|Monster Rancher 3|
|Release date(s)||September 24, 2001|
|Game modes||Single player|
Monster Rancher 3 is the third game in Tecmo's Monster Rancher series. It is the first game in the Monster Rancher series for the PlayStation 2.
This game uses cel-shaded graphics to give the game a more cartoon-like feel.
Making up for the loss of the combination system is the ability of monsters to adapt to their surroundings. Though only one is available at the start of the game, the five different homes that you can raise your monster in represent five climates, each with its own training regimes, features, and food.
Morx, the first region you will train in, is a clearing in a forest centered around a gargantuan tree. The grassy area is covered with mushrooms, allowing the monster to train by interacting with the tree and the fungi.
Takrama, an oasis in the middle of a barren desert, features rocky terrain, cacti, and dust storms with which to test your monster. It is noted that this is the harshest environment for monsters.
Brillia, a frozen tundra, is filled with snow, seals, and icicles. A lone tree sits near the end of the area.
Kalaragi, a bright rainforest, centers around a giant waterfall (known in-game as Ubagi Waterfall but rarely referred to by its name). A cliff path leads behind the waterfall up to a ledge, and there is a giant lilypad accompanied by a similarly large lotus flower.
Goat, the oddly named underwater sanctuary, allows you to raise your monster underwater. The waters of Goat are extremely high in oxygen, explaining why and how you and your monsters have no trouble living under the sea.
Each monster is affiliated with one of these regions, and has subspecies corresponding to each climate and area. For instance, the Suezo - a monster normally inclined to Takrama - also has a subspecies for Goat, the sharklike Fukazo.
When a monster of one subspecies is raised in another area, after a time, they will mature. If they have been fed with enough of the regional food, they will adapt to their surroundings and change subspecies. For example, if a Morx Mocchi is raised in Brillia, and fed enough of Brillia's local food, the Mocchi will adapt to its surroundings, turning blue and white to blend in with its now home, and become a Brillian Mocchi.
However, the player may still generate monsters by inserting a disc into the PS2. Furthermore, Monster Rancher 3 is the first series in the game to allow players the ability to generate monsters based on past discs, as well as monsters already bred. As an example, once a monster has been bred, from that point on one can simply generate them from their Monster Encyclopedia, saving the gamer unnecessary time and trouble having to remember and find discs that generated various monsters. Also, Monster Rancher 3 is the first, and only to allow you to trade monster data. For example, let's say you have a monster your friend wants, you can simply plug both memory cards in, and you can transfer the monster you have in your Monster Encyclopedia to his file.
Instead of the expeditions typical to the series, at each season change you can instead search the current training location by buying 'Ran Ran' items that allow you to see the 'Earth's Light' at certain spots. The player controls the monster at these times, referred to as a 'venture' instead of an expedition or errantry as in other games. During a venture, the player can find single-use items, venture-only items with special effects such as boosting or lowering stats, adding traits, stressing or refreshing the monster, encounter battles, train skills, and acquire new skills.
This game contains 30 main monster breeds, some of which can be evolved in different areas to form new monsters. For a full list, see Monster Rancher 3 Encyclopedia.