Whereas the franchise is simply simply beginning to catch on within the West because of Monster Hunter World, Monster Hunter has been one of many largest gaming manufacturers in Japan for greater than a decade. Only a few gaming collection have managed to interrupt via on a cultural degree within the nation in the best way that Monster Hunter has. It’s on the extent of issues like Dragon Quest, Pokemon, Mario, and Last Fantasy, and it exhibits few indicators of slowing down over time. That stated, in comparison with a few of the different big-in-Japan franchises, Monster Hunter has all the time been slightly extra demanding. As such, it was lacking out on one of many extra profitable demographics: elementary faculty youngsters. Rating a strong hit with them, and also you gained’t simply promote a bunch of video games. You’ll additionally promote toys, merchandise, an animated collection, and perhaps even yearly films.
With eyes on the Pokemon prize, possible bolstered by the smash success of cross-media sensation Yo-Kai Watch, Capcom expanded the Monster Hunter universe with the discharge of Monster Hunter Tales ($19.99) on the Nintendo 3DS in late 2016. A extra user-friendly tackle the Monster Hunter setting, Monster Hunter Tales is especially a single-player JRPG that sees gamers befriending the monsters as an alternative of simply skinning them to make hats out of them. Oh, you’re nonetheless doing the latter, however in a extra oblique and completely much less grisly trend. It’s brilliant, colourful, and includes a bevy of collectible buddies that will help you in your method. Alongside the sport got here an animated collection, Amiibo figures, and different bits of merchandise. It obtained favorable evaluations, and it appeared like Capcom had one other slam-dunk on its arms.
Besides it didn’t. The sport did alright sales-wise, however nowhere close to the extent of the standard Monster Hunter video games. The animated collection got here and went. It lasted for a few seasons, so I suppose that’s one thing. The Amiibos are nonetheless sitting on the cabinets of native outlets, alongside unsold Waluigis and Chibi Robos. Nintendo localized the sport and revealed it outdoors of Japan in 2017, the place it once more met with usually good critiques and comparatively muted gross sales. A few months later, Capcom revealed a cellular model of the sport in Japan, and now we’ve obtained a stunning little English model of the identical. Will its fortunes be totally different this time round? In all probability not, however that doesn’t imply the sport isn’t fairly good in its personal proper. On prime of that, this cellular model is decisively higher than the 3DS unique. Until you actually hate contact controls or actually love Amiibos, there’s no purpose by any means to decide on the opposite model of Monster Hunter Tales.
In truth, let’s get this out of the best way immediately. How is that this port? Nicely, you do lose a couple of issues. Button controls, for one. There’s no MFi help right here, so that you’ll need to make do with some actually well-implemented digital controls. I’d think about most of you possibly can, for those who’re studying this. Amiibo help is clearly out, and so is StreetPass, at the very least within the type that it appeared within the 3DS model. The visitor look from The Legend of Zelda‘s Epona has also been cut, naturally. In return, you get a game that finally runs on hardware that can handle it. The resolution is higher, the draw distance is farther, and perhaps most critically, the framerate is silky-smooth. Monster Hunter Stories really pushed the 3DS to its limits, and even those using a New 3DS would run into occasional technical issues. It’s all clear right here, and it’s merely fantastic to see the sport attain its full potential. One other essential addition is an auto-save function, which marks your progress after essential occasions or once you transfer to a brand new space. Please don’t overlook to make a tough save when you possibly can, although.
Excised cameos however, the cellular model of Monster Hunter Tales accommodates each little bit of content material discovered within the unique recreation. You’re taking a look at round 40 hours of gameplay to clear the primary story, and you may faff about with some post-game dungeons, Poogie-collecting, and filling out your Monsterpedia for an additional 20 hours or extra in the event you’re that-way inclined. Like with most big-name JRPGs, you get numerous bang on your buck right here, even when a few of it looks like filler. It’s a visually wealthy recreation, maybe one of many best-looking JRPGs you will get on iOS, and it’s full of fully-realized areas to discover, a refreshing oasis within the cellular sea of menu-based cities and dungeons. In the event you’re in search of a correct (reasonably) high-budget JRPG to play in your cellular gadget and are uninterested in replaying decade-plus-old Last Fantasy and Dragon Quest video games, that is your cease. The sport additionally holds appreciable attraction for Pokemon followers who don’t thoughts one thing with maybe rather less mechanical depth, and Monster Hunter followers who simply need to benefit from the world of the video games from a unique perspective.
The premise sees you enjoying as a customized character who lives in a village the place the individuals study to befriend monsters, which they name Monsties, with the assistance of particular artifacts referred to as Kinship Stones. Because it tends to go in video games like these, you’re enjoying a teenager who’s simply reaching the age the place they will bond with their very own Monstie and grow to be a full-fledged Rider, taking over quests and sub-quests to serve the village’s pursuits. Sadly, at virtually the very same time, a phenomenon referred to as the Black Blight begins to have an effect on the monsters of the world, turning them hyper-aggressive and much more harmful than regular. For those who’ve already guessed that it’s going to fall to you to unravel this drawback, congratulations! You cross the primary check. Though your village stays remoted for its weird strategy to coping with monsters, you’re going to have to interrupt out into the broader world to deliver issues to an in depth. Will you study the facility of friendship on the best way? Sure. Sure you’ll. And you’ll prefer it, by golly.
It’s not probably the most concerned of tales, nevertheless it’s partaking sufficient. The characters are all the essential types you usually see in merchandise aimed toward this younger demographic, however a energetic localization and the sport’s eye for cinematic angles assist to spice issues up sufficient to in all probability maintain you following alongside. Even in the event you choose to take a look at on the story, and I can’t blame you in the event you do, it’s hardly the primary level of all of this. That framework is simply there to offer you a purpose to scour the world for Monstie Eggs and attempt to hatch an enormous ol’ military of cute-ified beasts from Monster Hunter video games previous. In line with Monster Hunter custom, you’ll additionally have to maintain your eyes open for useful resource factors the place you’ll be able to collect goodies to improve your gear and earn some money.
There are additionally tons of sub-quests that may require you to go forth and both fetch one thing, kill one thing, or kill one thing and fetch what it drops. Between accumulating, finishing most important story objectives, checking off sub-quests, and simply exploring the gorgeous world, the sport strikes alongside at a surprisingly brisk tempo more often than not. It’s good and chewy in the best way that the Pokemon video games are typically, and most of the methods stapled on from Monster Hunter correct solely make it extra compelling. It’s fascinating how such a special recreation can really feel so true to the model simply by taking note of the little particulars, however that’s simply what Monster Hunter Tales does. We’ve by no means seen this world so candy-colored, however it most assuredly seems like the identical world.
That being stated, Monster Hunter Tales biffs it a bit on one of many typical methods video games that goal at Pokemon do. The fight system simply isn’t deep sufficient. It depends closely on a rock-paper-scissors system the place selecting the best sort of assault tremendously impacts the injury you deal and take. There are many supporting expertise and such, and a minimum of at first it’s fairly enjoyable to study the sorts of strikes enemy monsters favor and counter appropriately. As the sport winds on, nevertheless, enemy conduct will get extra complicated and random, leaving the entire primary assault system feeling a bit too reliant on probability. May often makes proper even when fortune works towards you, nevertheless it’s irritating that it wasn’t extra nicely thought-out almost about the lengthy recreation.
There are additionally some flashy and enjoyable combo assaults and experience strikes you can also make use of, and they’ll usually tilt the tables in your favor should you’re having an excessive amount of hassle. Even the combo assaults depend on probability, although, since they require your AI-controlled Monstie to make use of the identical assault that you simply select towards the identical weak monster. Parts are accounted for however are literally of little or no sensible worth in the primary story in comparison with the core rock-paper-scissors system, making selecting your gear quite a bit much less fascinating and strategic than in the primary video games. You’re going to be doing loads of battling on this recreation, and whereas it seems good and feels enjoyable at occasions, too most of the issues that matter are out of your management, and too most of the issues underneath your management barely matter in any respect. Capcom nailed the a part of Pokemon‘s attraction related with accumulating cool monsters, however missed out on giving gamers a purpose to make use of all these cool monsters in really significant methods.
It’s too dangerous, as a result of the monster breeding in Monster Hunter Tales is absolutely superb. You’ll be able to fuse your Monsties, selecting the genes that you simply need to move on to be able to create distinctive and typically ridiculously overpowered outcomes. This technique, dubbed Gene Channeling, is likely one of the extra compelling options of the sport, permitting those that choose to study its intricacies the chance to create Monsties which are really their very own. Until you propose on taking over the post-game content material, it’s in all probability not essential to tinker round an excessive amount of with this a part of the sport, however I feel some gameplay techniques can get by even with no helpful finish past the method itself, and this can be one in every of them. I think you realize your self nicely sufficient to know if that is going to attraction to you, so I’ll simply depart it there.
Capcom has gone about this cellular model in as truthful a method as attainable. You possibly can check out a reasonably substantial demo of the sport by way of Monster Hunter Tales The Journey Begins , which lets you play the opening a part of the sport to see how properly you’re taking to it. After enjoying it, it is best to have a reasonably good concept of whether or not or not the sport is to your tastes. For those who like what you see, you’ll be able to transfer over to the fully-paid, premium Monster Hunter Tales ($19.99), the place you possibly can import your knowledge from The Journey Begins and decide up proper from the place you left off. How about that? There are not any IAPs or another shenanigans. Only a premium recreation at a very reasonable worth, and a free demo that not solely permits you to check out the sport but in addition carry over your progress to the paid app.
It’s type of wild to assume that a recreation launched lower than a yr in the past within the West on the Nintendo 3DS for $40 is now out there in a significantly enhanced type on cellular for half that worth. I’ll have my nits to select with Monster Hunter Tales, however the recreation is definitely fairly an excellent JRPG all-around. It ranks pretty excessive even among the many spectacular JRPG library of the Nintendo 3DS, so within the more and more dry conventional JRPG panorama that’s in the present day’s cellular gaming market, it’s an actual blessing. It’s inferior to a mainline Pokemon launch, nor will it hold you enjoying so long as a mainline Monster Hunter recreation, however I think followers of both on the lookout for one thing to play on their telephones or tablets gained’t be sad with Monster Hunter Tales.