I remember Archie showing an interest in how Monster Hunter veterans would perceive the revamped World, and seeing as Robio is on a long hiatus, that only leaves me.  I'll be adding to these impressions as I go, so far I've only done a few of the earliest quests and have only fought one larger monster, the Jagras.

First things first, graphical fidelity in this game is unprecedented for the Monster Hunter series.  Seriously it's so sharp it sears my eyes.  The World suffix relates to how the stages you fight in are no longer divided in seperate, smaller arena like areas, but are one interconnected whole.  This is both very cool and rather annoying as it allows the devs to incorporate much more maze like level design, meaning it's harder to memorize everything.  There is also a side effect that it's possible to be battling a large monster in a passageway between larger area's where movement is much more restricted.  It still works, but it's nicer to have a bit more room to move around in.

Not only are the stages larger and more complex in terms of level design, the same can be said about the level of detailing.  There is a lush look to the whole game, but I disagree with the devs in that this means every item of interest needs to be highlighted by your tracking flies as you pass it by.  It breaks the immersion when every other piece of scenery starts glowing when you approach it.

And this brings me to the second big change in World: accessability.  The game still requires a lot of your time, but a lot of the 'friction' has been removed.  It's still early days, but for now I still long for the more purist experience of old.  Some examples: you track down monsters by finding tracks, which results in your tracking flies picking up the scent of larger monsters, after which they guide you to it's current position.  I understand how the devs deemed this neccessairy due to larger, more complex stages, but I feel it is detrimental to the need to learn the lay of the land like you did in earlier games.  It's the difference of driving somewhere with a map or with the GPS enabled.  You're just not as aware of your surroundings.  The need to hit them with a paintball to keep track of them has also been thrown out, the flies keep tracking it, and  you'll even get an icon on your map indicating the monster's current position.  There's less friction, but also less skill involved.

Another immediatly apparent difference to older games is also the opening scene of the game.  There are many more cutscenes to wade through, making the whole thing more action-ey and cinematic.  It's clearly a play for the mainstream market.  I didn't mind it, but it wasn't what I was expecting.

Controls and menu's are still more or less untouched, but crafting gear and weapons has seen a major change: you can level weapons down and get the monster parts you used on them back.  I do not approve.  It robs the leveling system of its sense of commitment.  Nothing is final.  It changes the forging and upgrading that is the main manner of progression within the game to something more resembling a skill tree.  Interchangable.

So far all the rest has been sufficiently monster hunter-y.  Everything is bigger and bolder, meaning there's a larger learning curve for returning players, but the core gameplay is still very much in tact.  I'm wielding a Switch Axe, a weapon first introduced in MH4, and will probably swap it in and out for the trusty Hammer and a sprinkling of Hunting Horn for multiplayer.  So far I'm enjoying it massively, but despite the game's play for accessability, I find it's larger level of scale to make the whole even more bewildring.  I guess it'll just take some adapting.

Posted by SupremeAC Sat, 07 Apr 2018 19:46:36 (comments: 53)
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Tue, 22 May 2018 13:49:28
robio said:

actually, it kind of reminded me of Articuno from Pokemon.

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I don't know, I don't really get the articune reference, unless it's the ice attack thing.

Either way, it was nice fighting a monster that felt new and unique.  Even if it was still a bit easy.  I fainted once after getting combo's by 2 ice attacks.  It's starting to show that my gear is woefully underpowered.  Still sporting the original leather coils and haven't upgraded any equipment yet.

Tue, 22 May 2018 13:57:07
Okay, not Articuno. Although, there is some Pokemon that jump into my head when I saw this thing for the first time. Honestly, I don't really remember many of their names anymore.

I will say, that this guy did give me a lot of trouble in our first fight when I was using a Greatsword, but once I switched back to a bow I pretty much owned him.
Tue, 22 May 2018 14:04:30

Yeah, I kind of reverted back to my old habbit of using a Hammer.  I've played some with a charge blade, which I really like as well, but it's just a bit more of a fuss.  Sometimes I just don't want to have to commit to the rythm of changing back and forth between sword and axe mode.  I think I'll start rocking a Hunting Horn once I start playing multiplayer.

Kind of a bummer that so many of the weapons look identical to eachother though.  For example the barroth hammer in World is no where as cool looking as the one in previous MH games.

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