Let them fight
Whenever Nintendo hosts a new Direct, mini or otherwise, one of the first things I do when it’s done is pop over to the company’s Japanese YouTube channel to see if there were any game reveals that didn’t make the cut for North American and European audiences. While trailers exclusive to the Japanese streams are usually for incredibly niche titles, more often than not these streams will feature a game or two with a far broader appeal that audiences on this side of the ocean wouldn’t mind getting their hands on. During the last Nintendo Direct, we reported the Japanese version featured a new kaiju-filled entry in the Monster Rancher series. It was one of the more interesting games announced that day, and thankfully, Bandai Namco confirmed at Anime Expo that it is localizing the title for western audiences as Ultra Kaiju Monster Rancher.
This news isn’t a huge surprise given the game was already confirmed to release in English in Southeast Asia. But it’s just nice we won’t have to do an expensive import to get it.
The Monster Rancher franchise has seen something of a small resurgence in recent years with Switch and PC ports of its early titles. For a brief moment during my childhood, the original Monster Rancher was one of the hottest games to play thanks to its gimmicky use of music CDs to generate monsters. I remember exchanging discs with classmates as we’d all try to score every available monster in the game. I don’t think any of us ever managed to do that, however, as the fad quickly faded within my circle of friends. Suffice to say, I don’t have many warm fuzzy feelings about the series, but I do think it would be kind of cool to revisit it with kaiju-sized monsters to control.
Yep. The audacity of everything in that trailer pretty much guarantees I’ll have to give a go when it releases stateside.
Despite the low number of kaiju in the trailer, Ultra Kaiju Monster Rancher will feature more than 200 different monsters to unlock using a digital CD database or NFC-compatible cards. That latter point has me quite curious about what my Animal Crossing Jingle amiibo card will unlock when I scan it into the game. I guess I’ll find out later this year when Ultra Kaiju Monster Rancher launches on Nintendo Switch.