Players: 1 to 2 Player Game | Release Date: 09/15/01 | Genre: RPG
Enix, the company responsible for the popular Dragon Warrior series, takes its second stab at a genre ruled by Pikachus and Bulbasaurs and fares better than you may think.
First of all, there are two versions of this game in existence. In one, you control Tara, in the other you are Cobi, Tara's brother. The two games are nearly identical but each version contains a few monsters that are exclusive to that version. This means that you'll have to use the game link cable and trade with a friend if you want to explore everything the game has to offer.
The premise of the game is simple, after a little accident the island you have just moved to is in danger of sinking. The island's navel plug has been removed and a strange elemental creature is acting as a temporary fix, but you need to venture forth and find a suitable replacement plug before it's too late. Your travels will take you to distant lands where you'll encounter ferocious monsters that must be defeated. Luckily, you dump the dirty work on your monster pals and leave all the fighting to them. However, if you don't give them enough attention they will be very disobedient in combat and often ignore your commands. During the course of your adventure, you will find it most helpful to breed your monsters and create all new specimens. After two monsters breed, they will disappear so you must be sure that you know what you're doing. The possibities for breeding new monsters are nearly endless as you have an impressive number of creatures to mix and match to your liking. Random enemy encounters aren't too bad in this game, and the boss battles are pretty much the same. You probably won't have an easy time beating a boss, but at the same time, you shouldn't fail all that often either. The difficulty in this game is balanced almost perfectly, and is one of the game's best qualities.
The graphics and sound in the game are about what you'd expect from a Game Boy game, and many of the sound effects will be immediately recognizable to Dragon Warrior fans. The game makes good use of colors to help bring the environments to life, but the characters do look a little weird. At first I had trouble even making people out on the small screen, but you will overcome this with a bit of patience.
Overall, Dragon Warrior Monsters 2 is a fun game that RPG enthusiasts should probably look into. The world is impressively sized and the sheer number of monsters is astounding. However, if you're looking for a slick looking handheld title then you should probably be looking elsewhere... but the rest of you shouldn't hesitate to give this game a whirl.