Tag Archives: monster hunter

Monster Hunter World’s Latest Update Makes It Easier To Wear The Armor You Want

Monster Hunter World is fantastic, and the most recent expansion, Iceborne, makes it even better. But there have been a few snags, including some pretty ugly weapons and armor sets that lost their original look. An upcoming feature for creating cosmetic armor will make it easier for players to look however they want.

In a video today, Monster Hunter World’s developers outlined a few changes coming soon. The terrifying ape monster Rajang is on the horizon, and there will be changes to the Guiding Lands, Iceborne’s endgame zone. There will even be tempered monsters including the Gold version of Rathian, the series’ flagship wyvern. But the most exciting feature, I think, was the ability to craft layered armor.

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Layered armor is special cosmetic armor that has no stats but allows you to use that armor’s appearance while wearing whatever armor pieces you want underneath. It’s usually been limited to special quest rewards such as crossover events with Assassins’ Creed and The Witcher. In some cases, players were required to fight extra-difficult monsters to gain layered armor, as was the case with the tempered (read: very hard mode) Behemoth. That allowed players to unlock a set of dragoon armor from Final Fantasy XIV. Iceborne’s armor is pretty stylish, even if some of the weapons are ugly as hell. But they also have unique styles different from their lower-level counterparts. The new layered armor system would allow players to craft these sets and wear them without removing the stats of their Master Rank gear.

All of these updates are coming this week, including Rajang’s arrival tomorrow. While the new layered armor system won’t have every armor set to start, it’s a step in the right direction, giving players a feature they demanded for a long time. If you have a favorite early armor set but don’t want to ruin you carefully crafted high-rank gear, you’ll finally have a chance to look the way you want.

Source: Kotaku.com

It Took 12 People To Make This Giant Monster Hunter Cosplay

Cosplay ShowcaseKotaku’s Cosplay Showcase is a feature that highlights the unique work of cosplayers, artists and photographers as they seek to tell new stories and push the boundaries of the craft.  

This enormous Grammeowster Chef is so big, and so detailed, that it took two studios—GSTQ Fashions (who we covered recently for their work on Dave Bautista’s final WWE outfit) and Wooden Leg Studios—to bring it to life.

The cosplay was commissioned by Capcom for the company’s Monster Hunter display at PAX West, and stands over 6.5 feet tall.

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Legend of Micah shot this behind-the-scenes video, which gives us a fantastic look at just how much planning, work, technology and craftsmanship goes into building this kind of top-tier cosplay.

And here are some shots showing the whole thing being made and put together:

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Source: Kotaku.com

What To Know Before You Start Monster Hunter World: Iceborne

Monster Hunter World’s newest expansion Iceborne is huge. There’s a whole new tier of monsters to face, a whole new catalogue of armor to craft. But if you’re returning after a long absence or hopping in for the first time, you won’t be able to play Iceborne right away. The good news is that there are a few tricks for gearing up and getting into the new Master Rank hunts quickly.

Capcom’s next-generation spin on its cult-classic franchise was initially broken up into two tiers: low rank and high rank. In order to access Iceborne, players need to have completed both of these tiers by fighting through story assignments. Low rank’s story focuses on the giant monster Zorah Magdaros, a mountain-sized beast who could destroy the new world. High rank challenges players to relive old hunts and eventually face off with the extraterrestrial dragon Xeno’jiiva. Both of these monsters need to be dealt with before Iceborne can be started. Thankfully, there are two new improvements in place that will speed progress through these early ranks.

The first is that Monster Hunter World is giving out a free armor set to anyone who logs in after yesterday’s patch. TheGuardian Armor boasts solid defense and bonuses that should make it usable throughout high rank hunts. These bonuses include an increase to the potency of healing items, increased health, and slower stamina drain. New players can access the armor at the character creation screen, while returning players can go to their room in the village of Astera and talk to their housekeeper.

It’s important to note that if you want to make the most of this armor, you’ll need to upgrade it with armor spheres gathered from defeating monsters. Having the Guardian Armor will cut down on playtime considerably, since you won’t have to circle around to re-fight old monsters in order to gather parts and craft new armor.

Just be aware that you will still need to upgrade your weapons. I advise weapons with high stats and less emphasis on elemental damage. As you progress, make weapons using parts gathered from hunting monsters like Zorah Magdaros or the terrifying Nergigante. If you really want something that will carry you in the early parts of Iceborne, make a weapon from the bonus monster Lunastra. Save extra parts and consider upgrading your palico cat companion’s armor if you can. Don’t get too attached to these things, as progressing through Master Rank will ultimately obsolesce these weapons and armors, requiring you to hunt new monsters.

There’s also a new Helper System and overhauls to multiplayer that make it easier to play with other hunters and speed through content. While it’s entirely possible to play by your lonesome, hunting with other players will speed things up considerably. The Helper system gives bonuses to hunters who help players in lower-rank tiers, meaning that it’s a pretty good idea to fire off SOS flares at the start of your hunt. This allows other players to leap right into your hunt and led a hand.

It used to be that having another player boosted the monster’s health considerably no matter how many players joined—there was a blanket “multiplayer” health value that monsters got boosted to. Now, monster health scales dynamically depending on the number of players. It means that you won’t risk fighting an absurdly tanky beast, and makes it all the easier for groups to succeed. Between a reduced grind and streamlined multiplayer, getting through both low and high ranks should be easy.

Iceborne is built for veteran players: those with well-stocked supply chests, bonus gadgets from sidequests, and a deep familiarity with their weapons. Guardian Armor, smart weapon crafting, and better multiplayer will get you to the start of Iceborne, but if you’re a newbie who is rushing to Master Rank content, please be aware that the monsters move faster, hit harder, and have difficult quirks to deal with. Your old armor will quickly become less useful, and you’ll need to truly embrace the grindy process of assembling higher ranked levels and gear.

Even if you make it to Iceborne quickly, there’s no substitute for having extensive experience playing Monster Hunter World. Take it slow in Master Rank, and embrace the challenge as a chance to improve as a player and really enjoy the Monster Hunter experience.

Source: Kotaku.com

Monster Hunter World: Iceborne: The Kotaku Review

2018’s Monster Hunter: World was a successful update to the long-running beast-slaying series. Fully functioning ecosystems and updated combat crafted an experience where each battle was a unique challenge even after hundreds of hours. World’s latest expansion, Iceborne, is massive. Building up a solid framework, it brings dozens of new monsters and ups the difficulty for a deeply rewarding adventure.

This piece was first published on September 4, 2019. We’re bumping it today for the game’s release.

Iceborne is set after World’s lengthy main campaign. The Hunter’s Guild and Research Commission, having traveled across the seas to the New World and bested unimaginable foes, encounter a new mystery. Massive flocks of flying creatures are fleeing for parts unknown, led by a legendary ice-encrusted elder dragon called Velkhana. Following these creatures and their mysterious leader leads to the discovery of a frosted island teeming with undocumented wildlife. All the while new monsters start to prowl familiar forests, and mysterious subspecies of old beasts emerge from the shadows. It’s up to the player, as a skilled monster slayer, to venture out into the wilds and face off against these new and deadly marvels.

The expansion can only be accessed after completing the main game’s story. Because of this, there is a rise in difficulty that results in some of the best fights in the entire series. These fights, which take place on a new “Master Rank” tier of encounters, reimagine fan-favorite monsters alongside entirely new fights. As in the rest of the series, the deadly trek through beast after beast is ambitious in scope and occasionally frustrating to play.

The first thing Iceborne did was test me. Its first creature, the strange Beotodus, is a sort of slithering wyvern that slides through thick snow the way a shark might prowl the ocean. I poured over 300 hours into Monster Hunter: World, and I immediately saw what Iceborne was doing. Beotodus shares a body shape and animations with the mud-slinging Jyuratodus. This meant that Beotodus moved like something I knew, it also could form a protective icy coating on its body—something a Jyuratodus or a different creature called a Barroth can do with sufficient quantities of mud. It was a crash course, a cleverly designed battle meant to reacquaint me with the ebb and flow of Monster Hunter combat while it’s increased ferocity acted as a warning that things would not be so straightforward this time.

That is, of course, the point. Iceborne is not built for comfortable, casual play. It is specifically designed to push players to their limits. Again and again it pulls out more ferocious monsters, creatures who move faster than anything previously seen and whose strikes can cause debilitating status conditions. Mistakes are costly: Monsters hit harder, your old armor will not save you here, and the environments themselves are harsher. While it is possible to speed through the early assignments, there is bound to be a moment along the way where a new foe puts up a hard roadblock in the way. When this happens, you are faced with a choice: Give up or bash your fist against that wall until you finally burst through in glorious victory.

The first time that happened was when Iceborne’s Master Rank quests really clicked for me. I was assigned to slay or capture a Tigrex, a sort of mixture between a tiger, dragon and velociraptor. The first time I fought it, I could not believe how fast it moved. A single leap, even from the furthest distance, could close the gap and knock me on my ass. This was immediately followed up with claw swipes and tails whips that were less the action of a dangerous creature and more akin to a force of nature like a lightning strike or tidal wave. It was gorgeous and terrifying all at once. The Tigrex had a habit of charging around the battlefield for what felt like an eternity at a time, rushing in harried rampages that kicked up stone and from which no amount of running or dodging could save me. I quickly failed.

Thus began a grind to slay previous monsters for higher-quality armor. When I returned, I faced the Tigrex with confidence, rushing in close and matching its aggression. I unleashed furious flurries with my dual blades that lashed at its legs and webbed arms. I dodged the madcap dashes that previously sealed my doom until the beast, thwarted by its zeal, tumbled over and offered me an opening. I slashed again and again and I broke its face first. As it reared a claw, my blade smashed into it and shattered bones off. The Tigrex fled deep into some caverns where a pack of girros—small lizards whose bites have the capacity to induce paralysis—swarmed the Tigrex. While it was paralyzed, I attacked again and broke more and more fragments from its body until it regained control and fled to its nest, where I captured it with tranquilizing bombs.

Creating these moments is Monster Hunter’s greatest strength and, paradoxically, its largest weakness. Iceborne’s fights are not simple 10-minute sojourns; they are 30 to 40 minutes of intense adaptation. Failure—which comes after being knocked out by a monster three times—is devastating. That failure sometimes comes because you lack proper equipment and supplies. This means circling back to battle old foes multiple times until you kill or capture them enough to gather the materials required for new armor. In other cases, it might mean expeditions to gather honey for creating better potions or bugs for the tranquilizing bombs that make it possible to capture monsters. It can bring pacing to an absolute halt. Of the 17 to 18 hours of Iceborne I’ve played so far, plenty was devoted to grinding monsters until I had everything I needed to best whatever new foe awaited me. It was exhausting. Still, it always felt good to achieve victory.

To help with this, Iceborne offers a variety of new gadgets and ways to fight. Chief among these is the Clutch Claw, a short-range grappling device that tethers you to a monster and immediately grips you onto whatever body part you snag. Used properly, it is possible to leap to flying enemies’ wings and slice them until they’re little more than tatters. If armed with ammunition for your slinger, you can latch to an enemy’s head and fire directly at it, sending it staggering into walls and writhing in pain. With certain weapons, you can add a claw swipe to the end of a combo. This launches you into an uppercut-like attack that, with the right weapon, is perfect for breaking appendages. These moves pair nicely with a host of additional attacks added to each weapon—for example, longswords get a samurai-esque iaijustu skill; gunlances can plant explosive mines on enemies. The clutch claw increases the pace of combat considerably, making it easier to get close to monsters, use these new attacks, and deal some goddamn damage. It ensures some equity between Iceborne’s ferocious monsters and hapless hunters. It works like a charm and breathes new life into World’s combat.

Iceborne’s new weapons, encounters, and environments produce fights unlike anything I’ve ever played. There’s an undeniable rush that comes when you manage to truly assert yourself over a monster. I once faced a Brachydios whose hide excreted an ooze that would explode after a short time. It barreled around the battlefield bashing bomb-like mines of slime into the ground. Yet as I attacked its strange, boxer-glove-like hands and shattered their scale plating, its threat waned until it was little more than another indignant beast, easily captured and claimed for research.

Iceborne’s increased focus on narrative and wide variety of jaw-droppingly animated monsters impresses upon the player how majestic and truly breathtaking the natural world can be. Its snow is lovingly crafted, depressing around the player as they trudge along. Each new monster offers fresh surprises that are awesome to behold. The characters continually proselytize about the glory of the New World and the twinkling beauty of the new region, the snowy Hoarfrost Reach.

In all of this, there is an undeniable tension. Each Monster Hunter is, at its core, a game of conquest and consumption. It is about asserting the worth and power of man over the natural world. It is about trudging into nominally exotic “new worlds” where you break monsters down until they are whimpering, pathetic shadows of themselves, weak enough to be killed and carved into bits or captured for the benefit of a burgeoning frontier society. And because of this, Iceborne’s platitudes about natural splendor feel hollow. Yes, the world is gorgeous, and it is a miracle that we were ever born to behold it. Now if you don’t don’t mind, I need to slay at least three more Glavenus so that I can finish my armor set.

This tension is not enough to rob Iceborne or any Monster Hunter game of its excitement. I would not have spent hundreds of hours of my life enraptured by its battles if there were not a fantastic game here. But as Iceborne ramps up the production value and takes time to show characters basking in its truly gorgeous world, it’s worth noting just how freakin’ strange it feels when characters start claiming the New World as their home. This isn’t just an expedition anymore; it’s explicitly colonization. It is expansion, onward into new lands that are, by some vague right, the domain of man. But a Monster Hunter that explores this tension would not be Monster Hunter, so Iceborne’s wide-eyed nature-loving ultimately feels half-baked.

Still, Iceborne is a remarkable celebration. In bringing back a slew of fan-favorite creatures (including two of my favorites: Glavenus and Nargacuga) it’s clear that this expansion is as much a nod to series veterans as it is a chance for fresh-faced hunters to cut their teeth and become truly elite hunters. For some fans, World felt extremely limited and lacking in variety. Iceborne seems laser focused on addressing these complaints. There’s still some repetitiveness, and some additions are uninspired, simply adding new elements to old creatures: a lightning-spewing Anjanath here, a sleep-inducing Paolumu there. But every now and then, there’s a true surprise. Holy shit! Did that Coral Pukei-Pukei just suck water into its tail and fire it like an industrial-strength water jet? Why yes, it did.

The party lasts for far longer than I imagined. Time and time again, I found myself gearing up for what felt like the final battle. Surely, I would defeat the elder dragons and be a hero once again. Each time I thought I’d reached the end of my journey, Iceborne would pull the rug from under me and offer a whole new tier of monsters to fight. Well done, hunter, but we just heard there’s an acid-coated Glavenus and some kind of frost-armored Legiana out in the reaches. Go handle that and then maybe we’ll be ready to finish this. Iceborne’s scale can be frustrating—sometimes you just wanna fight the damn dragon—but it’s also genuinely impressive.

There is so much here, so many monsters to face, that even after almost 20 hours, I’ve still yet to encounter many of the creatures shown in Capcom’s reveals. With enough time devoted to grinding out armor sets and truly focusing on battles, my 17-18 hours could easily expand to 25 or 30 hours, to say nothing of the time higher-level fights, special events, and playing with friends will take. That’s daunting, but players fearful that Iceborne might be a simple sprint will be pleased to know that it’s actually an intense climb.

Iceborne is one of the most ambitious expansions I’ve played for any game, and it largely lives up to those ambitions. The snow-swept forests and glacial caves of the Hoarfrost Reach are breathtaking in their beauty, and Iceborne’s extensive catalogue provides plenty of challenge. Old-school fans will find a triumphant return to the difficulty they love while those who started with World will clash with some of the franchise’s best creatures. Iceborne picks up the pace without altering the core spirit of what made the series great. And while its narrative and truisms never reconcile with the core gameplay, the experience is consistently exciting. It can be a grindy slog at times, but that’s Monster Hunter. And more Monster Hunter is always welcome.

Source: Kotaku.com

Monster Hunter World: Iceborne: The Kotaku Review

2018’s Monster Hunter: World was a successful update to the long-running beast-slaying series. Fully functioning ecosystems and updated combat crafted an experience where each battle was a unique challenge even after hundreds of hours. World’s latest expansion, Iceborne, is massive. Building up a solid framework, it brings dozens of new monsters and ups the difficulty for a deeply rewarding adventure.

Iceborne is set after World’s lengthy main campaign. The Hunter’s Guild and Research Commission, having traveled across the seas to the New World and bested unimaginable foes, encounter a new mystery. Massive flocks of flying creatures are fleeing for parts unknown, led by a legendary ice-encrusted elder dragon called Velkhana. Following these creatures and their mysterious leader leads to the discovery of a frosted island teeming with undocumented wildlife. All the while new monsters start to prowl familiar forests, and mysterious subspecies of old beasts emerge from the shadows. It’s up to the player, as a skilled monster slayer, to venture out into the wilds and face off against these new and deadly marvels.

The expansion can only be accessed after completing the main game’s story. Because of this, there is a rise in difficulty that results in some of the best fights in the entire series. These fights, which take place on a new “Master Rank” tier of encounters, reimagine fan-favorite monsters alongside entirely new fights. As in the rest of the series, the deadly trek through beast after beast is ambitious in scope and occasionally frustrating to play.

The first thing Iceborne did was test me. Its first creature, the strange Beotodus, is a sort of slithering wyvern that slides through thick snow the way a shark might prowl the ocean. I poured over 300 hours into Monster Hunter: World, and I immediately saw what Iceborne was doing. Beotodus shares a body shape and animations with the mud-slinging Jyuratodus. This meant that Beotodus moved like something I knew, it also could form a protective icy coating on its body—something a Jyuratodus or a different creature called a Barroth can do with sufficient quantities of mud. It was a crash course, a cleverly designed battle meant to reacquaint me with the ebb and flow of Monster Hunter combat while it’s increased ferocity acted as a warning that things would not be so straightforward this time.

That is, of course, the point. Iceborne is not built for comfortable, casual play. It is specifically designed to push players to their limits. Again and again it pulls out more ferocious monsters, creatures who move faster than anything previously seen and whose strikes can cause debilitating status conditions. Mistakes are costly: Monsters hit harder, your old armor will not save you here, and the environments themselves are harsher. While it is possible to speed through the early assignments, there is bound to be a moment along the way where a new foe puts up a hard roadblock in the way. When this happens, you are faced with a choice: Give up or bash your fist against that wall until you finally burst through in glorious victory.

The first time that happened was when Iceborne’s Master Rank quests really clicked for me. I was assigned to slay or capture a Tigrex, a sort of mixture between a tiger, dragon and velociraptor. The first time I fought it, I could not believe how fast it moved. A single leap, even from the furthest distance, could close the gap and knock me on my ass. This was immediately followed up with claw swipes and tails whips that were less the action of a dangerous creature and more akin to a force of nature like a lightning strike or tidal wave. It was gorgeous and terrifying all at once. The Tigrex had a habit of charging around the battlefield for what felt like an eternity at a time, rushing in harried rampages that kicked up stone and from which no amount of running or dodging could save me. I quickly failed.

Thus began a grind to slay previous monsters for higher-quality armor. When I returned, I faced the Tigrex with confidence, rushing in close and matching its aggression. I unleashed furious flurries with my dual blades that lashed at its legs and webbed arms. I dodged the madcap dashes that previously sealed my doom until the beast, thwarted by its zeal, tumbled over and offered me an opening. I slashed again and again and I broke its face first. As it reared a claw, my blade smashed into it and shattered bones off. The Tigrex fled deep into some caverns where a pack of girros—small lizards whose bites have the capacity to induce paralysis—swarmed the Tigrex. While it was paralyzed, I attacked again and broke more and more fragments from its body until it regained control and fled to its nest, where I captured it with tranquilizing bombs.

Creating these moments is Monster Hunter’s greatest strength and, paradoxically, its largest weakness. Iceborne’s fights are not simple 10-minute sojourns; they are 30 to 40 minutes of intense adaptation. Failure—which comes after being knocked out by a monster three times—is devastating. That failure sometimes comes because you lack proper equipment and supplies. This means circling back to battle old foes multiple times until you kill or capture them enough to gather the materials required for new armor. In other cases, it might mean expeditions to gather honey for creating better potions or bugs for the tranquilizing bombs that make it possible to capture monsters. It can bring pacing to an absolute halt. Of the 17 to 18 hours of Iceborne I’ve played so far, plenty was devoted to grinding monsters until I had everything I needed to best whatever new foe awaited me. It was exhausting. Still, it always felt good to achieve victory.

To help with this, Iceborne offers a variety of new gadgets and ways to fight. Chief among these is the Clutch Claw, a short-range grappling device that tethers you to a monster and immediately grips you onto whatever body part you snag. Used properly, it is possible to leap to flying enemies’ wings and slice them until they’re little more than tatters. If armed with ammunition for your slinger, you can latch to an enemy’s head and fire directly at it, sending it staggering into walls and writhing in pain. With certain weapons, you can add a claw swipe to the end of a combo. This launches you into an uppercut-like attack that, with the right weapon, is perfect for breaking appendages. These moves pair nicely with a host of additional attacks added to each weapon—for example, longswords get a samurai-esque iaijustu skill; gunlances can plant explosive mines on enemies. The clutch claw increases the pace of combat considerably, making it easier to get close to monsters, use these new attacks, and deal some goddamn damage. It ensures some equity between Iceborne’s ferocious monsters and hapless hunters. It works like a charm and breathes new life into World’s combat.

Iceborne’s new weapons, encounters, and environments produce fights unlike anything I’ve ever played. There’s an undeniable rush that comes when you manage to truly assert yourself over a monster. I once faced a Brachydios whose hide excreted an ooze that would explode after a short time. It barreled around the battlefield bashing bomb-like mines of slime into the ground. Yet as I attacked its strange, boxer-glove-like hands and shattered their scale plating, its threat waned until it was little more than another indignant beast, easily captured and claimed for research.

Iceborne’s increased focus on narrative and wide variety of jaw-droppingly animated monsters impresses upon the player how majestic and truly breathtaking the natural world can be. Its snow is lovingly crafted, depressing around the player as they trudge along. Each new monster offers fresh surprises that are awesome to behold. The characters continually proselytize about the glory of the New World and the twinkling beauty of the new region, the snowy Hoarfrost Reach.

In all of this, there is an undeniable tension. Each Monster Hunter is, at its core, a game of conquest and consumption. It is about asserting the worth and power of man over the natural world. It is about trudging into nominally exotic “new worlds” where you break monsters down until they are whimpering, pathetic shadows of themselves, weak enough to be killed and carved into bits or captured for the benefit of a burgeoning frontier society. And because of this, Iceborne’s platitudes about natural splendor feel hollow. Yes, the world is gorgeous, and it is a miracle that we were ever born to behold it. Now if you don’t don’t mind, I need to slay at least three more Glavenus so that I can finish my armor set.

This tension is not enough to rob Iceborne or any Monster Hunter game of its excitement. I would not have spent hundreds of hours of my life enraptured by its battles if there were not a fantastic game here. But as Iceborne ramps up the production value and takes time to show characters basking in its truly gorgeous world, it’s worth noting just how freakin’ strange it feels when characters start claiming the New World as their home. This isn’t just an expedition anymore; it’s explicitly colonization. It is expansion, onward into new lands that are, by some vague right, the domain of man. But a Monster Hunter that explores this tension would not be Monster Hunter, so Iceborne’s wide-eyed nature-loving ultimately feels half-baked.

Still, Iceborne is a remarkable celebration. In bringing back a slew of fan-favorite creatures (including two of my favorites: Glavenus and Nargacuga) it’s clear that this expansion is as much a nod to series veterans as it is a chance for fresh-faced hunters to cut their teeth and become truly elite hunters. For some fans, World felt extremely limited and lacking in variety. Iceborne seems laser focused on addressing these complaints. There’s still some repetitiveness, and some additions are uninspired, simply adding new elements to old creatures: a lightning-spewing Anjanath here, a sleep-inducing Paolumu there. But every now and then, there’s a true surprise. Holy shit! Did that Coral Pukei-Pukei just suck water into its tail and fire it like an industrial-strength water jet? Why yes, it did.

The party lasts for far longer than I imagined. Time and time again, I found myself gearing up for what felt like the final battle. Surely, I would defeat the elder dragons and be a hero once again. Each time I thought I’d reached the end of my journey, Iceborne would pull the rug from under me and offer a whole new tier of monsters to fight. Well done, hunter, but we just heard there’s an acid-coated Glavenus and some kind of frost-armored Legiana out in the reaches. Go handle that and then maybe we’ll be ready to finish this. Iceborne’s scale can be frustrating—sometimes you just wanna fight the damn dragon—but it’s also genuinely impressive.

There is so much here, so many monsters to face, that even after almost 20 hours, I’ve still yet to encounter many of the creatures shown in Capcom’s reveals. With enough time devoted to grinding out armor sets and truly focusing on battles, my 17-18 hours could easily expand to 25 or 30 hours, to say nothing of the time higher-level fights, special events, and playing with friends will take. That’s daunting, but players fearful that Iceborne might be a simple sprint will be pleased to know that it’s actually an intense climb.

Iceborne is one of the most ambitious expansions I’ve played for any game, and it largely lives up to those ambitions. The snow-swept forests and glacial caves of the Hoarfrost Reach are breathtaking in their beauty, and Iceborne’s extensive catalogue provides plenty of challenge. Old-school fans will find a triumphant return to the difficulty they love while those who started with World will clash with some of the franchise’s best creatures. Iceborne picks up the pace without altering the core spirit of what made the series great. And while its narrative and truisms never reconcile with the core gameplay, the experience is consistently exciting. It can be a grindy slog at times, but that’s Monster Hunter. And more Monster Hunter is always welcome.

Source: Kotaku.com

Monster Hunter And The Witcher Are The Perfect Combination

Monster Hunter: World’s latest crossover event combines dangerous monster fights with the in-depth roleplaying of The Witcher 3 for a special quest that perfectly captures the tough work of a Witcher.

The story, which went live yesterday, begins with a mysterious creature stumbling into the Monster Hunter universe. The creature, a grimy little nekker from The Witcher 3, is shortly followed by the arrival of series protagonist Geralt of Rivia. Geralt jumps through a portal and finds himself face to face with your monster hunter. After reports of bloody monster killings in the Ancient Forest, Geralt sets off to investigate the cause. In a move somewhat unusual for the series, you take direct control over Geralt during his investigation. Armed with his signature swords and magic, you go on a quest full of intense boss fighting and bite-sized RPG sleuthing.

There’s a lot of detail in this crossover event. You don’t just control Geralt and fight some monsters. You also search for clues and talk with characters in a dialogue style entirely lifted from The Witcher 3. These moments are some of the best in the entire quest. Monster Hunter: World doesn’t really give its characters time to shine and rarely even gives them names. Watching Geralt interact with some of the item givers and researchers that I’ve come to rely on during my hundreds of hours of Monster Hunter: World is a welcome chance for them to receive genuine characterization. It’s even better if you play with English language settings. Doug Cockle, who voices Geralt in the Witcher games, returns with his signature mixture of world-weariness and snark.

The cause of all the strange happenings in the Ancient Forest is a leshen, a sort of primal woodland beast from The Witcher. This boss battle is both a perfect recreation of The Witcher 3’s intense combat and also one of the most frustrating fights I’ve had in Monster Hunter: World. The leshen has a variety of tricky attacks that require intense dodging, from summoning a swarm of crows to sending writhing plant roots through the ground. The idea is to dodge around, sneaking in attacks until you can use Geralt’s Agni rune, which unleashes a fire spell that stuns the beast. When you find your rhythm and manage this, the leshen fight is incredibly rewarding. It’s not quite as fast-paced as The Witcher but Geralt moves and fights nearly identically to how he does in his own games.

In practice, this happens less than it should. Many of the leshen’s attacks can knock Geralt flat on his ass, and they all come fast. In smaller areas, they can be difficult to dodge. The leshen can also cause the bleeding status effect, which can sap your health quickly and it can even summon a small horde of tiny lizard-like jagras as flunkies. As a result, there are portion of the fight where Geralt goes from badass witcher to absolute chump getting smacked around by birds and dinosaurs. You can block, as Geralt’s weapon functions as a sword and shield, but it doesn’t always work out. The leshen’s high health pool means that the fight lasts long and alternates between exciting highs and very frustrating lows, even by Monster Hunter standards. Many Monster Hunter fights are exhausting but few bat you around as much as battling the leshen. For the moment, this quest is single player only but a more difficult multiplayer-focused version of the leshen is coming at a later date.

At the end of the day, that is a small issue given how much this crossover event feels like a proper Witcher quest. If you grind out fights against the leshen, you can craft Geralt’s sword and even get a costume that allows your normal protagonist to dress up at him. Those are nice, but the real joy is playing an event that fits so perfectly into the Monster Hunter mold. A second part, which involves Geralt’s companion Ciri, is coming soon as well and will run from February 15th to March 1st.

Source: Kotaku.com

Monster Hunter: World’s Special Event Monster Is Barfing Up Great Loot

Monster Hunter: World launched its Appreciation Festival over the weekend, giving players a chance to replay once-limited time event quests and get a handful of colorful items for their armory. Its most exciting feature is a brand new fight against a massive, monster-eating Great Jagras. The fight is silly, difficult, and can result in fantastic rewards.

If you’ve been playing Monster Hunter: World for any stretch of time, you’ve probably been around for one of its event festivals. Whether that’s the Spring Blossom Festival or the Summer Festival, Monster Hunter’s developers love having big, flashy celebrations. The Fan Appreciation Festival follows a familiar pattern. It offers some special armor to pick up with tickets earned for logging in, brings back the old roster of event quests, and adds a few new fights. This is a chance to hunt whatever monster you want and to pick up older armor sets like the surprisingly useful Devil May Cry Dante armor set or the once Japan-only Universal Studios set. If those quests are a little too familiar you can (and should!) check out the new battle with a roly-poly giant Jagras.

The Great Jagras is the first major monster you hunt in the story mode. It’s a sort of floppy lizard that can puff up to great size. This version is even bigger, and if it manages to eat another monster, turns into an engorged, bile spewing monstrosity. All you need to do is sign up for the event quest “the Greatest Jagras” and head out on a hunt. You won’t be disappointed. We’ve had battles against big and even tiny jagras before, but this is an entirely new scale of creature. The result is a surprisingly tricky battle. It’s set in the Ancient Forest and the Jagras’ large body makes it difficult to fight in tight corridors such as connecting areas between clearings or lower caves. After it gobbles up another creature, it grows larger and stronger. The first time I fought it I actually got knocked unconscious and had to retry.

Why bother with a gimmick fight against World’s easiest monster? Throughout the battles, as the Jagras barfs or you damage it, parts will drop. Unlike normal monster parts, the Greatest Jagras drops decorations. These are the wonderful little gems that can be slotted into your armor to grant bonuses like extra attack power or elemental resistance. I’ve heard horror stories of players hunting specific monsters in an attempt to find a good gem. With luck on your side, you might just find it here. If not, you can sell the decorations for extra money. It’s not as profitable as selling the spare weapons from a Kulve Taroth fight, but the Greatest Jagras is nice and farmable with a group.

That’s the point of a Fan Festival. To have fun and try new things, to face off against silly and dangerous foes with your friends. The Greatest Jagras is a perfect blast of hunting, packed with unpredictably fighting and good loot. While there’s more to come—including a quest with The Witcher 3’s Geralt of Rivia—this festival is off to a very fun start.

Source: Kotaku.com