GOTY #9: Monster Hunter: World

GOTY #9- Monster Hunter: World. This game was quite fun to play, but due to its lackluster middle section, as well as reliance on RNG, it could not be any closer to the GOTY spot. The gameplay was really nice, and it had mechanics that made it very friendly to new players but continued to struggle with repetitive gameplay and bad luck, both of which are found throughout Monster Hunter’s many installments. One thing Monster Hunter World got right is its monster hunts, which are some of the best boss battles I have faced in my gaming history, due to how they show endurance and strength throughout the hunts, while bosses in other franchises are small in scale and have no endurance.

Monster Hunter: World has a lot to love, whether it is cat chefs or a large weapon variety that heavily changes the way you play, Monster Hunter: World offers so much to adore, but the one thing it does perfectly is boss battles. They are long, tedious, and have foes that pass a lot of other bosses’ levels of endurance and strength. The game consists of a large number of hunts, which are just boss fights, and each of them takes a long time, which makes the gameplay boring at times, and adds exciting edge-of-your-seat moments due to the importance of winning the fight. Even the tedious parts are needed and create boss fights that feel genuinely draining to your health. The bosses feel real.

In games that are known for their boss fights, such as Dark Souls, the boss fights only take a few minutes. The bosses are pretty hard in these games, and it makes each few minute fight sessions seem far longer due to its intensity and the time it takes to get to the boss, which is the punishment for losing each time. These bosses still feel somewhat lacking, though, as it only takes a few minutes of swinging your weapons with your scrawny arms to take down large terrifying beasts. Sure, it feels good, but it does not match the same experience found in the Monster Hunter series. Real monsters won’t die so quickly, real monsters endure.

In Monster Hunter: World, you begin every hunt by tracking the monster. This already creates a great feeling that you are in their environment, you don’t know your way around, and the monsters could show themselves at any moment. In most games, there is an indication for when you will fight a boss: a large empty room on part of your map, a door that needs a large key, a white fog clouding your view into a room. In Monster Hunter World it is so different, and it creates a sense of suspense. Where could the monster be hiding? Will any other monsters be in the area? Will the monster be in a location that is easy to fight in, or will it be in an enclosed space leading to nearly-impossible dodging? You are completely unaware of where the monster is, and while searching for it you will most likely encounter other monsters that you were not prepared to fight, causing you to find different routes to search for the monster you are hunting.

The tracking of the monster is more accessible than in other Monster Hunter installments, as the new game uses a new tracking mechanic that shows you where the monster is once you gather enough tracks. This does take away some of the suspenseful tracking, but it also makes the experience less boring and makes sure that you find the monster and have enough time to finish the hunt before the monster leaves.

The timing is also an aspect that makes the boss fight great. You only have a set amount of time to find and kill/capture each monster before they exit the level. This makes every time the monster runs away very stressful and adds importance to finding their common location, and it makes each encounter with non-target monsters very troublesome, as you do not have enough time to fight multiple monsters.

The plethora of monsters in each stage make traversing difficult and makes battles feel dangerous because at any time another monster can enter the fight and bring trouble. A Bazelgeuse dropping bombs while you are trying to murder a Barroth that is barely holding on to its life makes things quite hectic and can make a moment of victory into a moment of uncertainty. The monsters also fight each other, though, which is very fun to watch, and creates a sense that every monster wants to prove their strength. Nobody is safe in this world, everyone must kill.

Every monster has their strengths and their weaknesses. It is interesting to learn where to hit monsters in order to break off parts of their body to collect, and learning their movesets is also very fun. Every monster has parts of their body that you can break off, but most of them are still able to endure a large amount of damage. This is probably my favorite part about the boss fights, they take extremely long and the bosses know when they have to leave and regroup themselves. They feel real and know when to try to escape your never-ending punishment and sleep off their wounds.

Monster Hunter: World’s hunt formula creates an unforgettable experience as well as some of the best boss fights in gaming. The monsters found in Monster Hunter have immense strength and endurance that makes defeating them feel like a true victory. The fights are long, tedious, and intense, and it perfectly encapsulates what fighting a monster would feel like: a battle that is mentally and physically draining, against a monster that refuses to give up until the very end.

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