Archive for World

Monster Hunter World or World-Class Hunting and Gaming

Posted in Played & Explained with tags , , on April 27, 2018 by Rabidgames

Remember Capcom? Last generation, they came up with failures like Resident Evil 6 and countless fighting games with even more countless rip-off DLCs, and then, out of the blue, they gave birth to the cutest dragon ever and named it Dragon’s Dogma. This generation Capcom has fared a bit better; Resident Evil 7 actually was a decent effort rather than an absurdity. But Monster Hunter World is this generation’s gem – a rich game that defies many conventions and attracts lots of fans, in this case old and new.

So why is Monster Hunter World that big a hit, when it’s just all about a world where you hunt monsters. Ecologically speaking, you are actually doing to Monster Hunter’s new world what white settlers did to the ecosystems of North America – decimate it first and then wonder why species go instinct … And let’s be honest here: the rather half-baked story that talks about the need to hunt predators because they have appeared in greater numbers than ever is pretty much the game’s manifest destiny.

The story about old monsters in a new world surely wins no literature nobel prizes yet somehow still works though – a few cutscenes here and there and new monsters showing up keeps players motivated – although the main motivation is the hunt. In Monster Hunter World, there are plenty of monsters to hunt (although less than in previous games of the series), and combine that with the dozen of different weapons to choose from, and you have a game to sink hundreds of hours into. Because a new weapon opens up a new world of combos, stances and getting hit a damn lot until you’ve learnt how the weapon works. Don’t even bother finding out about all of them, you won’t have the time. Pro tip: Learn a melee and a ranged weapon so you can switch between them when fighting monsters. Otherwise, you might waste time fighting that one monster that is a long, slow, death-filled toil because your current weapon can barely scratch its shell …

There are also countless items to help you battle monsters in Monster Hunter World – you can lay traps to capture them (giving you some special rewards) or put up barrel bombs, you can blind them, stun them or literally throw shit at them to make unwanted monsters go wash their shitty hide, you can set up boosters to help out your team … and more.

And then there’s the events introducing new and pretty tough monsters, or new skins like Aloy from Horizon Zero Dawn or the MegaMan skin for the feline Palico friend or some Devil May Cry themed stuff soon. And you know what- all of this shit is FREE! Sure, some cosmetic stuff isn’t free but who cares about cosmetic stuff … Turns out the awfully named boardroom trend “games as a service” does not necessarily mean you HAVE TO rip off gamers with micro-DLC, micro-transactions or fucking lootboxes!

Speaking of Palicos – not only are they just awesome – okay, cats are always awesome, they help you a bit in battle, help you communicate with other creatures that can also help you in battle, and if you help them train Palico tools, they can be super useful in fights, too. Just don’t expect them to do all the work for you though. Here are some of the coolest Palico outfits, and some Brüno (if you ask who that is, your loss. Seriously! Google him! Now!) impression as a bonus:

And then there are the different dynamics of solo vs multiplayer. If you’re new to Monster Hunter World or you’re training a new weapon, you need to practice on your own if you don’t want to be a burden to your team and cart three times (aka dying three times which ends the mission). But for farming, multiplayer is incredibly quicker, and even if you don’t deal much damage, you can specialise in healing and buffing your team. Just … some random players are stupid as fuck. From dying because of immense stupidity (why heal yourself? why not get hit 3 times in a row by the same attack?) to prematurely attacking a sleeping monster while your team mate place some fucking bombs, there will be scenes of stupidity and frustration. But then again, if you’re lucky enough, you can actually join a hunt where everyone is quickly killing off 5 different and tough monsters in 10 minutes, so it’s a bit of a gamble.

Surely, Monster Hunter World is a game you either get our don’t get it at all. Spending dozens, perhaps hundreds of hours hunting the same 30 or so monsters over and over again, grinding some to get the best gear, and then changing the gameplay and trying to master a new weapon – it’s a virtual dream for some, a snorefest for others. But that’s fine. After all, not everyone gets the boring grindfest that is Dark Souls or the mindless explosionfest of Just Cause either …

But one thing is for sure, compared to previous games, Monster Hunter World is definitely an easy access into the genre of hunting monsters, although it is still not easy by any means – hitboxes, avoiding getting hit or learning how and when to attack are different from other games, so there is some learning curve involved. But once you have defeated your first massive opponent, once you have witnessed two alpha monsters battling themselves – a sight to behold – then it becomes hard to put away the gamepad. Because you can surely do just one more hunt before 11pm … or well, 2am.

Rabidgames sharpens the blade: Monster Hunter World is to Monster Hunter what Final Fantasy VII was to Final Fantasy more than 20 years ago – it catapults the franchise from J-obscurity to general gaming popularity. Sure, releasing the game on proper consoles with a big enough fan base might have played a part, but making the game more accessible definitely played the biggest part. 

Once a generation, Capcom pulls off something unexpected – in a positive way. This generation, Capcom has made hunting monsters accessible for the Western world. Kudos!

 

 

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Monster Hunter: World Beta or From “What The Fuck?” to “Nice!”

Posted in Played & Explained with tags , , , on December 11, 2017 by Rabidgames

So, imagine you’re a total noob from Noobsville, and you happily start playing the Beta of a complex and deep game like Monster Hunter: World. Oh, there is only a less than bare-bones tutorial. What could go wrong here?

The start was easy enough – creating a character, creating one’s Palico (a feline companion, isn’t THIS what we’ve always wanted, guys), a few explanations, choosing a weapon (bow, not the best of ideas, but more about that later), starting the quest … the first monster of the Monster Hunter: World Beta could easily be beaten by just randomly shooting at it, so fair enough. Now onto the second monster … well, it ended in epic fails and big monster hunter tears to say the least. The idiotic 20 minutes time limit did not help at all, and the limited explanations of the different weapons, controls or functions neither. With no clue what was happening and why, rage quitting was the safer option given that controllers are so fucking expensive these days.

The next day then, Rabidgames tried some Monster Hunter: World again – this time, choosing the Insect Glaive but kinda neglecting the insect part. Why? Well, you can use the glaive as a pole and then jump onto monster to attack them while riding them – sounds great. Soon after, the second hunt was done. The third hunt however proved to be a challenge, but after diving into the multiplayer – it took too many tries to get a stable team together (not because of the players, because of the awful connections) – the last hunt was quickly dealt with, too.

It seems perfectly fine to go solo in the game – or take your feline friend with you, who fights, has tips and heals if necessary, but multiplayer might be a good option if you want to watch, participate a bit and learn how to attack the bigger hunts in Monster Hunter: World. If Capcom actually monitored the Beta, they better prepare more servers though, otherwise there won’t be much fun in multiplayer …

Just to show how others do it and what happens when you “git gud” (Disclaimer: it is only used to provide this example and not as judgment, as everyone knows folks who use this expressions are usually douches and assholes), here’s a video of some lunatic going crazy in Monster Hunter: World’s demo, pardon Beta:

Interestingly enough, it really makes sense to compare the beloved Dragon’s Dogma to Monster Hunter – not only because of riding monsters and a completely different feeling depending on the weapon you use, both share that awkward and strange gameplay as well as controls that feel a bit clunky at first, but when you keep playing them, you can use them to your advantage. In Monster Hunter’s case, it means knowing your attacks and the attacks of the monster, and knowing when to evade and when to attack.

Now, once has to wonder why the fuck Capcom has been actively trying to make the series more appealing to a wider audience, but then delivers with a Beta that is a haven only for Monster Hunter experts, while telling noob to piss themselves and then go crying or try some more. It doesn’t make any sense and might have lost them sales, too. So, did the Beta do a good job of highlighting Monster Hunter: World’s strengths once you overcome its weaknesses? For those who persevered and learned a few things, definitely. Here’s to hoping the final game will include more tutorials to really understand how weapons and the dozens of gadgets work – from slingshots with different ammunition, bombs and traps to gillies and more. Of course, the main motivations will break parts off monsters and kill them, loot them, craft better stuff, take on more dangerous fiends, rinse and repeat, etc.

Now, will that be enough in the long run? The Beta showed a promising game, but we’ll see. After all, the gameplay could be very, very repetitive, and it might become boring after a few weeks. Like Dark Souls, for instance. Then again, if you get Monster Hunter: World for PS4, you can (more or less) play as Aloy, and you even can have a feline robot companion!

AloyMH

Fuck, how can one resist now?

Rabidgames waits for now: Well, let’s see. So far, Monster Hunter: World looks promising. But so did Shadows of War or Battlefront 2 until loot boxes destroyed their reputation. So for the time being, knowing how Capcom can be especially with their murky DLC politics, why not do what a hunter does best – lie in wait?