Capcom recently released a new edition in the Monster Hunter franchise for smartphones, titled Monster Hunter: Massive Hunting. There is already a Monster Hunter game out for smartphones, Monster Hunter: Dynamic Hunting, so what's the reason for releasing an update so soon? Let's find out.
After playing for a little, the first thing that struck me was that Massive Hunting feels a bit closer to the original Monster Hunter/console gaming style of gameplay than Dynamic Hunting did.
Before I get much further in the review, I'd like to point out that you're going to need a GREE account before you can play this game, even though this isn't mentioned anywhere in the game's description on the App Store. Just wanted to let you know.
- What kind of game is Monster Hunter?
Monster Hunter (or "MonHan" as the cool kids call it) is a hit game series originally for home gaming systems. The basic goal of the game is to find and fight monsters (dragons, enormous monkeys and such) using huge weapons, then you collect the claws, fur, etc., you get after defeating the monster and use them to make stronger weapons. The game's appeal lies in the wide variety of monsters to fight and the detailed customization of weaponry and armor.
- Search for monsters in fields, just like on the console versions
Once you've picked out which monster you're going to hunt, the next step is heading out in the field to search for the monster. Tap different areas on the map to move, and you'll find various items to pick up and smaller monsters to face off against.
In the console versions of the Monster Hunter games, you would actually use the controller to walk around the map, but Massive Hunting, you simply tap to go to the area you want. It may seem a little lacking compared to the console version, but it's a reasonable compromise.
- Fighting is nearly the same as on Dynamic Hunting
Once you find the monster you're after, it's time for some serious battling. The battle system is very similar to that of Dynamic Hunting, where you run around, wait for an opening to strike, and then tap the screen when you see the chance to attack.
As on Dynamic Hunting, there is a warning when the monster is about to attack, which makes it easy to time your defensive moves. For those who have played the PSP version, you may find that this "feature" makes the game too simple. I wish there was an option to turn these warnings off to make the game a bit more challenging.
- Here's the problem...
I was pretty surprised at the amount of waiting the game makes you do. Even though I was connected to a Wi-Fi network, I'd have to wait 20-30 seconds for each new screen to load. It seems that the game's servers may currently be overloaded with users, thus leading to such long wait times. Hopefully they'll get quicker as they work out the kinks and upgrade their server power.
Also, Apple devices with the new bigger screens (iPhone 5 and 5th-gen iPod Touch) have a black bar to either side of the game screen, which is not a good use of screen real estate.
Now that Massive Hunting lets you wander around fields searching for monsters, it feels a bit more like a Monster Hunter game. This game does have some social features, but there's still plenty to enjoy here if you're simply interested in playing all by yourself.
The base app is free, but there is a lucky lottery thing where you win new armor, materials, etc., that costs money. If you don't feel like grinding your way through Monster Hunter and would rather spend money to get the good stuff, now you've got the chance.
Monster Hunter: Massive Hunting [iTunes]
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Time played: about 2 hours
Device used: iPod Touch (5th generation)
Publisher: Capcom Co., Ltd.
Last updated: 2/3/2013
Price: free + paid items
Compatibility: iOS 5.1 or higher
Translation by Jason Morgan