Whether or not or not you have already got your Monster Hunter guild card, Monster Hunter Tales 2: Wings of Break stands by itself as a fantastic JRPG. It’s accessible sufficient for newcomers and youthful gamers alike to take pleasure in, however with intricate mechanics to maintain a extra skilled viewers engaged. It’s additionally a good looking love-letter to the Monster Hunter collection, and presents an imaginative world I can’t assist however dream about simply present in, as harmful as that will be.
In contrast to Monster Hunter’s action-focused gameplay loop of searching, crafting, after which searching some extra, Wings of Break performs like a tried-and-true JRPG. It may be performed in the event you skip its predecessor, too: whereas there are some returning characters you befriend alongside the best way, you don’t must have performed the primary to know the second. There are many likable new characters thrown in as properly, and its extremely well-paced tutorials each train properly whereas letting you roam and do as you please early on. Wings of Break carries with it many nice adjustments from the unique, however some are, sadly, a little bit of a letdown.
Monster Hunter Tales 2: Wings of Break Screenshots
Like its predecessor, it swaps real-time fight for turn-based battles, deep customization techniques, a copious quantity of aspect duties, and a heartfelt story. It interprets the traditional Monster Hunter components properly, besides as an alternative of being a Hunter you’re positioned into the function of a Rider. Riders primarily befriend monsters (although they nonetheless make them into pants out of necessity, too), leading to a party-building mechanic with considerably just like Pokemon, the place every Monstie (monsters which might be your besties, in fact) has completely different stats, elemental strengths and weaknesses, and expertise. This consists of your Rider, too, who fights alongside your Monstie of alternative and has armor and weapons to craft and equip. Every of the six weapon varieties have completely different mechanics, expertise, and injury varieties, and you may equip three at a time. With the ability to swap each weapons and Monsties out as soon as a flip with out dropping an motion makes switching between your three weapons and as much as six Monsties a viable, obligatory tactic and methodology to maintain issues from getting repetitive.
Rock Paper Scissors – Battle!
Flip-based fight is concentrated on a Rock-Paper-Scissors format with Energy, Technical, and Pace sort assaults, with every monster species (and Monstie) favoring considered one of these varieties. Wings of Break consists of extra intricate mechanics in a majority of battles than its predecessor, with monster elements to interrupt and readable assault sample adjustments fairly than seemingly random ones.(You possibly can learn extra about these adjustments intimately in right here).
Although the earlier methodology to studying an opponent’s intent was a near-impossible activity, now it requires you to easily concentrate. If a monster turns into enraged, takes flight, or in any other case adjustments its look — like when a Zamtrios turns into iceclad — odds are it’s going to alter the kind it assaults with, providing you with a heads-up to probably swap to a Monstie that prefers the advantageous sort of Pace, Energy, or Technical to assault with. It’s far more doable and deliberate than memorizing a doubtful sample with variables like within the first.
Total, I admire the fight adjustments. They make battles partaking, thought-provoking, and extra harking back to traditional Monster Hunter — attacking Duramboros’ legs particularly will ultimately make it topple over, attacking Kulu-Ya-Ku’s rock with a blunt weapon will break it sooner, or hitting it with a Flash Bomb will make it drop totally. Early on, NPCs will hand out ideas like these, however additional into the marketing campaign these extra typically change into rewarding private discoveries (or workout routines of earlier Monster Hunter information).
There’s much more nuance to those battles, too, just like the Kinship Gauge used to gas expertise and funky very anime “final” Kinship Assaults, Head-to-Heads, your traditional elemental strengths and weaknesses, quick-time occasions, and extra. I want I may flip off the QTEs so I may keep away from button mashing, however that possibility isn’t obtainable.
Ultimately although, the size and tediousness of battles in opposition to your common overworld monsters started to put on on me — regardless that you’ll be able to triple the animation velocity (thank goodness), and use a “Fast End” perform when dealing with one thing considerably weaker than you. The latter was solely helpful when backtracking, however because the Kinship Assaults that require you to fully construct up a talent gauge with different strikes don’t truly do all that far more injury than common assaults and exploiting an enemy’s elemental weak spot doesn’t have that drastic of an impact, there’s probably not a dependable method to finish battles shortly in opposition to monsters on par with your individual energy. It is sensible in a Monster Hunter context for battles to be hard-fought, however for a turn-based JRPG, the concept is much less enjoyable in observe.
Fortunately, grinding particularly for expertise usually wasn’t obligatory due to a spread of entertaining aspect duties I’ll come to a bit of later, and the superior new innate system that grants an enormous EXP boosts for under-leveled Monsties. What a aid, since I liked experimenting with new Monsties on my group.
I solely failed in opposition to a narrative state of affairs twice within the 70ish-hour marketing campaign (which may have been lots shorter if I didn’t tinker a lot, extra on that later), because it usually would require my very own carelessness to lose. To counter the primary, I merely upgraded the armor and weapons I had uncared for. The grind for supplies can be a lot extra streamlined than in traditional Monster Hunter; you don’t want particular supplies, only a handful from a sure monster or two you wish to forge tools out of.
When nearing the top of the marketing campaign, I discovered myself and my Monsties getting one-shot by a narrative boss. It took many hours to finetune my group, catch new Monsties on top of things with the remaining, and craft tools particularly for that battle. I not directly gained a couple of ranges within the course of, and the brand new set-up then carried me to the credit, which I used to be grateful for.
Whereas ‘Tales’ is correct there within the title, the one informed right here isn’t truly Wings of Break’s foremost draw. The cutscenes are sometimes thrilling visible spectacles, and there have been loads of stunning moments that made me gasp and even get a tad emotional – however that is primarily a lighthearted story that isn’t something groundbreaking, full with a mascot-worthy mouth-piece on your silent protagonist named named Navirou who speaks closely in cat puns. The writing may be humorous, and I laughed fairly a bit, however there have been solely so many instances I may hear “pawsitively clawdatious!” earlier than I needed to pawsitively claw Navirou’s tongue out of his meowth. Sorry.
The plot itself is definitely fairly commonplace fare for Monster Hunter: one thing is making monsters run amok, forcing Hunters and Riders to face them. Odds are it’s being brought on by some larger, unknown menace, and it is as much as you to determine what’s happening and to cease it. However whereas that’s not precisely breaking the mould, there are some thrilling subplots that preserve issues shifting at a good tempo, like your newly hatched Rathalos’ prophesied “Wings of Break” rumored to be linked to the disasters, your famend grandpa’s previous, and many fascinating characters to satisfy and group up with in battle.
All all through, the musical rating acted as a superb companion, and I couldn’t cease commenting on how nice the music was inside cutscenes and past. There is no such thing as a repetitive battle music in Wings of Break, both, as this adjustments typically relying on quite a lot of elements, making it so nothing ever bought previous.
The story held on simply sufficient for me to remain invested, however the precise gameplay gripped tight and by no means let go. I want I had an limitless period of time with Wings of Break as a result of it’s crammed to the brim with enjoyable actions to distract you from the primary path, and I needed to do every part it threw at me. I actually can not reward sufficient how a lot stuff there may be to do in Wings of Break, and the way enticingly enjoyable all of it is.
There are tons of Subquests to tackle exterior of the core marketing campaign missions. Some take the type of particularly difficult monsters to trace down and defeat out within the area, whereas others activity you with amassing substances, a selected monster, armor, or weaponry.
Past the precise Subquests, from the Quest Board alone you may as well select to tackle Trial Quests, compete in a Match Mode, and even do rewarding Multiplayer quests – the latter of which may be accomplished with a real-life buddy, though you’ll be paired with a reasonably competent NPC if you wish to attempt them alone. My favourite of the brand new Multiplayer quests had been the Exploration quests, which let me decide up a number of random eggs (containing Monsties) directly. Although I used to be by no means in a position to truly attempt any of those with an precise particular person, I’m trying ahead to driving with a buddy sooner or later.
Whereas I simply spent hours doing duties on the Quest Board, the world exterior it’s, clearly, fairly huge as properly. Once you’re not in a city, you’ll be driving round considered one of Wings of Break’s six foremost hubs (amongst dozens extra aspect areas) in your Monsties, gathering supplies, preventing monsters, and exploring dens in the hunt for eggs to hatch into extra doable celebration members. The surroundings is superbly colourful, and simply exploring on the again of my favourite monsters is a deal with. Seeing new areas, just like the bustling metropolis of Loloska, or perpetual blooming cherry blossom grove of Pomore Backyard, and new monsters all the time put a smile on my face.
By the way, past the credit there’s even extra to do, together with some actually thrilling post-game content material.
There are additionally terrain obstacles whilst you’re out and about, like breakable rocks or climbable vines blocking sure paths, which solely monsters with particular area talents can traverse. That put stress on me to decide on my group based mostly not solely on battle technique, however area usefulness, too, as every Monstie in your celebration of six solely has one or two area talents. There are lots of helpful area talents that make exploration simpler and restricted areas accessible, like Diablos’ Roar or Yian Kut-Ku’s rock breaker. However there are equally as many Monsties with much less helpful ones (a few of which I can’t say for worry of spoilers), forcing me to go away some in any other case fascinating Monsties on the bench in favor of Monsties extra helpful within the area. I opted for the alternative close to the top of the marketing campaign, the place I ignored off-limits areas in favor of a extra battle-ready group, and total had change into bored with actively exploring each nook and cranny for objects that normally weren’t all that impactful anyway.
Although there’s a implausible fast-travel system, some areas are a far trip from warp spots, and schlepping again to these areas for a possible uncommon merchandise simply didn’t attraction to me sufficient to undergo the trouble contemplating all the opposite issues I needed to do. This fast-travel system has been upgraded from the unique Tales by eradicating the necessity for an merchandise to warp to considered one of dozens of Catavan Stands all through the world, and you’ll be able to warp to any Catavan Stand from wherever — which additionally gratefully pop up routinely as a fast hyperlink when a monster’s location within the Area Information, too.
Fixed, Pleasant Distractions
Whereas exploring these open areas and finishing quests, there’s a near-neverending stream of distracting shiny objects within the type of new monsters, crafting supplies, uncommon and difficult Royal Monsters, treasure chests, Monster Dens, and the ever engaging golden Uncommon Monster Dens. The procedurally generated dens the place you discover new monster eggs are crucial of the lot as a result of they drive my favourite a part of Monster Hunter Tales: hatching and customizing my Monsties, of which there are greater than 80. Nevertheless, Pace-type Monsties are basically non-existent moreover Velocidrome till you method the top of the second space, which took me nearly round 15 hours to achieve. That is remedied with extra selection, full with a couple of fan favorites, proper after that–but I additionally discovered a couple of of my private favorites are disappointingly unridable, just like the adorably massive Duramboros.
Monster Hunter Tales 2: Wings of Break Official Monster Artwork
There’s far more to a Monstie than simply its species and most popular assault sort: each has 9 gene slots, which may be crammed upon hatching with both passive talents like elemental protection boosts or lively talents like a Khezu’s Thunder Breath. Every species can hatch with solely sure genes, however some genes are extremely uncommon and highly effective. As a result of any gene from any Monstie may be transferred over to any slot on one other, there’s tons of freedom in how one can construct and tweak your group, and duplicate Monsties aren’t so disappointing since they might have a cool gene! So in order for you, you may make a Nargacuga with Thunder-element increase and Zinogre’s highly effective Thunderfist, or a Barioth with an enormous crucial hit fee and the flexibility to heal when touchdown a crit.
The sample, scent, and weight of the egg offers you a little bit of intel on what sort of Monstie is inside, what number of and the way good their genes may very well be, and customarily simply how joyful you ought to be along with your pull. Anybody conversant in gacha mechanics will know the drill right here, however with out the microtransactions and synthetic shortage to tug it down, this method feels genuinely rewarding.
Regardless of the hunt, the monster assortment and customization mechanic had me looking for uncommon eggs and fortunately spending hours tweaking my group. It’s a implausible system, but it surely additionally has one oversight I’ve an enormous gripe with: you’ll be able to’t see a person Monstie’s full stats like you can within the first Monster Hunter Tales. You possibly can solely see a person Monstie’s greatest and worst elemental stats — which I assume is tied to the general simplification of elemental stats in Wings of Break. Even when that’s the case, it’s nonetheless baffling for a JRPG, particularly when Monsties may be born with stat variations and genes that make it not match the stats represented in Wings of Break’s model of the Pokedex.
You possibly can change a Monstie’s elemental assault and protection sort in the event you improve that stat sufficient, and like within the unique Tales, a change to the assault will change the Monstie’s shade (although in Wings of Break this transformation solely seems within the overworld). Nevertheless, I’m confounded by this, too. I can reliably change most Stage 1 Monsties’ assault ingredient simply, however by no means for a better degree Monstie. For instance, Yian Kut-Ku’s base fireplace assault stat is rated a 5 out of ten, and its thunder ingredient a 4. After giving it each Additional Giant and Giant Thunder assault genes, plus a 150% improve bonus, it nonetheless reverted again to a fireplace sort after reaching solely degree 15. I want I may see its hidden stats to see if that’s the rationale, and if this method may even be strategically useful–even if it wasn’t, possibly I’d simply wish to rock a Pink Khezu with icy blue lips! However proper now, I haven’t discovered tips on how to get a high-level monster to alter assault components, although I’ve began chipping away on the postgame which has but to disclose something.
It’s not like Wings of Break is that exhausting, and its fight is extra depending on selections made in battle than a Monstie’s minutely completely different elemental stats, but it surely’s nonetheless disheartening for individuals like me, who take pleasure in toiling away in menus to piece collectively that good technique. My actual fear is that this won’t be the case when dealing with different genetically modified beasts in PvP, which I wasn’t in a position to attempt forward of launch — with out the type of stat micromanagement that powers Pokémon’s PvP, for instance, I do surprise how a lot myself and others might be drawn to play it right here.