I played a Monster Hunter game a few years ago, it was Monster Hunter 4 and it kept me entertained for hours on my 3DS. The thing is (and I’m putting something together on this at some point), I only really use handhelds/portable gaming consoles when I’m travelling. So I never fully invest the time in them when I have the opportunity, back at home (for the most part, at least).
What it did do, was leave a strong, lasting impression on me that the Monster Hunter games were probably all pretty good, much in-line with what all of the fans of the series had been saying.
A year or so later, I started to pay attention to the buzz surrounding the first big current-gen console release. No longer PS2, Wii or handheld, but a full-powered Monster Hunter? Sounds pretty good right?
Release day came and went, it was well beyond my budget at the time, nor did I have time to fit it in. However, the reviews were coming out thick and fast, all great.
The urge to buy the game, buy into the hype and go nuts, was strong. But I prevailed (this is a big deal if you know me), and I’ve held off for a few months.
By all accounts this is still Monster Hunter as people know it, albeit a little more welcoming to newcomers (definitely what I consider myself), and there’s a sniff of narrative in there to bring it all together.
So, yeah. A series I remember fondly, with the latest release being the biggest, and being reviewed well? I thought it about time I got in on the action…..
What have I done?
It would appear that I might have a problem. Suddenly I have these urges to collect some full armour sets….. to go back to re-hunt monsters because I know I can do a better job, and I can track them down better.
What happened to me?! I thought I’d just plough through it, collect the bits I need on the way and hopefully do some online matchmaking to do some of the harder bits a few hours down the line.
Only 5 hours in, I feel like I’ve gone from barely capable of using my charge blade, to feeling almost competent, and in doing so, I’ve got the confidence to go back and farm for stuff I don’t particularly need right now.
I’m learning to trap monsters, and that’s something I really want to get good at, because apparently you get better rewards! It’s not quite so straight forward, but I’ll get there, and honestly, I really want to.
Monster Hunter World may have gotten its proverbial claws into me already…….
The good stuff
Straight off the bat, Monster Hunter World looks fantastic, there’s clearly been some effort made here. It feels like a living, breathing world that you just visit on occasion. Better still, the whole aesthetic is bright and fun. Not just visually, but the whole “feel” of the game is light-hearted and friendly.
The fight/hunting mechanics are solid. If you make a mistake, it’s almost certainly your mistake and not the game screwing up. Working out weak spots, attack patterns etc. Each battle is a learning curve and you feel like you could go back and do it better after having spent so much time getting into the flow of a particular monster.
So far the score is lovely, and everything suits the action on screen, sometimes quite reminiscent of Final Fantasy games.
Monster Hunter World looks great, feels great and sounds great. What else could you ask for?
It’s weird, because as it stands this is a near perfect game in terms of how it plays, the level of content, and how it looks. So finding fault seems a little harsh.
Between that, and the fact I’m not that deep into the game yet, I’m not sure I have enough experience to comment too much.
I mean, I can’t imagine it’s going to be all rainbows and unicorns forever. If difficulty spikes, or it gets repetitive and loses some of the fun, then I’ll know, but as it stands that looks like it might be quite a way away yet.
However, my biggest gripe is the sheer quantity of things to learn. Arguably, this is my own personal problem, more than an issue with the game. It’s definitely more informative and welcoming than I remember Monster Hunter 4 being. But there’s just so much to read and to understand.
Sure, there’s plenty of in-game guides to read, and everything is there to help you, but it’s kind of overwhelming to begin with!
The way I see it, I have many many more hours to put into here before I can give any kind of review/conclusion.
That is a wonderful prospect to me right now though. Having grown tired of the Destiny grind, yet again. I have a new game to play daily and invest some time into.
All being well I’ll find some people to play with, and get better and better. Most importantly, though. I’ll get a full set of some sweet-looking armour, and I’ll try a few different weapons, to see if there’s a better more comfortable way to take down these beasts! As it is, I’m a charge blade user, but I really fancy trying something a little more agile, so I’ll see what works for me as I go.
Monster Hunter World is really something else.