Thursday, December 7, 2023

Monster Hunter World

For those who may not be aware, Monster Hunter World is the most recent installment in the famed Monster Hunter Series published by Capcom. Not only is it currently Capcom’s highest- selling game, with 7.5 million copies sold by March 2018, Monster Hunter World is also the first entry in the series to be on the PS4 and Xbox One. This switch from the trend of being on Nintendo handhelds/consoles here in the West to being available on multiple platforms, as well as some core gameplay changes, has brought in loads of new fans for the series, myself included. PC fanatics don’t worry; Monster Hunter World will also be available on PC sometime in the Fall of 2018.

Although I own both Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate and 4 Ultimate for the 3DS, I rarely play them due to feeling constrained by the camera controls and the amount of loading screens when checking for your hunt in the various zones of the map. The jump to current generation consoles, however, rectifies both of these issues and more. 

The camera can now be controlled with ease by the use of the secondary analog stick, while the hunting maps are no longer loading screen gated zones but are now open world and seamless, each map having its own flavor and charm with not only horizontal map design, but vertical as well, adding for some stunning visuals.

The focus on comradery and teamwork when on hunts, however, is what drew me to the series and what ultimately keeps me coming back. Whether it is with a pre-made party of friends or with random people who join the hunt by SOS Flare, players can expect a great time of either sweet success or drawing up new strategies to try again. Having that dedicated hunting party really keeps you close and connected, a feeling that reminds of raiding in Final Fantasy 14, working towards the same goal of gathering materials to get better equipment but also learning more about each other on a deeper level the more times they fight alongside one another.

Some people might bemoan the amount of grinding in the game, but with the sheer amount of replayability this game offers due to its myriad of weapon types, you can expect hunts to play out differently. 

I personally used the Bow for a majority of my 100 + hours myself but now that I’m using the Switch Axe I had to change my playstyle, bringing back a sense of freshness and adventure as it breaks the monotony of doing the same combos. Not only does it give the game a sense of freshness, but it also gives players something to strive for in-game. The hunts and the materials they drop drives us to keep pushing, to keep getting stronger, and be the best hunters we can be.

With all of the praise the game gets, what else could it need? No game is perfect and what I am about to mention isn’t necessarily a negative, but I believe this change could greatly improve the experience of the game if implemented. Astera, the game’s main hub, should not be a single player instance; rather it should be where members of a session could all interact with each other. Too often in the game, I don’t feel connected with other players unless I go on a hunt with them or join them at the Gathering Hall, which is where Capcom intended players to socialize before going out on hunts, yet this as well is barren of any other players. Scrapping the Gathering Hall and allowing all players to meet in Astera instead could definitely improve the social aspect that the series is known for.

Monster Hunter World may not be the most recent game out on the market but don’t count it out as it is continually updated for free, with the latest substantial update actually going live recently on May 30th, 2018. This new update introduces a fan favorite Elder Dragon, Lunastra, the Fire Empress, the female counterpart to Teostra. Capcom has also added new events with an equally new tier of monsters called Arch Tempered monsters, the first of which will be a beefed-up version of a Kirin.

Lastly, Monster Hunter World has done a collaboration with Final Fantasy 14 and while Final Fantasy 14 will have its own event, one of the flagship monsters, the Behemoth, will be a monster you can hunt sometime by the end of the summer! 

Whether you get on to hunt the new elder dragons, try out the challenging new tier of monsters, participate in the collaboration event, or farm some of the more familiar monsters in the game, I hope you get the loot you’re looking hunter and maybe one day hunt alongside me.

Originally published in Bear World Magazine