Monster Hunter World
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22-06-2017, 02:44 AM (This post was last modified: 22-06-2017 03:21 AM by EvolutionKills.)
Monster Hunter World
Right, so this is a thing.

First off, fuck CAPCOM for not bringing (or at least, confirming) the western release of the Nintendo Switch port of Monster Hunter XX, the follow up to MHX, known in the west as Monster Hunter Generations. I want my portable, HD, 60FPS Monster Hunter dammit!

Second off, Monster Hunter World is coming to PS4, and the Xbox One in the west, in addition to a PC release. That almost makes me forgive them, almost. Seeing as how there have been PC releases in Japan and China (fuckin' China!) for years now, it certainly took them fucking long enough. One has to wonder if the announcement of the upcoming PC free-to-play MH alternative Dauntless (developed by former League of Legend members, and headed by the producer of Mass Effect 2 & 3) finally spurred them into action, as they looked set to capitalize upon an audience that CAPCOM seemed to not fucking care about.


Right, so Monster Hunter World. That's a thing now. Here's the sizzler reel.








Now CAPCOM also did a direct live-stream of actual gameplay, about 25 minutes, but is all in Japanese. So suffice to say I got little out of the narration, but I was able to pick up a lot from just watching the video itself. Here I opted for a edited version that strips out everything but the gameplay demo, with narration from a MH community YouTuber (who honestly explains this stuff more thoroughly than I do).







Right off the bat, the game is an open world. Not a singular massive island or anything, but rather that your various hunting grounds are massive and without loading screens. The MH formula, from the original on the Playstation 2 up until the most recent games on the Nintendo 3DS, have each hunting area broken up into a series of interconnected hub areas with separate loading when transitioning between them. So in addition to making the area much larger, by an order of magnitude, it is now seamless and without loading transitions. So much so in fact that the game now has a simple fast travel mechanic that appears to be able to take you from point to point.

In broad strokes, the game is a departure for the series. Now it's being developed by the same team who did the last numbered installment (Monster Hunter 4 on the 3DS), so in effect this is MH5. But since it's the first console release since Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate on the WiiU, and being such a change of pace, I can understand the change in naming convention. The game seems to be taking a lot of cues for western developers, with a strong emphasis this time on the hunting part (as opposed to fighting), in addition to a large and reactive world. In short, they appear to be greatly expanding the game's possibility space. Whereas old games had you running around until you stumbled into the monster then began fighting, this game looks to make tracking the monster and the environment itself play a crucial role, making things more dynamic by increasing environmental variables and the player's options.

Hooray for dual analog controls! Turns out CAPCOM can figure out how to use a second one to control the bloody camera. What this means for the ranged hunters (archers and bowgunners) is promising, to say the least. Their convoluted controls, which are built around a single control stick and often eschewed a second even when available, are Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater levels of needlessly convoluted and bad. These weapons before did have a maximum range, not to mention they were limited by the nature of the game's map layout (separate hubs divided by loading screens). Currently bow users have a preferred range, where they do the most damage. I imagine that this mechanic, combined with arrow travel time and an arcing trajectory, is what will be used to keep them relatively close to the fight and within harm's reach.

For example, there appears to be more advanced AI behind the scenes. On top of that, there also appears to be a monster hierarchy, with predators and their prey, that can be exploited by the player. Lure a monster into the habitat of it's natural predator, and watch it get trounced for you; just be careful not to get caught between them. This was simply never possible in the previous games, their AI behaviors didn't allow for antagonistic behavior between hunted monsters (some would, when exhausted, flee from battle to go kill and eat herbivores to restore their energy, but that was the extent of it). Plus they're going to need better pathfinding, and accompanying animation systems, in order to have beasts who can chase you from one end of the map to the other and look good while doing so.

Another quality of life change is that hunts are no longer locked once they start. Old games had a lobby system, where up to a 4 person party could gather up and go on hunts. But if you left on a hunt with less than 4 people, and then someone joined your lobby, they couldn't enter your instanced hunt once it had started. This is no longer the case. While you can still party up in groups of 2 to 4, the game now supports drop-in multiplayer. MHW has finally caught up with the times.

Yet another subtle but important change is item usage. Both using items and foraging supplies from the world would lock you into a canned animation, leaving you very vulnerable. Now it appears that you can forage while moving, simply grabbing plants while walking past. Also eating and item usage allow you to keep moving. Not sprinting, but being mobile does help keep the game fluid and feel less like you're being punished for it. Before using a potion didn't just lock you in place to drink it, but then you had this stupid Superman pose afterwards, and you had to go through all that before you could move and evade again. It is a design hold over meant to make using an item a risky proposition, but it does feel very needlessly obtuse by modern standards.

You now appear to have this little crossbow tool on your arm, that allows you to any number of things. First off, you can launch item. This appears to include signal flares (which highlights your hunt in the search que for drop-in help), rocks that be shot at surfaces to draw monster attention, to launching sticky firebombs onto monster, or even firing a grappling hook that can be used to haul yourself up to conversely yank something else down.

It appears that base camps will allow you to change your loadout, and that is huge. While not present in this video, apparently some of the live E3 demonstrations had the person swapping between melee and ranged weapons in the same hunt. That is huge, not just the versatility of changing weapons, but the fact that the two different classes no longer appear to be separated by armor. MH has always separated melee and ranged users by their armors, as a means of balance. You could only equip ranged weapons while wearing ranged armor, and vice versa for melee weapons and armors. Seeing as how only 3 of the now 14 weapon styles were ranged, the series has traditionally strongly favored melee combat (especially if you enjoy trying different weapons out, or swapping to suite different monsters). The ranged armors provided less defense, in addition to specific skills geared for ranged users. This also prevented ranged weapon users from using the more powerful melee armors, keeping ranged users always comparatively squishier than their melee counterparts. I wonder how this will be balanced out, or if they even think that ranged users need a defense nerf to be comparably balanced.

Damage numbers! While these can be turned off for those who prefer it, you can now see how much damage you are doing. This is great, and will help people more easily acclimate to each monster. You still don't see the monster's health, but now you can tell where hitting it does more or less damage, and that does help smooth out the game's difficulty curve and improve accessibility for new players. Nothing wrong with the game giving you clear and unambiguous feedback.


So, it looks fun. Still has the core combat experience. Picking a weapon and learning how to master it so that you can effectively hunt with it, and the converse of learning the monster's attack patterns. Combine that with a more interactive world that plays a far more important role in where and how fights take place, and giving you the tools to control where you fight and using that to your advantage. Add in some quality of life improvements (not needing disposable/breakable pickaxes to mine, able to forage while moving, fast travel, drop-in multiplayer, damage numbers, loadout swapping, etc.), and this looks like it will offing something new for veterans while simultaneously being the best jumping in point for those new to the genre. I just hope it all comes together well.


But I'm still salty about no Monster Hunter Generations Ultimate (or whatever they call the inevitable G-Rank enabled MH:Double Cross version in Japan) on the Switch for the west...

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22-06-2017, 07:31 AM
RE: Monster Hunter World
Yea when I heard it was coming to xbox and PC I perked up a bit.
I've always wanted to play a monster hunter game but never wanted to buy a Nintendo console to do so.

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27-06-2017, 08:05 AM
RE: Monster Hunter World
It looks interesting. I just have a bias against the physically impossible large swords that Japanese characters tote around. That just bothers me. A lot.

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28-06-2017, 11:14 PM (This post was last modified: 29-06-2017 12:44 AM by EvolutionKills.)
RE: Monster Hunter World
(22-06-2017 07:31 AM)earmuffs Wrote:  Yea when I heard it was coming to xbox and PC I perked up a bit.
I've always wanted to play a monster hunter game but never wanted to buy a Nintendo console to do so.

Well, since you enjoy Dark Souls, you should have little problem with the combat. This title looks to be more grounded and less goofier than traditional MH games, so it should be easier to swallow. Although I'll be personally very disappointed if they excise all of MH's goofy shit, as I love the series goofy charm and irreverence. I was happy to see one of the Palico's (the tiny bipedal cats) hanging out in the hunter's tent while switching out equipment. Palico's are great, typically acting as support and backup when you are hunting solo, and they all speak in incessant cat-puns.

It's a very technical game, and if you know what you are doing, you can wreck shit.





I like this one becuase of the text commentary that gives insight into what is happening and why. For reference, the Guard Point is specific to that weapon type, the Charged Blade. The weapon can transform, from a sword and shield into a massive axe. During the transformation animation, the shield pops in front of the player for a few frames of animation, and that time can be used to block attacks. Yes, Monster Hunter allows you to use a weapon transition animation to counter, and top tier players can and will abuse that to the fullest. So yeah, that very first roar is countered by a transition guard point, going right into the axe charged attack, and knocking poor old Brachy the fuck out.

As for the rest of the mechanics, the sword attacks build up a charge on the blade, which can then be discharged and stored in the shield (the 5 phials at the tops of the screen), and those phials in turn power the axe-modes' powerful attacks.

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28-06-2017, 11:21 PM
RE: Monster Hunter World
(27-06-2017 08:05 AM)devilsadvoc8 Wrote:  It looks interesting. I just have a bias against the physically impossible large swords that Japanese characters tote around. That just bothers me. A lot.

They do have smaller swords.

But if the overly large swords gets to you, you also probably won't like the lack of fall damage and not being instantly crippled when getting full body checked by a pseudo T-Rex. Tongue

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28-06-2017, 11:37 PM
RE: Monster Hunter World
But yeah, Monster Hunter can get weird. Like, really weird. If World doesn't have a J-Pop dance number outro after completing of the single player 'story' quests, I'll be very disappointed.




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29-06-2017, 12:45 AM
RE: Monster Hunter World
GAH!

Why ya'll mention more games I'm gonna wanna buy?! Ya'll know I'm dirt poor and can't actually afford to be wasting money on games? So cruel....

(I'm half joking here)

I like the monster hunter games, though I admit they can be a bit weird. And not announcing western releases on games I'm gonna like is the bane of my existence (along with knowing I don't have the money to buy games)

Luckily I'm pretty damn picky with what games I like and want to buy, I see some people buy pretty much every game that comes out, play it for a week and throw it on the shelf, such a waste.

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29-06-2017, 12:47 AM
RE: Monster Hunter World
Also, here's a better version of the game-play demo by someone who both speaks Japanese and lives in Japan. Its much better commentary than the other one.





Gajin Hunter is my go-to YouTube resource for MH info and tutorials. The reason why I am as effective as I am currently is largely jump-started by his videos.

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29-06-2017, 01:27 AM
RE: Monster Hunter World
But aw man, the amount of fucking salt coming from dipshits on the Monster Hunter Reddit who seriously think the Switch is both capable and deserving a port of World is fucking hilarious. It would be even funnier, if it wasn't so sad.

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29-06-2017, 03:18 AM
RE: Monster Hunter World
(29-06-2017 01:27 AM)EvolutionKills Wrote:  But aw man, the amount of fucking salt coming from dipshits on the Monster Hunter Reddit who seriously think the Switch is both capable and deserving a port of World is fucking hilarious. It would be even funnier, if it wasn't so sad.

>.> Don't forget there was once people that said 480i was better than 1080p or made claims they couldn't see the difference.... (but then again 1080p advertised on 480i TV's made about as much sense as trying to swim carrying an anchor). Just saying that particular brand of stupid has been around a long time.

DLJ Wrote:And, yes, the principle of freedom of expression works both ways... if someone starts shit, better shit is the best counter-argument.
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