Have you ever encountered a video game or movie that by all accounts you should absolutely love but it just didn’t click with you? For me, its the Monster Hunter series from Capcom. On paper, this series has everything it needs for me to be completely batshit crazy for it. Giant monsters? Check. Craftable badass looking armor? Check. Big ass swords and hammers and bows & arrows? Check, check, check.
It just never clicked. I’ve tried two different versions of the game, and every time I get excited thinking this will be the one to turn me on to the franchise and get its hooks into me, but it never happens. It usually boils down to the camera controls on 3DS being absolutely dog shit, comparable to playing while both your hands are asleep. Between the camera issues and the way the game explains almost nothing to beginners, I just couldn’t break into it.
Now, most people say “fool me once shame on you, fool you twice shame on me” but apparently I am a glutton for self-inflicted punishment. Monster Hunter World just launched on Xbox One and PS4 and I’d be lying to you if I told you that I’ve learned from past mistakes. I bought it anyway.
Now, what I’m extremely pleased to tell you is that this is a new kind of Monster Hunter. This is a Monster Hunter with one very important thing (to me): a camera system that isn’t ridiculous. After fixing this one problem, literally everything else in the game fell in to place for me, the floodgates have opened and I feel like I’ve been late to a party I didn’t realize I was invited to. A party with dragons, poison iquana birds and little cat people dressed as chefs who serve hors d’oeuvres.
I’ve clocked about 10 hours into the game this weekend and I don’t think I’ve even scratched the surface yet, I’m still learning how things like crafting/ammo work and which weapons work best for me (I absolutely love the bow & arrow) but god damn am I having a blast doing it. The scope of the game is impressive, there are five huge areas teeming with life that you need to observe just as much as you need to slay. The levels are rich and beautiful and have a real verticality to them that doesn’t really hit you until the monster you’re chasing suddenly climbs up a huge tree and you say to yourself, “Holy shit I didn’t know you could go up there!” The monsters themselves are a sight to behold, but I won’t spoil them here, discovering them accidentally in the wild is part of the fun, and sometimes scary as hell. My favorite moment thus far was when I was chasing one big bastard lizard monster, another came out of nowhere and they fought while I shot at them both. It was unexpected and gave me the edge in a tough battle, truly a cinematic gaming moment that’ll stick in my memory for a long time. I’m eagerly looking forward to more big exciting moments like this.
In closing, sometimes its worth giving something a third chance, it might make a World of difference.