Ruby is off sick today (please show her some love in the comments to cheer her up), and so it falls to me to bring you our Weird Game Of The Day.
The latest Monster Rancher game lets you raise your very own Kaiju buddy.
Originally created to trade on the wild popularity of Pokemon in the late 90’s, Monster Rancher is a series of games about breeding and raising monsters. Monsters are trained to fight and battle those from other ranchers. Effectively, the original games sought to combine the trainer aspect of Pokemon with the low-level farming of a Harvest Moon.
Though ports of the two original games have found their way to mobile, PC, and Switch in recent years, it’s been a while since the series got an entirely new instalment.
Ultra Kaiju: Monster Rancher is tied to the Ultraman superhero franchise. If you’ve never heard of him before, Ultraman is a hero that, similarly to the Super Sentai/Power Rangers, fought giant monsters threatening the Japanese public. Your job is to raise these giant monsters to maturity and then teach them how to battle other Kaiju.
This is an extremely solid, silly pitch. It’s also very Japanese, so it’s good to know that it will make its way to the West. This is exactly the kind of game that, only a few years ago, would have remained a Japan-only title. Full shouts to Bandai Namco for allowing everyone else a chance to get in on this madness.
I love that it leans into classic Japanese Kaiju design, as well. They’re all a bit goofy, not terribly threatening, and they all move like the classic guy-in-a-rubber-suit monsters of mid-century Japanese cinema. Just a 10/10 pitch. Will the game be any good? Who knows. But the concept is genius, I will absolutely give them that.
Ultra Kaiju: Monster Rancher does not yet have a release date, but is slated for launch later in 2022.