PlayStation’s Monster Rancher (Monster Farm in Japan) gave players a unique purpose for the spare CDs they had laying around when it was released in 1997.
Now, 22 years later, Monster Rancher is making its return. A report from Gematsu has highlighted a recent tweet from Japanese holding company Koei Tecmo that announces an upcoming release.
In February of this year, news of a newly opened Monster Rancher Twitter account began to circulate. This week, fans have learned that the account was not created for a new entry to the series but instead for what looks like either a remake or remaster of the original title.
Gematsu’s report cites, “The word used for its release is ‘haishin,’ which is a Japanese word that generally indicates a digital release.” Such phrasing makes it seem likely that this Monster Rancher port will either be for a digital-only console, like PC, or mobile. My Monster Rancher was released for iOS and Android in December 2011 and is the latest entry in the series, proving that mobile is not out of the question.
The Monster Rancher series brought a unique gameplay gimmick to the original PlayStation. Like Pokémon, both titles revolved around collecting and raising monsters to battle. Deeper progression required for players to breed these monsters to create more powerful iterations.
The series is most notable for the way it allowed players to spawn new monsters. By going to the in-game shrine, players could remove their PS1 disc from the console, replace it with any other CD, close the console, allow it to scan the disc, then reinsert the PS1 disc. Each “disc stone” would contain a unique monster, some (like the Metal Gear Solid PS1 disc) rare or unique.
However, with the popularity of digital releases—this port being one itself—it is not yet known if this mechanic will be included in Monster Rancher‘s comeback.
No plans for a release of Monster Rancher‘s port have been announced for countries outside of Japan, and launch platforms have yet to be revealed. The game’s official teaser website states that it is scheduled for release sometime this year.