Alaster, the key for me is upgraded units, specifically, upgraded Warriors. One upgraded unit is way better than two non-upgraded units, and I usually just defend with two upgraded warriors until I have time to buy lots of Fire Wizards. Also, buy the Mercenary Bonus items from the shop--they help.
I've been a fan of these games since the first one, but I'd love to see more emphasis on choosing your own path than finding the "best" skill progression to clear out the dungeons in time.
For instance, take the starting jobs. Everyone knows Street Sweeping is the only job worth a damn, since you need Exploration to get anything done. We're given the illusion of choice when there is none. This is repeated throughout the game with useless jobs and training that everyone avoids.
There should be different ways to finish the game, each demanding a different type of character. A person with high Scavenging and Exploration might uncover an ancient treasure, while one with high Nobility and Tactics might lead an army in battle. It'd be impossible to do them all, so the goal would be to do as many as possible to see the different endings.
I'd love to see this "great" series become "legendary" as it deserves. Putting a twist on the tried-and-true formula is the way to do it.
So my Redzilla finished the Grandmaster Cup, and I guess I was expecting, I dunno, an ending, maybe a secret tournament of some kind. Instead, my trainer has now entered a parallel universe where tournaments no longer exist. Worse, random battles with other trainers are now against monsters with stats of all 0, and during said battles, my monster's energy bar fills up, then goes back down to nothing, then fills up again. Did I mention these battles are unwinnable?
I loved the Monster Rancher series, and by association, really liked this game, but I agree with most that the bugs make it almost unplayable. If the dev were to fix even the most drastic bugs, this would be a solid 5 from me. Forget about the spellchecking; broken English is very much in the Monster Rancher tradition. :)
Fantastic game. The graphics are incredible, the gameplay is simple to understand while still being challenging, and the VA adds to the experience without being grating (unless you happen to get "On our way!" 4-5 times in a row).
I would love to see a Story Mode with an end goal; maybe introducing rival academies or other antagonists with a plotline. Players could still choose the Official Arc (Survival Mode) or the Sandbox Mode, but a Story Mode would give something to shoot for besides achievements. Also, equipables, even just one per student, would add a lot more depth to the game: for instance, an item that gives a student +1 Phys with each level up or one that adds special attributes (poison, life drain, etc.) to attacks. As it stands now, every Magilancer is almost the same as every other Magilancer, and a Relic system would help with that.
Other than that, though, great work. Like others, I would love to see a sequel soon!