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Posts tagged “Game

G&NTFG : Monster Hunter Freedom Unite

Hello dear readers,

I think it’s high time for me to present my favourite game to these who still don’t know it: Monster Hunter Freedom Unite. I have been playing this game for more than a year now, and for more than 250 hours (without including the countless times I failed a quest and didn’t save), but I still love it as much, really. Why, you will ask?

The first episode of this series, named Monster Hunter, was released on the Playstation 2 in 2004. It had a pretty nice success, so various sequels were developped afterwards. This one is named Monster Hunter Freedom Unite, and got released on the PSP in June 2009 in America and Europe.

Basically, the game’s concept is simple : you are a hunter, and as the village’s guardian you have to repel monsters from the city. The whole hunting system is regulated though, since you have to go on quests to be allowed to enter a wild zone and chase one monster. The more quests you succeed in, the harder the remaining ones will become. And with some luck, you’ll start to face really powerful beasts… So at first, it seems like a normal action game. However… the greatest strength of MHFU (that’s how most fans call the game) is not in its story, and if you’re only playing for it, you’d better give up now.

If you start playing this game, you’ll just be almost bored in the tutorial (if not amused by your instructor’s witty comments… this guy is just awesome). It’s just some basic cooking, item-collecting and meat-hunting tasks. After you have tested the 11 different classes of weapons, you will have to face your first real hunt : a Giadrome. And here… as adrenaline rushes in your body, you’ll become filled by excitement, and you will understand the true meaning of the word “hunt”.

Here it is, the famed Giadrome ! He doesn’t look that strong ? Fight it and see by yourself !

Monsters from MHFU are not your typical, easily-killed Zelda-like bosses that you can quickly finish in less than 5 min when you figure out how you can kill them (well, you can quickly finish the easiest ones, but this would rather be due to experience and weapons). These monsters… they have no apparent weakness. There’s no typical “critical time” when you have to hit them. They are chasing you. They don’t wanna play or fool around, only chase you. You’re the prey… or you aren’t, depending on your hunter’s soul.

Facing the Tigrex.

And everything is made to maximise the hunt immersion. Each beast has its own cry and behaviour. Some will try to flee, others will fiercely retaliate. When you play for the first time, your moves will seem to be quite sluggish, but it’s’ due to realism; no magically-eaten potion here, your hero will stop and take time to drink it. Your weapon will lose sharpness while you keep using it, so you have to sharpen it every now and then… You’ll get hungry, cold/hot, and your status and global stamina will be affected.

Besides… There’s no ingame experience in this game. You don’t get “levels” once you kill a monster, and you can’t hit stronger because of it. Of course, you can improve your weapons and armour (and it is very important to do so)… but if you keep playing the bad way, you’ll always get killed, no matter how good your equipment is… The true worth of a hunter is in his real hunting skills, like his reactivity, his ability to guard and avoid attacks, how he can notice the weaknesses of a beast and hit it at the right time and so on. And this real-experience-based system is one thing I really appreciate.

Wanna have a little glimpse of it ? Look at this video… The person fighting doesn’t have better weapons/armour… this is training equipment, so you can’t choose it. All their skill comes from player experience.

Also… This game has a ton of equipment. Really. More than one thousand weapons and armours, each one with very nice details, and not always serious stuff (the cooking sets, or all the felyne-flavoured weapons are quite enjoyable… and trust me, killing a monster with felyne dolls as weapons is really funny).

Don’t ask.

As for sound… the musics are nice, although sometimes annoying while fighting a monster. These legendary giant monsters’ themes are just gorgeous! (which monsters? Oh, you’ll know soon enough when you start playing).

So… to sum up simply, MHFU is a wonderful game. Play it!

… Still not convinced ? Look at the game’s intro. It always works !

G&NTFG : Exit

Hullo witty gamers!

Today, I shall tell you about a game I like pretty much. Again, it’s on PSP (one of my favourite consoles, and yeah, I know I’m biased about games on it), and the game is called Exit.

Exit is a nice and not-so-well-known game developped by Taito and edited by Ubisoft.  It has been released in december 2005 in Japan and 3 months later elsewhere. So far, a sequel named Exit 2 has been released, but I haven’t tried it (both versions of the game seemed too similar).

In this game, you have to save people from different kinds of natural (or human-made) disasters, would they be floods, fire, earthquakes or anything else. To achieve this goal, you have to explore the whole level (which is usually composed of some floors of a building), find the victims, and guide them to the building’s exit (hence the game’s title).

As for gameplay, it is a platform game… but not really actually. The game itself is very special. The escaper’s movements (this scarf-wearing running guy that you control) are slow and sluggish, but the game doesn’t focus on that. Don’t expect a Super-Mario-like opus, it’s not.

Don’t even try, you can’t jump over these flames.

However… as you find people stuck in the building, you can order them around. Almost everyone can use items normally; some can go to places you can’t reach, others are stronger than you are, but most of them are mere people who are stuck in the building with you and just want to get out of here sound and safe.

You will have to help many different persons.

And that’s the hardest part. Because it would just be too easy if the exit were right in front of you ! So… you have to use weight-limited lifts, bring back the impaired, and find your way through flames, collapsed walls and other dangers to be the hero of the day. And… it might not sound like it, but some places really demand in-depth thinking. An example ? Well, look at this :

As for the graphics, they have their special style, you like it or you don’t. It’s really designed like an american comic, and actually the city and people really make me think of New York. The music is not that bad, although some might not like it; it really suits the emergency situations you’ll have to face.

Yup, definitely a whole New York feeling.

Coffee obsession, the american way.

I hope you’ll get to know this game more than I described it to you! If you don’t, here’s the game introduction.

G&NTFG : Grow games

Hello fellow readers!

Lately I’ve solved for the first time a Grow game, and it made me quite happy, because these are pretty hard. So I wanted to share that on my blog, as well as take this opportunity to show you these games that you may not know. So what is a Grow game?

The original Grow game.

Grow games are a type of very special flash games. You have a goal to reach, which can vary a lot according to which flavor you’re playing, ranging from helping little guys tapping their environment, to waking up a heavy sleeper (in a very unorthodox way). To achieve this purpose, you can interact with your surroundings by clicking on several buttons (usually 7 or 8), each one triggering a different action.

Wake up this guy!

Actions usually make evolve an element of your environment. As it gets more sophisticated, it gains levels, and to achieve your goal, you have to make each part reach its maximum level. And the most significant thing to keep in mind while playing a Grow game is that some actions need some others to be done before, otherwise they won’t have any effect, or won’t be really beneficial for part you need to improve. Let me explain : for instance, you have to kill a ferocious dragon that wreaks havoc during nighttime. However, you can only make appear a hero that’s not good enough to slay it. Therefore, you have to help him a bit, and make him appear only after you have used another button that summons daytime, so that this hero can kill the beast while it’s asleep.

Something has been created, the corresponding field gains one level.

Final levels at the end of a party!

The whole challenge of the game is to do the right action at the right time. In other words, you have to do things without any mistake and to find the perfect sequence in order to achieve your goal.

Well… I don’t think I could describe these games any further. The best way to know more about them is to try these! Neophytes, you should start with the first grow versions here (Grow original version), or here (Grow Cube). I also liked this version which can be really surprising, and this Grow Cannon which made me write this article. For RPG fans, try this Grow RPG, and if you like technology, try this one.

I hope you’ll have some fun with these!

Escape rooms

Hello fellow readers,

Today I wanted to tell you about one of my favourite web brainteasers. Of course, these who know me (but I’d rather say, these who have read the post’s title) have already guessed it… Escape rooms.

First of it all, what is an Escape room? Basically… You’re in your room. You want to go out, just to go shopping. So you come in front of your door, try to open it, and… nothing happens. Strange thing, you don’t remember having locked the door… And what’s this strange lock? Now you look around more closely trying to find the key, and… hey wait, this is not your room! And here starts the whole adventure.

Hey wait, I can’t go out! (Screenie from Lilina’s escape)

Escape rooms are click-and-play games, where 2 skills are of uttermost importance:

  • Logic : finding your way out is mostly about finding which item can be used on what, and solving small puzzles to gain access to something new. Most of the time, you’ll have to think out of the box to figure things out. For instance, I’ve already used a screwdriver as a mean to reach items behind a grille ! (And yeah, the screwdriver is a typical Escape room item).
  • Observation : you’ll have to find items all around the room. Some are very well hidden, so look everywhere!

How is it like to play one? Well, you should try it by yourself. In my opinion, this one (named Loom Above) is the best for starters. For the lazy ones, try this one [the easiest here].

As you’ll get better with them… You should try my favourite ones :

  • Loom Dawn: In this one, you will have to light your way… litterally. It is so poetic!
  • Kalaquli: this one is japan-themed, and very pretty too.
  • Lilina’s escape : Here’s a character from the Final Fantasy series locked in her room! (I don’t know this one though, must be another weird subspecies) Anyhow, this game is cute, and has very nice graphics too.

Kalaquli. As nippon as you like.

If you like challenge… you have the next level here!

Here… Good luck for this one!

Of course, there are many, many more other rooms available on the web… So if you want more, here is the compulsory stop for any Escape room lover… Lambda blog! They always find decent escape rooms, although they have a lot of other minigames as well. And yeah, I know, it’s a french website… but they are really good. Besides, you’re there for the rooms, right?

Hope you’ll enjoy these brainteasers as much as I do!

MHFU : Hunting horns, buff’n’smash

Dear hunters,

Today we will discuss about the Hunting Horn, my preferred alternate weapon.

Honestly… I don’t understand why people don’t like it that much. In my opinion, it’s quite a cheated weapon! Why should you use it, you ask?

  • Recital: Probably the first reason you should get familiar with a Hunting Horn. They have a wide range of abilities, including not only basic attack & defence buffs, but also good heals (the best HH can entirely heal you in less than 20s), elemental/dragon defence buffs, instant tracking of Wyverns, protection against cold/heat, roars, quakes, paralysis or elder dragon winds… You can always find the Hunting Horn that suits the monster. However, be warned: Recital buffs take really long to execute, so you’d better avoid using it just in front of your prey… One thing that worths being noticed though: if you hit an enemy while playing a recital, you’ll damage it more than with a normal attack…

Some amazing buffs among others.

  • High Raw power: As a hammer class weapon, HH’s raw attack is pretty high! Beware though, I’ve heard that only a little fraction of this raw power is used while dealing damage… Therefore, I wouldn’t choose these weapons just because of that.
  • Attacks faster than the hammer: I have the feeling that most people believe Hammer class weapons to be slow. This is not true for Hunting Horn weapons. Maybe that’s just an opinion, but I would put HH’s attack speed at the same level as LongSword’s. Honestly, just try it and you’ll see! The cooldown time (time after each attack) is significantly lower than Hammers’, and it can be reduced even further if you dodge just after an attack. Besides, you can chain attacks very well with it, and stop attacking anytime using a simple dodge.
  • Keeps the ability to run with high attack power: That’s the best part of Hammer class weapons: being able to deal nice damage with big speed. Well, Hunting Horns take this a level beyond! Effectively, each of them has a speed-increasing ability which allows the user to run faster. I cannot stress enough how great this buff is, honestly! For some enemies, I was so fast that I didn’t even need to dodge once because of it! I would say this is one of the most important reasons I chose this weapon.

  • Pretty good range: Compared to the hammer, the HH has a really better range. I would say it’s comparable to a LongSword. I’ve even been able to hit powder barrels without being blown away by their explosion!
  • Stun ability: As a Hammer class weapon, HH can stun. I wouldn’t say this is that great of an ability by itself, since you always have to be right in front of the monster to be able to stun it, but this is quite possible for monsters like Rathalos/Rathian/Plesioth/Cephadrome, who shoot straight in front of them, and therefore leave a huge opening on their head if you manage to avoid their attacks… but it’s always a good surprise to see one of them stunned during a battle.

So… to sum up, the Hunting Horn is great for 2 things: the speed at which you can use it – dodging becomes more and more valuable as you progress in your hunting – and the Recital ability. When you add to that its nice range and attack power, it almost sounds like a perfect weapon! I hope you’ll enjoy using it!

G&NTFG : Umihara Kawase

Hello again, dear wanderers!

For today, I shall tell you about another forgotten video game treasure that left me a very good impression. I am aware that, of course, some people won’t agree with me about this, saying that this game’s problems are too obvious to be eluded… but after all, this is quite a subjective post, so it’s about some positive sides of a game that was forgotten for too long…

This game I will shortly introduce you is called “Umihara Kawase”. It was released first in 1994 on the SNES (Super Nintendo), and a sequel called “Umihara Kawase Syun” appeared on PlayStation some years later.

The story: a girl got lost in a strange world populated by giant fishes, seaweeds, lobsters and other overgrown, earth-trodding versions of various seafood species, and she has to find her way back home through several warping doors found all across the country. Don’t ask me how she arrived in this place, there isn’t any kind of introduction/explanation/plotline in the game, so everything is a blind guess from your humble servant.

Basically, it is an almost-classic platforming game, where you control this little girl. As soon as you start playing, you notice that she doesn’t have anything with her… but a mere fishing rod – that works exactly like a grappling hook. And here the game shows its whole interest. The whole gameplay revolves around your ability to control the girl’s movement as she hooks on to various surfaces. The range of possible moves is quite impressive, and as you chain levels you’ll quickly realize that the traditional “monkey-like swinging” move is just a little part of all the possible uses of a hook. You’ll have to do some “bungee jumping”, to cling to a moving platform to pass some places, to use your speed smartly to reach places that couldn’t be reached otherwise… All the levels are well designed, and the gameplay is really wonderful (I would even say she’s as reactive as Mario or Yoshi are in their SNES appearances). As for foes, you’ll have to fish them using your fishing rod (logical, eh?).

As for graphics… They are amazing, I think. However, I’m probably influenced by my fishing obsession. Yet, they make it easy for you to actually believe you’re in this strange world. Everything is well drawn and well animated, and the worlds are really colourful and pretty to look, although you’ll want to eat seafood and vegetable meals after a while (plenty of them everywhere). The music is cute, not as legendary as in a Starfox game, but it’s enough to make you dream.

Foes are all sort of fishes… A living dream for any fisherman! (Or is this All-Blue?)

Yeah! Finally caught a fish! I won’t be starving for today!

As for the game’s negative points… If you try it, you’ll notice soon enough : the game is HARD. Not hard as in “oh well, it’s okay, I’ll be stuck on this for a dozen times, and then I’ll make it!” or as in “I’ll have to level up to get stronger and pass this boss”, but hard as in “Oh my God, how the hell can you pass this part!?”. Okay, the easiest path can be humanly done, after having spent some time playing. But holy cows, the hardest path… It took me more than a hundred lives to finish it. And that was very lucky. Add to this that you only have 10 lives and scarce 1-ups through the whole game, and that you die after one single hit…

Finally, when you play the game… of course, you’ll get tired, because it’s really hard… And yeah, it’ll be annoying after some time, and you’d better not play the game all the time, or you’ll get mad… Still, it’s not a reason not to try it, since it will give you this dream-like feeling that you can only experience with such poetic opus, and the gameplay and the way it is exploited definitely worth the trip. Hope you’ll enjoy it (a bit, not too much)!

And if you still don’t want to try it… at least, view this amazing speedrun!

MHFU : the Gunlance path

Hello fellow hunters!

Today, I’ll talk about my favourite weapon, the Gunlance. Pretty exotic weapon, eh?

First, why a Gunlance? The answer is pretty simple, it’s because the first time I saw this weapon, I found it so awesome, I just had to use it! I must say it’s not such an easy weapon to use, though…

One of my very first gunlances.

How to use a Gunlance? Most hunters will say “Just like a Lance, of course!”. Well, this is partly true. At least for its very basic commands and battle technics. Just guard as much as you can, and as soon as you notice an opening, take advantage of it. That’s for basic stuff.

On a more technical side, it’s quite different though. Different reasons for that :

  • Shelling. It’s prolly the main difference with the classic Lance. First, it can pass any monster’s defence, so it’s really handy against monsters like Basarios/Gravios and such. Also, it has a better hitting range, which can be pretty valuable against charging monsters, like Rathian or Basarios (you know, always being out of range when they have finished charging, you know how annoying this can be, right?).
  • Wyvern Fire. Basically a stronger version of Shelling. Only use it when you’re sure to have 4s to charge the shot, or you’ll prolly get a bad surprise (and you know how bad are bad surprises in MHFU) For instance, a good timing to start chaging it would be when a monster is roaring, or when it’s being distracted. If you’re very good, you could check charge it just after having dodged a wyvern’s breathing attack, ironically (it works pretty well on Gravios after having dodged his energy ray). It also takes 2 min to recharge, so watch your timing.

  • The forward thrust. Don’t be fooled, this is an escape move. It has sufficient speed to make you able to escape a breathing/charge attack. It’s quite a nice advantage compared to the Lance, since you can virtually dodge an attack going to any direction. This is a life-saving move, so don’t be scared to abuse it!

  • Side steps. Be careful, you can only make 1 side step, instead of 2 with the traditionnal lance.
  • Upwards shelling. After an upwards thrust, you can shoot some shelling ammo to the sky, or to some higher-located enemy (flying Rathian/Rathalos? Lao Shan Lung/Shen Gaoren?). Pretty nice to reach unreacheable foes.

I hope this convinced you! Merry hunting with your new weapon!