At first, the first Monster Hunter title seemed to be the only one of its kind, until the release of Monster Hunter G in Japan and then the release of Monster Hunter Freedom for the PSP. The question once again has risen to why this game has not been released state side is the same for all other Japanese titles that should have done the same thing. Yet there is more to this review than meets the eye.
When Monster Hunter came out to the US, the reviews for it were mixed and there were few fans of it. I was one of those fans and loved the unique style of game play and controls. Unfortunately, Monster Hunter G never came state side for some unknown reason, that or someone thought it wasn’t a good idea to release a unappreciated title that could’ve gotten more fans. Who knows, but what I do know is that Monster Hunter G has made some improvements. First of all, no more going online for those Rathalos/Rathian Plates! Just cut off their tale or head crest and you might just get it. Even on the first try too, since that item and many other rare item drop chances has increased. The game play is still the same and the music too. There are new wyverns to fight and more strategies to come up with when fighting them. But other than that, it’s the same game with added features from being online. Such as having a pet pig in your house to increase your luck! The little fella will follow you around town until you leave for your quest. The controls are still the same, but there is an issue that has not been addressed and this includes the later titles that I will mention soon enough. All in all, Monster Hunter G is just an upgraded version of the first one.
Monster Hunter 2 Dos is a total new structure from the other PS2 versions, mainly due to the new weapons and environments. There are a LOT more monsters to deal with and more items to claim! New innovative features such as night and day effect the type of monsters and items appear, same for the seasons. You will be spending a good amount of time on the first stage, gathering materials for your armour and weapons. More so than the other two PS2 versions. Though, the cost for the armor and weapons have gone down and the amount you get paid for each quest is sufficient enough for you to keep on saving and not worrying about what to spend your money on.
The newly added monsters aren’t much of a problem as the rest that you have dealt with before, all you need to do is keep in mind of how they attack. For example when you face the baboons in the jungle area, make sure to not stand behind them when they fart. Yes, they fart and it will hurt you plus you can NOT use any edible items. Fun times… The amount of enemies on screen is not too much for one person to take care, that is until a huge wyvern stomps on in. That is something I will address later on. As for the new weapons, well I leave the choices up to you. You have now a Gun Lance, a hybrid flute/hammer weapon called the Hunting Horn, Bow & Arrow, and katanas. All have their own set of controls and use in battle. For example, the Gun Lance can be used for mid range attacks and close combat. And the Hunting Horn weapon for raising party stats and smack enemies around. There is however one BIG difference in a set of weapons that I have noticed. The Sword & Shield has a lot more “umph” or power this time around. In the previous two versions, the S&S has gotten little amounts of love due to it’s attack power and range. Not anymore, well the range is the same but the status effects make a big difference. And with the Dual Swords and S&S, you can use your item WHILE they are drawn out. Nice.
Right now, I’m using the Death Prize and it has a Stun attack that will keep almost any monster/wyvern in check. Same goes for the Hammers, since they have a higher success rate in inflicting Elemental damage. The Bow & Arrow is pretty good with the pierce attacks and status infliction also. So far, most weapons are balanced out for the player to try out and get comfortable with.
Now, I can’t get the issues that have been stuck in my mind since I bought the game, out. The first and most important one is this; Why the hell aren’t the other monsters leaving the area when a big and nasty wyvern comes on screen? They do in the videos, but not in the game. When I’m fighting a Rathalos, I have to deal with those Velociprey also! They should be running away scared because of the presence of such a great beast and the fact that I killed more than half of them to begin with. It’s like the A.I. has not been fixed and makes the game play much more annoying. Want some realism? Have those smaller monsters run in fear and let us hunters deal with the wyvern.
And another issue is the hit box for the player. Example is when I’m close to the left side of the Zazami (large crab boss), he does his water attack and I get hit by his claw even though I’m not in direct contact with it. Same goes for any of those raptor creatures that attack you. It’s problem that will hopefully be fixed in any of the later titles.
The last issues is the usage of items in battle. Now I understand it’s stupid to sharpen your weapon while being in front of a boss or any other monster, but when you’re running away from a wyvern on the same map area and you need to restore some health. No way, dude. Right when you use that drink, you can not move while your character is doing is animation. Which should be cancelled at the time the player needs to move away from a boss or monster attack. I remember laying down a stun trap for the Kut Ku and it flew away, but I was still in the process of laying it down and it was my only one. Why can’t I cancel that? I wanted to stop the animation of myself setting the trap that the loss of a useful item that would have gone to waste. Nope. Once you use that item, there is no going back. Again, another issue that needs to be fixed.
The two games are fun, but still have those issues that can get on your nerves, fast. If you’re a fan of the series, then by all means go and import it. It has better game play and new features to gawk at. But there is still that question on why hasn’t this game been released over here? I’d like to say more, but I think it’d be best to hear from the source itself.