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The first Monster Rancher was a cult hit among players of all ages. Monster Rancher 2, released two years later, retains the basic premise of the original while adding several new features and more advanced graphics.
Like its predecessor, Monster Rancher 2 is a game of breeding, training and fighting. A monster is "born" by inserting a CD (audio, CD-ROM or even another PlayStation game) into the console at the requested time. The game reads a portion of data from the CD and creates a unique monster. 408 different monsters are possible, as compared to 193 in the original. Monsters from the original game can also be imported.
Once your monster is created, it is up to you to train it properly. Over the course of your monster's life, it will behave much like a real animal — growing, getting hungry, becoming tired, disobeying you, etc. Sadly, your monster will even eventually die.
Six different characteristics determine the strength and quality of your monster: Life (Lif), Power (Pow), Defense (Def), Skill (Ski), Speed (Spd) and Intelligence (Int). These six characteristics are improved by putting your monster through a series of drills and errantries. Drills are free and take one week of time. Errantries cost money and take one month. The advantage of errantries is that your monster can learn new battle techniques and gain experience more quickly. In addition to training, you must also periodically give your monster time to rest.
Money, fame and status are earned through battles, which are held periodically throughout the year. There are six ranks of battles (E, D, C, B, A, S, from lowest to highest), and once you win the official tournament of a specific level, you move up to the next highest rank.
The ultimate goal of is to reach the status of "master trainer," achieved by winning the four major tournaments at the S rank.
Monster Rancher 2's new features include faster and less frequent load times, more than twice as many monsters, new training options, additional battle types and entirely 3-D graphics. ~ Skyler Miller, All Game Guide