Monster Hunter: Dissecting the Fun

What is Monster Hunter?

 Monster Hunter is a game about hunting monsters, simple. Everything in the game revolves around going out into the wilderness and taking down these big vicious monsters, then stripping them of their valuable parts. You can then take these parts and craft them into better weapons and armor for yourself or sell them.  
 
If you have heard anything about this series you most likely know that is is huge in Japan. The series started out in 2004 on the PS2, which appeared to have been overlooked by North America, but judging by the expansion pack and sequel released only in Japan it did okay there. I was interested in the original Monster Hunter when it came out, but I never played it myself. The PS2 games are notable for their online support, something the series has so far lost on the PSP.  
 
The thing about Monster Hunter is that the games are really built around co-operating with three other players to take down these big monsters, you can solo the games to an extent and they are probably better solo games than most co-op centric experiences, but to get the most out of Monster Hunter you really need to play with others, or so I hear. I like most North Americans who are no longer in grade school don't hang out on a regular basis with others who own the same portable game systems and the same games. Even though I work for a Game Developer, the prospect of trying to pull together three other people with PSPs with copies of Monster Hunter and have them all care about playing it on a regular basis is nearly unfathomable. Running into strangers with PSPs playing the same game on transit is similarly unlikely.  
 
Which is where I think we get to the obvious root of the problem with Monster Hunter in North America, out society is not set up to support this type of game except in rare circumstances. For this game to really get off the ground in North America one of the big things that needs to change is Online Support. Yes you can use the PS3's Adhoc Party to tunnel your PSP's connection to an online game, but this is kind of unacceptable. You need a Japanese PSN account and the knowledge of how to download this and how to set it up without the assistance of any english text. And I believe that is not acceptable for the average consumer. Now you could argue that anyone who doesn't know about all this is someone you don't want to play with, but that creates a very exclusionary society. You either will find the hardest of the hardcore Western players online or the Japanese players who if they are playing online using this method are probably also pretty hardcore and neither of these groups are very accepting of new players who want to learn the ins and outs of the game. If the Online option was just built into the game you would end up with a much larger pool of people of varying skill levels to play with and trust me this helps games rather than hindering them, you can still make your "Hunting G32 NO NOOBS!" room and the rest of us can get on with our day.  

Why do I care?

 Just the prospect that this is one of the most popular games in Japan intrigues me, I have to ask "Why is that"? I felt that Japanese developers were still having trouble with adapting to 3D game design last generation, something about the interfaces and the stiffness of character-to-environment and character-to-character interaction was off, not it all cases of course. This has continued ten fold into this generation with a lot of those interface and character interaction problems sticking out like a sore thumb compared to western games. I think it has something to do with Japanese games feeling more mechanical and western games feeling a bit more procedural. Japan has always had great Art Design, but they seem to be trying to let that carry more weight than it can bear this generation. This has resulted in many Japanese developers turning their attention to portable platforms, since this allows them a safe haven to work similarly to generations past. Avoiding skyrocketing budgets, that force them to build for international audiences, and meeting lower expectations on the portable platforms. Japan has also gone increasingly mobile so I assume that helps as well. 
 
Alright back to Monster Hunter, I feel these points are what poised Monster Hunter to become the success it is in Japan, while also creating the indifference seen in the west. The PSP games allowed the developer to continue their work on PS2 in a similar environment, online play was lost in the transition and due to contemporary Japanese society not only did Adhoc Wireless make up for it, it probably contributed to making it even more popular. Multi-player with friends makes any game more fun, especially co-op since there are no losers, everyone works together towards a goal.  
 
I have been very intrigued by the concept of these games, but knowing my experience in the past with portable co-op experiences I feared it just wouldn't work for me. I recall trying the demos of Monster Hunter Freedom 2 and Monster Hunter Freedom Unite and running into the same experiences I believe most Western gamers run into while trying these demos, "Fuck these controls are ass and the combat is infuriating!". Watching the Giantbomb quicklook of the upcoming Monster Hunter Tri for the Wii they seem to have had pretty much the same reaction. Thus my thoughts turned to "are the Japanese crazy? Are these problems so easily overlooked when playing with friends?" Co-op can make up for a lot of problems, but making up for fundamental problems with the main game mechanics is a little extreme, are the Japanese really that crazy?  

My Freedom Unite

 Monster Hunter Freedom Unite is the latest Monster Hunter game to be released in North America, it was released in June 2009. it is an expansion pack to Freedom 2 and is knows as Portable 2G in Japan. It is the Japanese definition of an expansion pack however, which means all of the original game with new content, so you don't need Freedom 2. I played the demo of this game before it came out and ran into the  "Fuck these controls are ass and the combat is infuriating!" problem. So I didn't buy it, but the prospect of picking it up has been gelling in the back of my mind since then. I figured there has to be something else that the demo does a terrible job of presenting. I have friends who will not touch a game if they find something fundamentally wrong about it. I am the opposite, if I find something about  a game that I really like, that I can latch onto I am willing to endure the bad bits to see the good ones. So I spotted Freedom Unite for 20 bucks and decided to pick it up for this long weekend with the intention of digging into it and seeing if I can find that fun enjoyable aspect to latch onto and after playing it last evening and this afternoon I feel I'm close to finding it. 
 
First of all I have not tried Multiplayer, I have the Adhoc Party downloaded on my PS3, but I have not ventured there. I feel with my limited knowledge and lowest level gear I wouldn't be doing myself any favors jumping in there this late in the game's life. My goal is to get in, find the fun, play around for a bit and then transition into Monster Hunter Tri in a couple weeks assuming the game still holds my interest. I am hoping the built-in online functions of that game and getting in there day 1 with the rest of the westerners will be the right mix of ingredients to get me into this franchise. But watching the Giantbomb quicklook has told me that the Wii game has the same fundamental gameplay issues that are present on the PSP. 
 
Those fundamental issues are the Camera and the Combat, mostly stemming from seemingly terrible control choices. The analog nub moves your character, fair enough, but the d-pad moves your camera, meaning that you need to play finger twister to move the character and control the camera at the same time since they are both on the same side of the PSP. I can see why they did this, to free up the right side buttons for combat and other interactions, but it is really awkward. While fighting a monster the camera is often your biggest enemy. You can hit the L button to center behind your character, so most the the time I don't bother with the D-Pad, but there are situations where I want to be running in one direction while turning the camera to face the monster and this is nearly impossible to do.  
 
Combat is centered around three buttons. Triangle is your main attack, Circle is your secondary attack and the R button defends. Each weapon has variations on these controls. For example, the R button doesn't defend when you have two swords it instead activates an ability that trades stamina for power. Similarly, the R button on hammer weapons makes you perform a running charge and if you hold it for long enough you will do a spinning attack when released. Long range weapons like bowguns use Triangle for reloading and circle for shooting, taping the R button takes you into a 1st person shooting mode while holding the R button places you into a 3rd person mode. This is something that came off terribly in the demo, you had a bunch of choices for pre-made characters with different weapons, but you had no idea how to use those weapons. I think most people probably pick the guy with the big bad ass looking sword or axe, but they get into combat with an excruciatingly slow to attack weapon that they have no idea how to control. Simple things like the fact that pressing Triangle and Circle at the same executes a 3rd attack is lost on the demo audience. I came out of the demo feeling like the weapons controlled poorly and that the whole game was limited to two basic attacks. After playing through the tutorial with all the weapons types I now appreciate the stunning variety and tactics that can be employed with these weapons but that doesn't solve a large problem with the game, there is no lock-on. With terrible manual camera controls and weapons attacks that can lead you into long un-interruptible combo attacks that leave you swinging at air this game screams for a lock-on system.  
 
I hear that a lot of hardcore fans think a lock-on system would ruin the game and make it too easy. They claim that being able to attack certain parts of a monster is fundamental to the gameplay experience and that a lock-on system would not allow for this. To these people I say that they are crazy, just because it has always been like that doesn't mean it is the best way. I feel tightening up the combat in this game would make it a lot more accessible and would result in a lot more players, especially north american players. The lock-on would make up for the lack of a right stick on PSP and even on console it would be welcome, there was a lot of depth available in the lock-on system in many of the Legend of Zelda games, I feel a similar system would do wonders for Monster Hunter. I would say they should take the L button and make that the lock-on button, holding it locks on to a foe, tapping it cycles through targets. D-pad left and right cycle through your inventory, tap up on the d-pad to use the current item. Down on the D-pad sheathes and unsheathes your weapon. The triangle button is a contextual use button when the weapon is sheathed. The circle button is used to crouch or climb depending on the context. The Square button rotates the camera left and the x button rotates the camera right (depending on settings). In combat triangle is main attack, circle is secondary, pressing them both is a 3rd attack (The reason circle isn't camera right) and the R button is shield/special. While locked on the square and x buttons cycle through different parts of the monster, allowing you to lock on to a specific part, pressing both at the same time resets to target the whole monster. Select is still kick, I guess. To dodge you tap R and a direction, though this doesn't work so well with all weapons, so more thought has to be put into this. I feel something similar to this control scheme would give the flexibility the hardcore are looking for while making the combat much more manageable for everyone else, more time fighting the monster, less time fighting the camera. 
 
I am getting used the controls the more I play though, I don't think I'll get to a point where I accept them, but I think I can deal with them. And I hope the right stick on a Classic Control for Tri will make the camera more of a moot point. Though I still feel even then I want lock-on for combat or something similar to God of War style automatic lock-on to direct attacks towards enemies and be able to change the direction and target of the attack on the fly. I have made my way through the tutorials, which are informative but too long in the tooth and quite text heavy. I feel the tutorials could have been compressed into something smarter and quicker, unless I am misreading information, a recent interview on G4TV about Tri seemed to indicate the tutorials are going more in this direction for that game.  

The Fun?

 So I have come to a point where I believe the most enjoyable thing about these games is the character progression. Going out, fighting monster and collecting their hides, tusks, livers or whatever and then crafting that into more powerful cooler looking shit is kind of addictive and I could see if I had more people to play with this would be even more addictive not to mention make the battles much easier. 
 
The battles I have been in so far against the monsters have been pretty intense. I came out of all those tutorials feeling like I could take on anything and then proceeded to get the crap beat out of me by my first hunt. Even the smaller monsters put up more of a fight than in the tutorial. I feel it is because my Sword / Shield combo are pretty crappy at the moment and worse than the Sword/Shield in the Tutorial, so I am working diligently to improve my weapons. The monsters are hard, no thanks to the camera. I am learning ways to be more efficient at combat ,  mostly involving rolling around to their sides or back and chomping away till they turn my direction, then rolling around them and continuing my attack. This doesn't work quite as well against monsters who do attack damage as they are turning, need to figure out a better strategy for them. I also don't understand how to get more traps, I get one free shock trap at the beginning of the hunt and it is very useful but it is gone too fast. I don't see where I can buy more of those, but I do have this trap tool I don't know how to use, that is probably the key. 
 
The learning curve on this game is steep, but the payoff is quite handsome. I also have this farm I can upgrade, these cats I can hire as either cooks or party members during my hunts. The cats can gain new abilities in different ways, there seems to be a lot of depth there. I can also fish and mine at my farm or while on hunts. Combine items into new items. There are also specific Missions that only involve fishing, mining and trying to figure out how to transport an egg back to my camp without cracking the egg from falling too far. There is a heck of a lot to do once you get into the game and I heard Freedom Unite boasts around 500 hours of gameplay, providing you can find friends to tackle the harder stuff. So for 20 bucks I am pretty satisfied with my purchase at the moment.  
 
The game also has a surprisingly quirky sense of humor. While roasting some meat over a fire you play a little minigame where you need to press X at the exact second it is ready for the best results, this is accompanied by some cheerful bouncy music and if you pull it out of the fire at just the right moment your character jumps up and cheers while proclaiming "Tasty". Similarly if you order something from your felyne cook you get some more bouncy music, your character holds a giant fork and knife and bounces to the music while the cook throws a large riceball in time with the music. I should have probably expected this from a Japanese game, but the atmosphere this game gives off belays its more goofy undertones. 

Conclusion

 This blog entry has gone on far too long now, but I felt I needed to write down my thoughts about this series and my experience so far with Freedom Unite. I will continue to play that game, but I may not write anything further till I have Monster Hunter Tri in my hands. If you can look past its problems the game offers some great experiences with a wealth of content. Despite the combat feeling iffy, there is a lot of depth there with the different weapons and all the monsters have unique behaviors that almost gives them a Shadow of the Colossus feel.  
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Posted by Cybexx

What is Monster Hunter?

 Monster Hunter is a game about hunting monsters, simple. Everything in the game revolves around going out into the wilderness and taking down these big vicious monsters, then stripping them of their valuable parts. You can then take these parts and craft them into better weapons and armor for yourself or sell them.  
 
If you have heard anything about this series you most likely know that is is huge in Japan. The series started out in 2004 on the PS2, which appeared to have been overlooked by North America, but judging by the expansion pack and sequel released only in Japan it did okay there. I was interested in the original Monster Hunter when it came out, but I never played it myself. The PS2 games are notable for their online support, something the series has so far lost on the PSP.  
 
The thing about Monster Hunter is that the games are really built around co-operating with three other players to take down these big monsters, you can solo the games to an extent and they are probably better solo games than most co-op centric experiences, but to get the most out of Monster Hunter you really need to play with others, or so I hear. I like most North Americans who are no longer in grade school don't hang out on a regular basis with others who own the same portable game systems and the same games. Even though I work for a Game Developer, the prospect of trying to pull together three other people with PSPs with copies of Monster Hunter and have them all care about playing it on a regular basis is nearly unfathomable. Running into strangers with PSPs playing the same game on transit is similarly unlikely.  
 
Which is where I think we get to the obvious root of the problem with Monster Hunter in North America, out society is not set up to support this type of game except in rare circumstances. For this game to really get off the ground in North America one of the big things that needs to change is Online Support. Yes you can use the PS3's Adhoc Party to tunnel your PSP's connection to an online game, but this is kind of unacceptable. You need a Japanese PSN account and the knowledge of how to download this and how to set it up without the assistance of any english text. And I believe that is not acceptable for the average consumer. Now you could argue that anyone who doesn't know about all this is someone you don't want to play with, but that creates a very exclusionary society. You either will find the hardest of the hardcore Western players online or the Japanese players who if they are playing online using this method are probably also pretty hardcore and neither of these groups are very accepting of new players who want to learn the ins and outs of the game. If the Online option was just built into the game you would end up with a much larger pool of people of varying skill levels to play with and trust me this helps games rather than hindering them, you can still make your "Hunting G32 NO NOOBS!" room and the rest of us can get on with our day.  

Why do I care?

 Just the prospect that this is one of the most popular games in Japan intrigues me, I have to ask "Why is that"? I felt that Japanese developers were still having trouble with adapting to 3D game design last generation, something about the interfaces and the stiffness of character-to-environment and character-to-character interaction was off, not it all cases of course. This has continued ten fold into this generation with a lot of those interface and character interaction problems sticking out like a sore thumb compared to western games. I think it has something to do with Japanese games feeling more mechanical and western games feeling a bit more procedural. Japan has always had great Art Design, but they seem to be trying to let that carry more weight than it can bear this generation. This has resulted in many Japanese developers turning their attention to portable platforms, since this allows them a safe haven to work similarly to generations past. Avoiding skyrocketing budgets, that force them to build for international audiences, and meeting lower expectations on the portable platforms. Japan has also gone increasingly mobile so I assume that helps as well. 
 
Alright back to Monster Hunter, I feel these points are what poised Monster Hunter to become the success it is in Japan, while also creating the indifference seen in the west. The PSP games allowed the developer to continue their work on PS2 in a similar environment, online play was lost in the transition and due to contemporary Japanese society not only did Adhoc Wireless make up for it, it probably contributed to making it even more popular. Multi-player with friends makes any game more fun, especially co-op since there are no losers, everyone works together towards a goal.  
 
I have been very intrigued by the concept of these games, but knowing my experience in the past with portable co-op experiences I feared it just wouldn't work for me. I recall trying the demos of Monster Hunter Freedom 2 and Monster Hunter Freedom Unite and running into the same experiences I believe most Western gamers run into while trying these demos, "Fuck these controls are ass and the combat is infuriating!". Watching the Giantbomb quicklook of the upcoming Monster Hunter Tri for the Wii they seem to have had pretty much the same reaction. Thus my thoughts turned to "are the Japanese crazy? Are these problems so easily overlooked when playing with friends?" Co-op can make up for a lot of problems, but making up for fundamental problems with the main game mechanics is a little extreme, are the Japanese really that crazy?  

My Freedom Unite

 Monster Hunter Freedom Unite is the latest Monster Hunter game to be released in North America, it was released in June 2009. it is an expansion pack to Freedom 2 and is knows as Portable 2G in Japan. It is the Japanese definition of an expansion pack however, which means all of the original game with new content, so you don't need Freedom 2. I played the demo of this game before it came out and ran into the  "Fuck these controls are ass and the combat is infuriating!" problem. So I didn't buy it, but the prospect of picking it up has been gelling in the back of my mind since then. I figured there has to be something else that the demo does a terrible job of presenting. I have friends who will not touch a game if they find something fundamentally wrong about it. I am the opposite, if I find something about  a game that I really like, that I can latch onto I am willing to endure the bad bits to see the good ones. So I spotted Freedom Unite for 20 bucks and decided to pick it up for this long weekend with the intention of digging into it and seeing if I can find that fun enjoyable aspect to latch onto and after playing it last evening and this afternoon I feel I'm close to finding it. 
 
First of all I have not tried Multiplayer, I have the Adhoc Party downloaded on my PS3, but I have not ventured there. I feel with my limited knowledge and lowest level gear I wouldn't be doing myself any favors jumping in there this late in the game's life. My goal is to get in, find the fun, play around for a bit and then transition into Monster Hunter Tri in a couple weeks assuming the game still holds my interest. I am hoping the built-in online functions of that game and getting in there day 1 with the rest of the westerners will be the right mix of ingredients to get me into this franchise. But watching the Giantbomb quicklook has told me that the Wii game has the same fundamental gameplay issues that are present on the PSP. 
 
Those fundamental issues are the Camera and the Combat, mostly stemming from seemingly terrible control choices. The analog nub moves your character, fair enough, but the d-pad moves your camera, meaning that you need to play finger twister to move the character and control the camera at the same time since they are both on the same side of the PSP. I can see why they did this, to free up the right side buttons for combat and other interactions, but it is really awkward. While fighting a monster the camera is often your biggest enemy. You can hit the L button to center behind your character, so most the the time I don't bother with the D-Pad, but there are situations where I want to be running in one direction while turning the camera to face the monster and this is nearly impossible to do.  
 
Combat is centered around three buttons. Triangle is your main attack, Circle is your secondary attack and the R button defends. Each weapon has variations on these controls. For example, the R button doesn't defend when you have two swords it instead activates an ability that trades stamina for power. Similarly, the R button on hammer weapons makes you perform a running charge and if you hold it for long enough you will do a spinning attack when released. Long range weapons like bowguns use Triangle for reloading and circle for shooting, taping the R button takes you into a 1st person shooting mode while holding the R button places you into a 3rd person mode. This is something that came off terribly in the demo, you had a bunch of choices for pre-made characters with different weapons, but you had no idea how to use those weapons. I think most people probably pick the guy with the big bad ass looking sword or axe, but they get into combat with an excruciatingly slow to attack weapon that they have no idea how to control. Simple things like the fact that pressing Triangle and Circle at the same executes a 3rd attack is lost on the demo audience. I came out of the demo feeling like the weapons controlled poorly and that the whole game was limited to two basic attacks. After playing through the tutorial with all the weapons types I now appreciate the stunning variety and tactics that can be employed with these weapons but that doesn't solve a large problem with the game, there is no lock-on. With terrible manual camera controls and weapons attacks that can lead you into long un-interruptible combo attacks that leave you swinging at air this game screams for a lock-on system.  
 
I hear that a lot of hardcore fans think a lock-on system would ruin the game and make it too easy. They claim that being able to attack certain parts of a monster is fundamental to the gameplay experience and that a lock-on system would not allow for this. To these people I say that they are crazy, just because it has always been like that doesn't mean it is the best way. I feel tightening up the combat in this game would make it a lot more accessible and would result in a lot more players, especially north american players. The lock-on would make up for the lack of a right stick on PSP and even on console it would be welcome, there was a lot of depth available in the lock-on system in many of the Legend of Zelda games, I feel a similar system would do wonders for Monster Hunter. I would say they should take the L button and make that the lock-on button, holding it locks on to a foe, tapping it cycles through targets. D-pad left and right cycle through your inventory, tap up on the d-pad to use the current item. Down on the D-pad sheathes and unsheathes your weapon. The triangle button is a contextual use button when the weapon is sheathed. The circle button is used to crouch or climb depending on the context. The Square button rotates the camera left and the x button rotates the camera right (depending on settings). In combat triangle is main attack, circle is secondary, pressing them both is a 3rd attack (The reason circle isn't camera right) and the R button is shield/special. While locked on the square and x buttons cycle through different parts of the monster, allowing you to lock on to a specific part, pressing both at the same time resets to target the whole monster. Select is still kick, I guess. To dodge you tap R and a direction, though this doesn't work so well with all weapons, so more thought has to be put into this. I feel something similar to this control scheme would give the flexibility the hardcore are looking for while making the combat much more manageable for everyone else, more time fighting the monster, less time fighting the camera. 
 
I am getting used the controls the more I play though, I don't think I'll get to a point where I accept them, but I think I can deal with them. And I hope the right stick on a Classic Control for Tri will make the camera more of a moot point. Though I still feel even then I want lock-on for combat or something similar to God of War style automatic lock-on to direct attacks towards enemies and be able to change the direction and target of the attack on the fly. I have made my way through the tutorials, which are informative but too long in the tooth and quite text heavy. I feel the tutorials could have been compressed into something smarter and quicker, unless I am misreading information, a recent interview on G4TV about Tri seemed to indicate the tutorials are going more in this direction for that game.  

The Fun?

 So I have come to a point where I believe the most enjoyable thing about these games is the character progression. Going out, fighting monster and collecting their hides, tusks, livers or whatever and then crafting that into more powerful cooler looking shit is kind of addictive and I could see if I had more people to play with this would be even more addictive not to mention make the battles much easier. 
 
The battles I have been in so far against the monsters have been pretty intense. I came out of all those tutorials feeling like I could take on anything and then proceeded to get the crap beat out of me by my first hunt. Even the smaller monsters put up more of a fight than in the tutorial. I feel it is because my Sword / Shield combo are pretty crappy at the moment and worse than the Sword/Shield in the Tutorial, so I am working diligently to improve my weapons. The monsters are hard, no thanks to the camera. I am learning ways to be more efficient at combat ,  mostly involving rolling around to their sides or back and chomping away till they turn my direction, then rolling around them and continuing my attack. This doesn't work quite as well against monsters who do attack damage as they are turning, need to figure out a better strategy for them. I also don't understand how to get more traps, I get one free shock trap at the beginning of the hunt and it is very useful but it is gone too fast. I don't see where I can buy more of those, but I do have this trap tool I don't know how to use, that is probably the key. 
 
The learning curve on this game is steep, but the payoff is quite handsome. I also have this farm I can upgrade, these cats I can hire as either cooks or party members during my hunts. The cats can gain new abilities in different ways, there seems to be a lot of depth there. I can also fish and mine at my farm or while on hunts. Combine items into new items. There are also specific Missions that only involve fishing, mining and trying to figure out how to transport an egg back to my camp without cracking the egg from falling too far. There is a heck of a lot to do once you get into the game and I heard Freedom Unite boasts around 500 hours of gameplay, providing you can find friends to tackle the harder stuff. So for 20 bucks I am pretty satisfied with my purchase at the moment.  
 
The game also has a surprisingly quirky sense of humor. While roasting some meat over a fire you play a little minigame where you need to press X at the exact second it is ready for the best results, this is accompanied by some cheerful bouncy music and if you pull it out of the fire at just the right moment your character jumps up and cheers while proclaiming "Tasty". Similarly if you order something from your felyne cook you get some more bouncy music, your character holds a giant fork and knife and bounces to the music while the cook throws a large riceball in time with the music. I should have probably expected this from a Japanese game, but the atmosphere this game gives off belays its more goofy undertones. 

Conclusion

 This blog entry has gone on far too long now, but I felt I needed to write down my thoughts about this series and my experience so far with Freedom Unite. I will continue to play that game, but I may not write anything further till I have Monster Hunter Tri in my hands. If you can look past its problems the game offers some great experiences with a wealth of content. Despite the combat feeling iffy, there is a lot of depth there with the different weapons and all the monsters have unique behaviors that almost gives them a Shadow of the Colossus feel.  
Posted by JJWeatherman

Holy crap. I want to read this but it's sooooo long!

Edited by luce

Good God man help an ADHD brother out
 
Break that bitch up with some pretty pictures or something

Posted by Cybexx
@JJWeatherman:
Ha ha, yeah sorry about that. It is pretty train of consciousness. I wasn't sure if I wanted to post this to the forum since it is so long, but there is barely anything on this forum so I figured it didn't matter.
 To sum it up quickly:  
- Japan loves Monster Hunter because co-op with friends makes anything more fun.
-  America doesn't because it isn't online on PSP.  
- The camera is terrible and the games need a lock-on system. 
- I propose an alternate control scheme with a lock-on system that gives the flexibility to target individual Monster Parts and thus hopefully please the hardcore Monster Hunter players. 
- The character development and other systems are pretty cool once you get into them.    
- The demos do a pretty terrible job at showing Monster Hunter's better qualities.
Edited by JJWeatherman
@Cybexx said:

" @JJWeatherman: Ha ha, yeah sorry about that. It is pretty train of consciousness. I wasn't sure if I wanted to post this to the forum since it is so long, but there is barely anything on this forum so I figured it didn't matter. To sum it up quickly:  - Japan loves Monster Hunter because co-op with friends makes anything more fun.-  America doesn't because it isn't online on PSP.  - The camera is terrible and the games need a lock-on system. - I propose an alternate control scheme with a lock-on system that gives the flexibility to target individual Monster Parts and thus hopefully please the hardcore Monster Hunter players. - The character development and other systems are pretty cool once you get into them.    - The demos do a pretty terrible job at showing Monster Hunter's better qualities. "

Now I just feel bad for not reading it. Anyways, I agree with all those points. I played quite a bit of the original Monster Hunter that was released on PSP and had fun but was held back by the difficulty of the hunts. When you have to start hunting serious Wyverns and placing traps and cooking bait... I just lose interest. The game's cool but seems like it just isn't for me with the way it currently plays. And an extra yes on the lock-on system point. Badly needed.
Edited by Al3xand3r
@Cybexx said:

- The camera is terrible and the games need a lock-on system

No. Maybe on PSP it's less than ideal but more than workable and not terrible at all, while it's the PSP to blame (remember, these are PS2 game ports), as any manual camera is a chore on it (hello Metal Gear Solid games), but to have an auto camera in MH they'd have to make fundamental changes that would result in a different game that would lack half the gameplay (ie, aiming specific parts of the monster to hit for specific reasons, if you could just lock on a part it would be piss easy, if you couldn't lock on a part but only a general central monster part then it could be impossible, while later you often need to keep track of more than one monster rendering lock on useless). Play the Wii game, no control issues there since you have a comfortable right stick to use as everyone is used to do nowadays (the remote+nunchuck setup is also very robust for those used to that). Here's my playing monster hunter thread for more. For tips I also helped Kinarion here but that's more for Tri, not Unite. Edit: and yes, I too think it's more than fine as a single player series if you can't go online for any reason, there's some single player only content (as well as MP only) anyway, while you tend to develop different strategies. For example, it's easy to calculate a hit with a great sword when you know you're the monster's target so it will turn to face you, while online you never know who it's going to target next in order to know if you have time for a charge or whatever. Of course one should want to get the most of the games anyway, and so play on and off line. Also, I don't use the claw on PSP, I find auto centering with L or only rotating the camera during other actions that have you immobile anyway more than sufficient so far (still a newbie though).
Posted by animateria
@Cybexx:
As a HR9 full-solo Hunter (I'm at the last collection of quests right before the 'end' of the multi-player content), I don't think it's necessarily as multi-player focused as people, even Capcom makes it out to be.
 
MHFU was also my first proper MH play through, I absolutely hated the first game on the PS2 and quit almost immediately.
 
I decided to get into MHFU with a new mindset though, after watching countless videos of veteran players on Youtube I realized how much more fluid the game looked when they played it compared to newbies.  You just can't take the game like you're playing any other 3rd person hack'n slash game. You need to decide to relearn everything from the ground up.
 
The camera controls on the PSP work fine as long as you get used to putting for left index finger on the d-pad in a claw like motion (MHFU control scheme is well thought out for the original PSP design, that's why it's impossible to play properly with a PSP GO.) I'm sure using the lower triggers for the Wii version is better though (Making the Classic Controller Pro almost a requirement. The  Dual Shock design is where it's at!)
 
As for combat, you'll need to learn the ins and outs of each weapon. 
 
The Sword and Shield is a fast weapon, but deals low damage, meaning you'll need to be in action more often than a Great Sword. You do indeed get a shield but it's only really there for the most desperate of moments. I personally never use it since you're always very close to the monster, and you'll need the reflexes to dodge, block, and attack with no rest in-between. It's a very unfriendly weapon despite it's good first impressions for a newbie, I recommend it to newbies only when they hunt with other people and don't need to constantly deal damage.
 
Dual Swords, are Sword and Shield with two swords. You lose the ability to block but deal damage faster. One of the hardest weapons to use since the special attack for this (Demonization) eats up stamina rather quickly. I rarely use it since I prefer the next weapon I'll be explaining.

The best "newbie" weapon in the game is the Long Sword. You lose the ability to block, but gain range and damage. It's mostly good against a lot of monsters but there are a couple you would use something else instead. It's the lightest heavy weapon in the game, making it a good candidate to move on into Great Swords or Hammers. It's also a weapon you'll need to learn to constantly sheath. If you watch the Monster Hunter QL the biggest mistake Jeff makes is not sheathing his weapon back onto his back. Sheathing a weapon let's you sprint and dodge, increasing your mobility and in turn, survivability.
 
Hammers are the easiest weapon to kill monsters with since you can charge the attack while moving around. It also helps that it deals massive damage. I'd say this is the easiest weapon to use after the Long Sword. Contrary to the Great Sword, or the Long Sword you won't sheath this as often, but it's always improtant to know when you should have it out or put it back.
 
Great Swords, the biggest single weapon in the game, obviously one of the hardest to wield properly. The most important thing for a GS is to learn to be in constant motion. The most basic move you do with a GS is to do a Single Attack -> Roll -> Sheath Weapon. The GSes special ability is to charge the weapon, however unlike Hammers you can't move while charging. Which means you'll be measuring and timing monster behavior more than other weapons. The upside is that it's the singe most damaging attack in the game. Relatively advanced usage is to always do a full charge on the head of a monster, this staggers the  monster and keeps them from retaliating.  It's my favorite weapon in the game, and I could do pretty consistent full charge head attacks to a lot of monsters.
 
Lances/ Gun Lances, are rarely use by me and only against one specific monster, the Plessioth. The Giant Shield is great for blocking and doesn't use up a lot of stamina, while the lance gives you a good range on the target. However, carrying all that heavy equipment means you suffer greatly in mobility. Of course it doesn't matter since you can almost block all day long. You just block and poke, block and poke. I find it very boring...
 
Guns/Bows... Oh, don't ask me about ranged weapons, I don't use em. Knowing when to shoot and when you need to run the hell away is the key though.
 

Oh and basic hunter stuff that the game doesn't tell you well.
 
!. Sheath your weapon often.
!!. Roll after you're done attacking.
!!!. Unless you're doing specific technique that requires so, never attack a monster head on.
!!!!. Monsters always give you a very short hint on their next attack.
!!!!!. Attack after the monster attacks.
!!!!!!. Best combination: Potion + Honey = Mega Potion  
!!!!!!! Carry 10 potions + 10 Mega Potions + 10 Herbs + 10 Blue Mushrooms + 10 Honey
!!!!!!!! Best Cooking Combination = Kirin Cheese + Goldenfish Brew
!!!!!!!!!. Youtube is your friend.
 
 
Last comment, the combat in the game is 'different' not 'broken'. 
 

If you ever want a hunting buddy my PSN is Animateria... I don't have a cable to connect my PS3 to a wire but I should be getting one soon.
Edited by Cybexx
@animateria:  @  Al3xand3r:
 
I don't think I ever said the combat was ' broken', it did feel too simple and imprecise after playing the demo. After playing through all the of the beginner tutorials I have instead changed that opinion to the combat actually has a lot of depth, as stated in my blog post. Each weapon is a fundamentally different beast, but the fact remains that the camera remains a huge problem and a barrier to using these weapons properly. I have tried using the claw method or as I called it in the blog "finger twister" but it is far from ideal. I have pretty much stopped caring about the D-pad during fights and only used the L button, but when I'm running away, with my weapon sheathed, from the monster it would be nice to be able to easily spin the camera behind to see if he is hot on my trail or not. I will continue to have the opinion that the camera is terrible, it is manageable, but still terrible even for PSP standards.  

 That is the thing, I am starting to really enjoy the game once I got around these issues and I am getting really into the crafting and such. But, I am trying to figuring out what is stopping this series from being successful in the west and to me the camera is a huge problem that needs to be addressed. "more time fighting the monster, less time fighting the camera." is my basis for all my thoughts towards how to make this game work better and I can't see how anyone could honestly argue against that. I don't think a lock-on system would be a sin against this game, it seems like the obvious answer, especially on PSP. The only concern is being able to target specific parts which seems to be a large part of this game and if you could change the targeting system to cycle between those parts.  

"I would say they should take the L button and make that the lock-on button, holding it locks on to a foe, tapping it cycles through targets. D-pad left and right cycle through your inventory, tap up on the d-pad to use the current item. Down on the D-pad sheathes and unsheathes your weapon. The triangle button is a contextual use button when the weapon is sheathed. The circle button is used to crouch or climb depending on the context. The Square button rotates the camera left and the x button rotates the camera right (depending on settings). In combat triangle is main attack, circle is secondary, pressing them both is a 3rd attack (The reason circle isn't camera right) and the R button is shield/special. While locked on the square and x buttons cycle through different parts of the monster, allowing you to lock on to a specific part, pressing both at the same time resets to target the whole monster. Select is still kick, I guess. To dodge you tap R and a direction, though this doesn't work so well with all weapons, so more thought has to be put into this." 
 
This is my proposition for future Monster Hunter PSP games, I still have to figure out the dodging, maybe X stays as dodge, square cycles between the parts, circle is camera left. D-Pad down while sheathed is climb or maybe use. I think there is a way to do it properly. I am looking for a fundamental design change I don't see why a brand new monster hunter can't do that. If your worried about difficulty look at Demon's Souls no one can argue that it is not difficult and that it doesn't have a deep combat system, but it has a lock-on feature. If they add lock-on they are free to add difficulty in other areas and not have to think about compensating for the camera and attack animation times. 
 
I think these games could be very successful here and bring in a lot of new players, but the camera and by extension the combat hold that back. I shouldn't have to spend weeks researching the game before I play, if I need to do that I am compensating for something that should be built into the design of the game. Watching the Quick Look of Tri has told me this is not the rethink on the series I was hoping it would be, hopefully that is Portable 3 because by god is that a pretty PSP game! I am still totally willing to learn Freedom Unite and pick up Tri I was just hoping for more. 
 
 Oh and animateria, thanks for the tips, I had already figured most of them out, though 5, 6 and 7 are very helpful thank you. It also seems to me that the charging attack of the lance seems really useful and I also read about the ability to "instantly defend" by pressing R + Triangle + Circle. I haven't been able to try this much, since that is also the buttons to charge, but I think it allows you to interrupt an attack into a defend which seems like a godsend, because the uninterpretable attack animations are a pain, part of the strategy but a pain no less. 
Posted by animateria
@Cybexx: 
 
Not using the d-pad constantly will hurt your performance a bit. It's really just a quirk for the PSP version. (Though I got so used to the motion that when I get Tri, I'm probably going to use the same method anyways). I don't think it's a big issue since the right analog stick or L2, R2 can be used for the camera in Tri. I never changed my camera during my attacks, so the right thumb can manage it fine.
 
The problem with lock-on is when you have multiple targets, you need to remember that a lot of them have 3-5 body parts that need to be individually targeted (Breaking body parts is essential in a really successful hunt). Cycling through 5 to 10 body parts? That sounds like a mess.
 
And  consider that when you want to cut the tail and you locked-on to it, your character will just home-in on that body part alone. Monster Hunter is about taking the right opportunity at the right time, you won't be constantly hitting a single body part, you'll be attacking the one that's most vulnerable and has the least chance of retaliation. You can't fluidly change between body parts if there's a lock-on.
 
Another point is that it becomes too easy. I regularly full GS charge a Rathalos in the head when it's about to land. It takes a lot of practice to put myself in the right position, face my charge in the right direction, and time the whole thing. A lock-on eliminates all of those activities aside from timing. Consider this for ranged weapons... They always hit the head? Talk about over powered.
 
 Maybe if tapping L would recenter the camera to the most dangerous threat? It's not a lock on but it's a good compromise.
 
Either way though, it's a unique issue with the PSPs limited buttons (and the lack of another analog stick), and will take less time on the Wii to get used to the camera than hunting in general.
Edited by Cybexx
@animateria:  
 
I feel even with the Wii this is going to be kind of a problem and that a lock-on feature would still help a lot. I will again cite Demon's Souls as proof that it is possible to have a lock-on system and a difficult game co-habitate in the same universe. Cycling through the parts with buttons is not entirely ideal I agree, if this was a solo game you could freeze the action like Fallout, but for multi player that is no dice. With cycling the parts I felt it was fundamental to have a quick reset button, I feel that cycling the parts would still be less awkward than the current camera system. Ideally this would be easier to do with a right stick where you could point to the part, some 3rd person shooters like Everything or Nothing have allowed you to lock onto an enemy then target within your lock-on. The other way to do it is not have the individual body part targeting and just have a plain lock-on system. Since you need to hold a button to maintain the lock-on you could just simply release that when your going after an individual part or forgo it all together during your fight and go in "old school" just leaving the lock-on for newer players or people who want to play with a mix of the two.  
 
The lock-on just makes the game more accessible and less frustrating, you can hit the monster you can roll out of its way you have a greater understanding of where the monster is in 3D space relative to you. Body part targeting doesn't seem necessary in the early game so let people learn about that later. There is a reason Ocarina of Time pioneered this technique, it defined combat in 3D space before any right stick. I feel with most PSP games the lack of a right stick has made developers freak out and forget how this all used to work and thus make stupid design decisions without even a thought to camera logic. 
 
Demon's Souls is a game where I feel if I died, I screwed up, I had all the tools at my disposal and if I had reacted fast enough I wouldn't be back at the beginning of the area. In Monster Hunter I feel that I am fighting the camera and the un-interruptible animations constantly. Ryan mentioned in the QL that it is pretty stupid that you can't dodge out of the way until the arm pump animation finishes is pretty stupid. It is pretty stupid, they could keep the arm pump in there and just allow you to dodge right after the drinking animation had finished, that is just bad design. Even if the enemy telegraphs his attack the next time I most likely won't be facing the right direction to see it, why am I fighting the camera?\ 
 
I feel the Monster Hunter demos do these games a disservice. They drop you into a hunt with a pre-made dude with a type of weapon and they don't give you any information in how to use that weapon, not quick rundown of the strengths and weaknesses, nothing. Most people probably pick the guy with the big sword because that looks bad ass. But the Giant Sword is probably the hardest weapon to deal with when your new to the game, your just going to spend your time swinging at air and end up with a really terrible opinion of the game. If it had a lock-on system and it told you a little bit about it you could  have a much greater chance at hitting something and thus a much better opinion of the overall game.  
 
There is a lot of cool stuff about this game, but taking a pre-made character into a hunt is just setting people up for a terrible time. 
Edited by Al3xand3r

Most people who quit due to camera control would quit either way. It's a minor issue after some time even on PSP. On Wii it's not an issue at all, people just need to realise the game's not Devil May Cry and play with a different philosophy. If they ended up making the combat feel like Zelda or something with auto locks and the appropriate moveset and enemy AI for them then I guess more would like it. But it wouldn't be Monster Hunter. So no, a lock-on camera alone wouldn't make it more popular (you're already suggesting more changes, about the arm pump now, this would continue on and on until the game was no longer Monster Hunter). And it would present the issues mentioned by animateria already if that was the sole change.
 
It's not stupid you can't dodge during the arm pump. They just don't want you using potions like it's Diablo. They want you to methodically consider what's happening around you for every single action. Eventually it comes naturally. First aid kits have a different animation that doesn't do the arm pump, but they're in limited supply since if potions were like that they would be unbalanced, a longer duration of immobility is required (just like rations which have the meat effect without the full eating animation). For potions they simply added a fun animaiton on top of that immobility (it was pretty dumb of the crew to criticise it in that manner instead of comprehend the basic concept of what it's there to achieve) it would have the same effect if the character just slowly uncapped a bottle and drank its contents or something, but CAPCOM likes throwing in some sillyness and fans like it too. Other items have different animations. Just like they show the character grind his weapon when sharpening it, or patting the ground to set up a trap. It's not about what animation is shown, it's merely about the time frame they want you immobile during these actions in order to balance them so they fit with the game's overaching gameplay philosophy.

Agree the demos aren't really good (well, they're great for people who already know what the games are about, since fighting is the main gameplay, and that's what demos have) but it's hardly easy to get a good demo. If it was a demo with the first 30 mins being tutorials most people would quit anyway. But I suppose they could have at least a little gameplay movie shown so people can see what they're supposed to do, even if they have to fiddle a bit to figure out how.

Edited by Cybexx

See I think if we reversed this argument we could come to a different conclusion. Lets say Monster Hunter was designed with the lock-on camera in the first place, lets say the all the design and depth was created with this lock-on camera system in mind. I don't think you would end up with people arguing about taking out the lock-on system. This argument stems from the game's legacy and not so much from an honest look at the gameplay. It is purely fear of change and I have been in design meetings about this exact topic over other games and the "that's just the way it is" logic never leads to good things. I understand that is how things have been and that is how players have got used to it, but I don't think that is a good enough reason to exclude it from future games. 
 
Sour opinions of the game mostly stem from this argument and there is no doubt in my mind that isn't helping the game. If the series keeps going down this path it is going to lead to more and more exclusionary games and we are going to hit a point where the games are selling so horribly in the West that Capcom doesn't even bother to bring them over anymore. I would like to think the online support and the addition of a right stick on the classic controller for Wii are going to make these problems go away, but I don't think so. 3rd party games have been doing pretty terribly on Wii and this game needs all the good will it can get to be successful.  
 
I am hoping Monster Hunter Portable 3 will be the game to change the series. "This game doesn't use Freedom Unite as a base; the majority of it is being built for scratch" "It'll feel different from both Unite and Tri on Wii" Which I hope means they are taking this opportunity to reset and do a thorough re-think of the series. For me the monster behaviors, the depth of the monster's relationships to the world, the living flora and fauna, the crafting system, the co-op are all strong strength of the series, the camera is not a strength. 

Posted by animateria
@Cybexx: 
 
I think the Lock-On issue is the least of the problems of MH (As I've said it's harder on the PSP. If you aren't clawing you aren't using the camera properly. Not an issue with a proper 2 analog stick controller.). People can't get used to the idea of getting the crap beaten out of them by monsters that act their size. 3-5 hits without health potions and your out. Hell, I've been 2 hit comboed to death by Khezus in the early days (Hint: Get gear with High Grade Earplugs). The game just throws you into the pond filled with alligators and expects you to survive it.
   
The developers at Capcom had some intention behind it, they wanted groups of people to figure it out together. And it works when you are within a community of hunters (Or Youtube, fucking Godsend with those newbie guides). Sites such as gamefaqs.com and forums.minegarde.com have striving communities dedicated to everything imaginable about Monster Hunter.  It works in Japan too, since 1 out of 5 PSP users has a copy, they can just meet up and teach new hunters the ropes. 
 
Doesn't work outside of the internet or Japan though... I'm surprised that Capcom haven't made any "Weapon Guide" videos, only giving the press videos of some guy ranting about crabs and foxes. I wish I was on the MH PR team cause I'd totally make one. I'm currently planning a comic to explain some basic weapon strategies (with my limited drawing skills but hey I'm gonna try anyways).

But yeah I'll agree with you on the Demo, God Eater (I have a comparison preview up) actually had a demo where you can carve and craft some items. Much better demo, okay MH clone. You might like the fact that they have a Lock-On...
Edited by Al3xand3r
@Cybexx said:

See I think if we reversed this argument we could come to a different conclusion. Lets say Monster Hunter was designed with the lock-on camera in the first place, lets say the all the design and depth was created with this lock-on camera system in mind. I don't think you would end up with people arguing about taking out the lock-on system.


It would be a different game, with different fans, and maybe some overlap. See God Eater as mentioned already. if you want the game to change so much you just don't want to play Monster Hunter. And that's fine. I hope someone makes a game you want to play. Portable 3rd won't be it though going by all this. Tri was made from scratch as well, obviously, that didn't suddenly make them change their whole philosophy for this series. I think Lost Planet 2 is more up your alley. I'll love it too I'm sure, but not like I do Monster Hunter. It''s just such an expertly designed and unique series.
Posted by Cybexx
@animateria:  
 
I don't necessarily think that lock-on would magically solve all of MH's problems, I think the series is due for a large overall re-think and I really hope MHP3 is that rethink. I do think it would help though, yes the monsters are still going to beat the crap out of me and the newbies, but at least I would be able to clearly see why the monster beat the crap out of me. Yet again I will cite Demon's Souls as a case where "Oh that is why I died, maybe I could try this next time." which is way more fun then. "I think I saw a tail....I started to run....he hit me in the back...I was ferried around by some cats", I think this is kind of the experience with the demo. It makes a lot more sense when you play the full game, but I think most people are not getting to that point. I think a lot of people are just stopping at the demo and saying "Wow, that was terrible why would I pay for that?", there are not even getting to the point where they "Quit". 
 
I don't think players should need to read external materials in order to understand the basics of the game, they could do a lot better job of surfacing that. Because once it clicks it is really fun, often still frustrating, but fun. 
 
I feel this is a series I need to understand so I'm going to keep plowing forward to that goal, but I don't think most people are that forgiving.
Edited by CaptainTightPants

Well i started on the first Monster Hunter and got my Ass handed to me pretty dam quickly, but then pretty much got to the point where i could at least survive. Then after many angry deaths I finally killed some weird Bird thing and stopped there.   When i actually tried a PsP game (FHU) , i guess all those times i got my ass kicked actually did something. The combat was easy, fun,  and i pretty much obliterated everything. I don't know i have never had a problem with the camera or the combat, never had to look up strategies or go out of my way.

Posted by animateria
@Cybexx: 
 
To be fair, Demon's Souls gets the same response from people.
 
"Play this game if you hate yourself" or the usual "Clunky", "Slow", "Hard to understand", "Bad", "Terrible".
 
I remember the GB Demon's Souls comments being very similar to the Monster Hunter Tri comments.
 
 
And yes I do get those, "Damn I got too greedy with my attacks", "Oh, the G-rank version sweeps his breath attack I should be more careful", "Huh, that was dumb, I shouldn't have [insert mistake here]" in Monster Hunter a lot.
 
Actually a lot more than Demon's Souls since the monsters have a more diverse range of behavior patterns than DS (and they are much faster).
 
 
The game needs a better demo, yes. But the game doesn't need a re-think, just a more elaborate tutorial. Maybe something sort of like those combo challenges in SFIV...
Posted by Cybexx

  Oh I'm not saying Demon's Souls is a perfect example, but it gave me that understanding of what I was doing wrong much sooner than Monster Hunter. Demon's Souls has been a surprise hit in North America, the big retailers weren't even stocking it initially. Monster Hunter has yet to find its NA hit, if it wasn't published by Capcom the only place you would have seen it was EB/Gamestop with 5 copies per store and it would have probably not seen a second outing. 
 
Played some God Eater and it is kind of cool, lock-on system wasn't exactly what I had in mind. I was thinking when locked on you would switch to camera relative movement controls so that you were side stepping and rolling around the monster, God Eater pretty much just locks the camera onto the character which makes it feel a bit too loose. Still I probably take that as an option in MH. Camera controls are still on d-pad, ugghh. Double uggh when using the gun to move and shoot while manually aiming. At least MH points your gun to the floor when moving as if shouting "Your doing it wrong!". Inventory is more cumbersome since you can't use your currently selected item unless your in the inventory. The dash and swipe attack of the main weapon does make hitting enemies early on a lot easier. The whole setup for this demo is a fair bit better than MH demos, gives a greater sense of what the game is actually about. 
 
Your right though that it is really missing something without the living world bits and it is missing the cat people which is a shame. I really like the goofier bits of Monster Hunter. I like a lot about Monster Hunter I just don't think the current camera design and its impact on gameplay is right. I think if they changed it the series would get a lot more traction in North America which would be a good thing. 
 
I look at one of Capcom's other series, Resident Evil. Before RE4 came out, the average player was pretty much writing the series off as dead, they change the camera and add manual aiming and suddenly its winning Game of the Year awards and being cited as a large influence on other Game of the Year games for years. The game controls pretty similarly to the old games, a lot of the fundamental elements are there, but the change from a fixed camera to an over the shoulder camera makes all the difference. Sure they lost some of the horror theme but they gained a much more accessible, much better action game. I mean you already have MHPU and MH Tri, why would you want the exact same game again, just adding new content only takes the series so far.

Posted by JJWeatherman

Good lord! Just skimming through this, I think this is officially the most-characters-per-post topic on the forums. You guys really like to argue.
 
By the way, I'm for the lock-on camera. I personally just think it would allow the player to concentrate on what's important instead of when their animation is going to end so that they can change directions. Maybe they can innovate some kind of interesting targeting system that still allows depth but will also help out people like... me.

Edited by luce
@JJWeatherman said:

" Good lord! Just skimming through this, I think this is officially the most-characters-per-post topic on the forums. You guys really like to argue. "

I see a pretty healthy debate going on here