In January of 2001, Enix allowed us to try something new with their world of Dragon Warriors. Instead of creating a straight up role-playing game, they took more of a decidedly Pokémonish route, and entered the realm of monster capturing/breeding. The game revolved around a boy, Terry, and his rescuing of his kidnapped sister. His search took him to the world of Great Tree, where he was made to collect and do battle with monsters taken directly from previous Dragon Warrior games (with the exception of the monster’s names), in order to defeat the head baddie and retrieve his sister. Dragon Warrior Monsters, while not a monumental success as far as “money earned” is concerned (in the United States, anyway), provided for a very entertaining gaming experience.
With this, the sequel to Dragon Warrior Monsters, Enix kept the same basic ideas as its predecessor. The story has ever-so-slightly changed; this time you follow the story of a little boy, or a little girl (depending on which version of the game you happen to be playing), and their emigration to the rival of Great Tree, Great Log, in an attempt to start new lives with their family. They are initiated into the realm of monster controlling by Prince Kamehah and his wily sidekick, Warabou, who require their help in order to plug up the navel of Great Log so that it will not sink into the sea. A more original premise than the first in this series, but the entire “navel” concept leaves one kind of annoyed. Each time you go into a world, to snag the item requested of you by Warabou, he tells you that the item is no good. The whole process is discouragingly irritating. That fails to matter much, though; Dragon Warrior Monsters is not about the story: it is all in the monsters.
Dragon Warrior Monsters 2 boasts over three hundred monsters in this installment, including conventional monsters such as the Slime, the Bat, and the Pixy, and others not so, such as the JewelBag, the 1EyeClown, the GhosTree, and the ever-popular FooHero. You start out with a mere Slime, and venture forth into other realms to capture ones more exotic. Each world has its own set of monsters, some having two categories (slime plant, boss, etc.), others having several. Once you own both a male and a female with levels ten or higher, you can breed them with one another to create a new, less powerful monster, but with the potential to surpass their parents in greatness.
To access worlds in which monsters may be captured, you need to have in your possession a Magic Key. Magic Keys can be found in pots, in treasure chests, on the persons of defeated opponents, and other seemingly random locations. There are six worlds related to the story line, of which the goals you must defeat in order to in the game advance, and then up to eight-hundred and ninety-nine other worlds to play just for the heck of it, for a total of nine-hundred and five total worlds. With this, the replay value of Dragon Warrior Monsters 2 is seemingly endless, for it is virtually (though not entirely) impossible to visit each and every single world possible.
Seeing as Dragon Warrior Monsters 2 is a Game Boy Color game, you can’t expect total awesomeness, graphics-wise, but they are still darn okay. Those familiar with the Dragon Warrior series will feel right at home, for the game has the look and feel of a typical Dragon Warrior game, with the typical action menu, the typical graphics, the typical battles, and the typical sounds, which provide for a very RPGish environment. The atmosphere is helping towards gamers whose line of thought is: monster-breeding = Pokémon = little kid game = suck, because, quite frankly, it does not. This is not Pokémon Black (as the color of the cartridge might indicate), this is no Sesame Street 1-2-3. This is a Dragon Warrior game, dammit, and it feels just like part of the actual series.
For those of you who enjoy RPGs, this is recommended. For those of you who are a fan of the Dragon Warrior series, this is recommended. For those of you who are fans of monster-breeding in general, this is recommended. Heck, the only people this is not recommended to are those who just do not have the time to get involved with a time-consuming game. It takes approximately ten hours to complete this game, which is not so bad, but for the complete Dragon Warrior Monsters 2 experience, you need to play the optional worlds, you need to breed for the optimal party, and that could take years of gaming. But, Dragon Warrior 2 is worth years and years of gaming, and this writer fully recommends that you make it your own.