There can be no question that the quality of social games in Japan, from a technical standpoint, is rising. Case in point: Buddy Monster, a 3D social RPG that just hit Mobage.
Even though the name is terrible, the game itself actually looks great: after all, Buddy Monster is the brain child of Yuji Naka, the legendary video game designer responsible for some of Sega’s biggest hits (I personally am a big fan of his).
For the game’s design and artwork, Naka and his company Prope clearly took a few hints from Panzer Dragoon (a Sega action game franchise Naka was never involved with) and Monster Hunter, as you can see in the screenshots below.
Set in a fantasy world full of various environments (Prope created volcanoes, deserts, snow fields, etc.), players take on the role of a knight and can choose between up to 100 different monsters they wish to control and battle with other monsters in the field (including boss fights).
Apart from the usual monster-slaying component, another goal is to create a bond with your personal monster as the game progresses (which explains the title).
With graphics like this, it’s no surprise that Buddy Monster is only available as a Mobage native app on iOS or Android: