By Performance 1 Comments
Another game has rolled by, this time being yet another GameBoy game. I find it surprising that the last three games have been for the same system, but I'll just accept the coincidence. This game ranks up in difficulty with Metal Gear Solid in our playthrough so far. Starting up the game, neither of us knew much about it. We haven't been much into the Monster Rancher series, so the character wasn't one that we really knew. However, this game was more of a Solomon's Key sequel w ith a bit of Monster Rancher flair from what I've seen. I immediately recognized the box mechanic that the popular NES game, Solomon's Key, utilized. I was pretty excited to play this as I like puzzle games. Unfortunately, the difficulty was immense.
Starting up, everything seemed confusing. You couldn't kill enemies with your hands and you had no weapons. We both soon realized that each enemy had their own perk and you could kill some by removing the box under them. There were around 6 different types of enemies that kept appearing in different ways around the varied stages. The difficulty came in when the game took a turn for some levels, where instead of being a straight up puzzle-platformer, speed was key and there were enemies everywhere.
The worst levels were the ones with monsters continually spawning or the "rhinos" as we dubbed them. The rhinos looked more like birds to me, but it didn't matter. These enemies would follow a path set by boxes and would usually be incredibly fast. They could climb up walls, on ceilings, and on the ground. The only way to get by them was to avoid them, which wasn't easy. There were also "charizards" that took on the form of orange-looking octopi. These monsters broke boxes and could only be trapped, killed by bombs, or they would eventually die after a set amount of time. Usually, when they died after this amount of time, they respawned immediately from the monster spawners in the more annoying levels.
Even so, some of the most fun parts of the game were the bosses. The bosses required a strategy that you would form after playing through the boss a few times. Each boss had a completely different style and were fun to defeat. Although little instruction was given throughout the game, everything was easy enough to figure out after time. Many levels seemed luck-based rather than thought-based, which is unfortunate for a puzzle game such as this. Even so, the experience was mostly fun. As with Final Fantasy Adventure, there were some minor translation problems, but nothing to hinder the story, which is admittedly only alright; not one that is very well developed. There were many enraging moments throughout, but not enough to make either of us stop playing. Monster Rancher Explorer is definitely worth a try if you are looking for a good Gameboy Color game. Even though I gave the game quite a bit of flak, it is still a lot of fun and the action-based stages may only be frustrating to us.
This game again did result in my winning. However, Dan wasn't as far back this time. I believe he was about 9 stages behind me by the time I finished. I hope everyone who read this enjoyed it, and I hope to see you on the next one. Thanks.