Monster Hunter World PS4 Review

My fiancée and I started several games together in 2018 including Destiny 2 and Monster Hunter World. We didn’t finish either of them. The former was a rather boring if I’m being honest. It felt great to play but we didn’t feel engaged to the story or whatever narrative Bungie cobbled together. The latter, we actually enjoyed but well documented issues with its co-op setup made it just a tad too annoying to get back to. (She also doesn’t have her own PlayStation 4 but that’s another issue) 

Monster Hunter World had the two fist bumping and celebrating after each triumphant hunt. The fundamental rules and mechanics of Monster Hunter World were simple to learn. We both took time trying out several weapon types in the training area before committing to one. I gravitated towards the hammer with its thunderous hits while my fiancée eventually settled on the long sword with its flashy finishers. We practiced our moves, checked out YouTube tutorials, and before long, we were on our way to skinning and gutting monsters to satisfy our vanity. 

The hunts were fun. Figuring out how we could tackle each monster or monsters was exciting and rewarding. It was everything else in-between that felt lacking and needlessly convoluted. The main story missions required each of us to have viewed the cutscenes before we could team up. That ludicrous requirement meant that one of us had to jump through the rigmarole of: starting mission, triggering the cutscene, quitting, and waiting for the other person to finish doing the same before we finally unite. I wouldn’t mind it if the cutscenes were worth a watch but they were awful hokey time wasters that added little entertainment value. 

Discovering new hunts and challenges were always welcomed. It forced us to revisit our gear, get into the crafting mechanics, and examining our options. Less thrilling or engaging were Capcom’s attempts on creating cinematic hunts. They asked us to load cannons, shoot spears, and other one-off gimmicks in an effort to bring down these mountain sized monsters. It wasn’t thrilling; it was annoying to jump through these hoops to get back to the real meat of these games.  

I can’t even enjoy those cinematic moments as a voyeur of pretty graphics. To be frank, Monster Hunter World on the PlayStation 4 Pro was not what I consider pretty. The monsters genuinely majestic and awesome but the everything else – particularly the lighting – left a lot to be desired. An uncapped framerate was ideal but it was playable. There were slowdowns but framerate was relatively consistent enough to allow for predictable action.  

The technical issues would have been alleviated by switching to the PC platform where 60 FPS, and sharper visuals would have been possible but my that would have only polished up the technical issues. The various design issues surrounding the excellent core Monster Hunter experience still needs refinements and no amount of PC power could make up for that.  

We can all agree that Destiny 2 is the more polished experience but it didn’t grab either of us like I thought it would. We actually want to spend more time with Monster Hunter World and as evidenced by its monstrous sales, we are not alone. Monster Hunter World was a major step forward for the franchise and when they ironed out the peculiar design decisions in a sequel, it could reach even greater heights.  

Verdict: 
I liked it 

Ratings Guide

Street Fighter V PS4 Review

Capcom’s Proposal to Consumers:

You give us $69.99 and we’ll give you a quality barebones fighting game featuring a selection of your favorite characters plus some new ones. You will be able to fight online against other players powered by the best netcode this series has ever seen.

We know the single player content is lacking but we promise to give you a cinematic story experience in June. We’re also going to expand beyond the basic online multiplayer options with lobbies.

Don’t forget, we’re also rolling out new characters which you can earn for free or pay us for. Check out our season pass, it’s only $29.99.

I don’t blame anyone for not wanting to shell out money for Street Fighter V. There’s a lot of quality in Street Fighter V but at some point, quantity has to show up as well. I wasn’t expecting a story mode akin to Mortal Kombat 9 and X but I expected a barebones arcade mode at the very least. They could have included the same single player arcade mode employed in Street Fighter II and most people wouldn’t have batted an eye. It’s what we’ve come to expect from the series but when they couldn’t even match that and instead offered a tedious survival mode and a paltry story mode consisting of a handful of easy one off matches, they must have known it would have garnered criticism.

At its core though, there’s a fun and engaging fighting game. I love playing it and when the online matchmaking finds a quality opponent, I have a blast and want to keep playing. The problem is that recently (just over a month after the game’s release), I’m spending more time looking for quality matches than I am participating in them. I’ve been told that I should be looking for matches during peak times and not at 10 or 11 at night which is fair but at the same time, this is the first game that I had to make these kinds of concessions for. I didn’t have these kinds of issues in early March.

So I’ve been playing the survival mode and dabbling in the training mode whenever I wanted some guaranteed quality time with Street Fighter V. It’s such a satisfying game to play. I love how easy it is to execute moves and the changes they made to characters like Charlie gave those characters new life. A number of characters received command input changes for their classic moves. For example, Chun Li’s Lightning Kick was changed from mashing kick to quarter circle forward (QCF) and kick. I appreciated those changes but I also wished they just made everything a quarter circle motion at this point — but I’m just not a fan of charge moves so that’s just my own bias.

The words “lovingly crafted” don’t immediately come to mind when I look at the visuals Street Fighter V. It may remind some people of Street Fighter IV but if they actually looked at Street Fighter IV today and not in their mind’s eye, Capcom’s latest looks markedly superior in both style and technical quality.

The game makes a great first impression. The characters look amazing and move with fluidity that remind me of the shift to Street Fighter III. After staring at the game for a few hours, I started to notice the ugly dithered shadow work and wonky clipping of hair, belts and other loose clothing. As for the backgrounds? The less I speak about those hideous assets the better. They’re fun and feature nice touches here and there but it’s clear that they had to make sacrifices in order to keep the game running at 60 FPS.

I wouldn’t recommend Street Fighter V to many people. People dreaming of robust Mortal Kombat length single player campaigns or any significant single player offering will be left disappointed. But if you’re a fan of the competitive aspect of Street Fighter — playing against other players online or offline — Street Fighter V has a very basic representation of what you’re seeking. The core fighting feels fantastic and if you can find players to do battle with, you’re going to have a blast. I want both and thus it’s been a disappointment. I have faith that Capcom will deliver the product I want. I just wish they didn’t charge full price for it yet.

Verdict:
It’s okay

Ratings Guide

Paris Games Week?

Another tradeshow was brought to our collective attention as Sony held a two hour press conference to open Paris Games Week. It was a well produced press conference but there weren’t any unexpected surprises. (Of course a Gran Turismo was coming, you’re a fool if you thought otherwise.)

Even without the bombastic reveals, it was nice to see release windows narrowed and more footage of announced titles.

Announcements

  • No Man’s Sky launches June 2016
  • Tekken 7 coming to PS4 & Xbox One
  • Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End launches March 18, 2016
  • Nier sequel officially named Nier Automata via NeoGAF
  • DRIVECLUB Bikes launches today as an standalone expansion
  • Gran Turismo Sport announced for PlayStation 4
  • Quantic Dream’s Detroit: Become Human announced for PlayStation 4
  • Street Fighter V launches February 16, 2016 via Capcom Unity
  • Uncharted 4 Multiplayer Beta will run from Dec. 4 – 13 via PlayStation.Blog

Media

My interest for Guerrilla Games’ Horizon: Zero Dawn grows with every piece of media I see. I don’t have a firm grasp on what exactly Monster Hunter is but this looks like a westernized Monster Hunter to me. I suggest you watch the walkthrough above, it’s neat to say the least. Then you can watch these two other videos if you wish.

Uncharted 4 Multiplayer PGW 2015 Trailer

Star Wars: Battlefront PGW 2015 Trailer

Detroit: Become Human PGW 2015 Reveal Trailer

Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Dual Destinies iOS Review

It’s been over half a decade since I wrapped up Ace Attorney: Apollo Justice. Since then, we had a couple of Miles Edgeworth adventures and the less than stellar Professor Layton vs. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney game that only reminded me how much I missed Ace Attorney proper.

I could have played Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Dual Destinies when it made its North American on the Nintendo 3DS but Capcom Japan made it known that an iOS version of their game was launching soon. With a choice between a fair and logical digital distribution service and a borderline travesty, I chose to wait and hope for a North American release of the iOS version. That iOS release debuted in the second half of 2014.

I’m glad I waited. I’m sure I would have formed fond memories with the 3DS version as well but the jump to more capable hardware did wonders for the presentation. This is the best Phoenix Wright and the gang have ever looked.

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