Courtesy of Dual Shocker

Hunting Season Has Arrived

"Monster Hunter: World" sets a new bar for current gen RPG's

By Elliott Gatica Music Editor

 What happens when you have a game with giant swords and bows, mythical monsters and dinosaurs, a wide variety of cool-looking armor, and big locales to explore? Well, you have “Monster Hunter,” an action role playing game that hasn’t been too popular amongst Western gamers—until now.

“Monster Hunter: World” was released on Jan. 26, shipping over five million copies and outselling another popular and well-received game, “Dragon Ball FighterZ.”

At first, I was very hesitant to get this game because Capcom published it. I didn’t want to experience the “Street Fighter” problem, where every year there's a re-release of the same game with "Super" or "Ultimate" slapped in the front of the title, superficial added features and the same hefty price tag.

But then I changed my mind.

This game is beautiful, complex and loaded with content, and nothing less than what I would expect from a full $60 game. In fact, I feel like I got my money’s worth within the first ten hours of gameplay.

Like much of the Western world, I haven’t been exposed to this series much other than playing “Generations” on a friend’s 3DS and the betas released in the buildup to “Worlds.”

The attention to detail and the distinct visual style give “The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild” a run for its money. The graphics of this game are even on par, or perhaps even better, than games that run on EA’s Frostbite engine like “Star Wars: Battlefront 2.”

The character customization is so detailed that my friends could make uncanny representations of themselves or a character from a movie or show. A friend of mine made his character look like Gaston from “Beauty and the Beast” and it’s hilarious every time we go on a hunt.

This game is beautiful, complex and loaded with content, and nothing less than what I would expect from a full $60 game.

The game’s graphics aren’t its only strong suit. Its gameplay mechanics are complex and engaging. The monsters have unique AI so the battles aren’t repetitive or tedious, and the game is challenging enough that it isn’t a cakewalk but it's also not in the “Dark Souls'” stratum of hard.

And to further sell this game, the weapon variety provides something for everyone. Even the pickiest player can find something to love. Everything has strengths and weaknesses. Neither are these types binded to having that role in combat, like having a healer, damage dealer, support, and so forth. The beauty of this game is that no weapon is tied to one role in combat. If being the healer gets stale, you can choose a different route with little to no backtracking because your gear is almost universal.

With the depth and complexity of the game comes some bumps in the road. This game encourages co-op play, yet you cannot take on certain quests if they are story related. So, if you’re not too great at action RPG’s, you better have some friends who can carry you in the more difficult of quests, or you’ll have to matchmake and hope someone is farming that quest.

There’s never been a better time to get into the “Monster Hunter” series. This latest installment is one of the most accessible yet. However, it’s is not for the people who want to pay, exploit, or drive their way through with that one “meta” weapon or loadout. This game makes you work for better gear.

Pros:

  • Variety of weapon types
  • Unique and very detailed armor sets
  • Great customization
  • Breathtaking graphics
  • Massive attention to detail
  • Farming doesn’t get stale

Cons:

  • Trying to connect with your friends for co-op can be frustrating
  • Some of the weapons can feel sluggish or clunky
  • For consoles, having the standard PS4 or Xbox One can hinder your experience since the frame rate isn’t always smooth