The idea of raising monsters and then having them fight didn't start with Pokémon. In 1992's Dragon Quest V, players could select monsters and have them duke it out. That was years before Pocket Monsters came out.
Yet, Dragon Quest spin-off Dragon Quest Monsters: Joker, which focuses on capturing and breeding monsters for battles, is often dubbed a Pokémon clone. People forget that it is merely an extension of a concept introduced in DQV. People forgetting that must really tick off Dragon Quest Monsters's creators.
Well, no. Not really.
"I love Pokémon," Taichi Inuzuka, Dragon Quest Monsters: Joker 2 producer, told Kotaku. "I've played every Pokémon game with my child and wife."
According to Inuzuka, the Pokémon comparisons are inevitable.
"I respect Pokémon, so when people say DQM is a Pokémon clone," Inuzuka added, "I'm actually happy."
There are key differences between Pokémon and Dragon Quest Monsters: Joker. What's more, Dragon Quest Monsters: Joker draws upon the rich Dragon Quest role-playing game's tradition.
"DQ has a longer RPG legacy than Pokémon, but Pokémon was the first monster-centered game," continued Inuzuka. "I think DQ came up with a system for teaming up with monsters before Pokémon came out with it, but in the end, Pokémon ended up becoming more popular with children."
"It's not really productive to talk about which came first, so I think of Pokémon as an ally in our fight to improve the monster game genre."
Inuzuka continues that fight. Dragon Quest Monsters: Joker 2 was released in North America on Sept. 19. It will be out in Europe early next month.