Now as you are probably well aware, it is very rare to find beauty in a monster. Well for one it’s a monster and monsters are normally made to look rather scary and intimidating. Though many in this day and age have catered to the youth leaving some monsters friendly, cute and cuddly. However, cute and cuddly monsters are not found in the realm of Monster Hunter. So where does its beauty lie? The answer is, in its gameplay. For you all that don’t know, Monster Hunter is a third person action role-playing video game created by the many devs at Capcom. The Monster Hunter franchise has been around for many years, unleashing titles on the PS2, PSP, PC, Nintendo 3DS, Nintendo Wii and Nintendo Wii U. It’s sold over 38 million units across all titles around the world. The game never was a graphical phenomenon and because of this, when it first launched on the PS2 I completely overlooked it. However a great friend of mine urged me to give it a try and thanks to him I did and was finally introduced to the gameplay it has to offer. Through the years of Monster Hunter, the franchise showcased the grind in gaming I never felt before. Gamers constantly playing online in 4 player coop quest ranging from gathering to capturing to even hunting quest. Each quest set in a certain HR level or Hunter Rank, which was pretty much a system crafted to let players know the harder the quest the higher the climb. Easier quest were more like introductions to how the gameplay mechanics work for each type of quest and each type of map. They even would help you build some sort of survival tactics since each map offered both items for survival and threats from both the environment and the species that inhabited it. Everything was a learning experience as with any game, both understanding the benefits and dangers each map and monster had to offer. As the series grew so did the gameplay mechanics. Some examples were not being able to swim/have in water battles or not being able to climb on top or topple monsters to both these examples becoming a reality later I the series. A different example would be within the armor stats, as in earlier titles they would only benefit the player both and defense and elemental resistances. Now full armor sets (and even if mismatched properly) provide physical and elemental defense, as well as buffs or perks so to speak. These perks could help you gather items better, prevent you from being effected by the hot areas or even have a better effect with your bowgun. Classes have evolved over time as well, giving more weapon types to players. This easily allows for more players to form different tactical strategies for each quest and how they would determine to encounter them. They also had a school to help learn how to use each weapon and a farm to help gather items outside of the battlefield. These would all later be replaced with a training/purchase center for your cats (Felynes or Palicos) that can basically fight along side you or you can play as them in place of your hunter. These cats can also be seen cooking you a valuable meal to help benefit you on your next adventure. Also you can hire hunters to go out on separate quest and if they are successful they will bring you back some goodies. Markets can be found both in the village and Hunter Hub or hunter lobby, where you can purchase items, weapons, armor and even upgrade weapons and armor. Markets can grow in inventory the further you move up throughout the game as well, but do to the “rarity rank” of certain items, weapons and armors; certain things can’t be purchased and must be found only on quest. This very same rarity rank also limits what you can trade with other hunters which easily creates more difficulty trying to acquire the higher rarity ranked things. Monsters themselves are very unique even if they look very similar to another. They may have similar attacks but one may surprise you with a poison attack while the other will surprise you with a stun. Fighting, armor and weapons is not everything you need to survive. Knowing what items can be found on the map, which item combinations make what and knowing which items can help make the monster easier to face off with, are all the more beauties of the game. For example a herb taken by itself can heal a tad bit of health but a herb and a blue mushroom can make a healing potion that can heal you a bit better than the herb alone. Extremely hot environments can hurt your health and extremely cold environments can effect your stamina, both can be countered by taking a cool drink and hot drink respectively. Bomb material and a thunder bug can make flash bombs which are used to blind the enemy, while a trap tool and a net can be used to make pit traps that a large monster can fall into leaving them vulnerable for a short period of time. All the gaming mechanics and experience both throughout the campaign and online 4-player co-op all make Monster Hunter shine. It’s a game since the PlayStation 2 era that can be found having players losing sleep over. I know I personally did along with two of my buddies. However it would seem since its last PSP release of Monster Hunter Freedom Unite, the series has yet to make another appearance on a Sony PlayStation platform. One was scheduled for the the PlayStation Vita but was later cancelled. Now the series seems to hold highly on the Nintendo platforms being last released on the Nintendo Wii U and its latest release on the Nintendo 3ds. If you haven’t got into the series, now wouldn’t be too late as Monster Hunter Generations (Nintendo 3ds) offers the best experience (in my opinion) and is the most recent release in the franchise. Were you ever intrigued about the franchise? Would this be a game franchise you’d like to experience? Are you already a fan? If so, tell us about your favorite game mechanics in the franchise? Do any PlayStation owners/fanboys wish the franchise would make another appearance on the PlayStation platform? Leave your answers in the comments. For more on Capcom’s Monster Hunter keep it locked right here on MagGamer.

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