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Monster Hunter (PlayStation 2) artwork

Monster Hunter (PlayStation 2) review


"Monster Hunter, for me, used to be an obsession. Though that obsession raised me to the upper echelons in the Monster Hunter society. Yes, I was a big shot on a video game, lol@me. I mostly add this to give my credibility some water. This is not some half-baked review you might find at other sites that consist of less than a full day's worth of play and a very ignorant view of what the game is, what it accomplishes, and how the developers designed it for those goals. "



Monster Hunter, for me, used to be an obsession. Though that obsession raised me to the upper echelons in the Monster Hunter society. Yes, I was a big shot on a video game, lol@me. I mostly add this to give my credibility some water. This is not some half-baked review you might find at other sites that consist of less than a full day's worth of play and a very ignorant view of what the game is, what it accomplishes, and how the developers designed it for those goals.

Alright, the basics, to get them out of the way, because I'm obligated to. Wyverns are the main 'bosses' of the game. Pretty much big, mean, draconic beasts that shoot fire/water/lightning and have one mission: kick your ass. Got your attention yet? There are smaller enemies, but really, the wyverns take the cake. You'll find out that you can button mash your way to success when taking on the small fries, but you'll have to engage your brain if you want to down a wyvern.

The beginning of Monster Hunter is dull. Very dull, and that's what turned off many of the reviewers I've seen. That's ok, you have me. I've logged hundreds of hours on this game, been there and done that. Anyways, the beginning is dull, like I said. But, that's ok, because it is teaching you the basics. Generally skills that you can use when you find yourself in trouble or things you will need to progress in the game, so do the first part and learn and get better at the game. They are the basic building blocks to learning the game, and once you can do those things that Capcom teaches you, you'll be in a much better position to start taking on the Wyverns.

After that you'll hit a stop, where you work to upgrade your weapons and armor for the bigger fights ahead. This is a recurring theme in Monster Hunter and you will most likely never stop upgrading. It's fine, it should be a motivating factor to kill the beasties, other than your e-peen. Your first big test will probably take you a while to get over, however, it's also fitting that it is against a Rathalos, the game's iconic wyvern. He's tough, but if you can take him, you're well on your way to greatness.

And that's the beauty of the game. From what I've found from Monster Hunter, mostly through the process of lending it to my friends, is that you have to actually be good at the game. There is no master weapon. There is no super spell. You need skill. Equipment helps, but without skill, you are nothing. Powerlevel your way to good stuff? You'll still suck. It's the time in the field that you spend fighting the enemies that matters. With the not so normal control scheme and the very surprisingly open-ended gameplay that Capcom built in, your options are huge, as are your hurdles. The game is different, and that is where it is glorious.

You play the game your way. Want to be good with hammers? Practice and get good. Want to be good with Great Swords? Again, practice and get good. Develop your strategies and tactics; develop the way you want to play. Hell, with skill, you can be better than a nub with the best gear. The balance is in the player, not the character or their progress. And the game remains a challenge throughout.

If you're looking for something that is actually difficult to play, but still contemporary, then look at Monster Hunter. It's different, it's quirky (wtf cats?), but it is an outstanding game, minus its few bumps, which really just make it harder and therefore, more enjoyable.

The downsides to the game are its boring beginning; stick it through, and the camera. Frankly, your camera guy is a moron, and you'll have to learn to adjust. It only happens in specific situations, so that hurdle can easily be overcome.

This game is great, you don't feel cheated after gaining that one uber-whatever and everything is now cake, and well, fighting giant monsters with big ass swords and cutting them up and then later wearing them is just such a damn cool idea.

8/10

Rating: 8/10

BLAH_Or_blah's avatar
Community review by BLAH_Or_blah (September 14, 2008)

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