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Monster Rancher re-release will bring back the beloved Pokémon-like series

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The classics get revived on iOS, PC, Switch

You can play another Pokémon-like game later this year, thanks to the upcoming arrival of Monster Rancher 1 & 2 DX, the remaster of the retro monster collecting games from Koei Tecmo. The collection bundles Monster Rancher (1997) and Monster Rancher 2 (1999), and will launch Dec. 9 on Nintendo Switch, Windows PC via Steam, and iOS, Koei Tecmo announced Thursday.

In the Monster Rancher games, players raise monsters and train them to compete against other creatures in combat and tournaments, just like in Pokémon. The original Monster Rancher launched with a fun gimmick where players could use physical CDs to unlock monsters in the game, with each CD corresponding to a monster.

Most people don’t use CDs anymore, but the developers found a way to rework the feature into their modern version of the game. In Monster Rancher 1 & 2 DX, you’ll be able to search a database to find each monster’s desired CD and generate a monster from its data.

The re-release will include new content that wasn’t in the original Western release, like additional save slots, Freeze slots, and Monster Hall of Fame slots. The newer version will bring a few other improvements to gameplay, as well. Players will now be able to use a memo feature while raising monsters, view rankings from random battles, and use a high-speed mode to play through the game faster.

The Monster Rancher reboots are but a few of the many Pokémon-likes that have been announced or released in recent years. There’s Temtem, a hardcore MMO version of Pokémon released in 2020, and Palword, a game that takes the concept of raising cute monsters and turns it into a brutal survival game, which is due sometime in 2022. Or also, you could just play one of the many actual Pokémon games that are slated to be released in the next few months, like Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl or Pokémon Legends: Arceus.