The title might sound like a cheap B-movie title, but hear me out. This feature revolves around two games so far apart that they cannot be compared in any form, shape or size. Heck, not even in scope. These games came out months from each other but, in a strange way, helped me enjoy each of them immensely. As I said, just hear me out.
At the beginning of 2018, the world was hit by Monster Hunter: World. Like many in the West (South Africa included), it was my first proper foray into the Monster Hunter series. I got the game at launch and dove in head first. After a couple of hours with World, I began to really dislike the game. I wondered, "how could this be, The game got near perfect reviews across the board?" The combat felt clunky, the story was way too boring, and the time it took me to complete a single mission just felt too long. As a parent and working man, I didn't have 30 minutes to spend on one mission. To make matters worse, I would sometimes fail a given assignment at the last minute, resulting in wasted time. The game was time-consuming and all actions therein deliberate. Gathering tracks to track the monster, the long battle and, after it all, the carving of the monster just felt tedious. This was not a fast-paced action RPG, no. This was a slow game, with even slower progression. I tried to soldier through but eventually traded the game for another. I felt bad for not enjoying it like the rest of the gaming community but was relieved to be rid of it as well.
Fast forward to October 2018. I got a shiny new copy of Red Dead Redemption 2 Special Edition for the PlayStation 4. For a bit of back story, I played the first Red Dead Redemption and just pushed through the game. Like Monster Hunter: World, I didn't like it, either. But, as the launch of [/i]Red Dead Redemption 2[/i] approached, something dawned on me. If I didn't like the first Red Dead Redemption, why could I recall all the characters, story beats, and locations? Why, when I watched a YouTube recap video of its story, could I not stop smiling and reminiscing about my time with the game? These feelings moved my proverbial muscles that caused me to pull the trigger and pre-order Red Dead Redemption 2.
After spending about 10 hours with Red Dead Redemption 2, I felt a familiar feeling creep through my body. The slow pace of the game coupled with all the time-consuming actions of the character you control irritated me. The terribly slow opening didn't elevate my mood either. So much so that I once googled "when does RDR2 get better". Now, I've never hit rock bottom in video games, but I assume this is pretty close. Andrew, one of our fellow writers told me the game really picks up around chapter 3. With this, I decided to, at the very least, reach the end of chapter 3. Want to know what happened to me after chapter 3? I got hooked on Red Dead Redemption 2. In a strange turn of events, the game opened up and handed me the reigns. It took a while but I eventually finished the game and consider it one of the best games on the current generation of consoles.
Fast forward again, this time to January 2019. One of my friends gave me a copy of Monster Hunter: World *sigh*. With a free copy of the game and a couple of weeks to go to Kingdom Hearts III, I gave it another go. After hearing our editor, Sam, rave (in his review and outside of it) about the game non-stop, I figured I might as well use him as a human equivalent of Monster Hunter: World Fextralife. I kid... but, seriously, the dude knows Shepherd Hare from his Pilot Hare. Anyway, I created a new character, selected the Light Bowgun and started hunting monsters. This time around, I completed quests faster. The game felt smoother, more friendly than the first time I played it. I was about halfway through the campaign when I realized something. The slow, deliberate pace and actions of Red Dead Redemption 2 actually made me appreciate the "fast-paced" action of World. In comparison, Monster Hunter: World felt fast, chaotic and sometimes frantic. Sure, the usual gathering of tracks and failing a quest after 30 minutes of play was still present, but it felt less punishing now. As of now, I am 201 hours into World and will stick to it for the foreseeable future.
As I mentioned in the opening paragraph, Red Dead Redemption 2 and Monster Hunter: World cannot be compared at all. Both games can feel slow and deliberate (in a bad way), sure, but then this is where the comparison ends. To me, on some pseudo-psychic level, these two titles helped me find joy in each title. Red Dead Redemption 2 with its down-to-earth, slow-paced, sometimes time-wasting actions, improved my view and approach to Monster Hunter: World's mechanics. I love both games to bits, I even still enjoy Red Dead Online and, as mentioned above, still play the heck out of World.
Has something similar ever happened to you? I'd love to hear some stories, and see that I'm not the only one experiencing such weird occurrences.
Kingdom Hearts devotee, From Software fanboy and aspiring Audiophile (the good kind that believes in FLAC files). Vincent enjoys writing about games almost as much as playing them.
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