Monster Hunter 3 – To Hunt or Not to Hunt?

By Ishaan . May 10, 2009 . 2:30pm

I’m an animal lover at heart. I’ve owned two dogs, a squirrel and over 20 cats throughout my life. I feel very strongly about subjects like animal torture and cruelty. I’m also the type that wants to adopt every stray cat he sees and holds off on taking a shower for a few hours so the spider in his bathroom doesn’t drown.

 

I like to think that my love for creatures is reflected in my gaming as well. I grew up playing Pokémon and spent over 200 hours breeding and caring for my monsters in Pokémon Crystal alone. I never released any of them back into the wild, no matter how useless they were in battle or how many duplicates I had. To me, each one was unique and each one deserved a place in my bestiary. If I had more than one of the same kind, I’d give them different names so I could tell them apart. If I ever put one in the box after a battle, I’d make sure it was at full health so it wouldn’t have to suffer in pain while I went gallivanting across the countryside in search of others.

 

The same goes for Rune Factory, where I always maintain a large barnful of monsters. In fact, when it comes to Rune Factory games, I make sure there’s never an odd number of the same monster type in my barn so that every monster has its own mate and doesn’t get lonely. In Okami, I made it a point to feed every single animal I came across, even if meant searching far and wide to find food for them. That’s how far my animal love – even for virtual pets – extends.

 

I’m certain I’m not the only one. People tell stories about how they felt horribly guilty for hunting down the colossi from Shadow of the Colossus or how they felt awful during a certain incident with Agro. Video games have reached a point where they’re fully capable of touching us emotionally.

 

No, scratch that. Video games have always been capable of touching us emotionally. The difference is, where they once frightened or irked or touched us through writing, music and design, they can now do so through mere production values. And this is the cause for my dilemma.

 

Everyone’s seen the videos for Capcom’s latest technical masterpiece, Monster Hunter 3. It looks gorgeous. Every creature in the game is intricately textured, right down to the individual scales on their hides. Every sound they make is completely believable, from their threatening roars to their cries of pain. Every animation in the game…from charging to attack you to squirting blood when hit to limping away in pain and fear…they all add up to making the experience of battling these “monsters” completely believable.

 

And then, there’s the AI system. Creatures interact with each other if left to their own devices…they fight back against predators if threatened. They retreat when they know their chances of survival are slim. Capcom have successfully recreated something akin to a virtual ecosystem with Monster Hunter 3 and are understandably proud of their efforts.

 

Capcom have expressed interest in marketing the franchise better in the West, so there’s no doubt we’re going to see a localized build of the game heading our way eventually. It’s got online multiplayer, it’s got local co-op, it’s completely devoid of Friend Codes…overall, it looks great for fans of multiplayer games.

 

http://www.siliconera.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2009/05/mhfreedom_box.jpgIn the end though, it’s just a game about killing dinosaurs and using their hides to craft better equipment or for food. Sure, your usual Monster Hunter boxart shows off absolutely diabolical Dungeons & Dragons style beasts that you’d happily stab through the heart, but as you can see from the videos above, this is clearly not what the majority of the experience revolves around. A lot of those creatures look harmless. In fact, a lot of them look like herbivores!

 

I’m not aware if there’s a feature that allows you to tame or adopt them, but even if one does exist, the primary draw of Monster Hunter is hunting big game…and it’s not a draw that I can relate to.

 

I want to buy the game to show my support, but at the same time, I don’t want to spend $50 on an experience I will most likely not enjoy. I want to buy the game to satisfy my inner geek…to see what happens when someone really decides to push the hardware of “two Gamecubes duct-taped together” because the Gamecube itself was capable of some outstanding visual feats. But at the same time, the videos of innocent creatures gushing blood and limping away from you in the hope of survival, as you pursue with a giant axe in hand are a little unsettling.

 

And so, I turn to our community to help me out here. What’s the Monster Hunter experience like? Will it disturb me? Will I get caught up in the excitement of hunting down gargantuan creatures alongside my friends and forget my qualms? Will the long loading screens keep reminding me I’m in a video game? (ZING!)

 

By all means, leave a comment and school me in the theory of monster hunting.


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  • pokemon

    To be honest, thats how I am with Turok… I bought it and really found it hard to play >.>
    Since these dinosuars were just protecting themselvs from a man with a Gun.
    ALSO I actually play monster hunter its… meh to me in all honesty, caues they give you a reason to hunt them down e.g this monster is trying to break down the wall of our town go kill it so it stops.
    OR its been terrorizing people with goods so we cant recive the goods without killing it.

  • 2dere

    Wow. That’s a pretty interesting position your in. I can sympathize on parts, as I shared your Pokemon and Rune Factory habits too. I love dogs even though I’ve been hospitalize by a dog attack.
    Yet I (as a stranger) can see perhaps your nurturing nature perhaps winning over your desire to hunt as being a serious MH fan, can’t see your conscious giving you a break. When your confronted by a Wyvern it seems like fair game as they are fear-inspiring beast that will take you down for just looking at them. Yet everything else you’ll slay (and no doubt wear) will leave you realize if you just kept your distance everything would be fine.
    How to go about that? Beats me. But try it anyway. Being pitted against a wyvern thats way outta your league with a group of mates that just “wanted something more engaging than a Yian Kut Ku so decided to take on a Monoblos” Is such a great experience that makes you want to do it again and again.

  • http://www.youtube.com/user/ArcadeInfinity scott

    MH is not about killing animals with a giant hammer. That’s like saying, the WoW/PSO experience is just about killing monsters with a giant Spear.

    The bottom line for the MH series is this- If you don’t have local friends to play MH with, then you won’t have the full MH experience. Playing online through an ad-hoc network gives you a small taste, but its honestly not what made MH explosively popular. When I play MH, i play with friends, or else i don’t play at all. “The MH Experience” is basically like 4-player WoW raiding (MMORPG partying), without the elaborate preparation, no waiting, and half the travel time.

    When i was in Japan, seeing people with a PSP was more rare than DSes, but when i saw people playing PSP, 99% of the time they were playing Monster Hunter with other friends at a fast food restaurant, card shop, or other hobby shop.

    That’s Capcom’s BIGGEST PROBLEM with trying to market Monster Hunter in the US, and why PSP MH Freedom failed so miserably here- Because Americans don’t play multiplayer games like that, and instead we’re spoiled by XB live and PSN.

  • http://www.youtube.com/user/ArcadeInfinity scott

    MH is not about killing animals with a giant hammer. That’s like saying, the WoW/PSO experience is just about killing monsters with a giant Spear.

    The bottom line for the MH series is this- If you don’t have local friends to play MH with, then you won’t have the full MH experience. Playing online through an ad-hoc network gives you a small taste, but its honestly not what made MH explosively popular. When I play MH, i play with friends, or else i don’t play at all. “The MH Experience” is basically like 4-player WoW raiding (MMORPG partying), without the elaborate preparation, no waiting, and half the travel time.

    When i was in Japan, seeing people with a PSP was more rare than DSes, but when i saw people playing PSP, 99% of the time they were playing Monster Hunter with other friends at a fast food restaurant, card shop, or other hobby shop.

    That’s Capcom’s BIGGEST PROBLEM with trying to market Monster Hunter in the US, and why PSP MH Freedom failed so miserably here- Because Americans don’t play multiplayer games like that, and instead we’re spoiled by XB live and PSN.

  • http://www.siliconera.com/ Ishaan

    So, you guys are saying it’s less likely to bother me while playing in a group? Unfortunately, there’s no way I’ll be able to do local multiplayer…no in the vicinity to play with. My only option would be online.

    To be honest, yea, hunting down some of the bigger beasts does look fun. Also, it’s interesting that pokemon brought up Turok…the only other game I’ve played with “hunting” is the old Tomb Raider games…I never felt bad for killing animals in those games, though, simply because they always attacked first. And they let out, like, two drops of blood if you ever shot them.

    (And I hated those damn monkeys stealing my Uzi clips)

    • http://www.youtube.com/user/ArcadeInfinity scott

      “bother” you? killing an animal in a game not real. so if this is honestly an issue for you, then playing MH is probably not going to be an enjoyable experience for you, since you will be carving out corpses and gathering their guts, hide, and meat.

      like i said, its all about playing with friends (other people).

  • moozoom

    I’m really glad that you talked about this issue !

    I’m exactly in the same position as you regarding MH3… I was attracted to MH because I waf a big fan of PSO on dreamcast and gamecube, and the gameplay seemed to be about collecting stuff and teaming with some friends to overcome large dragons… and the character customization was interesting, too.

    So I tried to play at one of the PS2 versions ( I don’t remember wich one ) when it came out a few years ago… but I was really grossed out by the first few hours of play.

    I remember going out for a tutorial mission where I was asked to kill some easy monsters… They were easy for sure : they were small herbivores looking like stegosaurs and they didn’t fight back when I sliced them up with my giant sword, while pints of blood splashed all over the screen.

    I like horror movies, and I love silent hill and resident evil games and I’m not usually shocked by blood or gore… but I was quite ashamed of slicing in pieces those little creatures that just happily ate grass moments ago.

    The growls and shrieks of the small dinosaurs were quite disturbing and realistic, and the worst was that they were in fact calling for their mother, a larger dinosaur that I had to kill when it charged at me to protect her babies… Again, she came down easily, with painful growls and blood everywhere.

    I didn’t get too much satisfaction in getting loot from the corpses of the three baby dinosaurs and their mom… and after reporting my victory to the village, I switched the PS2 off with a bad feeling and I sold the game soon after.

    The main problem is I didn’t expect that at all : like you said, I think the ads for monster hunter are quite misleading : I wanted to hunt giant nasty creatures with spikes and horns, not cutting in half a baby dinosaur and use his head to make a nice helmet.

    Besides, I didn’t expect that from a japanese developper, I’m used to see american games use gory effects and a realistic approach to murder, and in God of war or GTA, this is not a problem… But Monster hunter is a curious mix : the ads are full of cute pigs and cats with fancy clothes, but when you start to hack your way through low level herbivores, it’s a bit less cute.

    That’s the same strange feeling I had when I played the latest Tomb raider and had to kill tigers by sticking C4 on them and make them blow up.

    I really want to like MH 3, and play it on wii to support this kind of games, I hope you’ll review it so I’ll have a different point of view from other websites.

    • http://www.siliconera.com/ Ishaan

      You stick C4 on tigers in the new Tomb Raider?!

      And wow, that story about the mother dinosaur is just depressing.

      I do agree with the PSO comparison. I can’t enough of the import build of Phantasy Star Zero, even though I can’t understand a lot of the sub-menus and items without trial and error. You’re right, it is a curious game for a Japanese developer to make.

      I find it pretty remarkable that Japanese gamers – as indicated by Platinum Games on several occasions – would have issues with something like MadWorld but not with Monster Hunter.

      • moozoom

        About Tomb Raider, Penny arcade did a great comic on this subject : http://www.penny-arcade.com/comic/2008/10/29/

        Lara loves to destroy antique artifacts with karate kicks, too ( isn’t she supposed to be an archaeologist ?) In spite of that, the game is quite good compared to the precedent ones,

        I’m also waiting eagerly for phantasy star zero, but I’m afraid I’ll have to wait a long time to put my hands on it… (T_T) ( I live in France ) I hated PSU, so I skipped the recent PSP adaptation, but I can’t help to look at the box eagerly every time I see it in a store, so maybe I’ll buy it to ease the wait until the DS one.

        Madworld is so over the top that you can’t take it seriously, it’s like Hokuto no ken crossed with a cartoon… The art style puts a distance to the violence and blood.

        I may be a little over sensitive, but I found that Viva Pinata was a strange game, too : you care about your pinata, you name it like a pokemon or tamagotchi, and suddenly you have to feed it to other pinatas… And if you don’t, some random animal come and eat its innards… Yuck.

        • http://www.siliconera.com/ Ishaan

          Dude, I know! Viva Pinata was kind of weird, too.

          I think the reason Tomb Raider didn’t offend me as much is because they always made it so the animals attacked you first in the old games (the tigers in the Bengal jungle in TR3 for example). Plus, they were really low-poly models and you saw a drop or two of blood before the dead body vanished.

          MH on the other hand is trying its best to be as realistic as possible. Cutting them open for their hyde, using their fans in weapons…

          Maybe next you’ll see them recreating the Tauntaun scene from Empire Strikes Back. :P

      • Happy Gamer

        thats kuz monster hunter doesn’t have blood splashing all over place like above guy said. when u hit a monster there is a spark indicator of blood which is quite large but they don’t leave stains on the ground etc. and madworld is well..mad crazy with it’s violence.

        and i don’t EVER recall the mother coming for her child ever when playing this game please don’t lie like that. they run away. and the only time u need to kill those things are if u need raw meat but u can get em in stores etc. monster hunter really tries to show an ecosystem within the world so there are herbivoires and carnivoirs etc. the main thing u do is hunt huge wyverns in the game u don’t even bother touching the plant eaters later on. later meaning like pretty much after ur basics quests. exaggeration much?

  • http://terracannon876.livejournal.com Laura

    …Hm. Admittedly, it’s more realistic. After all, wild animals are wild, they’re not tamable. But sometimes, I’d love the option to have a tamable creature. Mount, or pet. Also, this hunting … well, I presume it’s your job in the game, and that’s really all the motivation you need. It seems like something that just IS, not something that is forced in anyways (as in, you must hunt this because it is threatening our livelihood!).

    Bah, we’ll see. MH3… Who knows.

  • Wishy

    We’re pretty alike, I hate causing physical harm to animals in real life… I love nature and creatures too much to do that (spiders, too).

    But I draw the line at MH. You hunting giant fantasy animals with likewise giant fantasy weapons, I don’t draw much relations to real life. It’s a great series to play, and you should at least try it out.

    Though I do feel bad releasing Pokemon. :p

    Also holy loading screens batman! That first one took forever yeesshh…

  • Kashi

    I guess part of the appeal is the fact that you’re a hunter. There’s the challenge as well; you are squaring off with large, aggressive monsters. Everything you do is based on your reflexes, your observation skills and dexterity. I’m a fan of Monster Hunter and though I have a love for wildlife in real life, it’s sort of different in this universe. I guess part of the reason why I don’t feel as disturbed as you do because in this universe, people depend on Hunters for everything; protection, gathering, hunting. Hunting is an integral part of their way of life. It’s also just a fantasy..

    If you really are that sensitive about carving up animals, and lack multiplayer support with friends (this was one of the main reasons why I got MH/a PSP in the first place and I don’t regret it at all), then I wouldn’t recommend it. Plus there’s a really steep learning curve at the beginning; my friends really helped and led me by the hand for a while until I became confidant enough to solo everything. You’ll need to invest tme into it and sometimes have patience as you get used to how things are done but as of now, I’ve clocked in 358 hours on Freedom 2 and I’m still counting since I haven’t “mastered” the final elder dragons yet with m friends. Though this iteration might be more newcomer-friendly.

    I will say though that Monster Hunter is a really fun game once you get the hang of it. A lot of these monsters are not herbivore/passive and will attack you if you’re within the vicinity (I guess you call it territorial). Being able to constantly change your strategy (weapons, armors) adds dynamic in-battle, making it a different type of fight every time you encounter a monster. Every item has a use as well for combination purposes; every carve can make something useful and money isn’t really usually your biggest problem. But again, being able to play with friends together to defeat a monster was one of the best things I liked about the game (the adrenaline and frustration).

    • http://www.siliconera.com/ Ishaan

      Yea, honestly the multiplayer aspect is what attracts me to this game, too, along with the way it’s pushing the hardware. There’s so many different battle animations, too. Even when the hunter gets knocked down, I spotted at least two different animations for that alone. It really does look amazing.

      358 hours on Freedom sounds like the amount of time I spent on Pokémon Crystal! So, tell me something: is there any truth to the whole “MH = Pokémon for adults” thing?

      • Kashi

        I’m not much for graphics but I must say it’s easily one of the best looking games on the PSP. It’s not even the modelling and textures so much as the designs for the weapons, armor, monsters (their weaknesses, behaviors etc) and the village that really attracted me. There was a lot of attention to detail to really immerse you in the world.

        Mmm… I don’t know how accurate that analogy is since one is turn-based where the other is real-time. You have to worry about targeting, rhythm and fighting multiple monsters at once usually. One mistake or misstep sometimes can wipe you out. You’re also not breeding your own monsters hahaha.

        If you had to compare it to something, I’d say Lost Planet 2 or even an MMO (I’ve got friends comparing it more to WoW instances and FFIX) may be more accurate since it’s emphasis is more on crafting and taking down monsters. If you enjoy that MMOish feel without the hours wasted on repetitive grinding then you’ll enjoy this game.

  • Jim

    Maybe you want to play Monster Hugger instead

  • Zefiro Torna

    Speaking from my experience playing the first PS2 entry…

    What separates Monster Hunter from just about every other game out there is that you, the player, are part of what is strictly a hunting and gathering society as opposed to an agricultural based or mixed society. As can be seen via screens and videos, you pretty much stuck as a forest/jungle dweller due to the thick surrounding plant life and the uneven land, thus meaning that the habitat isn’t very ideal for farming.

    What’s genius about the game, coming from a Japanese developer (remember, Japan has been an agriculturally based society since… ever), is how it places as much emphasis on the gathering aspect as much as it does with hunting. The games take a very Native American mentality in it’s approach to ensuring synergy between the hunting and the gathering by being designed to almost encourage the player to utilize every possible part that can be salvaged from each fallen creature. Upon slaying a creature, the player can approach the corpse and gather from it some meat, bones, hides, etc. All of which are very useful, as meat can be cooked to restore health, bones and hides can be used to forge armor and weapons. Other methods of gathering materials include via digging, searching through dung, picking flora, and some light mining and fishing (“fishing” may be further showcased since MH 3 includes diving).

    In terms of hunting, the game is pretty much the equivalent of living off primarily super bears and some ginormous bison. Truly, the Monster Hunter games currently stand out as one of the penultimate examples of a hunting and gathering simulator, mythological beasts and dinosaurs aside. That all in mind, viewing this franchise as solely a crazy safari or trophy hunting simulator would be like seeing Pokémon as a fantastical fix for people who are into dog or cock fighting. Monster Hunter does not portray its activities as a sport, but as a way of life that is necessary for the player avatar and the local society to survive.

    • Musoken

      I concur with what ZefiroTorno said. I wish I could write more, but the lack of free time I have does not permit me to do so. As such, i can only add that 1) I’ve been a Monster Hunter player/fan since 2004 and this game is about Ambiance just as much as Gameplay. Both the ambiance and gameplay is highly unique compared to all other games on the planet. And 2) There is also a capture feature with some of the quests in Monster Hunter.
      I’m not too sure if this will be implemented with MH3, but at least with the upcoming MHFUnite (for PSP), most quests allow you to choose between hunting/slaying your target, to capturing them using traps and tranquilizers…..although they are probably slain at the end, it’s just not seen during the game. Oh, the exceptionally large Dragons and Monsters cannot be captured.

      During MHDos (the sequel to the PS2 version in Japan), certain Monsters you capture can be kept alive and not slain. Not as pets, but you can use them in battle during PvsP games!

    • Kashi

      Totally agree with this guy =) He elaborated much more clearly than I did.

  • Nathaniel

    I’ve played every MH game that has come out in the States, and anyone saying the dinosaurs bleed pints of blood is far off base.
    First off, blood doesn’t splash on the screen, at all.
    And until MHP2g came out, there was very little blood animation.
    Second off, the blood doesn’t even drip from these things, it’s just a slash mark, there are no visible effects showing blood spilling out of them, aside from the wyverns, who by the way, attack you without hesitation if they notice you walking around, even when you’re not on a mission to kill them.

    The carving of monsters isn’t even graphical, your guy bends over, sticks a sword into the corpse, and then pulls it out, there is no cutting them open, it just falls right into the corpse, no blood animations, nothing.
    Yeah, the first few missions you have to kill herbivores, but the description of them crying for the mother is such garbage that it’s laughable.
    No, they do not cry for their mother, or father, or whatever to come protect them, they make the typical painful noise any thing would make when being wounded.

    The premise of the game is that you live in a hunter gatherer society, there is very few missions where you actually have to go out and just kill the herbivore creatures.
    And even if there were, it’s not like you would actually want or need any of the gear they grant, because they do NOT grant stuff to make gear.
    Anything you can make gear from, attacks you first.

    And killing monsters isn’t the only quest in the game, there are gathering quests, coal delivering quests, fishing quests, mining quests, etc.
    But if you’re going to dislike the game simply because you have to take down monsters in it, then don’t bother playing it.
    But if you can play a game where you have to kill any other type of creature, zombie, human, whatever, and think that somehow killing those things is justifiable as compared to killing an herbivore, I don’t know where you’re coming from.

    Besides, if you take part in eating meat in real life, and like the taste, your no better than someone who kills animals based on a need for survival.
    Now like I said, if you have a bias going into the game, don’t bother playing it, but if you want to know what it’s like for yourself, go ahead and give it a shot.
    It’s almost an obsession with me.

    • Happy Gamer

      nicely put. blood splashing on screen? mother coming for child? i coulda swore they never did this EVER for me.

  • polo

    You don’t cut them open, and it’s not like the monsters are defenseless, almost all monsters attack
    unprovoked, and there is blood but the way it comes out is unrealistic.

    So I say give it a chance, maybe pick up a used copy of MH freedom 2.

  • EvilAkito

    I’d personally rather play as a dinosaur and eat the hunters (and their families).

    Just out of curiosity, how exactly does co-op work in the console Monster Hunter games? Is it split screen? Shared screen with a boundary? I’d personally love to see ad hoc multi-player on the Wii, but that won’t happen.

    • Happy Gamer

      for the PS2 ones u connected to server to play online
      for wii u have option of playing offline splitscreen and online.

  • Happy Gamer

    i played monster hunter for a very long time and I’m glad you have interest in this title FINALLY!

    Also, it should help the fact that I was not into this game immediately so I have a good grasp on why people may not be interested in this game or enjoy it like crazy.

    First off, when MH was announced I was super excited. Being a super fan and avid player of the PSO (over dial up on dreamcast woohoo!) I naturally thought this game seemed so similar. It was four player gorup hunt, going on missions and quests. However it had additional cook aspects like fishing, farming, cooking and trap setting while beating monsters yay!

    I finally got the game day 1. turned on the PS2 and it gave me a huge WTF factor. first of all, I was so confused to what to do. Where do Ievel up? what armor is good? ahhh who cares let me get the biggest weapon and beat crap up…crud no big weapon ok fine sword and shield!

    I got out into the grassy field of Forrest and Hill zone and I first attempt to kill a creature that looked alot like a dinosaur. I kept missing him or hitting the target diagonally or by luck. Man this game sucks! no lock on feature! and how do I know if it’s dying! no indicator! I see first upgrade of the weapon but it has 10 more attack! is it worth it do upgrade the weapon? i need to see numbers flying!

    After hours of playing I finally understood at least the basics by going to the village elders because he simply takes you on quests that involve all the basics of the game. Wow how did I miss this?
    As I progress more and more, i finally encountered my first boss, Yian Kut Ku. I was really scared and excited when he first showed and I have just upgraded to the Great Sword and I felt strong as ever. Time to take him down….I die so quick and I felt like I hit this boss more than enough for it to die but it didn’t.

    This is when it hit me this game has very poor gameplay mechanics, no indicator to see how well you are doing, weapon targetting sucks. Music is really great but meh…wutever.

    Turned off the game and didn’t hate it but was a bit sad because I expected this game for so long. As a final jesture to at least check out everything, I went online to play in a group because that was definitely the game’s strong point. The online town was bigger and different from the single player and I was pretty surprised at the lively crowd at the time. One hunter saw me with my poorly mismatched armor and sword asked me if I wanted to get help. At the time I said “you can’t do this and that in this game it breaks gameplay how did you manage to get those cool armor?” he at the time had the full set of Kut Ku Armor.

    The guy simply laughed and said “hey group with me let me show you how to beat yian kut ku you can just watch if you want to”

    As we ran down the hill he explained alot of basics of the game i missed before. Always carry certain items, eat so that your stamina will be full for fight and how to sharpen swords during a big fight.

    We arrived at yian Kut ku and i stood upon a hill (zone 2 i think this was) and he wore the same armor as me with same weapon and started to attack kut ku. he was hitting and running and it seemed very ineffective. “Wow when will he ever beat the boss like that?” I thought.

    The thing that surprised me the most was his accuracy with the weapon and his rolls and dodges.
    After awhile, the yian kut behaved very funny and he managed to asked me to follow him as he paint balled the creature(which gives you an indicator of where he is on your personal map).

    we were at a dark cave and we saw the fearsome creature laying on his belly and taking a nap!
    the player told me “when a wyvern gets weak, he shows signs such as limping etc and often times flee to sleep in order to gain health back and this is when he takes more damage from weapons especially bombs and also gives you a time to lay traps etc.”

    We managed to lay down and trap and bomb him to death. and carved him for some of my first rare items! :)

    after i went offline I realized something very imporatant about this game and how I treated it.

    First of all this was not PSO, this was not WoW in fact this wasn’t like any Online RPG or MMO I have ever played. The problem was I treated it the same way.

    We are so used to damage indicators, levels, leveling up being uber in order to down a boss and carrying your weapon of choice based on looks etc.

    Monster Hunter breaks all these antics because there is no level, you cannot totally own a boss by having good gear, and your weapons have very different way of attacking and you must learn how to use them properly with their pros and cons.

    I had to throw away all my prior knowledge of RPG games I played and threw em out the window. and this is when Monster Hunter started to become really addictive to me.

    Monster Hunter may seem “repetitive” to people who have not delved deep enough to it because it is. all the quests ask you all the time is “go and hunt” what makes variety then? the Dragons/Wyverns themselves.

    every wyverns have different weakmess, movements, attacks, behaviors etc.
    each wyverns have breakable parts in their body in which it is NOT easy to break and depending on what wyvern and what party u break you change the behvarior of the battle itself.

    example: the boss Gypceros uses it’s horn to flash blind you. if u break this off he is no longer able to do this. this is easier said than done for new players.

    Lastly I’m going to try to summarize this game.
    - This game is not easy. if you are used to simply leveling up your character to defeat harder foes you may hate this game. this game takes more action game skills. Rolling, dodging, using ur weapons to precicely attack certain points creatures etc. if this game had a target indicator it will NOT be monster hunter. it’s like saying:

    “monster hunter doesn’t have target indicator it could be so much better with it.” ; “Street fighter doesn’t have level up system for your character it would be so much better with it.”
    yes its THAT similar.

    - there is a deep crafting system
    - online multiplayer probably is the best thing. you can hit eachother albeit no dmg taken but this can interrupt players if you do not take heed into your actions (example swinging ur great sword around can literally have ur friends flying across screen)
    - if you can beat Yian Kut Ku, the first wyvern boss, i can “almost” gurantee you will love this game. Most people get turned off by the first boss and once they beat it by themselves i noticed they fall in love. please try to beat him. if u still don’t like it then its ok! :)
    - the later monster such as upcoming titles have alot of little extra stuff that i perosnally love so much like collecting Kitty chefs to cook for you, kitty fighter who fights by you during battles, farming, mining, piggy pet cloths, fishing etc. i always loved these kind of stuff in game
    - each monster is different and they are probably what is emphasized and the star of the game. you come to somehow love them because they are so diverse in looks, behavior and challenge.
    - many i mean MANY ways to battle monsters. you don’t just hit them till they are dead. some pose challenge by running, you can lay traps (several types) some work some don’t. Bombs and other hinderances like flash bangs, poisoned meat/knives, your long ranged weapons can be coated or bullets that poison, paralyze, sleep, elemental damage.
    - you can break off diff wyvern parts which is a challenge all it’s own. head plate, wings, tail, nails chest plate but they are much harder than just killing them.
    - you can capture a weakened wyvern to get more rewards! got to time this one.
    - the upcoming monster hunter tri u can swim and fight under water!
    - gathering, mining, fishing, and cooking can be done within the field which can be nice to some of u collectors out there.
    - fun times!

    Is this game as “expansive” as games like WoW? no its not. The world of course is much smaller sorta like Phantasy Star Universe etc. but every hunt is a different experience. just because you have beat a boss doesn’t mean u can relax and go and do the same again. every hunt will lead to different situations dramatically than alot of other RPGs. bosses will never behave the same, you MUST be prepared item wise for each boss.
    careful approach and readiness and cooperating with friends if online will down your wyverns!

    sorry for the wall o text but this is the best I can explain the game. best however is to try and play the game to a certain point. i call this the Yian Kut Ku threshold. i noticed most people who love hate this game has either passed this small wyvern or have not. and when they finally beat him they have unknowingly accumulated enough skills for the game.

    ishaan I sorta didn’t like this game and thought it was extremely stale. it doesn’t get “better” with time, its more like an awakening that gets u into the game.
    like i said before u gotta throw away alot of your previous knowledge of other RPGs out the window its a very different game and a challenging game.
    not gonna lie its a pretty hard game for beginners.

    if u ever decide to play i will def walk u thru basics and questions! :)

    • http://www.siliconera.com/ Ishaan

      Wow, that’s a lot of very detailed info…thanks!

      I especially liked the part about the game being so different from your regular multiplayer RPGs that you totally sucked at it until your friend taught you how to approach combat and about the importance of maintaining your inventory.

      There seem to be a lot of differing opinions on the series, but I’ve noticed that those of you who like it REALLY love it to death. So, based on everyone’s opinions, I think I’m going to take the plunge and try out one of the PS2 games.

      If I like it…well, that’s another niche series for me to get addicted to. And if the animal violence does get to me…at least I can say I gave it a fair shot. Thanks guys, this was very helpful! :)

      • Happy Gamer

        yeah i stink at shortening my explanation…i can but it takes time like writing and essay lol. try out the PSP titles naturally because they are sort of upgrades to the PS2. unless you can get your hands on the PS2 version of Monster Hunter 2 i believe that is pretty much Freedom 2 but on console. I am not entirely sure if in Japan the title is still supported online. when unite hits, which is pretty soon I think you should nab that instead since its probably the best Monster Hunter 2 version there is. basically its PS2 Monster Hunter with massive upgrades and convenience. If you start with the old ones maybe you will like the game even better because they have progressively made alot of things easier and fun to do.

        this game sorta reminds me of beer. those who like it really go all out those who don’t think it taste and smell like piss. i can’t think of a better comparison lol.

        My cat always loves to watch when i play MH. i think he enjoys the cooking felynes in the game lol.

        • http://www.siliconera.com/ Ishaan

          Don’t have a PSP unfortunately, so it’s gonna have to be one of the PS2 games. Coincidentally, I own a cat, too. I wonder if she’ll like watching me play like yours. :P

          • http://wyvernsmasher.deviantart.com/ wyvern smasher

            actually MHFU is the most up to date version out so far, and having felyne companions would be an attractive new (and useful) feature for a cat lover like yourself

            as you can see here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zC3DIlw5HSg

            also here’s a vid to show the type of monster you can fight
            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vb8S5296ZB8&feature=related

            theres a special edition MH themed PSP coming out the 26th of june in the EU, it might be worth checking out

            when the games out i’ll be using the PS3 ad-hoc party service to play online and i’ll be on world J50, so if you ever need help look there

  • http://wyvernsmasher.deviantart.com/ wyvern smasher

    actually MHFU is the most up to date version out so far, and having felyne companions would be an attractive new (and useful) feature for a cat lover like yourself

    as you can see here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zC3DIlw5HSg

    also here’s a vid to show the type of monster you can fight
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vb8S5296ZB8&feature=related

    theres a special edition MH themed PSP coming out the 26th of june in the EU, it might be worth checking out

    when the games out i’ll be using the PS3 ad-hoc party service to play online and i’ll be on world J50, so if you ever need help look there

  • deimos

    It’s a game of survival.

    In the game, the town needs resources, and so do you – you’ll need materials/food/items to help you keep up with the game and its monsters. If you’re a pacifist, don’t slay them, let em sleep and capture them.

    On the other hand, the other two games are available to play, why not try them out? MHF2 is more accessible than the first one, and the upcoming Unite just adds a few tweaks and things on top of that.

  • 5parrowhawk

    For what it’s worth…

    (1) In the PSP games, there are only a couple of missions (2? 3?) where you actually hunt defenceless or completely peaceful creatures. I believe these are almost all in the silly tutorial, which should be skippable in Unite. 99% of the time, your quarry is just as interested in eating your face (and not for sustenance; it’s not like they lack food when there are plenty of wild herbivores running around) as you are in wearing his (or her) skin as a hat. Some of them will even actively go looking for you if you fight them and then run to a different part of the map. In general, for most of the game, you won’t want to even bother with hunting the little guys. I have no idea whether this will change in MH3 though.

    (2) The flip side is that your main source of stamina is meat, which you get by (you guessed it) hunting herbivorous critters and cooking them. But then, that really is “eating to live” rather than hunting for sport, so I guess it’s not quite as bad. In addition, there are vegan options for recovering stamina, and you can also buy raw meat in town rather than killing it yourself (not always, though) – after the early game, you may never need or want to go hunting for meat again, since it’s kind of a waste of time. Also, if you eat meat in real life and you have a problem with killing animals for meat in a game… well… let’s just say that Monster Hunter will make you think twice about where that nice juicy steak came from.

    (3) Missions against tough bosses do sometimes have a “Shadow of the Colossus” vibe to them. You learn to respect your opponent’s strengths, because carelessness will cost you, and it’s almost a bit of a shame when they finally collapse. Of course, it’s also a relief!

    (4) On the other hand, if you’re looking to get specific bits of gear, you may need to farm the same monster a few times, which kind of detracts from the majestic nature of your adversary. Thankfully you can pretty much get all the way through the game with minimal farming, but if you really want the fancy gear… be prepared to see familiar faces quite a few times.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Asa-Terry/68119390 Asa Terry

    First off I am an animal lover through and through, I have a lot of the same quirks as you when it comes to playing video games. Still Monster Hunter Appeals to a completely different side to me, a Primal Side.
    Monster Hunter Taps into that Urge that most Men have to just beat the ever living snot out of something, but Monster Hunter takes it a step further. Whilst most early monsters are easily beat up just by swinging your weapon around later in the game Strategy becomes much more a necessity. Learning how the monster moves and reacts are all part of the game.
    Monster Hunter is also a very skill intensive game, one of the few left in the new video game era. Better Armor doesn’t guarantee a win, it just allows for more mistakes. Better Weapons doesn’t guarantee a kill, it just means less hits.
    Monster Hunter also brings about a NEED to play with other people. Once you get up to the higher levels of play, if you aren’t bringing at least a friend or three you run a high chance of not being able to complete the quest. That sense of Team work and Camaraderie is almost unheard in any other game
    I’ll be honest with you, there are maybe like 4 quests out of 300 that actually specifically tell you to kill Harmless Herbivores. Even then the quest all say because the Town needs food. If you are really disturbed by that, then you be just as disturbed every time you eat a burger.

  • HR 7

    Okay, I understand your position even though i do not own dogs. I have played Monster rancher (got sad when my mocchi died), Pokemon, saw that animal torture vid of that raccoon and wanted to cry, can’t bring myself to kill a spider, bee, etc. and i’ve owned all sorts of aquarium life creatures. Dog-wise, my girlfriend does own one, and i tend to go over to her house often and i have to make contact with him whether i want to or not. Being a husky and a puppy, he is by far the craziest dog i have ever seen. When I enter the house, he gets really excited and jumps around, then he decides to bite on my hand (sometimes hard) or my shirt sleeve, and begins to pull really hard.(as you can see he loves to play) Even though i can find it pretty painful when he choose to get my attention by nipping me in places you don’t want to know, I find myself adoring him and loving him. But my love for animals doesn’t stop me from playing, and as i see that you have problems with choosing to play the game or not, i have some information to share.
    According to the game, hunting the monsters is not for the free will of hunting because you want to, but because you have to. In the game, you are a hunter, you are requested to hunt the creatures that threaten the existence of a small village and the survival of it. They pay you zenni (hunter form of money) in return for your services. as you proceed into the game, you will fight much stronger monsters, ones that would require much stronger armor gears and weapon craft. that is when you must go back and repeat the same quest to obtain more of the materials that you need. During the game you will be allowed to have a pet piggy that you can play with after missions. You will have some Felyne chefs (cats that walk on 2 legs) that cook for you. You can obtain up to 3 fighter felyne allies that assist you in solo battles and simple gathering quests. (only one can be brought in a mission at a time.)
    RPG’s are for Role Playing, you play the role as a Hunter defending a village; you don’t actually become that hunter in real life.
    And so i hope that this will help you to chose whether or not to play Monster Hunter Freedom Unite. Cheers :D

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