|Monster Rancher EVO|
|Release date(s)||December 8, 2005 (Japan)|
April 11, 2006 (U.S.)
|Genre||Life Simulation, RPG|
|Game modes||Single player, or two players versus|
Monster Rancher EVO (Monster Farm 5: Circus Caravan in Japan) is a PlayStation 2 game in the Monster Rancher series. It was released in Japan on December 8, 2005, and in the United States on April 11, 2006. The game was not released in PAL territories.
The Orcoro Circus is a band of people who have come together to bring joy to people's lives. But one day after a performance a mysterious, beautiful girl with special powers forces her way into the circus troupe.
NPC interaction is the key to moving forward in the story. Each of the seven towns that you visit has its own problems. In each town there is a Guild Hall. Here you will accept missions from the Guildmaster that have been set by the villagers. The rewards for missions are gold, items, and rare monsters, and it furthers the storyline of the game.
Monster Rancher EVO delves more into the RPG genre than previous installments in the series. Gamers play the role of Julio, a circus performer who aspires to be a world class monster breeder, and must meet with the circus ringleader on a weekly basis to plan out the next week's course of action. They can schedule circus performances, go on Adventures and train their monsters to do tricks.
Monster generation (using CD/DVDs, an in-game item, or combining with other monsters) is done with a female shaman named Nayuta who also plays the role of the heroine. Rather than using a shrine to unlock your discs, Nayuta awakens them using a magical monster rebirth dance. She can reseal them in disc stones as well, which replaces the freeze function from older games. While this does not affect monster health, it does affect loyalty: over-use can lead to monsters rebelling in the middle of a show.
Each town also has a Market where players can pick up disc stones for free, in case they lack a large collection of their own.
Instead of entering in tournaments in this game, monsters put on shows using Training Gadgets, and if the audience enjoys the show, they will throw money onto the stage.
Exploration, similar to that of Monster Rancher 4, involves the character going out into the field with his or her monsters, defeating stray monsters and a level boss to gain anima points, which in turn allow your monster to learn new skills or perform Union Attacks.
Many monster species make a return (with a few new additions) for a total of 25 main breeds. Monsters can be combined like previous games, but the parent monsters are not consumed, and are put back in the gamer's inventory afterwards. For a full list, see Monster Rancher EVO Encyclopedia.