Why Wild Hearts‘ combo of Monster Hunter and Fortnite is a winner, plus MTG Phyrexia: All Will Be One and Season: A Letter to the Future.
It’s a story as old as time. You’re just casually minding your business amongst feudal Japan when all of a sudden, a gargantuan frost-ridden bird descends upon you. A deadly battle ensues instantly – blades swinging, wings flapping – until you eventually emerge victorious.
Okay, so maybe it’s not-so-traditional, but it’s business as usual in Wild Hearts and it’s an absolutely delightful wild ride.
But let’s take a few steps back. For the unacquainted, Wild Hearts is the surprise love child of Koei Tecmo and Electronic Arts. It’s a monster hunting adventure that shares quite similar to DNA to, well… Monster Hunter.
As a result, much of your time in Wild Hearts will be spent seeking out and battling Kemono (the game’s many monsters) which can include boars, porcupines and yes, birds. Where things break away from Monster Hunter‘s usual trimmings though is with the Karakuri system.
You see, Karakuri are various structures that you can use to build in the middle of battle, al-la Fortnite. Maybe it’s a torch that you can utilse to set your weapon alight, or maybe it’s a makeshift spring that offers an aerial advantage. Provided you’ve mined your environment for resources, building these structures can be an absolute game-changer that makes Wild Hearts’ combat frantic, thrilling and incredibly unique.
Add to that a healthy variety of options and creative monster design, and there’s a hell of a lot to love about Wild Hearts. If you can handle some of the game’s unfortunate technical issues and a largely unforgettable narrative, be prepared to easily sink upwards of 20 – 30 hours into this one.
Get the latest Gaming news, features, updates and giveaways straight to your inbox Learn more
Now if you’ll excuse us, we hear another Kemono in the distance.
Wild Hearts is out now for PS5, Xbox Series X/s and PC. You can buy it from Amazon here.
Also out now…
Magic: The Gathering Phyrexia: All Will Be One
If you’re Magic the Gathering fan, it’s a wonderful time to be alive. It only feels like only yesterday that The Brothers’ War landed on store shelves, and now we’re being treated to the latest release in Magic’s mult-part Phyrexian storyline, All Will Be One. This time, you’ll be exploring the dangerous plane of New Phyrexia – home of the Phyrexians and the slightly terrifying Praetor Elesh Norn.
With the Phrexians as the main stars of the show then, it makes sense that much of the set’s art is suitably horrific. From multiple limbs, horns and all sorts of spiky exteriors, these are certainly creatures you wouldn’t want to find down a dark alley, but create a perfectly unique visual style for the set. There’s an almost manga-like, gothic quality that is only amplified by some of the borderless designs that should bode well with long-time collectors.
Take things to the battlefield, however, and Phyrexia: All Will Be One has 271 new cards in the set to wrap your head around with a nice balance of new and returning mechanics. Toxic, for example, should do well to re-introduce some poison counters to your arsenal, and are placed on your opponent. Stack 10 or more of said counters, and it’s game over.
Corrupted only makes matters worse for your foe, and will grant additional abilities to cards once your opponent has three or more poison counters. These examples merely scratch the surface of All Will Be One’s strategic capabilities and should make for some incredibly fun mind games.
There’s no doubt then that All Will Be One is another strong release in the realm of Magic: The Gathering, and is well worth checking out for fans and newcomers alike.
You can buy a Magic: The Gathering Phyrexia All Will Be One bundle including 8 Set boosters from Amazon now.
Season: A Letter to the Future (PS5, PS4, PC)
It might sound a bit trite to say that Season: A Letter to the Future is a video game experience unlike any other, but that doesn’t mean it’s not true. The game is a peaceful, thoughtful exploration through memories, communities and history that has the power to grab you from its opening minutes.
You play as Estelle, a young woman who has been tasked to document her world/village for future generations before a new season begins – which itself will bring an end to life for all current inhabitants. As you ride your bicycle through new locations, interviewing locals with a recorder, capturing phots and filling our your scrapbook Season excels at its world building and delivering contemplative, emotional moments.
I was shocked by how enthralled I became in perfecting my scrapbook and making it worthy of future readers, able to put aside my grievances with Estelle’s poorly controlled bike.
Season: A Letter to the Future‘s pure uniqueness won’t gel for everybody. It’s quiet, slow-paced and contemplative. But it’s also a testament to the types of stories and adventures video games can offer, and is well worth your attention if you’re looking for something off the beaten path.
For more on this topic, follow the Gaming Observer.