Monster Hunter Dynamic HuntigPlatform: iPhone/iPod
This past week I've been putting a lot of time into Monster Hunter Dynamic Hunting for the iOS, provided to me by Capcom. I had never played a Monster Hunter game previously, but I enjoyed Dynamic Hunting a lot. While it doesn't contain any leveling, talking, or exploring, it features a great deal of combat and crafting. It can be played well in small increments, and most importantly, it's superbly designed for the touchscreen.
You. A monster. An arena. Go!
Now you have the general gist of the game. All of the fighting and moving is done with simple touch controls. Slide your finger to move your character. Sliding up moves forward, back moves backwards, etc. Swiping vertically will slash vertically, and swiping horizontally will slash horizontally. Tap to attack, and tap with two fingers to block. Swipe with two fingers to dodge. The trick to getting good at Dynamic Hunting is learning when to do each of those moves, and learning to respond quickly. Defeating monsters gives loot that is used to craft new or stronger weapons and armor. There are three different types of weapons - sword and shield, two-handed, and two one-handed weapons. Each controls a little differently. I found the dual-wielding works the best for me; sword and shield allows blocking, but I didn't enjoy blocking, and two-handed weapons are too slow.
Let's get the drawbacks of Dynamic Hunting out of the way. They're minor, and I'd like to end on a high note. There are only 12 monsters to fight, and many are reskinned. The game will still take a few hours, but I wish there were more monsters to hunt. Grading on each monster is based on different criteria such as time, health, and mission. What's mission? I have no idea, but I always did badly. I wish I knew how I was doing poorly. The game can also get frustrating, but that's usually because one needs to go grind on some older monsters to be able to craft new armor and weapons.
Back to the pros! I'll start with the presentation. It looks great, and the music is superb. Your jaw won't drop, but the models are all very nice. Dynamic Hunting supports Game Center and achievements and even allows you to earn titles to be seen by other players in multiplayer. And that brings me to my next point. There's Bluetooth multiplayer! I tried it out, and it's a fun way to play. The host can pick any monster to which he has access, and then two players can team up to defeat it. As long as one of the two survives, they'll both get the loot. It won't unlock the next monster, but it's a great way to gain more material quickly.
What I like most about Dynamic Hunting is the excellent use of the touchscreen. The game's definitely not forced onto the touchscreen. Swiping feels great and natural. You have a limited number of slashes available, but quickly dodging or countering attacks earns more. In the late stages of the game, it feels very exciting to be responding quickly, waiting for the right moment to strike.
Without any knowledge of the series, Monster Hunter Dynamic Hunting stands on its own as a fun iOS game. It has great use of touch controls for an action game and should be a model for other games. There's replayability in increasing scores and getting better loot for those that look for more to do, but the game still feels complete without needing that. The Bluetooth co-op is also a nice touch! Monster Hunter Dynamic Hunting is a bit of grinding, a low of swiping, and 12 large monsters all in one package. It's currently $4.99 on the App Store and is a great way to get your action fix on the go!