“Whaddya think about Monster Hunter?” Brandon sipped on his drink, I wanted to be careful about how I worded this.
“It’s brutal, and completely skill based. The only luck involved is what carves you get from the monster, but otherwise it’s rough for the average gamer to get involved with. Not to mention the beginning is painstakingly boring. For some reason though I love it.”
“Sounds like Dark Souls.”
“Sorta, but not as difficult.”
Capcom (For some reason I keep giving them money even with all their bad choices), has finally released Monster Hunter Three Ultimate in the states for the 3DS and WiiU. So we’ll be going over a bit of what Monster Hunter’s like, how this game holds up to the others and all that good stuff.
For those of you who don’t know Monster Hunter is a game about, well hunting monsters. Players start off butt naked, with a handful of coins and literally the worst weapon in the game. Through trials and tribulations players kill other monsters slowly building their way up to bigger and badder enemies. The stronger the enemy, the better the gear you can craft or upgrade for your hunter. You may have to kill the same monster several times to get all the parts you need, but the repetition doesn’t seem to get old.
Coming from Monster Hunter Tri, Monster Hunter Three: Ultimate comes with a lot of nice features. The ability to transfer your character from your 3DS to your WiiU and vice-versa is great so no matter where I’m at I can hunt if I feel like it. The new touch screen menu and lock-on feature also helps solves a lot qualms and issues Monster Hunter has had in the past with handhelds. In addition, the frame rate has increased significantly even on the 3DS. The game looks great in HD despite a few things glaringly out of place.
Monster Hunter Three: Ultimate provides a lot more weapon choices than ever allowed in Monster Hunter games before. Returning from Monster Hunter Tri are the Great Sword, Long Sword, Sword and Shield, Hammer, Lance, Switch Axe, and Bowgun. However this time around we also have the Dual Swords, Hunting Horn, Gun Lance, and Bow joining the fight. So don’t like one type of weapon? I’m sure you’ll find one that you’ll like.
Players choose one of three types of quests before heading off to gather materials. Red Quests, which require you to kill all of the monsters in the quest description. It might be twenty little monsters, or two large monsters. Kill them all and you’ll complete the quest. Gray quests which require you to capture a large monster.These largely boil down to the same as red quests but you need to make sure not to kill your target, speaking from experience here. Green Quests are gather quests which ask you to go gather random materials in areas such as minerals or herbs.
So with all this what makes the game so addictive, so compelling that over 5 million people in Japan constantly play these games and their new releases? Well I have two thoughts about this. The first being the fact that fights are genuinely exhilarating. The second being that the online community is one of the nicest you’ll ever meet.
Let’s talk about how fights are exhilarating. Every monster you fight has attack patterns and natures that cause each and every fight to be different from the last. Even when you’re fighting the same monster the fight can changed varied on the size of the monster you’re facing. Coming across a new monster you’re met with anxiousness and excitement. Add that on to the fact that you’re timed AND if you die three times you fail the quest.
Occasionally you’re also presented with the choice to fight an elder dragon. Elder dragons come in all shapes and sizes, some as are behemoths and make the monster you kill normally look like ants, and others are spontaneous and have fierce devastating attacks. Most of these fights don’t even take place in normal areas you hunt in. One of the elder dragons, the Jhen Moran, is actually fought in the middle of the desert on sand ship, outfitted with cannons. These fights generally go to time limit and have a fantastic and, forgive me for saying this, epic feel to them.
The game’s community is also something that’s something that makes me love this game series. While online mode is only available to the WiiU, asking for help on reddit or any other game forum will generally be presented with kindness. Why you ask? There’s literally no downside to being mean or rude to your fellow player. By working together and being cooperative players only succeed in gaining new friends to hunt with as well as get to advance their characters quicker. There’s also only really two ways to grief players (Stopping them from carving by kicking them or hitting them with your weapon, or by using a heavy weapon and launching them into the air). Alongside the fact that the Monster Hunter series hasn’t had a great track record in the US or UK, veteran players are always excited to bring new players into the game.
However it’s not just the fighting and communities that make the game, it’s also the little things. One of the things that was introduced in Monster Hunter Tri, was the fact that monsters behave like actual creatures, and not some scripted enemy. They get angry, bored, tired, hungry, and even have achilles heels. They’ll move away from an area if they stay in it for too long, or go kill a smaller monster to eat if they’re hungry. It gives your enemies a sort of layer of realism that doesn’t normally exist in games. Generally enemies are a our punching bags, and we don’t think about these kind of things.
There are a few issues with the game however. One of the first things is that the game starts out painfully slow. You’re hunting little tiny monsters or grabbing twenty mushrooms for someone and running away from anything that might sneeze on you and kill you. Riveting, I know.
Another huge problem the game faces is that the game doesn’t explain how to fight with weapons. The game plops you in the field with whatever weapon you have equipped and says, “Good luck!” There is a manual if you press the home button while the game is open and press, “Manual” that goes in depth about how each and every weapon functions, but even that doesn’t do it much justice about what different attacks do and how the flow of combat changes . If you’re not someone like me who’s played earlier versions of Monster Hunter, you’re in for a tough learning curve. Luckily we have a solution to that.
Dontcritme.com would like to present a video series called, “Lifepowder”. Lifepowder is hosted by myself and two guests of the site that will go into depth about fighting different monsters and learning different weapons. This by no means will we be dedicated the entire website to Monster Hunter, this is just something we’d like to do to help the Monster Hunter community, as well as any followers of ours that are new to the game.
Here are the first two episodes of Lifepowder fighting the Azurous and the Lagiacrus.
Monster Hunter Three: Ultimate is a great addition to the Monster Hunter series, as well as to anyone’s library with a 3DS or WiiU.