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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Monster Rancher 1 & 2 DX modernizes these classic games’ gameplay and makes them more accessible and enticing than they’ve ever been before! Lovers of Pokémon or other monster-collecting games would be remiss to skip this collection.
Monster Rancher 1 & 2 DX will be a joy for more nostalgic players, but it's unlikely that it will manage to captivate a wider audience.
Review in Italian | Read full review
Monster Rancher 1&2 DX is a blast from the past, letting fans re-experience a classic while introducing new players to the franchise.
Monster Rancher 1 & 2 DX is a great re-release of two great games. Even with some signs of age, it's worth every minute, and every penny, that you spend on it.
Overall, Monster Rancher 1 & 2 DX is ok. If you're a fan of the series, or if you just want a game you can play in the background while doing something else, it may be a good choice for you. With plenty of monsters to generate and decent QoL improvements, you'll certainly get your money's worth at only $29.99. But if you're expecting an in-depth monster breeding simulator with lots to do...well, it'd be best to look elsewhere.
The bug fixes and minor improvements to the overall experience are extremely welcome, and Monster Rancher 1 & 2 DX proves itself to be an excellent way to play the games on PC without needing to bother with the hassle of configuring emulators.
Monster Rancher 1 & 2 DX is a faithful recreation of the PlayStation titles that weren't available to everyone in the '90s. The CD monster creation system has been replaced with a large music catalogue and the ability to fast-forward through battles is a welcome addition as the game can feel very repetitive when you are constantly in tournaments.
The core fundamentals of Monster Rancher are delightful, and while this collection has its issues, there aren't all that many modern equivalents to what it offers, so they hold their value well. Whether this is some kind of elaborate market research with Koei canvassing interest for a potential new Monster Rancher, or a simple acknowledgement that the series still has fans and they'll buy anything Monster Rancher-related, I don't know. I almost hope they don't make a new Monster Rancher, because the appeal of these games is in their simple charm. Simplicity that modern game development can't get away with. In that context, I actually believe that Monster Rancher 1 & 2 DX will be the best of this series. Putting aside the inability to summon monsters via CD, both games have aged like the finest of wines, and remain some of the best examples of design from their era.
Ultimately, this is a solid introduction to Monster Rancher (definitely better than the short-lived TV show). At the very least, it's an enjoyable look back at a series that never quite hit the big time. Now if you'll excuse me, I think I forgot to feed my Golem, and you don't want to see what his tantrums look like.
For fans of the series, or for players looking for a slightly more involved grind during their commute than the usual mobile fare, Monster Rancher 1 & 2 DX offer a heap of monster-rearing pleasure. However, this pair of titles is truly a product of its time: a lack of tutorials, janky graphics, and a set of opaque gameplay systems reliant on heavy grinding might prove too high a barrier for the average creature collector. Pick this up only if you’re prepared for a nostalgic romp through the highs and lows of late nineties game design.
Dated gameplay mechanics, presentational inconsistencies, and a lack of graphical updates make it hard to recommend this to anyone who isn't already a fan of the franchise.
I’m glad that Monster Rancher 1&2 DX came out because it gives curious players and myself a chance to check out a cult-classic monster series.
Nothing comes easy in Monster Rancher 1 & 2 DX. These are fairly poor ports of two pretty good games, with the best part of them stripped out. I still had fun revisiting these games after so many years, and players able to overlook the poor interface and lack of guidance can still definitely find a good time here, but you’ll need to work for it.
Monster Rancher 1 & 2 DX successfully brings two classic games to today's platforms. Even more than twenty years after their original releases, the unique concept remains fun and interesting, and the implementation of the search for a music catalog ensures that part of the magic of generating new monsters through discs remains preserved, albeit partially.
Review in Portuguese | Read full review