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THE JOURNEY: Gettin' Jaggi With It

I’m back. I have slept only 4-5 hours each of the last couple of nights and it isn't because I have had a sudden onset of insomnia but rather I have been afflicted with Monster Hunter. I don’t have a ton of time to play during the day so I reserve a bit before I go to sleep at night to feed my new addiction. The first blog in this series earlier this week was all about my first hour or so with MH4U but now as a grizzled veteran of close to 7 hours I can definitively say that I have been missing out.

Do not let the fact that I have nearly 7 hours of playing time fool you; I am still only doing 2 star quests and find myself taking 35-45 minutes on every one of them just running around and mining ore, catching bugs, or picking up a ton of berries. I should have probably made more progress by now but I just cannot force myself to pass up items that I have no clue will be useful later or not. I haven’t dove into many of the armor forging aspect except to make an invincible hammer for my Palico that seemed pretty cheap and I have fed my Insect Glaive enough nectar to nearly hit lvl 2 but not quite. Everything that I just mentioned was completely foreign to me when this week started but now I feel like I have put a small crack into the impenetrable armor that is the Monster Hunter series.

You bring your crew and I'll bring mine.
You bring your crew and I'll bring mine.

Yesterday if you would have looked through my Quest List you would have seen a bunch of check-marks all the way down with the exception of 2 missions, Jaggi Alliance and The Stinking Seltas, I was scared to accept either of those because they were hunting quests and up to that point I have been perfectly content to just collect unique mushrooms or go fishing for some sushifish. I wasn’t sure what to expect from the hunting in the actual game even though I had played a small bit of the demo that was out that actually had you hunting a Great Jaggi. Was this going to be harder? Am I equipped enough to actually take down a monster in this game? I kept avoiding the inevitable and trying to find other things to do besides what the entire point of the game is.

Finally, this morning, I did it. I clicked on Jaggi Alliance and ventured forth, scared and unsure if I would survive what was ahead of me. The Guildmarm told me good luck and gave me some pointers as I transitioned into the wild to actually hunt a monster for the first time. Then I got embarrassingly lost. I had traversed this damn map twenty times already but as soon as the mission was to actually find a monster I froze and ran around the same 3-4 sections for almost 15 minutes. I’m an idiot.

I'll get you Jaggi!!!!
I'll get you Jaggi!!!!

Surely stumbling around like a drunken moron I wandered into a cut scene and there it was. A tutorial popped up that walked me through how to mount an enemy and stab it repeatedly by jamming on the X button to do extra damage and after that was over it was just me and the Jaggi (and my little cat dude, plus a bunch of small Jaggi’s, and some fly creatures). The real showdown though was between the monster and I; the fight was on. We both charged at each other. He bit in my direction and I mistakenly fired my bug into the side of a mountain, I focused the camera on him and took my first swing which missed horrifically, and then I ran to a ledge above him and tried a jumping attack but again missed by a pretty considerable distance. The Benny Hill music should have been playing the entire first 2 minutes of this fight because I’m not sure I would have even hit him if he would have been standing still.

Wait, it happened. After a couple of minutes of some of the worst gaming ineptitude since the late 80’s for me I made contact. After that it felt like something clicked. I strung together a really nice combo and eventually weakened the Jaggi who took off to another section but not before I missed twice with a paintball before hitting it as it ran away. I’m coming after you Jaggi. The fight lasted only eleven minutes and I never let my health drop below half because I was terrified that 8 dragons were going to crash down from the sky and obliterate me. That’s how Monster Hunter works, right?

This is what I was expecting from the Great Jaggi.
This is what I was expecting from the Great Jaggi.

After the killing blow had been struck and I had completed the sub-quest by total accident I had done it. I had killed my very first monster and it felt amazing. I know that the Great Jaggi is nothing and basically a tutorial monster but the sense of accomplishment that I got from dropping that fool like a bad habit made me realize what this game is all about. I loved the deep mechanics and the myriad of systems that I may or may not ever understand are there if I want to dive deeper but what will make me keep playing now is that desire to feel that same thing again. If taking down the first monster in the game makes me feel like the badass hunter that I am nowhere near yet then how will I feel when I actually defeat a huge hulking dragon after a dangerous battle.

I can safely say that I am now hooked on Monster Hunter. I am in no way an expert and there are so many things that I have no idea about just yet but I want to learn. I am also looking forward to any additions made to the game. This blog series will continue because I am loving every second of Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate. Thanks for the advice and help that I have received here on the forums so far and after joining the group to play together I am looking forward to meeting up with a few Duders and stabbing some huge beasts until they fall over or just standing in front of “The Man” and dancing.