Monster Rancher DS Japanese box art

It's no secret around here that we love Monster Rancher, but the latest version headed to the DS has us a little wary, and the box art isn't making anything better. Is it just us, or does it seem like this image is striving for more of a Pokémon style? With the shift to RPG, we can't say we're surprised by that.

The classic Playstation games (hailed by us many as the best in the franchise) were focused on the monsters themselves, and that focus was reflected in the box art. Here, the focus seems to be equally on the childlike trainers and the monsters both ... and that, combined with the cartoony style shown here, is what makes us begin to doubt the potential for awesome in this game. When the series moved to the Playstation 2 and took on a cel-shaded design, the games suffered both graphically and content-wise. This box doesn't give us much hope that we'll see the series returning to its (incredible) roots.

But we're still willing to wait and see, with fingers crossed and fervent hopes.

This article was originally published on Joystiq.