#1 Posted by animateria (3302 posts) -

I'm sure a lot of vets will agree with me on this but man, it's hard to get anyone to play MH.

I found out that when I teach my friends using Tri's splitscreen mode, they learned quick. The game is infinitely more easy to understand when someone is next to you giving pointers on how to react, what to do, what not to do. (To bad no one owned a Wii but me...)

That just makes it harder pill to swallow though. Seeing all the negative views the game gets from people who didn't even scratch the surface of the game.

I do think it's the game fault. It never teaches you the fundamentals on how to use any weapon, ever. Apparently it has something to do with the weird Japanese notion that having people, rather than the game, teach other folks builds the community.

Demon's Souls and Dark Souls has this to a lesser degree. Street Fighter 4 had this with Yun and Yang when they first came out. Ono said he wanted to make the community stronger by making them discuss how to beat the two overpowered characters.

That just doesn't work all that well in the Western community though. Games should give you all the tutorials, and generally should be easier to understand almost immediately. (As a joke, I like to think games cater to reviewers... you want a good score so don't frustrate the reviewer! They also don't have time to learn! Gotta beat that game on schedule after all!)

That's why I think it's hard for people to understand MH. The game isn't immediately transparent on how you should approach your battles.

On to examples, people think, "Oh, so like Devil May Cry", and wail attacks and think they should get away with it. But use a big sword like Dante and you have your character stuck trying to get the sword out of the floor then get pummeled in the face.

If I chart something I'll do with a Great Sword for example,

Attack -> roll -> sheath weapon-> run -> combo attack -> roll -> roll -> attack -> roll -> sheath weapon -> run -> run-> charge up attack -> upswing -> roll -> sheath weapon

What I see from new people,

Attack -> struggle weapon pick up -> get hit -> walk with weapon out -> get hit -> attack -> struggle weapon pick up -> get hit -> attack gets interrupted by hit -> attack gets interrupted by hit

Guess who the newbie was?

My very simple advise when I see my friends do that? Roll. Rolling after a a big sword swing will give the character momentum to pick up the weapon without the struggle. Rolling gives you a very short amount of invincibility. Rolling helps you re-position out away from the monsters' general attack radius.

That's it. Sorry for the long post. I did this more for myself I think, kinda wanted to vent out some steam. Don't expect anyone to read this. Cause it's Monster Hunter yo. Who cares?

Final rant about MHP3 and the new MH3U demo and I'm done.

Monster Hunter Portable 3. Sadly the only MH to never leave Japan. Had the best learning curve for beginners. Very little gather quests. And the bear boss. He is the perfect guy for newbies to understand the game. Just mash attack on him and you'll see that he ignores your hits and hits you back. Hopefully after getting hit a few times, you'll learn to stop your attacks when he gives you his tell. He gives you very obvious tells that last a while, giving you enough time to block, roll or just walk away. That is Monster Hunter at it's most basic element. Looking for tells and patterns, dodging appropriately and finding opportunities of attack.

The MH3U demo should have included him. The Bunny is the next step up of the bear. His tells are less obvious and last a very short period of time. He probably turned off a lot of folks... People don't like losing to a bunny. Not to mention Plessy... Why of all things did they choose plessy for the demo!


#2 Posted by Bishna (339 posts) -

So I have really wanted to get into Monster Hunter for a while. I have never had the right platform until now. I have a 3DS, but when I found out that MH3U for the 3DS didn't have online, I began having second thoughts. Is a singleplayer Monster Hunter experience still worth it? I am downloading the demo as we speak so I am excited for that.

#3 Posted by SecondPersonShooter (743 posts) -

Fantastic write-up duder. I've tried to get into monster hunter on multiple occasions, once with the first on PS2, on more recently with Tri on the Wii, and you've made it more clear that this isn't supposed to be played as an action game, it's more of a fast-paced reactionary strategy game.

Also, I really wanted to pick up MH3 ultimate for 3DS, but the lack of wi-fi connectivity kind of puts me off buying it completely. I don't know anybody else among my friends that has a 3DS, let alone would be willing to get into Monster Hunter, so even if I wanted to get into the game, I'm not sure how I should at this point. I think a 3DS online community where everyone would have built-in mics and be openly talking to each other would be fantastic, even if they would have to restrict it to a friend-code system for that reason. It would be a great way to introduce new people into the series, since they'd openly be playing with veterans that could give them tips on how to play effectively. The fact that it's local play only is really shitty, I was extremely excited to play Monster Hunter until that news.

#4 Posted by Morbid_Coffee (974 posts) -

I learned to love MH after realizing it's Megaman with dinosaurs instead of robots. Really.

#5 Posted by animateria (3302 posts) -

@bishna: My first MH was MHFU on the PSP. Solo. It was amazing learning everything as I went. Played through the Multiplayer portion solo, which is grueling as it gets. Currently doing it with MHP3 also on the PSP. I love it but I gotta say, after playing Multiplayer on Tri, teaching players how to play, and learning myself from other players... That is how it was meant to be played.

I'd say try the demo. Pick a weapon you like (Do not touch Sword and Shield or Bows, Guns, and probably not Lances). Type "Monster Hunter [weapon type] tutorial" on Youtube. Learn the moves. Kill the rabbit.

I'm kinda iffy about the overall controls of the 3DS demo though. There is no optimal camera controls due to the lack of a second analog stick. Can't 'claw' like the PSP either. The lock on is awesome however. Tap the tiny portrait icon on the bottom on the bottom screen when noticed by a boss. It will have a target symbol over it. After that any time you tap L trigger the camera moves to the boss.

The second fight with Plessy... I think water fights almost require the Circle Pad Pro. So that's another investment to make for pretty much 1 game. That and only Local Multiplayer makes it hard to recommend. And that's coming from a guy who probably will clock hundreds of hours into it.

Wii U version seems like the way to go for newcomers honestly. Nice controller, big screen, online MP... If you have a Wii U anyways. I don't know anyone who bought one. I don't plan on it either.

#6 Posted by WinterSnowblind (7597 posts) -

These are some very good points and I have to wonder if they've made any changes to the English version of Monster Hunter 3 for the DS/Wii release. It's not so much that the games are challenging, just that the game gives you no clear idea of how to play or even how to do anything in the game.

The demo's contribute to this a lot too, by always portraying the game is a mindless hack and slash. I'm not sure if the new 3DS demo is guilty of this, but every one of the PSP demo's gave you incredibly powerful equipment and put you up against very easy monsters, which is something you'll rarely be doing in the game.

It's a shame, because I do really enjoy the series.. but I don't see it ever catching on in the west without changing the basic structure of the game and added in some actual tutorials.

#7 Edited by StarvingGamer (9096 posts) -

Why is MH fanart always of Kirin girl?

I mean I understand why, but why?

#8 Posted by animateria (3302 posts) -

Why is MH fanart always of Kirin girl?

I mean I understand why, but why?

Guys like girls in skimpy outfits?

I prefer the red Rathalos gals better though. Armor looks awesome.

#9 Posted by supamon (1339 posts) -

Yeah agreed that playing MH with a group of people makes the game so much more enjoyable. That sense of community is really why it's so damn popular in Japan.

I first encountered Monster Hunter when I saw my lecture mate playing it alone on his PSP and got intrigued by it. I had just gotten a PSP of my own so we started playing it and figuring out the mechanics of the game together. It was amazing how much depth there was in that game. Discovering new weapons and armor to craft, mastering the nuances of a weapon type's animation alone could take you hours of practice, learning a Wyvern's attack pattern and working together to capture a beast. By the end of my school course and 2 MHF games, we were a community of 12 plus hunters playing regularly almost everyday.

There is a reason why people like games like Demon/Dark Souls and the Monster Hunter series. It's different, it requires patience and skill. You don't just hit X to beat the last boss and win the game. There is a sense of satisfaction and triumph for defeating a new monster. It's not for everyone though but I hope people give it a shot at learning the game before disregarding it because it's the "popular" thing to say.

#10 Posted by Sparky_Buzzsaw (6977 posts) -

I felt like the controls were just too damned awkward on the Wii for me to have any real fun with it. It seems like a series I'd really enjoy if the right iteration managed to make it a little more accessible with a more refined control scheme (and a controller that doesn't feel as poorly made as the classic controller).

That said, I might pick up this one on the 3DS. It looks like the sort of game I could get mildly addicted to, and I'm willing to give another version a shot. I don't plan on buying a Wii U, so this would be the only option for me. When it comes down to a $20 sale, I'll probably try it.

#11 Posted by BonzoPongo (114 posts) -

I played the demo on 3ds and ran out of time fighting the 'easy' monster. Is that a demo thing or does the full game have time limits?

Also is sheathing your weapon the way to recover from the attacks faster?

#12 Edited by animateria (3302 posts) -

@bonzopongo: The full game has a 50 min time limit. Singleplayer monsters generally take 10 to 20 mins depending on the player skill level so it's pretty generous (I kill the bunny in 10mins). If you solo multiplayer stuff like I do... usually 35-40 mins. Which makes sense because with 4 players it averages to around 10 mins per boss.

Sheathing is good for mobility. You don't need to do it as much with Lances for example since you can just guard and make bosses approach you. But with every other class you will be running around looking for the best opening. Great Swords, Hammers and SwitchAxes slow you down quite a bit so you'll be sheathing very often. There are bonuses for the first unsheathing attack, which is great for GSes burst dmg. Sword and Shield/Duals/ and to a smaller extent Long Swords you can keep your weapon out since your movement isn't slowed. In fact SnS and Duals you want to stick right next to the boss as all times and only sheath and chase when they leap away due to your short reach and fast but low dmg attacks.

SnD and Duals are pretty much attackattackattackrollattackattackattackrolattackattackroll

#13 Posted by Morbid_Coffee (974 posts) -

I played the demo on 3ds and ran out of time fighting the 'easy' monster. Is that a demo thing or does the full game have time limits?

Every mission in Monster Hunter has time limits to prevent you from spending forever on the stage. The demo time limits are incredibly strict compared to the main game, and it's also giving you a limited set of weapons. Full game time limits are usually about an hour, and you have full reign over what you're using, so you can take advantage of elemental weaknesses to kill the monster faster.

Single player monsters are also weaker than "online" monsters. The later are designed to be played with others, but they also give better rewards.

#14 Posted by Spoonman671 (5043 posts) -

Monster Hunter is dead, man. Everybody knows that it's all about Brazen now.

#15 Posted by ConfusedOwl (1028 posts) -

I guess I was lucky. I really never had issues getting into MH when I first played. Sure it took me a really long time to finish off even the most basic of monsters but I never needed to ask for help from my friend (Who is the one that got me into it) I played it on PSP as well so I needed to use that really annoying claw control scheme which causes cramping after a while.

#16 Posted by cmblasko (1503 posts) -

Wait, Tri has a split-screen mode?

#17 Posted by Bollard (6423 posts) -

I played the demo on 3ds and ran out of time fighting the 'easy' monster. Is that a demo thing or does the full game have time limits?

Also is sheathing your weapon the way to recover from the attacks faster?

I'm a veteran MH player and even I ran out of time the first time I fought the bunny. But once I remembered how to play you can kill it in sub 10 minutes. The full game has time limits but normally they are 45 minutes, not 20, and unless you're really underpowered for a fight then you won't hit them

Sheathing your weapon lets you sprint. You cant do that with it out (pressing R attacks instead). Also you walk faster with most weapons sheathed, even if you aren't running. Recovery from attacks can be negated either by rolling or doing a combo.

#18 Posted by animateria (3302 posts) -

@cmblasko: Yeah, but it's limited to arena with not all bosses available.

You don't get monster drops. You get special tokens instead.

#19 Posted by Cloudenvy (5874 posts) -

I think I understand your pain though I still know that you have it way worse than I do. I recently had to explain why I thought Persona was awesome to a classmate that resulted in everyone thinking I was a crazy person. Maybe I just pitched it wrong, but it's the first time I've seen a group of people who play videogames regularly be so turned off by the very concept of a game.

#20 Edited by EXTomar (5031 posts) -

MMOs have this problem too. If someone wanted to get into WoW and I showed them what I do in game it is almost absolute nonsense. The mechanics have knowledge that is almost "institutional" like a real world bureaucracy that is babble unless someone trains someone new.

With DPS classes the "reference focus" is much simpler where it is "me vs target offense" or "me vs target defense" but it is still often lost to new players how "rotations" work. Most content is easy enough that players can get through even if messing up maximizing their DPS performance. Games have gotten better but still even in WoW with active prompts at low level giving the most basic suggests but that seems to fall short where I can only recommend "Go find a 'mod' that helps train in that class's rotation". These "rotation trainers" are essentially "attack tutorials" which helps any new player get the core mechanics correct for any DPS class.

The situation is worse because it is more complex for Healing and Tanking because the context is constantly shifting between monsters and players and dependent on the current situation which makes it next to impossible to script a tutorial around. When to use a group heal vs chaining heals is something the game can't tell a Healer it should do. Nor is there a trainer that tells a Tank how to scoop up multiple incoming targets who are going to try to kill light armored DPS. The best way to pick up these skills is watching another do them but it is a harsh way to train new players where the best scenario is that the group is all friendly and know you are trying to figure it out. It is uncommon a group of players is going to tolerate mistakes and deaths.

So I believe the issue is that Monster Hunter, MMOs and other games are just like Madden and other sport games where it is so complex for someone to learn by themselves unless they really really really want too. With games like this, the only time a new player really really really wants to learn is they have friends who actively play and who will help train them. Someone else who is only curious probably won't tolerate it for very long and move onto something else.

#21 Posted by IamTerics (518 posts) -

Good write up. I got into Unite when a buddy and I both picked it up. Having the experience of both of us trying to understand it together was what really got us both into Monster Hunter. For example I must of fought the Kut-Ku two dozen times trying to get the damn 'Ear' drop. The game never told me that I had to aim at specifically his ears.I was shocked when my friend told me this because it didn't even look like you could even hit his ears. Its a real shame that the game doesn't have a real tutorial. Overall I think Tri does a much better job of easing you in to the game with its linear first parts and the Forest area that you could revisit for resources. I hope Ultimate at least has kept some of that in.

#22 Edited by animateria (3302 posts) -

@extomar: Yeah I agree pretty much.

I think compared to MMOs, I used to tank in WoW, MH is much easier to get into. I found that most PUGs with new people in MH go down smoothly. There are wipes because of the new guy, but everyone is more tolerant and willing to teach him the ropes (We know we have a small community I suppose). And it's honestly not all that hard to learn since there are no specialized roles (No tank/dps/healer).

Even then, like you said, people will generally dismiss the game quickly when they do not have the friends or their own willingness to learn the mechanics.

He even looks like a moron...

I remember borrowing the PS2 version of MH and absolutely hating it, I remember trying the 2nd PSP version and hating it. It wasn't until I started watching MH videos on Youtube (I was bored at the time I think) that I realized that I was doing it all wrong. I picked up a used copy of MHFU for dirt cheap. I learned how to play using tutorials on Youtube. Died a lot. First biggest hurdle being a Kut Ku.... Which is hilarious since it is kinda considered as the moronic bird monster of the MH universe... And then proceeded to play that game for 350 hours.

#23 Posted by JZ (2343 posts) -

People are dicks and are unwilling to try anything new.

#24 Posted by rpwll (93 posts) -

The whole community aspect is a compelling argument as to why MoHun has yet to catch on in the west. It's also probably the reason no online on the 3DS version is a bigger deal in the west. In Japan, if you live in a decently urbanised are you're going to have no trouble finding people playing MoHun on your commute, so lack of online is less of an issue. But over here, especially in Australia where I live, there's just not that kind of population density so online is a much bigger deal.

I'm going to have to see if I can get some people at my university playing MH3U because I doubt I'll get to play much multiplayer in the 3DS any other way.

#25 Posted by niamahai (1409 posts) -

I'm keen to pick up MH3.. but it doesn't seem to be a game where you go dual daggers and uh!uh!uh!uh! monsters to death.

#26 Posted by animateria (3302 posts) -

@niamahai: Actually the Dual Swords in MH play like that. Non-stop attacks while dodging every attack.

Of course it's also a weapon that will get you killed easily if you don't know what you are doing. But I'm enjoying them a lot in my other MH game.

Loading Video...

Well I found a guy Dual Swording with no armor... I'm probably never going to be good enough to run without armor...

#27 Posted by JCGamer (760 posts) -

Would love to get into the game bit can't. Been trying demos over and over (most recently the 3DS version) but never liked it. It isn't the slower controls or anything like that. I guess I just don't like wailing on a dude for a while without much feedback. I kind of got bored halfway through the battle.

#28 Posted by theimmortalbum (548 posts) -

Haven't read the post yet, but MH is just a hard game in general to get people into. I was always curious, but it took me having a solid group of 4 guys that played every week for it to click. I didn't get into Tri (I played MHF2 and MHFU on the PSP) since the Wii's control scheme was meh, nevermind the pro controller. But I have the demo on both Wii U and 3DS and man, I'm back in.

#29 Edited by EarlessShrimp (1795 posts) -

It'll be interesting to see the game using the Miiverse. I messed around with the demo today, and promptly realized the EXTREMELY little I learned from Tri was looong gone. I'm willing to give it a go for sure, but I think aid will be totally necessary.

#30 Posted by smokeyd123 (360 posts) -

Great write up. (because no one else has said that) I really wish I had some buddies who had 3DS's. I guess I'll just be relegated to playing solo, like always...

#31 Posted by Valient26 (13 posts) -

@extomar: I think the MMO reference are not quite right, Monster hunter is a difficult game by nature and is very unforgiving to those that don't try. Most MMO start very slow you don't really have to worry about what tanking or healing as much early levels but in monster hunter they usually give you the bare minimals of instructions, everything else is scraps that you will have to figure out or go to wiki and find out.

Monster attack animations have to be remember and generally the rule is, don't get hit. You have limited items in your inventory each takes time to use, there is a time limit and amount of KO before quest fails. It is very rewarding to kill a monster after learning how it attacks and when you can start getting hits in.

#32 Posted by EXTomar (5031 posts) -

I don't believe Monster Hunter is a difficult game by nature or very unforgiving. It is just that the mechanics are so complex that many parts are not obvious. And as already suggested by the topic, most people do not feel or believe it is not worth the time unless you have friends who will support and help you learn.

To use a real world example: How difficult is it to tie your shoes? Trivial. How obvious are the steps to tie your shoes correctly? Not obvious at all. All you need to do is watch a little kid tie their shoes to see how unintuitive the task is. It isn't that the task is incomprehensible or extraordinary but it has enough moves and decisions that is very easy for a newbie to get lost and failing. The same thing happens in MMOs and games like.

What is the best way to get better at games like Monster Hunter? The same way you were taught how to tie your shoes: Repeated demonstrations. In the example, a new player would have no real reason or probably even fathom why they would need to sheath their weapon where just punishing them with death is not teaching them anything but play another game. On the other hand, if a new player joins a friend who demonstrates some of the correct moves they can start learning how to approach fights correctly. The next best thing to do is watch videos but unless they are built inside the game, only players who are above casual play will bother to search them out.

#33 Posted by hawkinson76 (398 posts) -

Why "get people to play" any game?

#34 Edited by thetrin (128 posts) -

Because no person knows about 100% of the games that they'd love. I thank my Japanese friends for forcing me to play MH with them. I absolutely love the series now.

#35 Posted by Binarynova (155 posts) -

MH3U's demo was the first one I downloaded onto my Wii U last week. I was excited about the prospect of a hack-and-slashy kind of game for my new system. I had never played a MH game before but was not completely new to the concept. I have played, but not beaten, Ragnarok Odyssey for the Vita which is as I understand it a MH ripoff set in the Ragnarok universe. It's supposedly easier though, so I fear that having not beaten it is not a good sign for MH3U.

There were nice surprises in MH3U that I didn't expect. While fighting the bunny I started to notice his movements becoming less precise. At first I thought I was just imagining things, but eventually I realized the thing was messing up its landings, limping, and generally acting injured. Very cool!

I started with the two-handed sword (because the Sword Warrior in RO uses one, and that's my go-to class). Bad call. Then I tried sword and shield, and managed to bring him down (though I think it still took two tries). After that was dual-blades and I beat the bunny on the first shot. Finally I went back to a slow weapon, the hammer, and had learned the fight well enough to take him down with that too. I'd have to say I enjoyed dual-blades the most. So, feeling pretty good about myself I thought, let's try this other quest. Ha! Yeah. Slowly swimming between areas to take my punishment pushed me really far from wanting to buy the game. What were they thinking?

But it's not just the water fight in the demo that turned me off, it's what the demo doesn't show. There's nothing except those two fights. I've tried looking at Let's Plays or playthroughs on YouTube and I still don't feel like I have a firm grasp on what else the game offers.

Is there a story? Are there quests? Is there only one central hub, or several towns? I noticed resource gathering, is there a lot of that? Is the gathering fun or boring? Or a big one: progression. Ragnarok Odyssey is all about lucking out on random card drops that increase your stats. I hate it. If I had my way these games would have XP and levels, but I'm guessing from most people's descriptions that that's not the MH way, which is fine. But, what is the MH way?

Cautiously Interested In Monster Hunter

#36 Edited by rempresent (129 posts) -


Story? Yes. It goes through the story of the village and their issues with the local monsters causing all sorts of havoc on the little settlement they have made on Moga Village.

Quests? Yes, a lot of them. They are pretty standard "go into this zone and kill this monster" 70% of the time. But then there are some with double/triple/quadruple monsters, gather some eggs or other random things to do in the zone.

Towns? Two of them. The solo town is called Moga Village and the multi-player town is called Port Tanzia. You always start at Moga Village and then commute over to Port Tanzia for multi-player action.

Resource gathering? Yes, there is a lot of resource gathering at any level. When you are first starting out, you need to do some basic resource gathering for potions, nutrients and other things that you will need in the field. There is a really complex "mix A with B and get C" that you use for almost all of these items. Item combinations are your bread and butter for the first few levels. When you get enough money, you can just buy items that you need but you will always need to be gathering to prepare for hunts that you are going to perform. But you do have some help, once you get the farm that is attached to Moga Village working at full capacity, you don't have to worry about resource gathering as much. You will be doing a lot of it at first but then transitioning to the farm.

Is gathering fun? It's rewarding work - similar to Animal Crossing - but it is necessary to keep going in the game. Usually when I need to stock up on items, I check the Moga Forecast for monsters that I want to bring down with no time-frame and I will go out into the field and gather resources while fighting a monster. It breaks up that tension and allows me to get more experience with monsters that I am not used to fighting.

Experience, random drops? You get HR experience for quests that you complete in the multi-player quests. This raises your HR rank which is the system where hunters can tell each other's experience with the game from each other. Most people have lower numbers while experienced hunters are approaching the 100+ mark. The HR does nothing for your stats, armor, monster drops, etc. It is only a barometer for seeing how experienced you are with the game. The entire game is built around items that you carve from the monsters, charms and other random drops. You need materials to build your new armor and weapons which can only be obtained by farming certain monsters. This is where random drops can work for or against you. Luckily if you follow the Monster Hunter Wikia or just search for a particular item on Google, you can position your hits on a monster and knock certain parts of him off to increase the drop rate of the item. This can be "gamed" in order for you to get what you need from the monsters, plus there is a decent multi-player with tons of people farming monsters everyday. So feel free to make a room for the monster and wait for some dudes to show up and help you out on farming for your gear.

This is a really quick way to address a lot of these issues in Monster Hunter and I am just one guy. The Quick Look of MH3U is a good place to get a taste. It is a really great game and I will check out Ragnorok Odyssey to see if there are any differences later.

#37 Edited by NMC2008 (1248 posts) -

I thought it would be like PSO, boy was I wrong, so so very wrong. but I found Dragon's Dogma and lived happily ever after.

#38 Edited by Seppli (11233 posts) -

Took me 10 hours to get footing, playing MHFU. I'm stubborn. More stubborn than most. If I wasn't, I'd never had made it to the creamy sweet core of Monster Hunter. So good!