‘Monster Hunter: World’ offers tough boss battles


Jeff Maki

Game: Monster Hunter: World

Developer: Capcom

Genre: Action RPG

Platforms: PS4, Xbox One

Release Date: Jan. 26, 2018

Rating: 9/10

Many video games let you customize the main character, adjust their face, voice and so on. But in “Monster Hunter: World,” players customize an AI-controlled cat who will help out the hero. You choose its ears, eyes, fur pattern and color. It’s amazingly cute.

“Monster Hunter: World” released in January, developed and published by Capcom, is the fifth official entry in the Monster Hunter series of action RPGs. Previous installments were made for older and weaker systems, but “Monster Hunter: World” can show what it’s capable of on the Playstation 4 and Xbox One.

Previously, the maps were segmented, with loading zones interrupting gameplay. Now, however, the seamless areas allow players and monsters both to move around freely, unfettered by arbitrary checkpoints stopping the action to load the next section.

The action overshadows the story of the Monster Hunter series. “Monster Hunter: World” tells of a silent protagonist going to uncharted lands to aid in the ongoing investigation of why elder dragons migrate there every 10 years. On the ride to the New World, the ship the hero is on is destroyed by a mountainous dragon called Zorah Magdaros. Everyone on the ship survives, but the appearance of this massive beast piques the researchers’ interest. You hunt smaller monsters to gain power and clear the way for an attempt to subdue
Zorah Magdaros for research purposes.

Ultimately, this all isn’t nearly as interesting as actually playing the game, which does a stellar job rewarding the player for both planning and skill. Swinging weapons carries great weight, taking precious moments to ready great blades and crash them into monsters with crunching sounds, breaking off scales and plating. These weapons are slow and encumbering. Success depends not on dodging attacks at the last second, but rather out-positioning enemies, avoiding being in the way of their attacks.

When taking a mission to hunt a monster, the parameters are simple. Typically you will be told to kill one large monster and have 50 minutes to do it or until you die three times. One creature you will fight is The Great Jagras, what looks to be a mix of a bearded dragon and a bullfrog, but the size of two rhinoceri. That’s the first monster.

Many games pit you against small, nearly meaningless enemies the way an action movie star plows through dozens of henchmen to get at the real bad guy. “Monster Hunter” doesn’t do much of that. Instead, it asks you to kill great beasts with some taxing that 50 minute time limit. Many of the fights later in the game took me 30 minutes to do solo.

This game offers co-op gameplay. Other players from around the world can join you, or vice-versa, on your expeditions. Extra rewards are provided for them so they aren’t taking anything from you and enemy health is scaled up to compensate for the extra firepower on your side, so it all balances out.

Although the story leaves the audience wanting, the gameplay of “Monster Hunter: World” is a rewarding experience and comes highly recommended. It’s also a great opportunity to get into the franchise if you haven’t already. Don’t worry about missing out from the earlier games since the story matters so little.

That said, Monster Hunter games are intensely demanding of players. You must manage everything from your items to equipment and watch your health and stamina, all while whittling down mammoth enemies that can swat you aside easily if you aren’t paying attention. This is a great introduction to the series for gamers, but not a good introduction to video games for the

I rate “Monster Hunter: World” a 9/10 for crafting a unique and rewarding system of mechanics and challenges.