Tag Archives: Monster Hunter

Final Fantasy Explorers Review

FFE Final Fantasy Explorers (Available exclusively on the Nintendo 3DS)
ESRB Rating: E10+
Number of Players: 1 to 4
Genre: Action
Publisher: Square-Enix
Developer: Racjin & Square-Enix

Parent Talk: The ESRB rates Final Fantasy Explorers E10+, for everyone over 10 years of age. The content warning includes alcohol references, fantasy violence, and mild suggestive themes. Honestly I wouldn’t worry about the content whatsoever. If someone can understand the class system, and how quests work, they should be able to enjoy everything this game has to offer. There is a lot of information this game throws at you, and children younger than ten may find it hard to come to terms with everything.

Plays Like: Imagine if you took the gameplay from the Monster Hunter series and infused it with Final Fantasy fan-service, and that’s what Final Fantasy Explorers is. You take on quests from a central hub, head out into the wild and hunt down a wide variety of classic Final Fantasy enemies, summons, and more. You can even purchase skins so that your avatar looks like key characters from the series such as Cloud, Squall, and others.

Review Basis: I played up to twenty hours before I had experienced everything this game has to offer. While the core game remains unfinished, I’m at the point where I feel comfortable awarding the game a score.

If you’re a huge fan of the Monster Hunter series, but absolutely love Final Fantasy, this may very well be your dream come true. While it would be unfair to say this is just a simple Monster Hunter clone, it’s close enough. What separates the two is that this game is clearly aimed at the hardcore Final Fantasy fan, the one who wears FF PJs, has played through all 13 of the core games and can tell you exactly how to acquire a Golden Chocobo in Final Fantasy VII. We’re talking about the rabid fans. I’ve only played a few games in my life that have had this much fan-service, so if you love this universe, this may very well be the game for you.

FFE1The Great:

Hands-down the best aspect of Final Fantasy Explorers is the fan service. You can purchase armor that will make you look like Cloud, Squall, Lightning, and countless other characters from the Final Fantasy universe. You can trap classic summoning creatures and use their abilities in combat, and all of the enemies and monsters you fight are based on existing creatures from the popular series. There are surprises everywhere here from items and weapons you can acquire, to surprise characters you will meet on your journey. If you have ever enjoyed a Final Fantasy game before, and you like the gameplay from the Monster Hunter series, you’re going to love this game.

FFE2The Good:

  • The core gameplay is quite solid. The concept is extremely simple, you accept quests from a central hub area, head out into the wild and complete the quest. Simple enough, no? Quests include taking down powerful summoning creatures like Shiva, Ifrit, Odin, and more, all the way to locating key items, or taking out a group of enemies.
  • Job classes are deep, varied, and rich. New classes unlock as you progress through the main storyline, but can only be switched out in the main hub. This isn’t a bad thing per say, but you’ll have to keep it in mind as you progress. Every class has access to different weapons armor sets, but it’s their unique abilities that really separate them from one another. Some classes will level up to the point where they can perform incredible magical attacks, whereas others focus on physical strength. Weapons are also highly dependent on specific classes. Several classes may be able to use swords, for example, but depending on the class your abilities with this weapon vary greatly.

  • The breakdown in classes works something like an MMO, where you have a tank or defensive character, damage dealers, and support classes like mages. You can switch to new classes without penalty, which encourages you to try new ones until you find a set of skills you really like playing with. Thankfully you can save presets so you can switch back and forth with ease. The best news of all is that you don’t start back at level 1 once you switch to a new class, meaning there’s very little reason not to try out multiple classes.

  • While there are a wide variety of abilities, you can only use eight of them at any given time, with four of them being mapped to the face button while holding down the L button and the other four mapped to the same face buttons while holding down the R button. Each ability eats up Action Points, which are represented by a yellow meter. These points are also used for running, which is important as you’ll be running a lot while in battle with larger creatures. In order to replenish Action Points you either have to manually attack an enemy, or wait for the meter to refill. There are also special abilities that you can use periodically which directly impact your future abilities as these abilities are mutations of your core abilities. That’s a mouthful to say that if you use a generic ice attack, eventually you may unlock a special ability where your ice spell adds an additional factor such as potentially a decrease in magic defense. These abilities can then be purchased for Crystal Points, which are one of the two currencies in the game.

  • The party system can be extremely overpowering, but it remains fun. You can have up to three partner monster characters join your party if you happen to locate their amalith, which is to say their spirit. These somewhat rare drops only occur once and a while, and you can use these amaliths to revive fallen monsters and have them join your party. The thing is that they can become insanely powerful after you level them up high enough. In the later portions of the game it’s not uncommon to have your monster partners be significantly stronger than you.

  • The absolute best way to experience Final Fantasy Explorers is with a friend, or three friends to be precise. There is something to be said about screaming at your buddies to help protect you. That’s something else that’s important to mention, each player should take on a specific class, so one or two can be damage dealers, one a tank, and one a healer. When you play online it’s often very difficult to set roles or get people to actually follow each other. The other little caveat is that you can only participate in quests completed by the weakest member. In other words if your party has four players, but one player hasn’t progressed very far, you have to start on those extremely low quests.

The So-So:

+/- The narrative is alright, but nowhere near as deep as something you would find in say a core Final Fantasy RPG. The focus here is on the Grand Crystal and how it powers civilization. Your mission is to establish new pathways to this crystal and ensure civilization can carry on. Like I said, the focus here isn’t on storytelling, but more on getting you out in the wild and hunting down new creatures.

FFE3The Bad:

  • Within a few hours of playing you will have experienced everything the game has to offer in terms of quests. While the difficulty increases over time from one star to ten star ranking, the core quests are always the same. Go hunt down creature X, or collect a certain number of item Y. It all gets extremely repetitive very, very quickly.
  • Forging new equipment often requires you to farm key items that only drop from specific enemies, or are quest rewards meaning you could have to repeat the exact same quest ten times in a row in order to make that fancy new piece of gear you’ve been eyeing.

  • All quests and sub-quests you pick up are tied to the currencies, both Crystal Points and Gil. If you don’t have enough of one type, you can’t take on the quest. This can become quite annoying in the early portions of the game since Gil can be a bit hard to come by at first.

  • The Lowdown:

    Final Fantasy Explorers is an extremely fun game to play for die-hard fans of the Monster Hunter series, or those that eat up everything Final Fantasy related. The problem is that the game is extremely repetitive, and if you’re not into grind-based game, chances are you’ll tire of this one very quickly. The absolute best way to enjoy the game is with a group of friends with each taking on a key role and just having a blast together. These days though it may prove difficult to find four people with the game, which is where online play should have saved the game, but given the somewhat basic feature-set, that’s not really what happens.

    Final Score: 7/10

    Would You Like Some Coffee With Your Monster Hunter?

    While a North American release date for the game has yet to be announced, Monster Hunter 3G shipped for the 3DS in December of last year here in Japan, moving over 1 million units within just two weeks. It goes without being said that the latest re-release of 2009’s Wii hit Monster Hunter Tri is a big deal to Japanese gamers. There’s also been what can only be described as an all-out attack of a marketing campaign. The latest bit of merchandising? Monster Hunter coffee. In a carton.

    I picked some up at 711 the other day before heading to a soubetsukai (farewell party) for one of the places I work at. They keep this stuff in the cooler, separate from a big rack of Monster Hunter swag near the cash registers. But more importantly, how does it taste? It’s delicious. Thank you, Capcom, for spamming my eyes and now my taste buds with such a vast array of Monster Hunter merch. Maybe I will even buy MH3G one day. Maybe.

    Monster Hunter Frontier Online Announced For The Xbox 360

    Capcom’s big announcement from Japan was the revelation of Monster Hunter Frontier Online for the Xbox 360.  We’ve talked a little bit about Monster Hunter Tri, and how the series is extremely popular over in Japan.  So while this news may seem sort of dull to you, understand that this series has sold millions.  This is a very big win for Microsoft.  We’re trying to ascertain whether or not the game will be a timed exclusive or a “full” exclusive.  Either way, Microsoft we salute you because if there’s one country where you need bring your A game, it’s over in Japan.

    We have the first trailer below for your viewing pleasure.

    Capcom’s Spring Line-Up Revealed

    Capcom has been teasing us with a big announcement for the past week now, and this isn’t it.  With this press release you can clearly see that Capcom is going to have one killer year. We’ve also learned that Gears of War characters Marcus and Dom will be exclusive playable characters in the Xbox 360 version of Lost Planet 2.  From what Capcom is saying, it appears these characters will be downloaded through the Marketplace.  Capcom even showcased a trailer that looked bad ass.  If we can find an embedded version, we’ll link it up right away.  So be sure to take a look at the following press release and leave a comment letting us know which game/s you’re looking forward to.  As for the announcement

    CAPCOM®ANNOUNCES SPRING LINE-UP LAUNCH DATES INCLUDING SUPER STREET FIGHTER® IV, LOST PLANET® 2, MONSTER HUNTER® TRI AND FINAL FIGHTTM: DOUBLE IMPACT IN NORTH AMERICA AND EUROPE

    Capcom’s Hottest Titles Secure a Spot on Store Shelves This Spring

    SAN MATEO, Calif. — January 26, 2010 — Capcom® Entertainment, a leading worldwide developer and publisher of video games, today announced release timing for their most highly-anticipated Spring titles including Monster Hunter™Tri, Lost Planet®2, Final Fight™: Double Impact and Super Street Fighter® IV for North America and Europe.

    Western Wii™ owners can join the hunt of Monster Hunter Tri as the hit Japanese phenomenon makes its debut for Wii™ in North America and Europe in April. Showcasing the full power of Wii™ with some of the most strikingly beautiful graphics seen on the platform, Monster Hunter Tri puts players in the role of hunter co-existing in a dynamic, living ecosystem where monsters interact not only with players but other monsters as well. New environments, such as underwater and volcano, present fresh challenges as the hunt can happen on dry land or underwater- a first for the franchise. Monster Hunter Tri features one of the most robust online experiences to be found on Wii with four player online co-op and two player co-op arena quests. For the first time ever, a new Story Mode will ease players into the world of Monster Hunter through quests that introduce game mechanics slowly. Offering varied control configurations to suit their style of play, players can choose between various controllers and schemes to slay the majestic beasts that inhabit the world.

    Breathtaking environments, new weapons, unique vital suits and larger-than-life bosses surface in both North America and Europe on May 18, 2010 in Lost Planet 2. Launching on the Xbox 360®video game and entertainment system from Microsoft® and the PlayStation®3 (PS3™) computer entertainment system, the game is the next installment in the popular action series Lost Planet®. Lost Planet®: Extreme Condition, the landmark third-person shooter that debuted on Xbox 360, went on to sell over 2.3 million units worldwide after its release. Lost Planet 2 will offer deeper insight into the world of E.D.N III and the uncertain fate of future mankind. Players will control their heroes across 6 interconnected episodes, creating a truly unique interactive experience that changes depending upon the actions of the players involved. The intense and action-packed campaign mode comes with the ability to form teams of up to four players on Xbox LIVE® or PlayStation®Network and utilize teamwork tactics, new weapons and a variety of vital suits to fight larger-than-life bosses

    Known for its popular fighting titles, Capcom is happy to also present two strong fighting games for the Spring including Final Fight: Double Impact and Super Street Fighter IV. Final Fight: Double Impact is a dual release of two classic arcade side-scrolling beat-em-ups due to launch as a downloadable title on the PlayStation®Network and Xbox LIVE®. First up is Final Fight™, where players follow the heart-pounding adventures of Cody, Guy, and Haggar – three heroes fighting their way across crime-ridden Metro City in hopes of saving Haggar’s daughter from the evil clutches of Mad Gear. Cody and Guy will also be playable characters in Super Street Fighter®IV giving fans the chance to take a trip down memory lane and experience these characters in their first appearance before playing them in the new Street Fighter® game. In Magic Sword, users will take on the role of the “The Brave One,” a fierce warrior who bears the daunting responsibility of cleansing evil forces by defeating the dark lord Drokmar. Accompanied by eight allies who will lend their assistance by bringing specific skills and talents to contribute to the fight, Magic Sword is an amazing side-scrolling action game illustrated in classic fantasy stylings.

    Super Street Fighter® IV will be coming to the Xbox 360®video game and entertainment system from Microsoft® and PS3 system on April 27, 2010 in North America and April 30, 2010 in Europe. The follow-up to the critically acclaimed Street Fighter IV will further redefine the 2-D fighting genre with a host of new features including new characters, new ultra combos, new online modes, the return of the famed bonus stages and retuned online and offline gameplay. Super Street Fighter IV’s new characters include Street Fighter’s first Tae Kwon Do-styled fighter – the deadly female fighter Juri – classic Street Fighters such as Cody, Guy, T. Hawk, Dee Jay, Adon and more to complement the full roster of returning fighters from Street Fighter IV. Featuring all new user-selectable Ultra Combos and advancements to the online gameplay and matchmaking, Super Street Fighter IV is the ultimate vision of Street Fighter.