I don't know if this would get buried or would be a millionth repetition of the same sentimental story, but I want someone to talk to:
I started playing Monster Hunter on my PSP (Freedom United and 3P) with my friends when I was 15. We had fun and I was damn sure I appreciated the music (have been ever since, and MH has been part of the reason I got into game music in addition to film). "Proof of a hero" is one of my all-time favourite videogame scores.
I hunted with them for around 2 years. But then it was high school and uni that prevented me from playing the sequels (plus they departed from Sony for Nintendo) until I got my hands on a 2DS which I used to play 4 and 4U. The clunky ergonomics and control of Nintendo devices prevented me from enjoying the game fully, as well as the fact that I had less time to hunt with friends. Still, I keep track of the news and especially its music.
There was so much hype around the release of World last year. And with my friends mostly on PC, I held out for the PC release to play with my pals. And boy did they delivered.
It's the absolute control of the hunter I had always missed since the days of PSP and the feeling of (now) stable connection for the 4-man hunt with my buddies. And there I was, 24 years old, 10 years after I started playing as a kid with a PSP. There I was hunting these beautiful creatures again in one of the most breathtaking renditions of environment one could possibly ask for.
And although World has its shortcomings, I'm sure as hell the song (and its scores) isn't one of them.
The main theme (Stars at our backs) captures those emotions. The mesmerising moment and awe at the beginning when you step into the new world, the curiosity and skepticism resulting from 9 years of waiting, leading up to the blasting realisation that this — this magnificent game — is all I had hoped for and more. As the percussion rolls in it kicks in that you are a hunter again, to hunt and to grind for materials to cart again and again, and sometimes – violin solo – to walk around at night beneath all the stars in the sky. And at the end is the culmination of these themes and emotions, ending on blare of brass that speaks to you what amounts to "the door to the new world opens to you and your friends now."
And there I was, 24 and getting my human-sized greatsword on these beasts' heads like I did when I was 15, carting countless times only to try again over and over.
The village and monster designs may not look so familiar at first, but the song made me damn sure I am home.
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