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Firstly, I'd just like to apologize for how terribly late this is. I was supposed to have it up by Saturday evening, and then real life, university-related stuff got in the way and...well, you know.
Anyway, this week I thought it would be nice for us to have a look at one of (in my opinion) the best parts of any MH game, the CGI opening videos! These short animated segments, brought to amazingly detailed life by Capcom's wonderful CG engine, feature cinematic representations of in-game mechanics such as setting traps and throwing paintballs. And hey, it makes for kick-ass action.
Let's have a look!
The original! While I find it weird that the grassland area depicted in this video makes no actual appearance in the game, it did a really great job of showcasing the natural behaviour and interaction of a few key monsters such as Velociprey, Aptonoth, and Rathalos.
Monster Hunter G
This one is really cool mainly because it stays away from the hunting /monster action in favour of dramatising the goings-on at the guild and within Minegarde city. We see weapons being crafted, ale being served, quests being accepted, and many other town-related activities on display here.
Monster Hunter Freedom
Probably my least favourite, as it recycles a lot of footage, but hey, it was the first PSP game, and they hadn't really gotten into the swing of things yet I suppose.
Monster Hunter 2
100% badass, this one. The batle with the Blangonga is dazzling and well-executed, and the part where the search party that stumbles upon the Kushala Daora unsheathes all their weapons in unison is awesome. One of my favourites for sure.
Monster Hunter Freedom 2
This one is really geat, especially in comparison to the opening of its PSP predecessor. The flash bomb usage was cool, and the arrival of the two other hunters from the village to help face the Tigrex was great. Not to mention, the snow effects in this one are really pretty too.
Monster Hunter Freedom Unite
More cool item usage here, in the form of mining, map-checking, and trap-laying, as well as using Sleep S to knock out the Rathian. Only problem I have with this one is that while it does showcase the Great Forest, Nargacuga (the flagship monster) is almost nowhere to be seen, save for a blurry, shadowy pounce at the very end. I think it would have been cooler to see the hunters face off against a new threat like Narga instead of boring old Rathian who we've seen a million times. Oh well, maybe keeping a shadowy creature like Narga a mystery in the intro made sense, but a man can dream.
Monster Hunter 3
Wow, this one really is amazing. They wisely strayed from repeating the same old hunter vs. monster setup, and instead made it almost entirely monster-centric. The whole thing is a massive chase sequence, involving such players as Rathalos, Great Jaggi and his pack, a group of Ludroth, and even Lagiacrus. It's instense, and it's a breath of fresh air to see the monsters interact with eachother without the presence of a hunter. Bravo for this one.
Monster Hunter Portable 3rd
I like this one, as unlike MHFU, it actually shows the Felyne companions in action. We get a cool Arzuros fight scene and some footage of Yukumo Village. The colours and music are very pretty as well.
Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate
One of the more action-packed intros in the series. Here, we see three different boss encounters, featuring Azure Rathalos, Ivory Lagiacrus, and Brachydios. We see potion-drinking, underwater gathering, and panic diving in action. I must say, I'm impressed by the water effects as Lagiacrus approaches the shore and bursts out of the sea at the hunter. Bonus points for Great Jaggi slapstick.
Monster Hunter 4
This one is...Okay, I guess. We see bomb traps in action, which is cool, as well as many of the features of the Insect Rod (jumping, sending the bug, etc). While the Tigrex chase through the jungle was cool, we've already seen that kind of thing in MHF2's intro, and I think Gore Magala jumping out of nowhere near the end was a little sloppy. Very pretty though, as always.
-What is an in-game mechanic you would like to someday see implemented in a CG intro?
-Do you prefer monster vs. hunter, monster vs. monster, or town activity in these videos and why?
-What is your overall opinion on the presence of CG intro videos? Are they something you're happy are a part of the series?
Anyway, that's all for this week, sorry again for the obscene lateness!