Monster Hunter World ≠ Dauntless

A quick glance at Dauntless’ potential player base would make one thing abundantly clear: Dauntless served as a substitute solution to a long existing problem. In 2004 when Capcom released Monster Hunter they created a genre, and over the last decade, the franchise has received numerous iterations – across various platforms – with none of them released on PC. If someone was interested in playing Monster Hunter they would first have to overcome the console barrier. You could always go with the mobile game, but if you were serious about the “authentic experience” you’d have to spend money investing in a console, any of which would play the game at a much lower visual fidelity than you’d come to expect from your PC.

A little over a year ago Phoenix Labs presented a solution to that issue. They would create a Monster Hunter style game that could be played on PC, finally allowing players interested in action RPGs a look into one of the best games in the genre. It would also provide an opportunity to anyone interested in sharing their passion with their friends without a financial barrier to entry – the game would be free to play.

Today, Capcom, the original creators of Monster Hunter, announced Monster Hunter Worlds. Giving fans something they’ve spent over a decade clamoring for, and in the YouTube comments the faction of Dauntless followers that only saw Dauntless as a substitute good made their intentions known. For all they cared Dauntless no longer needed to exist; the game’s raison d’être, as far as they were concerned, had been filled by the announcement of a “true” Monster Hunter game, and they no longer required Dauntless to satiate their MH cravings.

I want to know how big that sector is. How many of you were anxious for Dauntless simply because you couldn’t get Monster Hunter on PC? And taking Monster Hunter Worlds’ announcement into consideration, do you still have plans to download Dauntless when it releases? If not, what could it do to ensure that you would download it and give it a try? 

In antithesis, what could Capcom do wrong that would make you consider asking Steam for a refund and downloading Dauntless instead? 

@WASDmeta

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That Incredible “In-Hand Feel”

I’ve heard it said more than once that someone simply loved the “feel” of a game. As if it was a new food against the surface of their tongue or a stone against their fingers, they explain the experience as if it was a visceral one. Despite Destiny’s objectively rough story and treadmill-like loot grinding, it is rare that you play an FPS that urges you to pull back on the shoulder button repeatedly, simply to, again and again, feel the satisfying recoil of the gun. It is the weight behind a melee attack in Halo that makes hitting someone with the butt of a rifle or knocking them back with an elbow so rewarding.

This is why, notwithstanding my statement on writing reviews, I had to sit down and talk about the shooting in Rainbow Six Siege. As a game with a history dating back to 1998, going into it would be beyond the scope of what I want to cover here, but within the first two minutes of purchasing the game, I knew it was a good buy. The developers did something that allowed me to, by even watching the game played on stream or in a YouTube video, experience the action of the rifle: the recoil as the bullet left the barrel and the slight kick-back as the shell is ejected and another round is pushed forward for the next shot.

Somehow small indie studios have managed to find the source of this wonderful game mechanic magic and implement it into jumping, sword swinging, and spell casting. A feeling that I once thought could only be experienced through the efforts of hundreds of people, is now being delivered by teams with less than a dozen.

So when I select a game for On My Radar or decide to dedicate time in posting continuous coverage of its development, not only do I think it innovative in its genre, that the devs poured gallons of their blood into it and deserve recognition, but somewhere in me I know that – like Rainbow Six Siege – those satisfying visuals allude to an upcoming incredible gameplay experience.

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I later want to delve into what mechanics must be implemented and done just right to make a game feel good, but I know it’s going to take a lot of research so it will have to be after the features I’m already working on. 

On My Radar – Week 3

Dead Cells

I was six, and with my purple GameBoy Color in hand and “Elmoe in Grouch land” as my guide, I began my intrepid journey into the world of video games.

Years later, with the GameBoy put away, my love for quasi-2D side scrollers had stuck for good. So with the announcement of Dead Cells, I was sold. They proudly call themselves “Metroidvania” and “Roguelike” but to the unaccustomed those words don’t mean much. Dead Cells is a 2-D scroller in a procedurally generated world. The world itself is dark, but the monsters, their drops, and your attacks light the world with brilliant color.

  • Special attributes can be purchased in the shop, altering your weapons and changing up the facets of combat, ultimately changing your build and play style.
  • Cells, which help you to improve your moveset and unlock a wide variety of new weapons, are dropped from enemies but are lost for good when you die – so in this game, it’s better to spend than save.
    • You get the nostalgia for Metroid when you realize that these moves you’ve unlocked can help you traverse the world in different ways, allowing you into areas you didn’t even know where there.
    • But it’s the RPG-esc progression, the story, mixed with the game mechanics and dungeon crawl that make it a “roguelike.”

Whatever you refer to it as, Dead Cells is turning out to be an amazing looking game, and one I’m already looking forward to getting my hands on. If the developers continue on their current path, we’ll have a gorgeous reinvention of a classic that both Mac and PC gamers will enjoy for a long time.

 


Dauntless

I’ve already posted about Dauntless on the site. Transcribing an entire interview illuminated a lot about the game that I didn’t already know. Feel free to go over to that post to see exactly what I find so incredible about it. 

As a brand new I.P. Phoenix Labs needed a comparison that would draw interested parties to their game, and in their search they made an incredibly apt comparison. Dauntless stands out as “a PC version of Monster Hunter” and everyone that’s set their eyes on both can see the similarities.

Given the ability to tear limbs off monsters and use those parts for weapons and armor, players that have experience with the sub-genre will instantly feel at home. Add in the crisp and but slightly daunting feeling of combat, and the fact that you can play this game cooperatively with friends, and even those inexperienced when it comes to fantasy based RPG’S will have the time of their lives. Oh, and it’s free to play – so in-game payments for faster progression and a higher chance of drops – but no game is perfect.

Here’s some combat footage:

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On My Radar – Week 2

In an attempt to give this blog a little more personality I’m going to share the games on my wishlist more often – even if they’re not early access or yet to be released. So, here’s On My Radar, Week 2:

Mr. Shifty

I’m a little behind on this one, entering beta last month Mr. Shifty was recorded and played by a variety of popular YouTubers, but it wasn’t until today that it came across my screen.

I was initially terrified by the gameplay – I know my limitations, and fast paced twitch-response games are beyond those limits – but the game’s controls are so intuitive that that’s not something you need to worry about. The game provides a momentum and inertia to the button presses and combat actions that your movements acquire a flow. Upon starting a round you’d swear the obstacles you see are impossible to traverse, but a few tries later the impossible has been conquered.

Another standout of tinyBuild Games‘ creation is that every hit comes with a sense of impact. Whether it’s through sound design mixed with aforementioned game mechanics, it feels as if every punch you land is a real one, giving the game weight and substance you rarely get from an Indie game.  The music also does an excellent job of getting you into the rhythm of things.

Mr. Shifty - Eliminate Threats


Today I found out about a game that came out in 2015 called Evoland 2 (developed by Shiro Games). And I can’t believe I hadn’t come across it before.

Maybe because at the time I was primarily a console player, but Evoland 2 is an extremely refreshing change from your classic RPG. It’s irreverent, in the fact that it makes fun of the most annoying RPG tropes; straddles the fourth wall, with one of the characters saying “I can’t open this chest, I guess the developer forgot to…” within the first hour, and innovative in its time travel implementation.

What makes this game so interesting, and unlike any RPG I’ve ever seen, is that as the characters travel through time the game’s graphics change. When the characters are thrown into the past the graphics degrade, sometimes with the characters commenting that they feel less detailed, and as they travel into the future the graphics improve. The game is sometimes a 2D sides roller, sometimes

I’ve only known about it for less than a day, but it’s already at the top of my Steam Wishlist. If and when I get my hands on it, I will be sure to share my impressions.

Evoland 2 - Metal Gear

evoland-2-gameplay-street-f

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On My Radar

This week’s OMR:

  • Hive Jump
    • A game I’m more than slightly behind on is a “retro” shoot-em-up. It’s an end of the day, let off some steam, unload your stress and your ammo into some alien adversaries type game.
  • Oxygen Not Included
    • Became addicted to this one early last week. To the point that I’m following multiple YouTubers as they play through they game.
    • It’s a colony care game by the makers of Don’t Starve; people are calling it a mix between that and Rimworld (Neither games I’ve played, so I can’t confirm or deny these claims.)
  • Hollow Knight Releases February 24th
    • A dark, hand-drawn 2D platformer. RPG elements allow you to pick how you evolve as you level up and equip charms that add special attributes.  I have my fingers crossed on getting a copy of this one before release, but most signs are pointing to no. If for some chance I do, I will definitely be posting video gameplay. 

Hollow Knight is made by Team Cherry
ONI is made by Klei
Hive Jump is made by Graphite Lab

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