And here we are with another Five of something. This week, I decided to shift the focus away from Pokemon, now that the 20th anniversary celebrations are over. For this week, I thought about what the Pokemon franchise helped to create. And with that, I give you the Five Monster breeding RPG’s that are not Pokemon games.
Digimon World Dawn/Dusk
To me, this was the definitive Digimon game for the Nintendo DS. This was a very classic RPG setting, with the ability to train, level, and digivolve hundreds of Digimon. Excess Digimon could be raised on the DigiFarm. Digivolving can occur when a Digimon meets certain requirements, and the Digivolution tree gives you multiple options. This game deserves to be on this list for the amount of available Digimon alone, let alone a straightforward, yet fun combat experience.
Monster Rancher 4
Monster Rancher 4 was among the first entries in its series to include the ability to breed more than one monster at a time. You set up training equipment on your farm, to allow specific stats to grow. It also had a fun storyline to follow, making it feel more like an RPG than just a standard breeder. Combining is also fun, because the many cross-breeds in the game create some fun variety to your army.
Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne
This is the one I call “Pokemon for adults”. With its mature setting, and use of gods, mortals, and demons from many different religions, you get a very different atmosphere. Demons can be fused up into more powerful demons, incorporating skills from the two demons used. Old demons can also be recorded in a compendium, and re-purchased if necessary. Add this system to a fantastic story, and fun combat system, and you’ve got a fantastic game.
This is a new entry into the genre. Yo-Kai Watch is a 3DS game developed by Level-5. While its story is aimed for a younger audience, and the main story of the game is simpler than most, it still holds its own with a variety of different Yo-Kai to befriend. There are Yo-kai that can evolve or be fused, but there are not as many that can do that than there are in other games. While befriending more Yo-kai is the key instead of a focus on evolution, it is still a wonderful experience.
This game is the most different type of breeder on this list, as it plays in the style of an old virtual pet keychain. Your Digimon is born, you train it, feed it, take it to the bathroom when its needed, and it will eventually die and be reborn as a new Digimon, with the ability to start anew. Add these mechanics to a large world setting, and you’ve got a game that you can put lots of hours into. Digivolving is very stat oriented, so you need to train your Digimon just right if you want something good.
Personally, I’ve had mixed feelings about this game. I do enjoy the concept, but have heard that many others did not enjoy it, due to the lack of permanency of your Digimon. Still, it’s a unique system, and worth trying
Thanks to Pokemon, the world has been given several different monster breeders out there. These are obviously a small few that are available. So far, each one has its own unique take on breeding, so if you like these kinds of games, check these ones out, and look for some of the others out there.
I have a new Five already in the works for next week. Here’s a hint; it’s about children. Look forward to it!