Cyber Monster 2 takes place hundreds of years after the events of the original Cyber Monster. The continent has settled into newfound peace but terrible dragons have returned and threaten that peace. Here’s your opportunity to raise an army of pets to overcome a dragon invasion, from the comfort of your browser and, if you so choose, without paying a cent.
The original Cyber Monster received a lot of praise for its pet system. Most modern MMOs do have some form of pet system, but Cyber Monster’s had great depth compared to most. Cyber Monster 2 does its job as a sequel: it takes everything that Cyber Monster was and expands it. There’s a host of new pets and there are hundreds to collect. Cyber Monster 2 has an increased focus on the collecting side of things, which is great because there are lots of different things to do with your pets.
For those unfamiliar with the series, pets serve a huge role in the game. Your pets fight by your side and can be fought, bred, and geared up. Daily events let your pets engage in various activities ranging from casual turnip hunts to hardcore boss fights. There are a separate set of pets that can be used as mounts (these can be leveled up too). In battle, players arrange their character and up to four monsters in a 3×3 grid. There’s some strategy to this, such as placing bulky monsters in the front and accounting for area attacks, both offensively and defensively.
The game has all the trappings of a free-to-play, browser-based MMORPG. Characters run around completing quests, chatting with NPCs, and battling monsters. There are prizes that can be claimed for free every 10 minutes and once a day. At any time, there is a plethora of server events including tournaments and smaller events that happen on a daily basis. Characters can be a Warrior, Mage, or Ranger; male or female.
Truth be told, the gameplay and story are both pretty bland. The game’s not bad to look at for a browser-based game, but Cyber Monsters 2 is yet another MMORPG that lets players cruise through the game thanks to auto-pathfinding and auto-fighting that are both on by default. If you haven’t experienced one of these games yet, the first few hours of the game can literally be your character automatically moving from quest-to-quest and battle-to-battle with you interrupting only to advance some dialogue, accept a quest, or manage some menu to adjust your pets or equipment. It’s bad and so beyond me why this has become such a thing. I’ve seen it in so many modern MMORPGs, but they must be making money despite the serious lack of gameplay, because new ones keep coming out with the auto-pathing and fighting.
The fighting looks cool, but your role is much more as a manager who preps your team for battle rather than a coach who’s calling each play. Battle consists of two opposing parties facing each other, both with their own 3×3 formation grid. Heroes and monsters take turns smacking each other. The system is deeper than it appears. Fighters have a slew of RPG stats, gear, and skills, but all of it happens automatically, so you don’t really see it happening. I’ll go back to the manager thing — the system isn’t so bad if you’re okay with just managing a character instead of feeling like you are playing the character. All of your combat decisions happen off the battlefield: What will you wear to battle? Which pet will stand in front of you to take hits? What monsters will you attack next?
For players who can get deep into the game and look past the massive amount of hand-holding, there is a ton of features readily available. Besides the daily events, players can work together as guilds or even join in marriage. Guilds support each other in all kinds of ways. Guild Farms help provide pet EXP for members who are offline. A Position System lets guild members rank up within a guild to earn regular prizes and gold income. Marriage is only between two players, but it will cause spouses to appear in battle together. A wide variety of other features is available, including mining, boss fights, alchemy, betting on monster races, and achievement hunting.
There is a huge breadth of content, I just worry about how deep it is. Certainly, the popularity of the original game and the success of Cyber Monster 2’s closed beta indicates that the game will have plenty of active players. The convenience of both free-to-play and browser-based can’t be ignored, but players who have the means to pay for a more powerful game would probably be better off doing so. I can’t think of any itch Cyber Monster 2 would scratch that a triple-A MMORPG wouldn’t. Nobody expects a browser-based game to be better than one that isn’t, but that doesn’t mean a browser-based game can’t have some fun innovation that makes it unique.
If you’re into the scene of modern, free-to-play, browser-based MMORPGs, you’re probably already used to the auto-pathing and auto-fighting. If this would be your first one, just be forewarned that it’s a bit of a weird transition to play an MMORPG where so little is expected of you. Strategy still exists, but its in how you prepare for battle rather than the decisions you actually make during battle. The team at NGames have clearly put forth an effort to make Cyber Monster 2 a deeper experience strategically. There are a lot of ways to make your pets more powerful, including a new gem equipment system that lets monsters equip up to 6 gems that can boost their stats or make them more resilient to specific monster species. The presentation looks good, even if the UI is very busy. Fortunately, like most MMORPGs, features are introduced to you bit to bit so you have plenty of time to figure it all out. I appreciate the depth of the pet system — managing five fighters is at least more strategically demanding than managing one. That said, I just have a hard time enjoying a game that practically plays itself for me.