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|AI||How smart (or dumb) you perceive the game's artificial intelligence to be||4.0|
|Gameplay||How well the game mechanics work (player controls, game action, interface, etc.)||4.3|
|Graphics||The quality of the art, or the quality/speed of the drawing routines||4.0|
|Personal Slant||How much you personally like the game, regardless of other attributes||4.3|
|Sound / Music||The quality of the sound effects and/or music composition||3.3|
|Story / Presentation||The main creative ideas in the game and how well they're executed||3.3|
|Overall MobyScore (3 votes)||3.9|
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Monster Rancher Advance is incredibly addictive, even if it’s not going to win any awards for its graphics or sounds any times soon. There are enough unique features to dismiss the "Pokemon-clone" thoughts going through your mind right now. There are flaws, yes, but it's still fun. I'm not sure why, maybe it's because you can play this for hours at a time, or a few moments a day. If you own the original, this is good enough to warrant buying. If you're new to the franchise, Monster Rancher Advance 2 may just pull you in.
If you already own the original Monster Rancher Advance, the sequel to the fun-despite-itself Pokmon clone brings very little new elements to the table unless you count a few new monster types, different backgrounds and training animations, a hospital where you can surgically remove your monsters bad traits, and link-cable monster breeding.
All in all, MRA2 doesn't offer any major innovations over its predecessor, but it's still quite fun, and to its credit, there is backwards compatibility, allowing for the transfer of monsters from the former title. One notable change that may encourage diehards to upgrade is the new ability of retired monsters to take on special training assignments. Meanwhile, back at the ranch, it's more of the same old Monster Rancher.
Game Over Online
In terms of affability, Monster Rancher certainly has it in spades. The music and visuals, particularly around the resort-like Age Island, are pleasing overall. How affable it is to a market run rampant by Pokemon is another question altogether. Despite its best attempts to explain the concept of monster breeding through the story, veterans will be able to get into Monster Rancher quicker than newcomers. The learning curve for winning battles, moreover, will make the trigger-happy demographic even more impatient with the game.