A few years ago I bought Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate for the Wii U, and I absolutely hated it. Movement was stiff and unresponsive, the menus were cumbersome and bizarrely laid out, areas were divided into sections with tons of loading screens, and I had no idea how much damage I was doing to the monsters. But all that is trivial compared to the biggest problem that game had, which was I had no idea what I was doing. The game just sets you down and says ‘go’. When I looked up a wiki on the game, I was stunned to see how complicated the game was. Not wanting to do loads of homework in order to simply play a game, I turned it off and concluded that Monster Hunter as a series was ‘not for me’.
I am absolutely thrilled to say that not only did I jump back in with Monster Hunter World, and not only was every problem I had fixed, and not only is it easily the best Monster Hunter game, but Monster Hunter World is probably one of the best games I’ve ever played in my life. Movement is free-flowing and natural, the menus are so much simpler, the five areas of the game are now just huge, explorable spaces with no loading times, when you hit monsters you know EXACTLY how much damage you’re dealing out, and there are in depth tutorials for everything.
With all of my previous problems dealt with I was able to see just what I was missing and that was a game that sits in my consciousness nearly 24/7. At any given moment I’m thinking about the game, even when I’m asleep, because the game is so addicting. And playing with others is amazing as players can assign hunting roles to one another. Who’s going to go in close? Who’s going to stay back and shoot? Who handles traps? The whole game revolves around hunting and trapping monsters to use their skin/scales/whatever to fashion weapons and armor to do the same thing again only better and faster. What materials you get is decided via Random Number Generator, which means a lot of grinding to get what you want. In any other game this would be a serious detriment, but the combat is so good that grinding barely feels like anything. There’s nothing like the feeling of exploring a new area and stumbling across a new monster and thinking “Oooooh! I wonder what I can get from that!”
That’s not to say the game is perfect, no game is, but there aren’t many serious problems with the game except one. This problem has a name: Bazelgeuse. Eventually as you play the game, the game enables “High Rank” mode which means the explorable areas of the game become populated with stronger versions of monsters you’ve already hunted as well as completely new ones. One of these new monsters is Bazelgeuse; a dragon that drops scales that explode when struck. Normally this wouldn’t be a problem, he’s just another monster to hunt except for a few problems: He’s huge and does monstrous amounts of damage, he carpet bombs the landscape making it hard to escape the damage he deals, his weakness is not easy to obtain, and since he has no natural habitat he can show up IN ALL OF THEM. Did I mention that he’s attracted by battle, and loves to suddenly crash in and interrupt any one of your hunts? He’s the physical embodiment of trolling. But ultimately he is another monster that can be dealt with, and eventually you can gain tools, weapons and armor that take him from serious threat to ‘just another dragon’.
All in all Monster Hunter World is a game that I can’t recommend enough despite this being the only game I’ve ever played whose chief flaw has an actual face and a name. Be aware though that the game can and probably will take up every single nanosecond of your free time, and with lots of DLC and free updates on the way, it may just cause a divorce or two. A 10/10.