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Hello, and welcome to Discussion of the Week: Winter Wonderland!
Wow, I'm a bit rusty at this. But, it's that time of year (for those of us in the northern hemisphere, at least). Winter is coming! So let's look back at some snowy places and freezing monsters from across the entire franchise.
I started with Freedom 2, so this is the first ever area I saw, and it'll always hold a special place in my heart. To this day I still think it's a great environment - variety in the low grasslands at the bottom, icy caves in the middle, wind-blasted mountain tops. I just wish it didn't take five minutes to get from base camp to the top.
The third gen equivalent, I also appreciate this place a great deal. A little plain and flat in places, but the caves are awesome, and the great monsters here really make up for it. I also love the secret areas the Brute Wyverns open up when they want to rest.
Have never been here myself, but I like the look of it. It's sort of a merging of the two previous zones, with it's own unique twist - there's steep mountain sides, and freezing caves, and snow-covered plains, plus an iced-over zone, which Zamtrios seems to enjoy.
The aurora borealis looked amazing in Portable 3rd, got to give it that. That aside, it's a fairly good one-off area. A freezing cold cavern designed for fighting Ukanlos... the roar sending icicles down from the roof is a good touch.
A great furry ape, always fond of summoning help in the form of irritating Blango. I like Blangonga - a fun fight without being a pushover, always keeping you on your toes. Breaking the fangs is a bit annoying, though (Fire Element is required).
I've probably said this before, but I'm never sure if I like Ukanlos or not. It's surprisingly fast and agile for such a big monsters, which is a plus; there's a nice mix of swimming attacks, charging, icebeams, etc, and in terms of design it's fairly distinguished from Akantor. I like the blade thing it's got going on. But there's a certain undefinable 'spark' missing, I think. Maybe I'm just bitter about his massive amounts of HP in Unite.
It's a totally different style of fight, but I like it for much the same reasons as Blangonga - fast and challenging. Barioth also has a slightly more varied movepool, launching freezing twisters, jumping off the walls, hipchecking - you name it. I love that breaking the wing spikes makes it slip on the ice though, that's a genius touch.
Loathsome, scuttling, blind - Gigginox is an impressively repulsive cave dweller, lurking in the cold of the Tundra for unsuspecting prey. Great design, slightly slower, almost rhythmic fight - but that pin attack though. Bleugh.
Like a lot of the new monsters introduced in the fourth generation, Zamtrios is very, very good. It's a unique design (shark crossed with a frog!) with a busy, keep-you-on-your-toes fight - but most of all the fight changes as it goes along. Sometimes Zamtrios is encrusted in hardened ice, sometimes its inflated and bouncing around the zone, and other times it's 'naked' and simply trying to eat you. A great way to stop it getting stale!
Confession time - Agnaktor is one of my all time favorite monsters. So it's no surprise I love the subspecies to bits as well. Something as simple as switching the armour around works wonders (it goes soft instead of hard over time) and it's still got that fantastic, almost sea-horse esque design. Plus it's a generally really fun fight!
- What's your favorite snowy or icy area? Doesn't have to be on this list!
- Favorite monster that's exclusive to somewhere snow-bound? Ditto!
Blog update to come tomorrow!