From what I was reading about Joker 2... apparently you fuse monsters in it, and to acquire them you have to negotiate.
raising two monsters then fusing them together to create a new, more powerful synthesis of the two
Rather than attacking wild creatures to weaken them for capture as in the Pokemon games, Joker 2 employs a mechanic of persuasion to try to convince new monsters to join your team.
Is it just me, or does that sound like a rip off of SMT's school of design?
Eh, I suppose. It was more distinct back in the Gameboy, when you threw meat at the monsters and they then might, just might, join you. It still has its ol' DQ charm to it.
And honestly, you can say what you want, but at least in Last Bible, it always felt random. I found out it wasn't, but by then, I just didn't care anymore.
Either way, I'm not sure how much you'll enjoy DQMJ/2 anyhow. DQ's stories are generally light in the story aspect when compared to SMT, but the DQM games almost make Pokemon feel like a serious debate. I still generally like them, if for nothing else than the franchise familiarity. That and I was looking for something Pokemon-y when the first one came out, and at the time, it was actually deeper than Pokemon.
It's fairer to compare it to Pokemon than to SMT, though (and maybe I'm the one who started this, I can't remember), due to the light themes and lack of emphasis on apocalyptic happenings. Not to mention you're not really being placed in the middle of a game of tug-o-war (unless you're one of those guys that go all Law or all Chaos).
I'm playing DQMJ2 at the moment, I'm liking it so far. There are weather effects, asynchronous day/night system (that is, it's not real time), ridiculous puns, and a touch of Monster Hunter influence in there with the giant monsters.