Tecmo working on Monster Rancher 5

Circus-themed installment to feature more role-playing than ranching.

According to the latest issue of Shonen Jump, Tecmo is developing a new PlayStation 2 installment in its Monster Rancher series. The game will be titled Monster Farm 5: Circus Caravan, and it's slated for release in Japan by the end of the year.

While previous installments of the Monster Farm series played as a monster-breeding and battle game, Circus Caravan will play instead more like a traditional role-playing game. The series' trademark monster-breeding aspect will be retained, as players will be able to generate companion monsters for their journeys from any CD or DVD.

In Circus Caravan, the player takes the role of Julio, a young monster caretaker who hopes to one day become a good monster breeder. Accompanying Julio on his journey is Nayuta, a shaman girl who can perform rituals to revive monsters. Both Julio and Nayuta are circus performers, and it will be up to the player to take them on adventures while making sure their circus shows are still a success.

As the game's festive subtitle suggests, Monster Farm 5 will have a focus on music, dancing, and performances. Early illustrations from the game show Julio playing an accordion, Nayuta swinging on a high acrobatic ladder, and a Mocchi monster juggling balls in the air.

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