I did a lot of research before choosing the 3DS, about games and how I wanted to play them. Monster Hunter stuck out because of how epic it sounded, because nothing seemed half done about it. 350 hours later I’m still very happy with the system, and the game. Although, I’m stuck, the early G-Rank stuff stopped my progression and I put the game down, I would be back a few weeks later refreshed and having a new perspective on progression.
When I have to put a game down I start telling people that game is hard, Mega Man 1, Zelda 1, any Doom. Monster Hunter is the first game that’s made me throw shit, as an adult. Dangerous when the game is played on a hand held. But the habits I developed to progress in the game remind me of only one other game, World of Warcraft.
My experience with WoW was first as a clueless Night Elf Hunter. I didn’t socialize, I didn’t look anything up, and I didn’t care to, I didn’t understand. I didn’t spend talents until level 60, no professions until way late, I hadn’t even ran a dungeon. I hadn’t found any, why would I. The game was a distraction from college, that was all. I was in the story.
After months I finally met people out in the world that questioned my play and enlightened me. Weeks later I was raiding, and then raid healing. That’s when I started playing 20 hours a week at least. Paying for play time changed the way I thought about my time with the game. Every experience had to be the fullest. Raiding all the time wasn’t satisfying, questing all the time had lost its lustre, but I still loved it all, even fishing for gods sake. I handled what was becoming burnout by defining play modes. Some days I felt like raiding, crafting, fishing, PvP. So I started thinking ahead, I knew we’d be raiding at night, so I farmed in the morning.
My play grew two branches, progression and support. There came point in Monster Hunter when I was playing so much that I had to spend time supporting my progression. At my most obsessive I would multiply items in the car doing the 1 star steak delivery quest for the 20 or so items I use all the time. I got tunnel vision and forgot the complexity of it, the depth that made me love it. It made me remember the thrill of an upgrade, or the completed set. Instead of bashing my head against the difficulty curve I take a side route and build a new hammer. Get guuder with daggers. Play a hunting horn at all.
Coming back after months away I can see when I started to fade. Early on I wanted to do all the quests, but after completing the offline campaign, early into the high rank stuff I started skipping things and playing only to unlock the next tier. I obviously love this game, so even as I was burning out, and knew I was trying to put it down, I knew I would come back.
When I did pick it back up I fell in love with everything again, all the sounds even. It felt so much like my long break from WoW. No one should be embarrassed by what they chase down the rabbit hole, but at some point, after the hundred and howevermanieth death chasing the 2% Meat Boy achievements, or wiping non-heroic Lich King even after all the nerfs, up until a few weeks before Cata drops, a person may start to reconsider their definition of fun.
I’ve tried to go back to Wow, I don’t know why, the magic of that experience is well into the sunset (though new magic is not out of the question). Monster Hunter is closer to the high that I am looking for, with WoW I loved raiding, but burnt out on groups that were never going to have anything on farm. It doesn’t matter at all anymore, I spent too much time beating my head against the math and coming up short. Biggest lesson learned, as Legion is about to drop and Monster Hunter Generations is a fresh DL on my 3DS, is that time does a lot to invigorate nostalgia along with your game.