Have you ever wondered what it would be like to raise a Kaiju? And, yes, I am talking about those absolutely massive creatures you saw in Pacific Rim. If you want to raise a Kaiju to be the very best, like no Kaiju ever was, look no further than Ultra Kaiju Monster Rancher. Ultra Kaiju Monster Rancher is a mashup between Ultraman, a famous Japanese Tokusatsu work, and the popular role-playing simulation Monster Rancher games. If you are a fan of games like Monster Rancher, Slime Rancher, or chill games in general, and, of course, large monsters, you should check this one out.
In Ultra Kaiju Monster Rancher you are a new breeder looking to raise and even battle Ultra Kaiju. You obtain new Kaiju by visiting the Altar where you can regenerate Kaiju by entering special keywords, using Amiibo or Amiibo cards, or entering a special code. If you want a surprise Kaiju you also have the option to receive a supplied Kaiju that varies based on the season. Kaiju that you owned previously can also be regenerated. I let the fates decide for me and I was supplied with a Gomora Kaiju, who I lovingly named Boris.
Once you have received your first Kaiju, in my case Boris, it’s up to you to raise and train that Kaiju to be the strongest and most badass Kaiju on the block. Every week you choose an action to take that will help your Kaiju develop skills and increase its stats. This is where the game might become a little stale for some as this process can become very monotonous, but, remember, this is a rancher game, not some super action-heavy RPG. We’re here to give these Kaiju the best life we can before they retire, which may only be a few years down the line for some.
The main action you are likely to take is to send your Kaiju out to do Drills that will test their skills. Drills can have four different outcomes based on your Kaiju’s fatigue and anger levels: Super Success, Success, Failure, or Slacking Off. We’ll talk more about fatigue, anger, and other statuses in more detail later, but simply put, the better your Kaiju feels, the better it will perform during Drills, resulting in better stat increases. The map for Drills is split up into different training grounds with different tasks to complete in each area. Completing tasks in a specific training ground increases a gauge that indicates your Kaiju’s claim to that territory. The higher the gauge, the better the results during Success and Supper Success drills. Occasionally your Kaiju might have to fight off rival Kaiju in territory battles to prevent that gauge from decreasing.
Kaiju can receive additional training by going on month-long Errantries. This is when a fellow breeder offers to train your Kaiju alongside their own for a small fee. Your Kaiju will undergo intense training over the next four weeks before being given back to you with some stats increased. The last way to train your Kaiju is to go out on adventures. This part doesn’t open up right away but when it does you are given a unique opportunity to go scavenging for food resources and other things to help your Kaiju. However, these are stamina-based. You have a stamina gauge that slowly decreases with every step and even more so when you have to knock down barriers or when you’re digging things up. If you don’t return to your base camp before your Kaiju’s stamina is depleted, you risk harming your Kaiju.
Of course, all this hard work can be very tiresome for your Kaiju. Every Drill, Errantry, and Adventure increases their fatigue. When your Kaiju is overly fatigued, they are less likely to be successful in drills, but may also falter when they do go up against another Kaiju. This can be combated in a couple of ways. First, you can let your Kaiju rest for the week. This will usually bring the fatigue all the way down, leaving your Kaiju feeling as refreshed as daisies in Spring. Otherwise, you can give your Kaiju little goodies that help to reduce their fatigue, however they won’t get as much back as just letting them rest.
With a well-rested and trained Kaiju, it’s time to head to the Arena for some Kaiju battles. If you’ve played other Monster Rancher games you’ll already know what to expect here. Battles are distance-based with closer attacks doing less damage and further attacks doing the most. Every attack takes Guts with closer attacks taking less Guts and further attacks taking more Guts. You move closer to the rival Kaiju by dashing towards them (which costs 10 Guts) or further away by pushing the rival Kaiju away (which costs no Guts). Every battle lasts 60 seconds and a winner is declared depending on who has the highest percentage of health remaining when time is up or if either Kaiju is KO’d.
The different types of Kaiju can have different effects on each battle. Boris, for example, is a massive dinosaur with a horn on his nose, massive claws, and a big tail he can swing around. His focus is on brute force attacks. But some Kaiju like to play mind games, some have laser attacks, and so much more. What became very frustrating to me is that some of these battles seemed very RNG-based more than being based on the actual skill of the Kaiju. Maybe this is just me being newer to the genre, but I found it very frustrating when four of Boris’s attacks in a row either missed or he would just look around confused while the rival Kaiju was slowly ticking his health away, resulting in losses that just shouldn’t have happened, especially if Boris was overall stronger and had higher Life (basically HP). I literally lost a fight to a Kaiju who only had 850 Life to begin with because none of my attacks were successful but theirs were. Boris has over 2000 Life.
The goal of battles is to rank up your Kaiju from the starting E-Class up to the highest rank of S-Class, or as high as you can rank them up before they reach retirement. There are seasonal battles for each rank where if you win you earn the next rank, but you do have to meet certain criteria to participate in some of these, which you find out later on in the game as you progress. Right now Boris is stuck in C-Class until one of his stats gets increased to a certain level. There are other battles you can have your Kaiju participate in along the way to earn notoriety and Fame as well as getting some money to spend at the shops for goodies for your Kaiju or to regenerate new Kaiju.
For the avid monster collectors, you’ll be pleased to know that there are over 200 Kaiju to collect and raise, meaning you could spend literally hundreds and hundreds of hours in this game. Kaiju aren’t just regenerated at the Altar, you can also take your Kaiju to the Research Center to fuse them together to create new Kaiju. This will pass on their stats and techs to the new Kaiju and you can also add fusion items for further effects. Sometimes this may just result in a different version of the same Kaiju, but you may also create an absolute abomination, who knows? I’ve met a Kaiju that’s literally a floating parka covered in eyeballs. The possibilities are endless! And terrifying. I’ve had plenty of ‘wtf’ moments playing this game. Given their sheer size and workload, you can only raise and train one Kaiju at a time. All your other kaiju hang out with the folks at The Association but can be swapped out at any time.
What’s also terrifying is that your Kaiju may go on an all-out rampage. You have to remember to take care of your Kaiju and its needs. Not only does all the battling, drilling, errantries, etc., make your Kaiju tired, but they can also become angry. You can also rustle their feathers by feeding them food that’s too spicy or by not giving them enough praise after a battle. I somehow managed to keep Boris from ever reaching his boiling point, however I could tell when he’d become agitated as the classic anime agitation symbols would pop up next to his head and he’d do a little more grrr-ing than usual. After tossing him some cake he seemed to feel a little bit better. I then told him to take a nap and he woke up refreshed.
After a hard day’s work, you and your Kaiju return to The Ranch where you can tell your Kaiju to rest, check letters that have arrived offering words of congratulations or letting you know your breeder rank increased, give your Kaiju a treat, or visit the shop to get some more goodies or food ingredients. Ultra Kaiju Monster Rancher is a great game for passing time or winding down after a long day at work. I only play for short periods of time myself, but one could easily sink hours in a day just hanging with their Kaiju.
Cassie Peterson is an Editor for Gaming Trend but also a sporadic content creator and exceedingly average Rainbow Six Siege player. She goes by MzPanik on Twitter and Twitch and all of the gaming platforms.
Ultra Kaiju Monster Rancher
Ultra Kaiju Monster Rancher is a humorous mashup between Ultraman and Monster Rancher, allowing you to raise and train your very own Kaiju. It’s quirky and great for passing the time. The battle system could use a little tweaking to resolve issues with Kaiju not being able to land any attacks at all and then losing because the opponent knocked 50 Life down. My Kaiju, Boris, will forever hold a special place in my heart.