Dragon Warrior: Monsters 2
From the island of GreatLog, journey through the land on a quest. Fight and capture monsters, then breed and trade your captured monsters to make monsters that are more powerful. No, this is not a new Pokemon or Digimon game; this is Dragon Warrior: Monsters 2. These massive "collect and breed" monster games are perfect for kids but may be lacking for Dragon Warrior fans who love the series. Each game, Cobi's Journey and Tara's Adventure, follows the point of view of one of two siblings, a brother and sister.
Playing as either Cobi or his sister, Tara, you must save the island GreatLog from sinking by traveling to five worlds to find a plug to stop the leak. Along the way, you will fight and collect monsters. You can then train and breed them with other monsters, creating monsters with greater abilities and temperaments. You can even trade with other players to complete your collection. There is an astounding 312 monsters total!
Gameplay, Controls, Interface
Please note that each game, Cobi's Journey and Tara's Adventure, is a separate, physical cartridge. The gameplay is similar in both games, so they will be reviewed together.
If you have played any of the Dragon Warrior games in the series, gameplay is virtually the same. The games themselves are divided into two types: RPG/Adventuring and Puzzle. As you endeavor to complete the main quest, you can collect monsters and do some training. There are some slight differences between the games. Cobi, I found, tends to prefer the monsters that are strong and do a lot of physical damage. Tara, on the other hand, likes to have monsters that use magic and have a stronger penchant for using those skills when in battle. The other difference between the two games is slight storyline/key variations and certain monsters that only appear one game or the other. This encourages trading with friends who have the opposite cartridge.
The quest is straightforward and is more of the walk-talk-fight variety with the assorted mini-quests littered in to acquire more monsters and more training. There is little puzzle solving to do at this point of the game, that comes a little later as you get further in. These games do not have the in-depth plotline of the Dragon Warrior RPG series, just a simple and easy storyline, with the addition of breeding to the gameplay.
Breeding is a completely different story. Your Game Boy now becomes a 'genetics lab'? as you breed one monster with another. Using the Info window will give you the statistics on each monster. This will become the main impetus of the game at this point as you try to create a more powerful monster. You can then fight other Monster Masters in the game or you can fight against a friend's monsters or team up with your friend and fight more monsters from the game. I found playing against a friend to be the most fun, even though a better and much younger opponent beat me. No surprise there!
Graphics & Audio
The graphics are typical of all the Dragon Warrior games, although I must admit the colors are quite vibrant. Monsters are still well-defined and battle actions still interesting to watch. Some 'cut-scenes'? are quite well done But, all-in-all, both Cobi's Journey and Tara's Adventure have the standard Dragon Warrior graphics we have come to know and love.
The sound is nothing exceptional. The music can get repetitive at times, which is why I tend to play the games with the volume all the way down. What can you expect from a one-inch speaker anyway?
Originality / Cool Features
I think the coolest features of these games are the linking ability and just the sheer size of them. It was a lot of fun trading and fighting with other gamers and the games use the link cable to its full capabilities. But moreover, 312 monsters! That is pretty fantastic!
These are great games for kids who are into Pokemon and Digimon. Or for any aspiring geneticists. The bulk of the game is capturing, training, trading, breeding and fighting. It is a collection game just like collectible trading card games. Both Cobi's Journey and Tara's Adventure are massive in size and will keep anyone occupied for hours. If you are a fan of the Dragon Warrior RPG series and are looking for a deep storyline, this is not for you. However, if you loved the fighting in Dragon Warrior, pick up Cobi's Journey or Tara's Adventure or both and let the breeding/fighting begin!