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It would've actually been uploaded at the weekend for a change, but real-life issues got in the way. Friends are annoying like that.
(This image will do to represent Gen 2. The MH2 boxart is kinda cluttered and unattractive, I prefer this.)
Once again, I'm not going to go through them all because I'm not completely mad, I'll just be highlighting some of the ones that... stand out to me. Feel free to discuss any Gen 2 monster you like in the comments.
Gen 2 was a continuation of Gen 1 (much moreso than Gen 3 was of Gen 2, at any rate) and so Yian Kut-Ku was still around to give newbies a good thrashing. However, Congalala can also be fought very early on as well. And as a new Primatius/Pelagus/Fanged Beast/Whatever Capcom Bloody Feels Like Calling It Today, it posed a new and interesting challenge to all Hunters.
Certainly a strong design, all that vivid pink in the Jungle, and I like the hippo-esque features, but it'll never be one of my favourite monsters ever. Emerald Congalala is a fantastic Sub though.
Back in MH4, to the delight of... not very many?
Daimyo Hermitaur/Shogun Ceanataur
Oh, the crabs. I like both designs a lot, I enjoy both fights a lot, and I'm perpetually disappointed we haven't seen either since Unite. I even don't mind the oddly over-sized skulls they wear. Throw some actually-quite-good equipment into the mix, two above average Subs (Plum and Terra) and you have a recipe for two fan-favourite monsters.
Whilst its detractors might call it a 'sleep element Kut-Ku' - and IMO they're not too far wrong - it does at least have a nice design, a very literal kick-ass attack and a degree of thought-about ecology. Just a fraction.
Cool monster that I wrote an excellent guide for; it's basically a giant, lava-swimming rock fish. Move pool maybe a bit limited - jump, hipcheck, fire-spit, land-wriggle - but I can overlook a LOT of flaws in any monster that eats an Apceros in its intro video.
I both like and dislike Tiggy; absolutely corking design, really intimidating for first time players, and a surprisingly varied move pool, with roars, charges, rock-throws and spins.
On the other hand I have always, since Freedom 2, been really bad at fighting Tigrex. It's a personal thing, perhaps I never practised at him enough, but his hitboxes and unpredictable moves tear right through me. And just to be a total hypocrite, I think Akantor is too easy.
Right up there on my list of 'favourite monsters ever'. Stunning concept (Dragon lizard panther with a beak!) fantastic design, really good gameplay that matches being a challenge and being fun better than almost any other monster. Your mileage may vary, of course.
Kushala Daora is pretty wonderful. It's a fairly archetypal european dragon design, but the 'metal' skin and the wind abilities provide a very fresh slant on it. Plus he's a fun fight.
- Snowy Mountain: I like it. I think it's very scenic and has a nice variety of areas, and the monster fighting areas (apart from 1) have enough space to be practical but not so big you're traipsing for hours across them (looking at you, Desert).
My biggest irritation is the fact it's very linear, and if you're killed fighting something in Area 8 it's a stupidly long distance to get back. A few more shortcuts and it'd be an alltime favourite of mine.
- Jungle: Like all Gen II areas, it's eerily similar to its predecessor (except in this case the caves aren't cold) but visibility is SO MUCH BETTER and on the whole it just looks really nice and has a good vibe. Thumbs up.
- Desert: The two big areas are too big, there's a rocky area and a freezing cold cave. Didn't we do this last week?
- Swamp: Oh go away.
- Volcano: Big improvement on last time, if only because the inside volcano bits don't look so horribly, horribly empty. The rivers of lava that run across them sometimes are seriously annoying, but it's a good step forward.
- Tower: It's nicer than the Castle Scharade - a lot nicer - and I don't have any problems with it in Unite, but just lately it's starting to bug me it's a bit of dumping ground for monsters Capcom can't be bothered to think of an explanation for. Gold and Silver Rath? Stick 'em in the Tower. Dyuragaua? Tower. White Fatalis, Gold and Silver Lavasioth, Rare Nargacuga Species? Screw it, lob em in the Tower. It's not even a very exciting area!
Also in Freedom 2 the climb to fight Silver Rath at the top of the Tower is MORE THAN A LITTLE BIT EXCESSIVE. /rant
- Great Forest: Now, I really like the Great Forest, even if it was basically nicked from Frontier. It's a good area, nice aesthetic, and lively, with an alright variety of areas and they all have decent spacing. Not a bad effort at all.
- Dual Swords (kinda)!
- Hunting Horn!
I actually really like all the Gen II weapons apart from Hunting Horn, which doesn't really become any fun at all until Portable 3rd.
To be posted later.