Monster Hunter Online – General review of the game basics
The 18th April 2013 after the official announcement of the game by Tencent, Monster Hunter Online as made his way through 3 Closed Beta and is now engaging the 4Th one. Unfortunately, as Tencent currently have not announced a worldwide release for the game, it is still unclear if the game will make his way to the European and American shore. As a fellow fan of the Monster Hunter games and with the big help of 2P.com, I was able to actually get in this Beta test to provide some informations and insight to those who want to discover the game and what it has to offer. So with no further ado I present to you all a general review of the games basics that we can actually expect from the Monster Hunter Online 4TH Closed Beta Test
So has you begin your quest, the first step is to actually create a character. You can choose between the two gender (Male or Female) and you use the option available to customize your character.
The first thing you’ll be presented with is the face of your Hunter. You can pick from the default models and if you’re not satisfied, go a little deeper in the creation by adjusting several aspect of his face.
Much like in other MMO’s, the customization allow you to place your eyes, reguling the spacing between them, the angle, the color and even the size before moving on to the other parts of the face like the mouth and the nose. You can pretty much create any faces by customizing each option and adjust the settings until you find a face that suit your style.
Then come the “Hair” part. I was a little bit disappointed that there were only 19 hairstyle available and I was hoping for more customization possibilities, but we can just choose one, and customize the color.
You’ll then have to choose an outfit, either the default one, or one that heavily looks like the Pokke Village outfit from Monster Hunter 2 and Freedom Unit.
The first one have a good China vibe to it, fits quite well in the general theme of the game since you’ll have a more Chinese architectural style around the village.You then chose a color to go with your outfit either by selecting a preset one or prompt up the color plate that allow you to get any color in the human spectrum.
The last part is dedicated to the face paint that you can choose from only 7 different models to look more intimidating. If you don’t like this part you can also just click on the randomize button to get a character created with random settings (kinda to see how some of them are originally decorated with flashy colors)
Once you’re done, you validate your character and give him an in-game name. If you ever think the character is bad and you want to redo afterward, you can always click the red cross near your character and in the box that appears type: “delete“ to erase it and start over.
So, now that we are all set we can choose our character and jump into the game. First thing we do is a little quest to get a glimpse of the gameplay after a short cutscene and then head for the village and the different area surrounding it.
The Meilen Mountain is where you’ll find your first quests and NPC’s. You’ll find here several spots of interest: The chest (talk to the NPC in front of it to store loot in it), Merchants to buy some items you may need, The Main Gate on the north of the map to go on quests or Bounty hunt, Access to the village on the far left of the map and access to the Lake on the far right
The Milard village will be accessible through the way on the far left from the Main Gate. Here you’ll encounter the Blacksmith, all the merchants for you to buy items from, the training ground (more on this on a following article) and the village’s elder who’s just so ugly she make me sick…just kidding, she is freaking BEAUTIFUL HOW IS THIS A FREAKING ELDER? ><
The third part is strangely named the “Long Lake Toe” or at least that's what I found when translating, and is made of an advanced bounty board, an access to the hunting area, an items vendor and the chest manager.
The quest system while in the village is quite like other MMO games: you talk to an NPC who hand you a quest; you go fulfill the requirement and come back for your reward. The NPC then point toward another NPC or give you another quest and so on.
As for the bounty hunt, it is in fact quite different than this MMO quest style and more close to the Monster Hunter spirit from past’s games.
The bounty hunt can be taken from the board near the gate to the hunting ground,you select your quest there and then go to the gate where you can choose from continuing the main scenario or go for your bounty hunt.
Alright sowe’ve talk about the Character creation, we’ve talk about what you’re gonna do outside of quests so now we’re gonna talk now about the quests in themselves.
During quest you’ll basically be assigned one or more task to complete before returning to the one who gave you that very task. Usually you’re gonna just go into the hunting ground, gather materials or hunt down a specific monster and go back to the village.
The basics of the command is to know how to run, jump (or roll or dodge or however you want to call it ) the inventory key, how to carve and the command of your weapons using your mouse to aim and each click to attack.
It is interesting to note that controller are supported, but the game being conceived for the computer doesn’t allow for a practical use of all the function that a mouse and a keyboard would offer.
For the inventory part, you have access to a quick bar at the bottom of the screen that represent the item in your active slot that you can use once your weapons has been put away. You can also pop up the inventory menu with the “I” key to manage this bar with the items you have with you.
Your objective will always be display under the map in case you forgot what you needed to do to complete the quest. The keyword in the task description can be clicked to ping the map to show you where your objective is.
As for your HUD you’ll notice two bars on the top representing your health (the green bar) and your stamina (the yellow bar). You’ll also notice a little blade whose color will depend on the sharpness of your weapon . Aside from those, there is also the timer for the quest and your current level in the game.
On the right of the screen you’ll be able to see the map and your current objective right underneath. This map currently differ from other Monster Hunter game where you could go on a quest and not have it until you picked it from the chest. I don’t know if some quest are gonna be like that but in the present case, the map always showed up and I wasn’t required to take it from the blue chest.
Usually in Monster Hunter, there is no such thing as leveling. You just upgrade your armor and weapons and you figure out how to deal with the monster effectively,knowing his every move and all. As this is still the case, there is also a new dimension to this very mechanics since you have now an EXP bar showing your progression.
The more EXP you get, the more high ranked quests you’ll have access to and more interesting the monster you’ll face will be. The only downside to this is that there is actually an EXP cap per day, meaning you can’t play one day and get to max level (pff…like it would even be possible… )
You can still upgrade your equipment thought, having a better damage output and a better sharpness is always appreciable as well as a new armor set made out of your favorite monster.
The talents are still present although for a poor European like me, very unpractical since it requires to know what each one actually mean.
With all this, one of the big changes from the other Monster Hunter games is the fact that you actually have to purchase the skill to use another weapon, as well as some new moves you could do with that weapons. All of this use, what I believe is, the currency of the F2P that Tencent is using for the game. Remember that this Monster Hunter is based on a free to play model so Tencent has to figured out a way to make an income with it.
The skills and weapons using skills are bought with Red coins that are obtained trough bounty hunt (or so I believe it is) and is actually a good way to get people to play those quest to farm not only resources but also red coins to level up their skills, but you can only do those quest a certain amount of time per day.
The graphics are simply amazing. The CryEngine 3 is doing an amazing job emphazing the world surrounding us and even thought my graphic card is not capable of keeping up the pace to run the game with full graphics, the scenery is just amazing and I have found myself more than once stunned by the amazing look that just the moon can add to the game overall feel.
The monster are as lively as ever and the damages are reflected as they took them. Their fur, their scale and everything seems to be as beautiful as the elder from the Milard village…SERIOUSLY WTF IS THIS “ELDER” SHE FREACKING LOOK LIKE IN HER TWENTY’S ONLY!!! HOW IS THIS AN "ELDER"? ><
I was very surprised by the look of the sun and the general look the light can give to the game, whether it’ll be the moon or the sun passing through some leaves and I already figured out that I could spent hours just looking at the mountain from several point of view
With a lot of oriental vibes to it, the soundtrack from the village is just a delight to ear; you could basically sit there and just listen the sound of the birds around while listening to the general tune of the mountain.
During quests, the soundtrack will go a little bit more nervous adding tension to it’s tune representing the danger that the monster actually represent as you fight them with all your strength. Overall the tune always fits well and will make you dive in the game with his own magical audio identity.
Monster Hunter Online holds so far all the promises it offered with all the juicy teaser/trailer that Tencent released by the past. This review aimed at exposing the general feel of the game and I'm actually very eager to dive more into the depth it has to offer on several point.
Despite my lack of understanding sometimes (chinese is so damn hard ><) the feeling from the game is a very good mix between regular MMO's and the true Monster Hunter spirit that have been the trademark of all other Monster Hunter so far.
Tencent did a really good job working with the CryEngine to give the game an amazing look.The gameplay really feel enhanced with all the skills to unlock for each weapons and with the new addition of the awakening mode.
Each aspect deserve an indepth review for themselve as the game has yet to show what treasure it really holds and as a hunter…
Well, i just can't wait to find out!
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