs some work, but the games play really well on PC. In terms of remaster quality, these remastered games check all the right boxes for adding game mechanics that we take for granted in present-day games in older games that weren't so lucky to have these features. While Monster Rancher 1 deserved additional graphical and audio updates, playing the remastered Monster Rancher 2 is nothing short of fun. The new music-lookup monster creation system is a much needed modernization for the series, the FF Mode is a great way to quickly grind out your monster's stats, but I fear that multiplayer may be a letdown. I sincerely hope that these remasters pave the way for a modern Monster Rancher installment, because if these remasters are any indication, Koei Tecmo are on the right track.

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