Sep 20, 2011
Some time ago, I received a strange assignment from a different website. I was asked to check out this new MMORPG from China. What’s more surprising was an order to compare it with the highly-popular Capcom game Monster Hunter. Though, initially, I had no idea how to do a comparison of this MMO with a console game, I went on with checking out the game. The publishing company is Dawawa, and is the first time they caught my attention. The game in question was aptly titled “Hunter Blade.” After browsing the game’s official site, a strange déjà vu sank in me. From the screenshots, Hunter Blade is starting to feel like… a clone of Monster Hunter.
As I logged into Hunter Blade, I tried searching for a plot or backstory to the game. The website had none. I pinned my hopes on the game itself. Instead, it threw my character into the game as a hunter in training. I read the first few lines from the introductory quests, and nothing really relevant came from it. It just sums up my character’s status as a novice hunter, needing more training, and thus a couple of fetching and harvesting quests are in order. I recalled my days when I played Monster Hunter for the PSP. I’ll have to admit that I’m not that dedicated into the series, but I did have my share of experiences playing Capcom’s eponymous series. Monster Hunter also puts me in the shoes of a novice hunter, doing a bit of random hunting here and there, or perhaps quelling a monster infestation somewhere. Hunter Blade does the same. After quite a few explorations, some of the quests follow a similar pattern to hunting jobs back at Monster Hunter.
As I recall, character creation in Hunter Blade was similar to Monster Hunter, though the options also reference a typical MMORPG. There are a few hairstyles, faces and colors to choose from. The jobs are separated by different weapon types. All of these types are exactly similar to the Monster Hunter tradition, most memorably the giant sword type. The only difference is the addition of staves to the lineup. Hunter Blade has an additional magic archetype, typical in any MMORPG. Regardless of archetype chosen in character creation, the weapons are still interchangeable in town. Most of the skills are generalized for all types of weapons, save for a few that obviously have specific weapon requirements.
As my character set foot upon the world of Hunter Blade, part of the introduction is a quick tutorial of the movement and battle controls (which for the life of me, I could not sync and chain well together, but we’ll get to that later). After finishing a couple of quests to gain some much needed Zeni… no wait… Shells, I ignored the NPCs completely and went on to check out the novice hunting grounds. As I entered, the minimap (and the terrain) has the same design as that of Monster Hunter. The whole map, like the ORIGINAL game, is divided into different sections, accessible via different paths. Some parts of the map have different climates, and also affect the status of the character. Each section of the map only has a set number of monsters to hunt, and the staying inside the map is timed.
We’ve mentioned about the controls a while back. Much to my chagrin, Hunter Blade copies every single attack and dodge maneuvers from the Monster Hunter series. Adding to the disappointment is Hunter Blade’s impaired ability to recognize keyboard and mouse commands. Considering the weight and speed of the different weapons, it was difficult to sync different attack motions, which forced me to do hit-and-run tactics instead. The character’s range is also buggy, like the giant sword’s unexpectedly short range despite its length and size, or the harvest/hunt command that could not locate the monster corpse lying a few millimeters away from the character. Though this might be part of the Closed Beta issues, the most important thing to point out is how much of a copycat the controls are with regard to Monster Hunter.
Looking the Part
Hunter Blade devs made a few arrangements to make the game look like an MMORPG. The UI is set up with the appropriate keyboard shortcuts and icons. Does that set the game apart from Monster Hunter? Not really. The interface’s design still very much references the ORIGINAL game, down to the smallest item icon. Attack effects, sound and BGM, terrain, and even the local town design looks so “native” (so to speak) that it feels like you’re really in a Monster Hunter game rather than Hunter Blade. Even the armor styles, NPC fashion, and weapon appearances are copied from Monster Hunter to its last pixel. Monsters unique to Capcom’s game can also be spotted in the game, even its variations/recolors thereof. The movements and attack patterns of these monsters are even copied. It might be safe to assume that the slightest bit of technicalities like stats and weakness are copied as well.
Making things worse, Hunter Blade looks like an old Playstation 2 game. The graphics are blocky and lack detail. Backgrounds are rendered in a really flat 2D appearance. Some parts of the ground and other structures might have been pre-rendered in an old fashion engine. What did the devs copy? Was it an unfinished version of the very first Monster Hunter game?
A 10-Minute Verdict
What’s Hunter Blade? It’s a game that violated intellectual property laws. It’s blatantly cloned from Capcom’s Monster Hunter down to its tiniest detail, and it was a copy that bastardized the original. With that being said, I lost all respect for the developers and for this MMO game itself. Downloading and playing the game is definitely not worth it. As for me, I’ve wasted 10 minutes of my life checking this game out. Every corner I look, there’s always Monster Hunter splattered all over the game window. No, there’s no reason to play the game in a more in-depth manner. And no, I’m not a Monster Hunter junkie too. There’s nothing in Hunter Blade that can redeem itself. Even Capcom already released their official statement, saying that they are in no way affiliated OR EVEN SUPPORT Hunter Blade. That’s enough to avoid this MMORPG entirely.
Andaleon claims full and sole ownership of this article. As the sole owner of this article, the writer has granted Otakultura full and exclusive rights to publish this article.