For years now, Monster Rancher (or Monster Farm in Japan) fans have been begging Koei Tecmo to revisit the series, and now it looks like their prayers have been answered, with the publisher/developer announcing that the original is getting a digital re-release.
The announcement doesn’t offer much in concrete information, unfortunately, only suggesting that it will be a digital release through the usage of the word “haishin” and that its due out in 2019 in Japan.
Regardless, the fact that Koei Tecmo — seemingly out of the blue — decided to revisit the beloved series will be more than welcome by fans.
Initially released on the PlayStation in 1997, Monster Rancher is an animal breeding series where players are tasked with raising various monsters before taking them out to battle others in tournaments. It never was a widely popular game, but it amassed enough of a following to encourage the development of multiple sequels, as well as an animated series.
In particular, the leading method for acquiring new monsters from 1–EVO (2006) received exceptional amounts of praise. Players could use various types of discs compatible with their console and then have the game read them to receive a monster based on the disc that was used. Some of these were generic, but others were rare and others were themed (e.g. Dead or Alive yielding a Pixie named Kasumi). Because of the sheer amount of monsters available in these games (especially when subspecies come into play), it isn’t unusual to hear fans reminisce about how they spent hours combing through every applicable disc in their home as they searched for new monsters to unlock.
In the meantime, it’s unclear what this sudden decision could mean for the series. Is this release just a one-off event or could this signal a full-blown revival for the series?
Only time will tell.