When I was a wee lad, every weekend in winter my mother would drop me off at the local movie theater to see a matinee. I’m going back to the 1960s & early 70s now. The theater had one screen so you paid your 75 cents for a ticket and you watched what they were showing. And usually what they were showing was a monster movie.
I’m talking about the classic giant monster movies. Godzilla was the superstar of course, but there was also Rodan, Mothra, Gamera and others I’ve since forgotten. All these monsters tended to fight each other over and over in different films. Think of them like the Marvel characters of today where we see the same characters showing up in many films. Man I LOVED these movies back then, because I loved these monsters. I knew all their attacks and abilities (as did my friends) and we’d nerd out talking about who would win in a fight.
Which brings me to Monster Hunter. Now listen, I’m new to Monster Hunter. I mean I’ve dabbled in a few of the earlier games but was never willing to put in the work to get good at them, so all the monsters in Monster Hunter World are new to me. Part of learning the game has included watching lots of videos and reading lots of blog posts from long-time fans of the series though, and from them I learned that most (maybe all?) of these monsters have been in earlier games. These long-time players talk about them with the same fondness that I had for Gamera, and running up to launch they’d start geeking out whenever they’d learn another old favorite would be in the game.
(Gamera was one of my favorites because clearly a giant turtle who could retract his legs inside his shell and then have jet rockets shoot out of the leg-holes to make him spin and fly is the BEST monster. Sometimes his attack would just to fling himself at his enemy and now I’m wondering if he was the inspiration for the turtles in Super Mario games.)
I’m sure the developers have changed up the monsters in MHW somewhat just to keep things from getting stale, but my sense is that in broad terms, they’re familiar old frenemies come back to fight you again. I’m kind of envious of the people who have a history with these monsters, but at the same time I’m enjoying getting to know them for the first time. Here’s hoping MHW isn’t the last game in the series to hit the PS4/XBox/PC.