Tag Archives: capcom

Catharsis and Digital Monsters

Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate released to glowing reviews claiming it was the most fully fleshed out iteration to date. The most monsters, the most areas, the most gear. Generations was seen as growth, maybe in a new direction, but as a hold over title while Capcom worked on Monster Hunter World. XX released in Japan only, but it was MH World that was in the news as the new title. A technological advancement in the game, seamless maps, stunning design and a player experience that may hold as the most welcoming to newbies for a long time to come. So when Generations Ultimate released in the West, essentially a localized XX, it opened the door for debate, which version of this stellar gaming franchise is champion, Classic Monster Hunter, or the new and streamlined Monster Hunter World?

There is no way for me to compare the two, I’ve never played World and I likely never will, not to the end game anyway, I’ll never have the time. My friends are playing it though and its because I talked them into it. For months we would talk at work about the early quests, the frustration of learning the Anjanath fight as a complete noob, the wall of stats and status effects and how each one plays on each monster in different ways. We constantly compared the two, “well in 4U it was like this,” or “World does this different,” or not at all. Everyone knows about the lifestyle changes made to World and it is arguably the better entry point to the franchise. For several reasons, all our conversations have lead me to think a lot about why I love the game so much, and why I really have no interest in playing World at this point in time.

The most obvious is that I’ve only experienced Monster Hunter as a hand held game. My introduction to the franchise was Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate on the 3DS, it was the first “new” game I played on the device and I still play it (I’m around 700 hours play time). I picked at Generations but I didn’t have as much time to play and the changes Capcom implemented had an adverse effect on me for a long time. I didn’t like arts and styles, I saw them as a temporary thing that wasn’t going to be included in further titles, also the press was saying that it was an interim game likely never to have G rank. I felt like it was skippable, especially after XX wasn’t coming West I wrote it off for good.

When World released and people were coming to me for information I felt the pull again to let my self be caught up in the experience so I started playing Gen with fuvor, then to find out that Generations Ultimate was releasing in the States on Switch and our save data was coming with us, that was what I needed to hear to let my self pick the game back up with excitement. Seeing it on a big screen has got to be the coolest thing in gaming right now, even if I am years behind having that feeling. And the fact that I can still take it with me where ever I go appeals to my early love of the game.

Monster Hunter fills in what I need in a game in that it rewards your hard work. Nothing about the game is given to random chance. Your gear and gathered materials are stockpiled as you collect them, all stacked relative to the time you put into collecting them. Your skill against each new challenge is a reflection of the time you put into learning each fight and nuance of the game and how quick you can pick it up. Each boss has a tell, a weakness, super moves and stumbling blocks.

The build up to the fight is catharsis enough, my hard work is rewarded, but the actual fights are the gem of the game. There are enough weapons and status affects that you should never get bored strategizing. By the time you come face to face with your first large monster as a new player, the build up to that moment leaves you feeling like you are part of something epic. The first time you down a large monster is one of the rarest feelings I’ve had playing a game. And when you are on, and you’ve figured things out enough to go into a fight with very few questions, and you are one step ahead of every move, bashing a monster skull, severing tails and breaking parts, nothing feels more satisfying. It is all on you and the build up makes it very clear that it is because of your skill and what you’ve learned that you are able to complete the task. It is because this game is unforgiving and makes no apologies for it that makes it great, and when you rise to each occasion, you feel that much better for it.

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Monster Hunter Generations Ultimate releases tomorrow and if there is one quest I want to leave behind it is the five star village quest Trifecta of Terror. I loaded it up thinking I would trap them all and be on my way, only to find that pitfall traps will not work against the Nibelsnarf, and that I would actually be failing quests in Gen, which I had yet to do.

5 Star village quest, Trifecta of Terror, Hunt 3 Nibelsnarf

I got the impression that this is one of those gear check fights like a middling raid boss in World of Warcraft. If I was paying attention I am sure I would have completed it, but I went into the fight thinking I would trap all three after a modest beat down and continue to the next quest. I had one shock trap and mats for three pitfall traps. I couldn’t figure out why my traps weren’t working…

As frustrating as it was to see the 10 minute warning, and then fail, it reminded me why I like the game. Coming off of 600+ hours of MH4U, Nibelsnarf is new to me, my first encounter was successful but only because it was forgiving. I had to muster up the monster hunter mindset of patient beat down. There comes a point when you are flying through quests, but only after you learn the monsters inside and out, which I have yet to do with anything that wasn’t in 3 or 4U, and I didn’t play 3U much.

Since I’m not leaving it behind, its the Monday evening before the Switch expansion drops, I guess it will have to be the first quest I complete after I get my save data transferred…

Updates pending, I’m so excited for this game on Switch.

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Monster Hunter States of Play

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.


Monster Hunter SoP 1

Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate


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.


Monster Hunter SoP 2

Legion’s on 8/30, Horde side, Emerald Dream


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.


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Busted Hell Hunters Down

I wish I could track stats more specific to individual quests to see what resources it took to bring this Molten Tigrex down. For each run I bring Mega Pots (and pots and honey to make more Mega Pots), stones and steaks, and also Demondrug, Armorskin, Max Pots (though on this quest they give you two), Deodorant (for the love), traps, and mats for more traps. Molten Tigrex (MT) doesn’t stay trapped long though, traps were more for those perfect moments when I’m loaded up and sharp and MT is enraged, I’ll try to trap and get a nose shot with the big attack (but somehow pay for it).



Busted Hell Hunters down, feels so good to have all these checked.


For a long time I switched to  Charge Axes, Arachnoscythe, from Dear Rose for the sharpness, which still didn’t make it happen. It was the Dominisect that did it. I’ve always like the Seltas Queen weapons. Sharpness was a pain to deal with but the extra damage was enough to make it happen.

After so many encounters my most fine tuned insights are about patience and practice. I realized that I was making it 15-20 minutes into the fight, MT is drooling and flopping around, I pounce and push it to enrage and then I die quickly. I felt like I had to push it because I was “running low” on resources, pots, deodorant. First off, I really wasn’t, but after burning through the ebb and flow of attack and dodge, after 20 minutes or so I was anxious and it was caused me to misstep. Like a live band, sometimes its hard not to speed up, things get a little scruffy.

Another insight has to do with practice. Before I downed this boss I had just spent 20 minutes dying. I play so often that I normally only try a challenging quest once so I don’t get frustrated. That day I did it back to back, I had been building up to it and I felt good about trying it one more time. I still got carted twice but focused practice let me stay ahead of him. MT’s body language gives up his attacks, often enough I could guess where he was going to finish his attack and land harder hits without taking damage or contracting blight.

I enjoyed this fight but it was one I was stuck on at a serious plateau, so I’ve never tried it again. During the hunt though I took it at pace and respected it, it was cool to get it done.

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Molten Tigrex

Monster Hunter is throw shit hard. I studied a little before I bought it and read that Monster Hunter 4 U is the softest entry point into the series to date. Beats me if that is true but I believed it when I started playing and sensed some definite hand holding going on. How fucking ever…there are a few little beasties that seem to trigger random damage at whatever distance no matter what is going on and that, is why I love and hate the softest entry point into the Monster Hunter franchise to date. One of my favorite in the WTF catagory, the Molten Tigrex.

My first fight with the Molten Tigrex was at the end of the caravan quests, which I finished most of before I realized I was going to have to do the online stuff too. I was happy to have something to focus on other than those higher quests, so I was happier to see my system work, playing low level online quests while chipping away at the offline end game, to finally beat those monsters once. One time was all it took for me to congratulate myself and hopefully never look back. But you do have to go back.

I made it to G-rank and things are increasingly difficult, so like before, after a break from the game I am going back and doing quests that I left out trying to forge ahead to the G-rank quests. The low-level advanced stuff was fun in my Seregios gear and Glaive. The high-rank stuff same way, but I have found myself up against the Molten Tigrex again and have been reminded of how cautious you have to be to take some of them down. Don’t get me wrong, I know I can beat it, with worse gear I farmed Tigrex tail and fang for weapons, but its monsters like this, and the Shiguru Magala, and Teostra, that require such a muster of focus over time, that make this game one of the hardest to get to the end game of.

At the same time, at this level every little upgrade has a noticeable impact in a fight. Less health lost, more damage done, more flinches, mounts, pieces. This thing though, that has me running around like a bomb scarfing stacks of deodorant to avoid myself exploding is just ugh, it is to be wrestled with. It’s my feeling that the glaive is the best weapon for it though because once you get MT fired up there is a rhythm to each attack that lets me hit while on my way to the safe side of an attack. The glaive lets me stay super mobile and out of the way of the bomb dusts that ignites over time. Don’t forget too that while you are smoking like a fuse if he hits you it causes extra damage, so when its all enranged and trying over and over to hit you with that roar, that’s because its a one-shot, I would spam it too.

Molten Tigrex plushie, I’ve been cussing sweating mad at this monster, but look how cute…

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