Generally favorable reviews - based on 33 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 23 out of 33
  2. Negative: 0 out of 33
Buy On
  1. Dec 4, 2011
    Square Enix and development team TOSE have delivered yet another superb entry into the series that may not challenge Pokémon in terms of worldwide sales, but certainly does match it in many ways in the quality stakes.
  2. Sep 23, 2011
    With an almost limitless number of monster and skill variations, you'll find plenty to do even after the credits roll.
  3. Sep 20, 2011
    What Monsters Joker 2 really does best is to create a bright, vibrant world that does a great job of paying homage to the Dragon Quest franchise while also giving it a different spin. It's a bit slow to start -- monster synthesis takes a bit to unlock -- but it's an overall rewarding experience and one of the best Nintendo DS games to be released this year.
  4. Sep 9, 2011
    The graphics, the style, especially Toriyama's work, the gameplay and the barely quantifiable amount of stuff to accomplish come together to make Dragon Quest Monsters: Joker 2 one of the last, best Nintendo DS games and the second greatest monster hunting RPG on the system.
  5. Oct 25, 2011
    Playing with Dragon Quest Monsters: Joker 2 is a satisfying experience with some seldom frustrating situations derived from choices in the design of the capture system. Combat are intense, fun and attractive, but the real focus is in the monster synthesizer, which shines.
  6. Games Master UK
    Oct 23, 2011
    Fans of DQIX's story may feel short-changed, but any annoyances are minimised by Joker 2's streamlining. [Dec 2011, p.96]
  7. Sep 30, 2011
    Overall this title offers a lot in single player and multi-player area and does the RPG dynasty justice keeping fans happy and busy until a new Dragon Quest title comes along.
  8. Sep 27, 2011
    Lacks the scale or drama of your average Dragon Quest, but does offer compulsive monster raising. [Oct 2011, p.60]
  9. Sep 16, 2011
    Joker 2 has its frustrations, like the level-grinding it sometimes demands and the offense that some monsters take when you try to recruit them. But that monster synthesis system is pure, addictive fun.
  10. Pelit (Finland)
    Nov 15, 2011
    A quite interesting traditional RPG with pokémonesque collection elements. Too bad the story is just a cheap excuse for level-grinding. [Nov 2011]
  11. Nov 7, 2011
    Dragon Quest Monsters Joker 2 is a pretty cool game for all the collecting and training game fans out there. It combines fascinating gameplay with the style and monsters of the Dragon Quest series.
  12. Oct 7, 2011
    DQMJ2 is one of the best Nintendo DS games to be released this year.
  13. games(TM)
    Oct 18, 2011
    The battle mechanic is intuitive, but hides a tactical edge. [Nov 2011, p.118]
  14. Oct 10, 2011
    Dragon Quest Monsters: Joker 2 is great, not just for fans of catch-em-all games, but also for anyone enamored with the Dragon Quest series.
  15. Oct 2, 2011
    In the end, Dragon Quest Monsters: Joker 2 feels very similar to the original game, mostly setting itself apart with new monsters and a small handful of new mechanics.
  16. Oct 9, 2011
    In the end, Dragon Quest Monsters: Joker 2 may not be the most original RPG available on the DS but it provides some good old fashioned action that feels like Pokemon meets RPG for monsters.
  17. Sep 18, 2011
    At first glance, Dragon Quest Monsters: Joker 2 is a typical monster hunting RPG, but its efforts to streamline some of the mundane foundational aspects of its brethren help to set it apart. Such conveniences don't come without sacrifice, however; with the shameless implementation of level grinding, a throwaway storyline, and a frequent problem with pacing, you'll have to look beyond its blemishes to if you wish to embrace its triumphs.
  18. An entertaining RPG that doesn't have enough depth to make it essential.
  19. Oct 18, 2011
    Once you get past the inevitable Pokémon comparisons and let Dragon Quest Monsters: Joker 2 serve up its own brand of monster hunting mayhem, there's an enjoyable combat model and monster synthesis system to be had here.
  20. 75
    A decent game that is tarnished only by its lack of emphasis on both its plot and music. The story, in its present state, leaves much to be desired, and the audio is recycled time and time again.
  21. Sep 27, 2011
    It's a brisk, no-nonsense take on the monster-collecting style of role-playing game. Sure, it's also a bit heartless, but as corporate America has taught us, sometimes that's what it takes to be efficient.
  22. Sep 13, 2011
    You won't find many other new features if you played the original Joker, but the familiarity doesn't keep the formula from working on a basic level.
  23. Nintendo Power
    Sep 1, 2011
    If you can endure the grind, however, you'll find that having an earth-shattering trio of beasts at your disposal is well worth the trouble. [Sept 2011, p.84]
  24. Oct 20, 2011
    Diehard DQ loyalists and tacticians will enjoy what this game has to offer, but those who want an experience – a game with heart and a story to tell – should spend their hard-earned medals elsewhere.
  25. Nov 14, 2011
    Dragon Quest Monster: Joker 2 is a game aimed at combating and only for this purpose can it be truly enjoyed.
  26. Nov 9, 2011
    Capturing monsters and making them stronger by using them in fights: It's a concept that has been done to death, but Joker 2 uses it with flair. The gameworld and story aren't as impressive.
  27. Nov 7, 2011
    Dragon Quest Monsters Joker 2 might look like a soulless clone of the Pokémon franchise but it actually develops its own identity very fast. Although it's missing all the fun and charming features which make the Pokémon worlds such enjoyable in the first place, the addictive and depth monster-making system makes up for the lackluster plot and characters.
  28. Sep 17, 2011
    A combination of endearing critters and solid role-playing gameplay make Dragon Quest Monsters: Joker 2 a pleasant portable adventure.
  29. Nov 29, 2011
    A monster collector game that draws on the Dragon Quest series fauna of iconic monsters. Being more complex than Pokémon, this is a game to be played primarily for the joy of breeding and raising little monsters, as the story offers little interest. If you like Dragon Quest and Pokémon, this is the a game for you.
  30. Oct 9, 2011
    If you feel more like a geneticist than an adventurer yourself, Dragon Quest Monster Joker 2 might keep you interested enough thanks to its enticing monster synthesis gameplay and its bestiary of hundreds of Dragon Quest monsters. But aside this core aspect, the journey lacks the extra spice, the combats sometimes feel out of place and artificially added in order to boost the game's longevity. Depending on your own tastes, you may see the full or the empty half of that glass.
  31. Oct 5, 2011
    Quotation forthcoming.
  32. Sep 17, 2011
    Joker 2 is one of those games that's fun in short bursts, but isn't all that memorable. It does borrow some of the great parts of Pokémon while carving out its own identity in the rich Dragon Quest world. But of all the things it had to borrow from Dragon Quest, why, why did it have to be the endless grind?
  33. 50
    Dragon Quest meets Pokémon but the resultant synthesis really only inherits the worst of both parents, despite some impressive visuals.

Awards & Rankings

#18 Most Discussed DS Game of 2011
#9 Most Shared DS Game of 2011
User Score

Mixed or average reviews- based on 16 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 16
  2. Negative: 2 out of 16
  1. Apr 28, 2012
    I'm on fence right now whether this game's worth 6 or 7. On one hand, the game has certainly improved since it's first DS instalment. GiantI'm on fence right now whether this game's worth 6 or 7. On one hand, the game has certainly improved since it's first DS instalment. Giant monsters are now a prominent part of a gameplay, and can be both defeated and captured. The locations are also a lot better than the last time, even though they can still feel a little empty. Building and leveling your ultimate team is as fun as it's always been, while the graphics are quite nice to the eye. The monster's designs are a mishmash of both cute and badass, and many of them, in their sheer quirkiness, give Pokemon a run for the money (to give you an example, your starter monster is... two mutated peppers skewered on a BBQ spit). And yet, at the same time, the game manages to have an absolute worst plot I have ever seen, so bad that I had to write a sentence about it even though I normally don't give a crap about plot in those type of games. Many gameplay elements are flawed. Scouting (capturing) large monsters is a typical case of fake difficulty, while synthesising has an annoying rule about leveling monsters to level 10. Seriously, what's the point? To artificially bloat my gameplay time? No thanks, I'd rather do something else. Soundtrack was shamelessly cp'ed from the first game, which wouldn't even be that much of a problem if it was actually good. With all things considered, I'm giving this game a 6.5, rounded up to 7. If you're a plot sensitive type avoid this game at all costs. Those interested in a classic jRPG experience, though, should find something to enjoy in DQM:J2. Full Review »
  2. Oct 16, 2011
    Fun to any DQ or even JRPG player, I didn't realize where the time goes because you get immersed in the world and building/leveling yourFun to any DQ or even JRPG player, I didn't realize where the time goes because you get immersed in the world and building/leveling your team.

    For me the DQ and DQM series haven't been necessarily about story, it has been exploring and growing as well as changing my team. Moving from area to area is just a way to test and grow your team. At this DQMJ2 does an awesome job, you have a variety of monsters and moving them up is a fun process.

    The synthesis process, while fun, still is not 100% there. Changing classes, monsters is a crap shoot unless you go through lengthy online forums or even guides to say monster a is this and b is that. Through trial and error I managed to make a large dragon and some level B creatures, but never advanced beyond there. This also leads into the reason why the game is a solid 8.

    In synthesizing and leveling I guess I lost track of the games end goal as well and the ending, at least to me, seemed very sudden and I personally thought the game had more to it.

    But those gripes are minor at best, I still put in close to 30 hours into the game and again I would put this in the must buy for RPG fans and DS owners.
    Full Review »
  3. Oct 7, 2011
    It's definitely a fun and addicting game. I think the game now has nearly twice the monsters as DQM 1 which was my main gripe in the previousIt's definitely a fun and addicting game. I think the game now has nearly twice the monsters as DQM 1 which was my main gripe in the previous instalement. I'm still not a fan of the synthesis in comparison with the breeding system found in Dragon warrior monsters 1 and 2, as it doesn't feel as natural. Despite how breeding has been omitted (which I think is because of the younger target audience), the synthesis of some monsters is extrodinarily time consuming. To make matters worse, monsters that are scouted once, or have been owned, are much harder to scout. The ranking system is also strange, and makes some monsters more valuable than others (though this doesn't usually reflect how valuable or how rare the monster is). Some cool features about DQM 2 Joker is that size was introduced. Now huge monsters actually are huge, and make up two or three monsters. This means that your team may consist of a single huge and powerful monster!

    I had fun with this game, just don't expect to collect every monster as this would require you to win some online tournaments.
    Full Review »