So I spent most of last week being bed-ridden with a pretty nasty cold. I'm the kind of person who will ignore the feelings of sickness until my body completely shuts down and goes into full disease mode, so last week wasn't particularly fun. So most of my entertainment came from my 3DS. More precisely Monster Hunter 4 (MH4U).
This game is pretty damn fun, and it is probably one of the better games in the 3DS catalog. There are many good games in said catalog, but it's hard to look at it without disappointment when you think back to the massive catalog the DS had. Sadly it seems that few people are willing to give the hand-held market much thought these days. I cannot say why, but I do believe that the rise of phone and tablet gaming has something to do with it. This bugs me, personally, because I'm a pretty big fan of hand-held gaming.
See, me and my fiancée live in a TINY apartment. So, each and every meter needs to be accounted for and used to maximum effect. So, naturally, hand-held gaming is pretty popular in here. While we still play on the TV, I had to give up my stationary computer when she moved in. The apartment is a one-room affair, so the person who uses the TV will be the person who dominates the room with noise. So, naturally, hand-held gaming is useful. Either of us can just plug in a set of head-phones into our 3DS and play away without taking up much space, creating noise or distracting the other.But enough about that, let's talk monster hunter.
I really like the difference in weapons in the game. Each class of weapons have their own move-set and function wildly different from the other ones. So, when you switch weapons, it's kind of learning a new game in itself. This coupled with the variety in monsters to hunt makes the game a perfect fit for me, since I like to master systems. Each weapon is a system, each monster is a system. Then combining the two becomes the main thing to master.
The multi-player aspect och the game is also really solid. Not game-play solid, that goes without saying. It is the fourth main game in a long series of multi-player focused games after all. What I mean is that the net-code is solid, and the interface is friendly enough to let you jump into a new game with strangers at a moments notice.
I did however manage to get on my feet for a couple of hours during the weekend. Spent my time getting to know Rebel Galaxy and played some more Blackguards 2. I've done a write up on Rebel Galaxy that will be posted later this week, so I won't talk about it here. If you're interested, stick around a while longer.
Blackguards 2, as I've previously mentioned, is still fun. The game does have some faults, and I thought that they would get to me. But the design of the battles and, dare I say it, the story keeps me coming back.
To justify, I'm not a story kind of person. To me, mechanics is king. But the story in Blackguards has just enough quirkiness to make me interested. It's hard to say that the story is good, but it is told in an interesting fashion. Having you straddle the line between "somewhat compromised good person" and "regular monster" really makes for an interesting yarn.
There is one thing though that has been hard to get around. And that is the voice-acting. Now, before I go on: time for some house-keeping! Firstly: I understand the irony in me, a person who speaks/writes English as a third language, bashing foreign voice-actors and secondly: It probably isn't that bad, it just sounds weird to me.
So, back to voice acting. See, it feels like they wrote the script for the game in German (the studio behind the game's native language), then translated it and handed it to voice-actor who were either Non-native English speakers or not willing/able to remake the material to fit the game. Some of the voice-acting is really good, the main party especially. Every character has a distinct voice and feel to them. I mean, Zubarans voice and dialect feel almost like a cheese-grater on your ears, but when you apply that to the Zubaran, the character, it fits well. I don't think it's an accident.
The weirdness starts with the minor characters. It's the vowels. See, us northern-Europeans, scandics especially, are sensitive to these things. Since we use vowels a lot in our common speech. For a person from Scandinavia, the way you pronounce the letter a can be the different between not two but three letters. So when characters in a video-game starts to throw vowels out left and right, not really being consistent with pronunciation, it really confuses me. One more weird thing is that it seems like entire lines of dialogue have gone missing. Sometimes character say things and reply to things that have never been brought up. In one particular scene in the game, two character are talking about a poison, and the line afters is character A accusing character B of being an asshole for not having made an antidote. This might just be oversight by the voice-crew, or it might have been written differently in the original script, that might have been in a different language. So some things might have actually been "lost in translation". I don't know, I'd be interested in finding out. Luckily, these moments in the game have been few and they haven't ruined anything important, yet. Either way, fun game, good game, flawed game.