Oh, Capcom, you didn’t let us down for once! So cute! Finally focusing on keeping a series alive that isn’t Street Fighter or Resident Evil, Capcom realized that its most popular franchise in Japan was worth more than just a DS game or two, and it’s their best decision yet. The best selling Capcom game of all time is a little something called Monster Hunter World, and in trying to create a world like no other, Monster Hunter creates its “best game yet.” Well, kind of.
In Monster Hunter, as the name implies, you hunt monsters with tight controls. Said monsters barrel towards you at lightning speeds and shoot lasers, diminishing your health in seconds if you’re not prepared. Before all that, however, are the tutorials, and thank god, Capcom didn’t pull a Sega: they learned from their mistakes and refraining from including over 10 tutorial quests. Instead, World only forces the story down your collective throats in an attempt to fill you with wonder; you have one simple weapons tutorial and two beginner quests guiding you around the area. Other than that, everything has been simplified, and in a good way.
How do you make Monster Hunter appealing to most audiences? Part of the reason for the tutorial removals is the inclusion of scoutflies, which scout the area for you, causing anything of interest to glow. Additionally, other than carving or mining, you will find you can simply press circle and grab a crap-ton of what would normally drop in other monster hunter games. This makes it so, as long as you press circle and explore an area once or twice, you’ll be fully stocked on supplies. That’s a big change of pace, no longer do you have to do homework and long preparation for each battle. Not only this, but you no longer are required to have separate armor sets for gun and heavy armor. This makes hunting extremely convenient, allowing players to switch to another weapon of their choice without ruining the experience for other players by dying constantly (more on that later).
Let’s just skip to get to what’s completely ass: your partner. Rebecca, Stacy, whatever her name is, she does absolutely nothing. No personality, nothing to add, she simply serves as the idiot narrator with crow’s feet. All of the other games had a band of actually useful people supporting you from the sidelines and being impressed with you kicking ass, but she’s a part of the “team.” Teamwork, huh? The ability to cook a second time in a hunt might be useful to some, but believe it or not; I’m not a casual. I don’t need your second meal crap. She takes half the credit when you do all of the work. In every scene where you save her, which is easily over 10 times, by the way, I wanted her to perish. You are a silent protagonist, the world around you presents itself silently, you are guided by glowing flies silently, you don’t need to create an annoying, lazy moron who never stops talking.
The rest of the team, however, are welcome companions. They might be a bit stale, but most are cool. Even the first two characters you meet have personality, it really makes you wonder why they chose to stick you with a useless little girl who never says anything helpful, only functioning as the person who mocks you when you lose.
Focus on the two other characters again. The beginning, something about it, is absolutely magical. Undefined in nature, the mere aroma presented by the game is appealing. The first few cutscenes has something ever more important: a feeling of adventure, excitement. It’s really hard to put your finger on, but before your ship crashes, yet before and after you customize your character, there’s something nameless. There’s something magical about the beginning, no question about it.
Now, don’t get me wrong, there’s plenty more wrong than just twinkledumb. The game starts you off where people around your skill level can randomly join your quests and your parties — without your permission. I had to manually find this function and turn it off, but only after a player had come into my hunt, died twice, contributing nothing, and then left. I want this man dead with all of my heart.
The Anjanth is also a poorly made boss-battle. Before this time, there is no fire resist armor. Therefore, your first battle with the bastard gives him an attack that is guaranteed to kill you in one hit, especially considering most weapons are melee weapons, requiring you to come up-close and personal. In retrospect I’d use a gun weapon, but, hoo boy, let me explain another problem to you. Weapon accessibility.
As you play, you will unlock upgrades to weapons. Sometimes. You see, certain weapons are available the second you get the required materials, yet some don’t unlock until much later. By that time, you’re maiming another weapon. Why does buster sword get so many upgradable options yet charge blade doesn’t get a single upgrade until way later? Is it for the sake of balance? Is it based on how many missions you go on with the weapon equipped? I’m honestly not sure, but it’s very unfortunate that I can’t do any damage with the weapon I love the most. I know it’s impossible to do no damage with Charge blade, I know, but I’d like to have an upgrade or two, is that so much to ask?
Other gripes include specific, reusable, equip-able items, unexplained environmental traps you have to discover by chance, a focus on monsters running away realistically (slowly), and the lack of explanation stating “hey, remember that if your scoutflies suck, you can select your desired monster on the map instead of wasting 10 minutes of your life lost in a map the size of the Asian continent.” These all come with their respective positives, but they can be annoying nonetheless. Also, you’re welcome for the run-on sentence.
Overall, this is a great Monster Hunter game — for beginners to the series. You’ll find something to love, but it won’t be what you expect. The astounding graphics, surprisingly excellent orchestral soundtrack, and, obviously, hunting monsters will all grab you, yet in my humble opinion that you’ve been reading for, like, 10 paragraphs, other Monster Hunters did it better. Monster Hunter Generations and Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate hold a very special place in my heart, and I’d recommend them to anybody who liked world. World is by no means a bad game, and the updates to the game will only make the resulting product better. We might not know much about monsters (considering they don’t exist) but when it comes to people, they hate change. It’s a whole new world, quite literally, and it’s just not what veterans might have expected. It’s excellent for new players, but parts of its old charms has been lost in the process. I’m sure older players felt the same about the “newer” Monster Hunters I played within the past three years, and as I play more I’ll certainly find yet more to love, but believe me when I tell you, this game at its current state is nothing compared to 4U and Generations.