While there is no official percentage of gameplay a game must have in order to be considered a monster taming game, I generally think monster taming must be part of the core gameplay and not optional.
So, a game like Sonic Adventure, for example, has Chao raising but its relatively shallow and is completely optional with no bearing on the main story. This genre has been around since at least the early to mid 90s and shows no signs of slowing down.
Here are the best monster taming games around!
Medabots never got the buzz it deserved in the West, with the majority of games solely releasing in Japan after the last GBA title. It really is a shame because the storyline, gameplay, and Medabot designs were amazing.
Medabots were a little different than traditional creatures in monster taming games as they were not organic, but were tamable creatures no less. To defeat a Medabot you had to destroy various parts of its body which consisted of a head, right/left leg, and a right/left arm. Destroying the head results in an instant knockout.
The storyline was pretty interesting and a nice break from the traditional Pokemon theme that requires you to collect badges and battle elite trainers. The battle mechanics were decent and involved a 3 v 3 format that required you to take out the "leader" Medabot the win. Overall it was a fun experience from my childhood.
Another robot monster taming game, similar to Medabots in some ways. It featured an original storyline that involved some time travel and awesome fighting robots. Unlike Pokemon and other monster taming games, you could customize your Robopon's color as much as you wanted. And similar to Pokemon, you were able to attain different ranks by defeating elite Robopon masters.
Robopon is another cool underrated GBA game that is well worth picking up if you can find it.
Custom Robo is what would happen if Pokemon had a baby with Super Smash Bros. As a battler, you can customize your miniature robots with various parts and control their every move in battle. The real time combat is a nice change for a genre largely dominate by turn based battle systems. The storyline was admittedly shallow but the battle mechanics and character designs more than make up for it.
Of all the Digimon games I've played this one is my all-time favorite. The story line was super compelling and the Digimon designs were just as cool as they were in the anime.
I'm a huge fan of Veemon so I have every variant of him in my squad. Also, being a software engineer, I really enjoyed the network/tech based theme of the entire game.
For example, your party limited by how much memory the Digimon required to bring around with you. Some of the better monsters are pretty memory hungry like a number of real world applications. Another unique aspect of the game is that your character is not a very young child. You are actually old enough to have a job, which is part hacker, part detective!
I was thoroughly disappointed when Digimon decided to go the survival game route instead of making a direct sequel to Digimon Story. But the games provide hours of post game content so I wasn't too hurt behind the decision.
Temtem is a super fun Pokemon like game that diverges from the child-like story lines common in many monster taming games, in favor of a more mature narrative, chock full of plot twists. Its also an MMO...at least on paper. The MMO features are not great but the competitive scene is amazing. Temtem uses a stamina based battle system and has no RNG in battles.
This means you won't have to worry about a critical hit killing you while your Temtem is at full health. I only have two complaints about Temtem. One is that the devs have stated there are no plans to release any new Temtem. This will likely kills its longevity.
Failing to re-invent oneself is a sure fire way to fade into obscurity. My other complaint is that there is no offline mode. Its almost a requirement for monster taming games to be playable wherever you are, with or without a steady internet connection. But it is still one of the monster taming pc games.
Coromon reminds me of the Pokemon Silver days. The gameplay was amazing and the animated 2D sprites of the monsters really take you back to the early 2000s.
Coromon's story line was great until the ending, much like Game Of Thrones. The ending felt rushed and made you question the motives of the bad guys.
It does, however, have an ever growing competitive scene and the devs are very receptive to community feedback which is an amazing thing.
Monster Hunter Stories 2 is monster taming game that borrows many of the tamable creatures from its mainline Monster Hunter series. There are no evolutions in this game and the monsters are far from cuddly. It does, however, have the best story line and voice acting that I have ever seen in a monster taming game.
Playing through the game feels like you are watching a movie. The monsters, also know as monsties, can be mounted and help you with a variety of tasks.
The battle scene is pretty fun as well and allows you to fight alongside your monstie in battle. Its unique in the genre and forces you to focus on developing strategies that work well with your partner monster.
Nexomon is great if you don't care about a game having a decent battle system, PvP, or the ability to trade with others. The artwork, plot, monster design are what keep people interested in this game. For the first time in a while, I was genuinely shocked by how a story played out in a monster taming game.
The story is also quite humorous at times with your character's travelling companion frequently breaking the 4th wall and poking fun at the genre as a whole. Overall, its a fun, feel-good game that does not take itself too seriously.
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