Magic: The Gathering meets Pokemon! Review

Monster Rancher Battle Card: Episode II Info

genre

  • N/A

players

  • 1 - 8

Publisher

  • Tecmo

Developer

  • N/A

Release Date

  • 12/31/1969
  • Out Now

Platform

  • PS

rating

Magic: The Gathering meets Pokemon!

I have confession to make. I am 30 moons old with two kids, a full-time college

student, and not only do I game on my PC and Playstation, but I have a Gameboy

Color for use on the “holy throne.” I was made aware of Monster Rancher Battle

Card: Episode 2
for the Playstation because I own the GBC version, and I

can’t put that down either. Tecmo really has something here, and it spells addictive,

quality entertainment.

So what’s so great about MRBCE2, you ask? How about an interesting

story and addictive gameplay?

Your friend Colt has just had his birthday, and is old enough to become a card

“breeder.” Master Pabs, your sensei, gives him a “monster plate” on which he

can collect all of the monster cards he can. And his most prized gift comes

from you, the rarest card of all, the Phoenix. To quench his desire to see the

plate full, you loan him some of your cards, and at that instant Colt disappears,

magically transported to “Monster Paradise.” Now it is up to you to save Colt

by collecting at least one of each monster card. Let the games begin!

This is essentailly a card game featuring four types of cards. First there

are Monster Cards, which act as your front line in battle. Hit points and monster

lineage are shown on these. Skill cards are used for the actual battles; there

are both attack and defense skills, which can only be used with their respective

monster card.

There are also two more supporting cards. One type allows the breeder to assist

in the battle by either attacking, healing, or casting area effect spells. The

last type of support card can be used by any attacking monster on your team,

and they vary from attacks to special moves.

The game consists of turn-based battles. Each player starts with three monster

cards and fifty skill cards. Players alternate playing skill cards to wear down

the HP of their opponent’s monster cards or deplete their rival’s skill card

supply. Each side must maintain five skill cards in their hand; if you cannot

make a five-card hand you lose the battle. Each move costs a certain amount

of Guts (points that are gained by turning in unplayed skill cards). So it’s

a constant decision to either save your skill cards for the next turn, or sacrifice

them for guts.

MRBCE2 lets you use your own CD’s (music or games) to create new cards

in the classic Monster Rancher tradition. It’s a good thing I like obscure

music, because if the game has never heard the disc before, you get some super

rare cards.

The

art is clean and exciting, but the animations for each move are minimal and

tend to bog the game down with load times. I turned them off after a couple

of hours to speed up the gameplay. Still, the animations look really cool.

RPG fans that enjoy turn-based fighting but would rather do without all of

that seemingly pointless wandering around will love the menu driven gameplay.

To progress in the game and to collect more cards, you participate in battles.

There are occasional tournaments where you can win some pretty powerful cards,

and the championship tournament is the only place to earn the infamous Phoenix

card. But for the most part, you fight in independent challenges with other

clubs. Battles are non-stop, with a little storyline thrown in between to keep

things flowing.

There are no puzzles to solve, special items (other than cards) to collect,

or areas to explore. Each stop on the world map is just another arena for battle,

which really helps with the pace of the game. However, it also means that there

isn’t really more to the game past the card battles. Most RPG fans will find

this somewhat dry and boring.

The biggest flaw in MRBCE2 is the multiplayer, which just plain sucks.

It’s played in a tournament style, with 1-8 teams of 4 breeders, each player

controlling a team. The problem is that the computer randomly generates three

of the battles for each team, so each player only actually plays one time. This

mean you’ll spend some time sitting there watching menus scroll by announcing

the winner of every bout. It’s just not very interactive and not very fun.

At any rate, this game is so freakin’ addictive that I wish I had never started

playing. If you have free time in your life that you feel needs to be filled

with obsessing on a game, then check this one out. But don’t count on multiplayer

to provide much entertainment because it won’t.

REVOLUTION REPORT CARD

3
Rating
Addictive!
Clean graphics
Your CD's = New cards
Weak multiplayer
Limited appeal
Embarrassing for a grown man to admit he plays