By Fallen189 13 Comments
So...I've always been into Monster Hunter, philosophically, but I could never bring myself into actively getting into them. Maybe it's the fact that I couldn't do the claw because I have funky wrists. Maybe they came at a time when I couldn't dedicate myself to them, who knows? But I got MHU3 lately for the 3DS, and wow have I ever fallen hard into it. I don't quite know what it is about the game that really does it for me. It's probably the base mechanics and how I view the game as a whole. Allow me to elaborate:
The story in the game might aswell not be a thing. It's paper thin, and the dialogue doesn't do it for me either. I know the dudes at 8-4 do a great job translating...but I find myself skipping through any and all text to get to the real meat and potatoes of the game. The hunts. I know this might surprise you, but the main thing to do in MH3U is to hunt monsters, kill them, and use their parts to create new gear. Weird right? But despite the fact that the Giant Monster hunts are absolutely incredible (More on that later), it's the whole aspect of co-existing in the world that they've created that really adds to the atmosphere and tension (?) of the game. Let's say you've just tracked and killed a huge monster, but you're a LITTLE short of the items you need to craft a new bowgun. You can easily take 45 minutes to get out there in the world, mining ore, catching bugs, fishing up fish, getting honey- the things you might take as a pre-requisite to the hunt. The whole idea of self-sustainability in the MH franchise is one that really kinda does it for me. You're an adventurer who has to live off the land, and they've executed that in an incredibly satisfying manner. Not in a contrived way like Skyrim or something, but in a wholly realistic sense, where everything you collect, you feel satisfied for, because you went out of your way to pick it up. It's hard to describe how effective it is, but if you've played it, you probably get it.
If we're being granular about it, I'd probably liken the game to Dark Souls, despite the fact that may be a reductive comparison. The animation priority, the emphasis on game-play mechanics being used to create emergent story details, and the best of breed combat really put them in a similar world. I think that's why I was drawn so much to Ultimate 3rd. I was OBSESSED with Dark Souls. I did everything on that game, platinum trophy twice level of love for it. I still find it hard to play games that are not Dark Souls, really. But MH might be my new thing. Maybe.
Before I end, I'd be remiss if I didn't retell an anecdote about my latest "Big hunt". So I was chasing down a Giant Wroggi, a subspecies of dinosaur that's incredibly fast, vicious, and has a poison cloud AOE. After a bit of sneakery, creating potions, and preparing myself, I finally tracked him down to the North of my location. This was with 50 minutes on the clock. What then entailed was an incredibly harrowing 30 (This is not hyperbolic) minutes where our mutual back and forth was happening all over the map. I had him hit with a paintball, so I could track his movements. Then I hit a bit of a snag. I was getting kind of low...but I'd ran out of potions. I was at about 30% HP, and then the inevitable happened. He called in his friends, nothing more than fodder at this point, but they kept me busy. While I fought off these others, he managed to scarper away into a hidey hole and escape to a new area. Big deal, I thought, I'll chase him down. But I realized he wasn't appearing on my map. It turned out that in the tussle, the paintball ran out moments earlier, and I'd lost him. At this point, you can imagine my frustration. With 15 minutes on the clock, I frantically went from area to area, with little luck. When I finally found him, I knew I had to end it quick. He'd healed a bit, and was only barely limping, and I was already at deaths door. For the next 10 minutes STRAIGHT we duked it out, with him failing to land almost a SINGLE hit on me, until I ate a tail swipe, and got comboed by the fodder dudes. At about a literal 5% HP, I entered a kind of zen state. I knew exactly what I had to do to beat him, and I was almost certain I had the skill to do it. Most people call it "Flow", but it's basically a state of mind where you subconsciously know what you have to do, and just...do it.
With 3 minutes on the clock, I brought the greatsword down, and cut him to the ground. It was finally over. Without realizing it was 2am, I actually shouted "Yes!" and fistpumped. Adrenaline was running high, and I was indescribably accomplished with what I'd done. I can't wait to fight him again.