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Here’s the review of Monster Hunter Tri: It is awesome.

You might be taken aback by that statement.

“What…? He’s had the game for a couple of hours, and he says it’s awesome. He’s hardly played it… Unprofessional, man.”

I’ve got a middle finger for you here if you think what I’m hustling is unbiased opinions. Here’s a fact at least. I bloody love Monster Hunter. MHFU is easily one of my favourite games ever, and Monster Hunter Tri is an updated version of this with a sweet looking sheen to it. So, this game was a hit from the get-go, it never had the chance to disappoint simply because it was what it was.

I think I may make what I just did my standard. I quite enjoy when you get the low-down of the game at the beginning of the review, and can get into the details later. So here are the details.

If you still don’t know what the Monster Hunter Franchise is, then here’s a quick run down. Monster Hunter is the beast from the East. In Japan Monster Hunter is quite understandably huge. In the EU and the US we didn’t quite catch on to this with the release of MHFU. Shitty marketing and a formula that may or may not have been suited for the western crowd made sure that the game went under the radar for most people. It would have for me aswell, if not for a Eurogamer review that peaked my interest. It only got an eight, but there was something about the art direction that made me consider it. I do not regret my decision. It taught to me the joy of the small things in games. Like for example, lodging a sword weighing more than a sumo wrestler in the neck of a prehistoric burrowing sand dinosaur and then doing a cheer gesture on its oversized corpse. It’s a game about fighting bosses at its core. But it’s a game with many subtleties tying into the gameplay which leads it to be a wholly satisfying and wonderful experience.

On to some first impressions of Monster Hunter Tri. It all starts in a village. As it always does. Off the bat I’m swept away by the cozy presentation. Once again, take heed, I’m a sucker for the type of visceral panache Monster Hunter offers. The camera shows a boat arriving, hinting that you the player are on board. Then we get some snippets of village life. It all serves to create a very cozy atmosphere. And then an ominous rumble. Then you get to enter into the gameplay.

You arrive at a sea-side village as a rookie Monster Hunter to deal with the vicious Lagiacrus. That’s your mission. But you’re only a rookie so you’ll need to get experienced in hunting, gather arms and armor, and buff up to become a general badass. So you start off doing things to help out the village after the ominous rumbling who scared some farm hands off, and ruined some village amenities. That’s essentially the tutorial. Unlike the past games where you could get into the questing immediately, here you must go through the rookie process. I can’t commit to whining about it, since Tri introduces many new features that were wholly unfamiliar to me. The beginning really serves to ease you into the Monster Hunter way. I expect this game will be easier to approach for a beginner than MHFU was. All in all a great cozy start.

The only weapon I have tried out has been the great sword. One of my preferred weapons from MHFU. It doesn’t quite act like in the previous game. Sure, it’s essentially the same. But there are some minor differences. It is for example harder to adjust facing direction while in a combo. Meaning you must read your prey better when attacking, because once you’re in the chain it’s more difficult to get hits in where you want them unless you’ve placed yourself strategically. Also the vertical attack button now gets you three swipes, as opposed to in the previous game, having to alternate horisontal, vertical, horisontal to make a chain. I quite like the middle attack in the chain, where you basically slam the beast with the flat side of the blade. It was really satisfying to see the Jaggi I fought out  in the wilderness feel the brunt of that particular attack and fly off limp and utterly dead to the side.

It was also pretty awesome to be rammed by the Jaggi. As you get slammed backwards your character regains balance midair and grabs for the ground making a pretty awesome looking recovery. They haven’t lost any of their animation awesomeness. That’s it for tonight, more to come on this fantastic game.


One Comment

  1. Fuck, I want this game like a toddler wants candy.

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