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  1. #1

    Hunter Blade - Let's play a Chinese F2P Monster Hunter clone, because Capcom hate us!

    Approximately 5000 years ago, Capcom released Monster Hunter Frontier - a fancy PC-only spinoff of their hugely popular hardcore action/RPG series - in Japan. And have IP locked it. And chased away any English players. And refuse to localize it even though there's very little text and no spoken dialogue.

    They clearly don't want us to play it. Fortunately, there's a Chinese studio that does want our time. Introducing Hunter Blade, now in English and open to the world.



    http://hunterblade.dawawa.com/ - Just went into public beta today. Sign up, download and play. I just finished installing, and will post initial thoughts later. From the gameplay trailers, at least, it looks nearly identical to Monster Hunter. This is a good thing, really.



    Be warned: The official download server is apparently crippled, and it estimated it'd take me over 13 hours to get the 1.4gb client. Fortunately, someone made a torrent mirror over on TPB - http://thepiratebay.org/torrent/6630460/Hunter_Blade - totally legal and above-board, don't worry.

    For those who've never played a Monster Hunter game before, here's the basics: It's an all-action RPG. While stats help you a bit, in the MH games, the difference between newbie and endgame gear is maybe soaking up an extra 2-3 hits. The game is 90% tough, long, gruelling boss battles, and they're entirely skill-based. Every attack is telegraphed, enemy AI has tells that you can read, and generally you have to learn how each monster behaves and learn how to sneak in past its claws, tails and teeth and get in a couple good hits before retreating.

    With any luck, this clone will be halfway decent.

  2. #2
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus squirrel's Avatar
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    Not top-notch in graphics, but that's exactly good news because most modern PC should be able to handle it just well.

    Err~ The people of the Internet Bars where I play my online games never mention this one coming.

  3. #3
    The graphics look about on par with MH: Frontier, which in turn was only slightly fancier than the PS2 original. Not great, but the art style (Lost World style cavemanpunk technology) is solid enough to make it work.

    But yeah, generally speaking, F2P games have comparatively simple graphics so that anyone can play, even folks with (mid to higher-end) integrated graphics.

    Also, another gameplay video - 5 players Vs an ice-baboon boss.

    Last edited by Dominic Tarason; 27-08-2011 at 04:44 PM.

  4. #4
    Lesser Hivemind Node
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    Looking forward to your verdict on it, I'll probably download the client after Breaking Bad season 3 is done.

  5. #5
    Do you happen to know where are the servers hosted? The site, for instance, is in USA, and I haven't found any answer to my question there. A lot of folks here at RPS are from Europe, myself included, so playing a USA-hosted MMO wouldn't really be an option.

  6. #6
    If it's anything like Monster Hunter, then it doesn't matter where it's hosted - actual multiplayer is largely peer-to-peer, and from the brief solo run I did, singleplayer is entirely client-side gameplay except for looting. So, lag doesn't seem to be an issue.

    So, yeah - it's a Monster Hunter clone. The most shamelessly direct clone imaginable. Even the chinese gameplay videos refer to it as 'Plagiarism Monster Hunter'. That isn't a bad thing, given how fun the games are and how Capcom don't want us to play them, though.

    For this one, they've added some more traditional MMO stuff, like character level and wandering around and talking to people for quests, but they've actually streamlined stuff usefully. Click a character or locations name in your quest log and your character automatically runs there. The translation also seems to have been done on a shoestring budget, wrapping partial words around boxes, and the font is rather tiny. Fortunately, that only makes up a small portion of the game.

    I'm still doing the tutorials so far, but if the gameplay videos I've found are any indication, then it's nigh identical to the source material once you start getting into the real fights.

    So yeah, it's a 30-second signup and a 1.4gb download. No harm giving this one a stab.

  7. #7
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    OK, I'm in. I've been wanting to play Monster Hunter on the PC since forever. This being small and F2P, I've nothing to lose.

  8. #8
    Network Hub Gerbick's Avatar
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    This has me interested enough to give it a bash. I'll d/l and see...

  9. #9
    My main gripe about this so far is that, at least at first, it's WAY easier than Monster Hunter. Granted, the MH games tended to teach you by throwing you naked (and slathered in barbecue sauce) into a pit full of ravenous fire-breathing dinobeasts, but that was also a large part of their charm. I'm level 12 so far and nothing has even gotten me down to under half health. Hoping that I start hunting things that can wreck me in five seconds soon.

  10. #10
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Smashbox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dominic Tarason View Post
    cavemanpunk
    ...



    Stonepunk

  11. #11
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Kelron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dominic Tarason View Post
    My main gripe about this so far is that, at least at first, it's WAY easier than Monster Hunter. Granted, the MH games tended to teach you by throwing you naked (and slathered in barbecue sauce) into a pit full of ravenous fire-breathing dinobeasts, but that was also a large part of their charm. I'm level 12 so far and nothing has even gotten me down to under half health. Hoping that I start hunting things that can wreck me in five seconds soon.
    Seems to be a general issue with RPGs and/or MMOs these days. Super shallow learning curves mean I get bored before I get into the meat of the game.

  12. #12
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Heliocentric's Avatar
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    Learning curve? Modern RPG's don't have a curve, once you can use the combat system you just keep using it. Your character gets more powerful, your enemies get more powerful.

    With the exception of bloody stupid bosses which you need to apply timing or whatever you just have more meat to defeat.

  13. #13
    Moderator Anthile's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Heliocentric View Post
    Learning curve? Modern RPG's don't have a curve, once you can use the combat system you just keep using it. Your character gets more powerful, your enemies get more powerful.

    With the exception of bloody stupid bosses which you need to apply timing or whatever you just have more meat to defeat.
    As if old-school RPGs had much of a learning curve. In fact, the only RPGs that consistently keep you on your toes are the ones Atlus develops. On consoles. Don't tell anyone, it makes a lot of people very angry.
    to wound the autumnal city.

  14. #14
    The more I play of this game, the less I like it. It seemed like a straight clone of Monster Hunter, but they really do seem to have taken a hatchet to a lot of the finer points. None of the gathering/brewing/cooking stuff made it in, and they really do seem to have tried to add grind and padding wherever possible.

    Also, I'll be amazed if this doesn't eventually result in a lawsuit. Not because it's a shameless clone of Monster Hunter, but because I saw people running around with Hatsune Miku and Kratos player models. Not just similar - absolutely identical, like, looking like model-rips straight out of their respective games.

    On a more positive note, after a WHOLE YEAR of delay for apparently no reason, Vidictus comes to Europe next month. Better still, it's the faster, more involved and arcadey XTreme Edition that previously was only available in eastern territories. I've played a bit of the US version, and it's a genuinely good game.


  15. #15
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Squiz's Avatar
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    From hype to abandonment in 2 days. :)

  16. #16
    The problem is mainly that they've managed to copy the outward appearance very well, but lost a lot of the refinement. But it's still the closest thing we've got to Monster Hunter on the PC, and that's sad.

  17. #17
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    Wait, you mean Vindictus is actually, really getting a European release? Might be worth checking it out, then,.

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by cosmicolor View Post
    Wait, you mean Vindictus is actually, really getting a European release? Might be worth checking it out, then,.
    Yeah, they were showing it off at Gamescom in a big way, apparently. Nexon work in mysterious (and by 'mysterious', I mean 'bloody stupid') ways, though, so there's still the chance of them just going silent for a full year again.

    Edit: Found a special EU launch trailer over on Gametrailers, confirming that it goes into beta (why would they even need to do that? The game has been out in America FOR A FULL YEAR) next month.
    Last edited by Dominic Tarason; 29-08-2011 at 10:22 PM.

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