My first experience with Monster Hunter was way back in 2008 when it was ported to PSP, entitled Monster Hunter Freedom Unite. I remember hating the game when I first took it up and ended up deleting from my PSP soon after. I don't know what spurred me on to take it up again but I had no regrets giving it a 2nd chance, as I came to fall in love with it. Because at the 2nd time going at it, it hooked me for some 200+ hours of playtime.


You cannot imagine how stoked I was when a few years back, Capcom announced that the new Monster Hunter is coming to both PS4 and Xbox One. I spent a lot of hours too on Monster Hunter Tri on the Wii version but somehow the magic wasn't as potent as when I experienced it initially. The progress from PSP to Wii got a little fatiguing as no revolutionary features were added to make the game even better. But when Monster Hunter World was announced, together with some very very needed features added, the world moaned (at least I did) excitedly in unison. Now, it is streamlined, a little pacey, a little more forgiving and it is a whole lot more fun.


In this instalment, you journey into THE NEW WORLD, where a super huge Elder Dragon has emerged to settle in the region. Because of this "migration", the presence of this big ass lizard has changed the whole landscape and dynamics of the existing monster in the region, making them panicky and propel them to create unpredictable chaos and mess. 

That's where you fit it. You are tasked to tackle the problem, removing this precursors' menace and ultimately removing the super huge Elder Dragon. The formula for the game is simple; hunt monster A and forge weapons and armours from its body parts (tails, wings, beak, spine, bones, scales) to kill monster B. Forge weapons and armours from the body parts of monster B to kill monster C. And that's it, the whole idea is to kill monsters one at a time by upgrading your gears. 

The scale of challenge and difficulty escalates from monsters to monsters naturally. What I love about this series are the different techniques and tactics you need to employ to defeat them. That is the reason why it is imperative that you need to study and learn about each monster, as you hunt them. It is all about the thrill of the hunt.


Before you begin a hunt,  preparations need to be done. My standard operating procedures include crafting potions, rations, traps, buff potions as well as having a meal in the Canteen. The Canteen is the place where you have a meal to extend your life and stamina bar before going on a hunt. This is critical as you would want your life and stamina to be maxed out as far as hunts are concerned. Doing food mission given by the Master Chef is the key to unlocking better quality meals to further improve your these said bars. 

The hub at Astera is the place where you undertake all these preparations. You have your typical supplies vendor, a Yoda like guy who keeps a bestiary guide records, a botanist that helps you grow herbs/insects to craft your magic potions, the workshop to forge new armours and weapons, a training area to test out the 14 different weapons types as well as a social gathering area where you can meet friends or other human hunters. 


Monster Hunter World (MHW) has trimmed a lot of its fat. Previously items such as the bug net and the mining pickaxe are breakable. They scrapped those items but included a capture net that you can catch insects to harvest or to free in your room, as pets. The slinger, which is an awesome addition works as a distraction device when you are sneaking away from unwanted battles with any monsters. It doubles up as a minor weapon, hurling smoke bombs or flash bombs. 

The monsters in MH series are the real star of the show. To track these monsters down, you need to investigate their tracks or mucus or any marks the monsters left. Maximise the investigation points, and the monsters are revealed on your map, allowing you to pin and your scout flies will show you the way to get to the monsters. Scout flies are the new GPS system in MHW. I am very glad that they scrapped the Paint Ball system where you throw a paintball on a monster as a beacon system to track them down. 

When you finally come face to face with the monsters that you were tracking, this is the time to unleash hell. There are certain parts of the monsters that you can hack away to break allowing for easier battle and for getting extra monster parts. For example, a Rathian, a big flying Wyvern, where you can sever its tail when you hack away on it enough times. You can then carve (loot) Rathian Spike from its tail. Losing the tail mid-battle will then remove its ability to whip poisonous tail swings at you. Another addition that I love is the ability to mount the monsters, where you can stab on its head, back or tail. This technique can be done when you attack it from an elevated position i.e jump slash on its back. 


MHW has all the improvements that I would like to see. There are however some things that still need improvement. The game does a good job of introducing you to the whole hunting mechanism. Credits to them for making this effort to hand hold newcomers. But the explanation on weapon handling is terrible. The existing weapons tutorial is so thin you can't help but to go online to look for guides just to know more about the weapon mechanics. This is something the game did badly on. I hope in the future updates, they can improve on this.

On the whole, I totally love it. This is one game that I can see myself playing for another set of 200 + hours. There were questions and concerns about the game being repetitive. Well, who loves grinding anyways. Although the game requires a high level of grinding, I think it is for a good course. The developers had smartly included perks and rewards for all these grindings. This is to say that all your efforts in those grinds are recognised and because a whole lot of your time was taken, you are reasonable incentivised. 

I love the nuances of the game mechanics very much. The tactics and techniques I need to perform are different for each monster and that itself is a whole lot of fun. MHW makes me feel like a hunter again, taking me out from the traditional brainless hack and slash in some games and put me in a spot where finesse really counts. 

SCORE : 9/10


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