Articles tagged with monster hunter

EGX 2017 Impressions:
Sony, Sega and (Ubi)Soft
Posted by Mark at 19:54

The Sony booth this year is the home of the Annual Update Games- specifically, FIFA and Call of Duty, with the more interesting games hidden behind them.

Notable also is the amount of space dedicated to Sony's desperate attempts to make Playstation VR a thing, including a massive VR helmet which makes the booth look like a Daft Punk tribute to Planet Of The Apes.

Like Nintendo's booth, it's full of titles that are already out, like expandalone Uncharted: The Lost Legacy, Star Wars licence Battlefront II, inexplicable sequel Knack 2 and microtransaction shitfest Everybody's Golf. Some smaller new titles which were also there included Hob, which is a top-down-ish adventure game where you play as a guy with a massive hand, which he uses to solve puzzles in order to gradually unlock a tower by rotating bits of it.

I've not explained that very well. It does, however, look like what Knack was probably meant to, so there's that.

We saw Monster Hunter Stories on 3DS yesterday and today we say Monster Hunter World on PS4. A more 'curated' demo than its handheld counterpart, this does a much better job of explaining its mechanics and objectives- although this could also be related to the presence of Scoutflies, which effectively point out everything of vague interest to progressing through the mission.

The initial mission offered sees you trying to hunt a monster by first having some footprints drawn to your attention, then a scrape on the ground that the game nicely describes as "skidmarks", then another footprint and another until eventually the Scoutflies form a trail to follow to the monster. This is one of the new features added to make the game more accessible to people less familiar with the series, but it feels that it could turn the game into a box-checking exercise.

There was also Ni No Kuni II, which looks as pretty as you'd expect. The battle system can be a bit chaotic during boss fights, but it seems to work quite nicely in battles against smaller enemies in the world.

Also present was David Cage's new title Detroit: Become Human, which I didn't get the chance to watch today- although I did overhear one of the reps on the booth send one of the professional cosplayers they had manning the booth on their break by calling them over with 'Android, come here" and telling them to go into maintenance mode for thirty minutes.

Sony's recent push into phone-controlled games in the form of Playlink was represented by Frantics, by Affordable Space Adventures dev Knapnok. This is a series of motion-controlled party games, hosted by a slightly posh-talking fox, and controlled using the accelerometers in the phones- four top-of-the-line Sony devices, in the booth's case.

There were three games in my session, one where you have to avoid slipping off an ice platform by tilting the way you want to go, another where you fire yourself out of cannons so some (but not all) of you are on a platform, and another race game where before each race you secretly choose a player to have some modification to their vehicle which may or may not be helpful to them.

There was an interesting twist where, before the third game, the host 'called' one player's phone to give them a secret misison.

It's hard to fault the party games themselves, but the phone apps crashing exposed that each Playlink title needs its own individual app- Frantics ostensibly cannot be played using the app associated with That's You!, which has been out in the wild for some time- and that connecting your phone to your PS4 needs you to enter an IP address, which loses the immediacy of the browser-and-four-digit-code setup of the Jackbox games, and is a far cry from the apps-within-an-app world promised by xBox Smartglass.

Speaking of Far Cry, the Ubisoft booth next door housed the fifth game in the series. The short part of the game available focused around the obligatory Ubisoft Game tower, and charged the player with killing all the cultists around the base of it. A number of ways of achieving this was offered, from flinging in grenades to fighting them in the streets to sniping them from the top of the tower.

This, alongside stablemate Assassin's Creed: Origins which seems to have ditched parkour in favour of putting things really far away from one another and making you travel to them, were the first games to really show any seriously large queues- although Ubi made use of the extra space available to them, running lots of demo units and moving people through quickly.

Most of the booth, though, was some Mario + Rabbids demos sparsely dotted about in an almost empty space dominated by a massive fibreglass Rabbid Kong. (There was also South Park: The Fractured But Whole tucked away in a corner)

Sega, meanwhile, chose to showcase Sonic Forces, which looks like it's as good an extension on the Modern Sonic/Generations format as we're going to see. Three levels were on offer, including one of the mental genre-flip-flopping arrangements Colours perfected, a boss level, and a new 'Avatar' level where you put together disparate elements to create your own Original Character Do Not Steal and play as that. It also doesn't quite work, which I'm assuming is satire.

Last but not least, there was a few PCs running Total War: Warhammer II. Which was Total War: Warhammer II.

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Posted by Mark at 11:30
James liked EX Troopers- the cartoony 3DS not-Lost Planet Lost Planet spinoff- so I'm sure he's glad to hear that Monster Hunter is getting similar treatment.

Monster Hunter Stories, which Capcom has just announced at an MH event in Japan seems to be going down the same route, offering a different take on the game's world.

Show/hide video

Rather than being about the Hunters of previous titles, this game centres around 'Riders', who fly the dragon-like Rathalos monsters.

While there's been very little announced regarding gameplay so far, the trailer, as well as the producer quotes from the event, states that the game will be more RPG-focused.

James finished his EX Troopers review by comparing it to Resident Evil: Revelations, another handheld Capcom spin-off, pointing it out as being a better game for being designed for portable play.

Unlike Resi and LP, however, Monster Hunter was always a handheld game and maybe wouldn't need much changing- so this might struggle to find its audience.

Hat tips here to Siliconera and Game Jouhou.
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Posted by Duane at 03:13
Capcom have announced that they are to close down the online infrastructure for Monster Hunter Tri on the Wii on April 30th. This is to make way for the imminent release of Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate which launches in March.

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Posted by Duane at 06:10

The popularity of Capcom's Monster Hunter series on the PSP has grown to the extent that we're now beginning to see people trying to snatch that particular crown from them. Essentially we're seeing the handheld equivalent of Call of Duty being played out, and Namco's Gods Eater Burst (formerly God Eater in Japan) is the latest challenger whilst we await the release of Monster Hunter Portable 3rd. We've already had two attempts from SEGA to take this particular crown, which for all the good things they managed (including online play rather than Ad-Hoc) appeared to have failed outside of Japan.

So where does Gods Eater Burst try to do things a little different? Well for starters, it sits comfortably between Monster Hunter's technical approach to the genre and Phantasy Stars more relaxed, button combo stylings. Gameplay wise, theres more button mashing going on, making it a little more like Dynasty Warriors Strikeforce in that respect, but there's a heavy focus on resourcing materials, either from the landscape or from each of the creatures (or Gods) you slaughter which ties it into the more technical approach that Capcom use. The level of cusotmisation is of a higher standard than any of the other titles on offer too, you can customise anything from what clothes your character wears, to their weapons and even carrying multiples variants of bullets for your switchable weapon. Enabling you to switch tactics on the move rather than being limited to just one particular weapon. All of this makes the players experience much richer, in my opinion, than any of the other games currently on offer especially in single player. You see whilst most of the others feel like they were designed for multiplayer first and then included a single player so you have something to do when you can't hook up with friends, Gods Eater Burst feels like an equal focus has been placed upon both aspects. Although obviously the game excels once you are playing with friends although theres less need for others to have adopted a different approach to the game than the one you've taken like in Monster Hunter.

So whilst in single player terms Gods Eater stands above the others, ever so slightly, in multiplayer its as good as anything else on offer, although like all those titles its pretty much let down by the insistance on using Ad-Hoc multiplayer rather than including a networked mode (which admittedly Phantasy Star Portable 2 managed, but that was flawed...). One area in which Gods Eater fails is in its presentation and setting. The game offers a more post-apocalyptic setting when compared to Monster Hunter's Prehistoric stylings, Phantasy Stars sci-fi settings and Dynasty Warriors feudel Japan styling. There's also a heavy anime tint to its appearance, especially in the characters, but it all sort of clashes and uneven. Characters and buildings are fairly detailed, but landscapes, and textures are rather bland and uninteresting. This is obviously to allow for more detailed characters (which include some simplistic facial expressions) and creatures, but it's ultimately rather jarring and makes the game that little bit less interesting to play as it never really feels like your exploring the land. This is brought to the attention more by the resources you gather from each area, whereas in Monster Hunter you farm plants and stuff by actually searching through them, the locations of items on the floor in Gods Eater is revealed by a glowing spark on the foor which requires you to just press the circle button whilst near it to gather that particular resource. It's only a small complaint, but it damages any sense of belief that you've entered this world which adds to that same damaging of the sensation created by the bland and uninspired locations.

As an entry into this particular market though, Namco have got most of the basics spot on. The game is fun to play, it has an actual story thats a little more advanced than what Phantasy Star offers up (and a hell of alot more so than Capcom's offering), it just has a few little things that could be worked on next time, and with the games sales in Japan, it should see another instalment at some point in the future. There's definetly potential here.
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Posted by Duane at 05:00
Namco and D3 Publisher have released new artwork for the upcoming Monster Hunter style game, God Eater Burst.

The images show off a new monster to battle against, he's called Aragami Kongou and from the PR's description he's a giant ape-man creature that features piping up his back that allow him to send out wind shockwaves at the player.

God Eater Burst is due to land on PSP on March 18th and I for one am looking forward to trying it out!

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Posted by Duane at 16:16

Phantasy Star Portable, the handheld version of Phantasy Star Universe was in some ways impressive and others a let down, the latter because of the lack of true online multiplayer support. SEGA have now seen fit to see to this and have become the first of the PSP multiplayer RPG's to succesfully branch out from Ad-Hoc play into the realms of Online (or Networked if your from Sony) multiplayer.

Great news for long time fans like me who have been looking for a fix to their Phantasy Star Online fanatism. So what do we have on offer and how doe sit differ from the previous Phantasy Star Portable?

Well this time round the story is set 3 years after the events of Phantasy Star Universe, so there's no characters to interact with (although old faces make a return), a whole new story to be told and some altered locations. Obviously everything still takes place in the Gurhal system, which doesn't have quite the level of charm or indeed fan love of the Ragol system, but theres enough variation in locales to keep pretty much everyone entertained.

Control wise everything is the same, each weapon class (of which there are a large number) has its own combo speed and number of attacks so you can have your own approach to how you want to play, not only that but you aren't severely limited by which class you choose for your character to be as you can sink points into weapon classes to allow for you to equip different ones, meaning that a Hunter isn't stuck to high level melee weapons, mid range ranged weapons and low level tech abilities and items although the amount of points you need to use up to increase a weapon classes rank differs depending on your character class. Also new is a dodge feature, making battles feel a little less clumsy than previously and allowing for less item use provided you get the timing right.

Everything that was great about previous releases returns, there's a huge number of weapons available, many of which are unique in appearance, its still fun to sink time in to do a bit of grinding and thanks to the Online Multiplayer it no longer feels pointless to do so if you happen to be the only PSP owning person out of your group of friends. There's also a wealth of clothing items to add to your characters unique appearance and a large number of items to use to decorate your room.

Taking things online makes the game feel so so much better, you no longer have to rely on the AI of your comrade's to heal you when you need it, nor are you likely to have to backtrack when they get stuck on the corner of a piece of scenery. Communication is obviously a problem, and SEGA have found a way around this for important things like needing to heal, checking your inventory, finding keys and general gameplay stuff by having customisable auto-text that displays to the rest of the party when certain criteria are met. You hit low health, a text bubble appears declaring that you need to heal or have someone heal you. You can still chat via a software keyboard but honestly its excruciatingly slow, for example I and another player took on a boss, our character levels meant it shouldn't have been too much of an issue but they died. Being out of practice I'd forgotten to take Moon Atomizer's into the field with me (Phantasy Star's equivalent of a Phoenix Down) and couldn't inform them of this until the fight had finished which they were most displeased with, I learnt my lesson but the very nature of the games release led to this being an issue. There are ways around it of course and if you have a group of people you play with regularly a Skype conversation or something similar would be the ideal work around for what is only really a small issue with the game.

Now, if like me you want to enjoy Monster Hunter but find it a little too overbearing whilst Koei's Dynasty Warriors Strikeforce is a little too basic (plus Namco's God Eater not being available in Europe) then Phantasy Star Portable is right smack bang in the middle of these titles, Phantasy Star Portable 2 goes one step further and makes itself essential by taking things online, although this is spoilt a little by SEGA limiting the servers to you only being able to play with those who have the same region game as you.
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