No, I'm not sure if it's supposed to be two words, but as it's a fan-coined term, it doesn't really matter! (Yeah, Akantor and Ukanlos are 'Flying Wyverns' in-game...)
Apologies for missing it last week, but as I'm sure you've deduced from my lack of activity by now, I have so much stuff on IRL it's not even funny. But lets put that behind us and look, this week, and some very interesting monsters...
Yep, every still remembers Tigrex. The first Pseudowyvern, and very rudely interrupted that Popo Tongue gathering Quest back in Freedom 2. Though he did get a little revamp in the 3rd Generation (for the one game of that era he appeared in) it didn't seem that impressive to me. A lunging spinning attack does not a fresh fight make. Still think Frontier's HC Tigrex is the most interesting version of this guy around, but as most of us will never get to face that one... MH4's "Frenzied Tigrex" is looking rather fascinating.
Well, he's appeared in all of one game so far (who knows, he might make it into MH4) but I think Black Tigrex is a fairly good Sub. Nothing stunning, but I like the color scheme, new location, new super-roar... there's a bit of good stuff there, but I'm not sure he's anyone's absolute favorite subspecies.
I like Narga. I like Nargacuga a lot. I think it's rather clever how it acts as a counterpart to Tigrex; you can see that they're closely related, but whilst Tigrex focuses on raw power, Narga is equally as adept at agility and speed. It's a great comparison. Plus Narga has a smashing design, and is (IMO) vastly more fun to fight. It's one of those really great monsters where the fight is as fun regardless of what weapon you're using.
Bit disappointed he didn't receive a bigger boost in Gen 3, though.
NO NO NO NO NO NO.
Eh... it's ok, I guess, but the invisibility seems very... gimmicky. It makes sense for Chameleos, because it's based on a chameleon, which are famous for their camouflage, etc etc, but why would Narga go invisible? Especially when it blends in well with the Tower anyway. There's a point, the Tower isn't a natural habitat, I wonder where the Rare Species would normally live... The poison mechanic almost works, though. I suppose.
How did I forget Barioth?! I actually like Barioth. Very fierce, powerful, yet almost noble-looking, which is quite an achievement for something with amber fangs the size of your arm. (The fangs are amber from all the times they've been stabbed into Popo by the way. At least according to one of the Encyclopedias).
So, a great design, and the fight is fun as well. It's fast paced, he hits hard, nice combination of different moves, love all the jumping off the wall stuff, that's new. Great gimmick in breaking the front arm stud things, it's about the only time when breaking something feels like it actually changes the flow of the battle.
Not bad, as subspecies go. Not sure about the ruby-red face, but the orange body is nice, and the whole sand tornadoes thing is a good idea and well-executed. Apart from that, he's not massively different to the original, but it could be lots worse.
I was hesitant to add Gigginox... but then I realized he has much the same body structure as, say, Tigrex, and if it fits into the Pseudowyvern category better than any other.
Must say, I really like Gigginox, I think they're a very unique monster, unusually creepy. The fight is pretty fun, even if its move-pool isn't the largest in the world (charge, head swing, lay egg, poison flop/spit) and again lots of weapons seem to work almost equally well against him.
The fact he can cling onto walls and ceilings means I'll be surprised - and a little bit disappointed - if Gigginox doesn't turn up again in MH4.
If I had a list of my favorite Subspecies, going from favorite to least, Baleful Gigginox would be just about bang in the middle. It's not a bad attempt; nicely different color scheme, different mechanics, different pin attack (of all things). The only problems are that his Paralysis is less annoying than the normal Species' Poison, especially at G Rank (or so everyone keeps telling me) and he's still in the Tundra! It's weird, but I think I'd like Baleful Gigginox a lot more if it prowled around the Desert at night. Just seems more fitting.
Hm... I'm kinda divided on this one. I like the appearance, the color scheme, I think he fits very well in the Gorge (and Tide Island, to a degree), and there's uniqueness in the whole meat-eating thing and the fact he never goes into Rage Mode.
But on the other hand every Frontier video makes him look really easy and hilariously sluggish.
Now, Supremacy Pariapuira... I'm looking forward to that.
When Frontier .8 was first announced, a lot of discussion was about how the new monster was just 'a stupid Tigrex re-skin'. How wrong they were! It might have a suspiciously similar body shape, but it seems like a completely different fight (and I'm sure some FO players will back me up here). It's nice to have an ice-element monster that doesn't live in the Snowy Mountains (for once), and his actual attacks (big claw sweeps, ice breath, tail slams) are all visually impressive. The rage mode is damn great as well, it's one of the most dramatic visual changes for Rage mode I think almost any monster has. The HC form is cool as well.
I do quite like how it was first introduced living in the Nest Hole, and then slowly over time it turned up in the Gorge and Highlands as well, as though they are its natural habitat and the Nest Hole really was just a nest. Thought that bordered on quite clever.
The only bit of the design I don't like is the daft, over the top teeth.
Akantor is interesting, because to me it's an example of how a great monster can be ruined by doing just one little thing wrong. He's too slow. And thanks to that, you can deal loads of damage very quickly (especially with Hammers in FU) and he can't really fight back. Boo.
Awesome design, though. And great Ecology vid.
I don't like Ukanlos any more than I like Akantor, because a) he's still quite slow and b) it feels like they tried to fix the 'you can hit him lots rather quickly' problem by just giving Ukanlos a crap-ton of HP. That's cheating, Capcom! You're supposed to make the fight more organic and give the monster new and interesting moves that mean they punish you for trying to hit their weakspot, or they cleverly move their weakness out the way all the time... not just go to the game editor and move a decimal point in the HP meter. /rant Great BGM, color scheme/appearance, though.
Fire, Ice and... Sand? Um, OK Frontier, whatever. You know, this fight actually looks a great deal more fun than Akantor and Ukanlos; I love the way his roars make all the sand ripple, and indeed that all his attacks seem to utilize sand in some way. The design of him is... quite weird, in my opinion, I'm not sure the giant cannon on the back is really necessary, and the face/chin is quite goofy, but the fight looks great, so what more can you ask for.
Still slow, but at least Odeib makes up for it with lots of AoE attacks and sweeping beams and sand swimming and stuff to keep you at least slightly on your toes.
- Comment below to tell me your favorite/least favorite/any you want to see back in future.