KOEI Press Day: Hands-on with Monster Racers

Take one part Pokémon and one part Kirby’s Gourmet Race and you get Monster Racers. Monster Racers is a brand new IP from Koei set to come out on the DS in the first half of next year.

In Monster Racers, you will go on a global adventure in search of monsters to capture, train and then race against other rival monster racing trainers. The game will have you explore cities and go through dungeons and such to find new monsters for your collection. Hit the jump to read more.

The game is still in early stages of development, so the only portion that was being shown off for the demo was the actual monster racing. As soon as the monsters lined up at the starting point, I instantly thought of Kirby’s Gourmet Race for the SNES. It was such a fun game and I’m glad to see that formula being expanded on into a full-blown RPG on the level of Pokémon games.

The demo would give players a random monster to control, but I was at least able to select the levels. Every level will have traps to try and slow players down, from bottomless pits, falling boulders, and spikes to much more. Levels will cover lots of locations, such as grasslands, deserts, and ice worlds.

When the race starts, all four monsters will line up at the starting line and take off when given the go. You have full control over your racing monster and can attack other monsters to slow them down to give you an advantage. You’ll earn turbo boosts that will give you a short speed burst and can find items such as fireballs and lightning bolts throughout the stages to use against the other monsters. Jumping on top of the monsters will also slow them down. The other monsters can and will use these weapons and tactics against you, too.

Every monster will have pros and cons to them and you’ll have to think which ones would be best to use in a given situation. For instance, you don’t want to use a big creature like the buffalo if it’s a steep mountain level. You’ll have to keep an assortment of creatures with you to make sure you’re ready for anything.

I only saw this one part to the game and I already love it. I’ll need to see the actually RPG elements to the game before I decide on whether this is a DO WANT when it comes out sometime next year.

Hamza Aziz