Friday, August 29, 2014

Monster Hunting Madness

There's just something relatively therapeutic about gathering quests where you have to swim underwater to mine, sneak behind giant dodo/peacock hybrid birds in order to retrieve a golden egg and smacking overgrown mosquitos around. Until, of course, a giant shark-bird-thing-with-legs decides to wander where you are and proceed to water-canon your butt all the way to the other side of the screen.

No, just me?


Now if the title didn't tip you off, this is a post on Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate on the 3DS.

This game, in all honesty, had consumed my life for a number on months for multiple reasons. One is that I had finished Pokemon Y must quicker than I expected and had no game to play (this was before our Xbox360 had to be reformatted). Two is because I was wishy-washy on whether or not I wanted to start a new game in Skyrim, using a new build and class, and three was mostly because I had no idea if I would actually like the game. Which apparently meant that the moment I started, I would be hooked on it.

Plot-wise, this game doesn't go for much. The island has been experiencing massive earthquakes that they believe is caused by the Lagicarius, and sends you, the hunter, to capture/kill it, only to find out that an even BIGGER monster is using the island is it's personal backscratcher for it's horns; and despite knowing the island's history being used as a backscratcher, the elder of the village didn't change locations due to his arrogance when he was a younger man that he could kill the creature and everything would go back to normal. Yeah. Didn't really happen.

The big monster that terrorised the village, Lagiacrus.
The BIGGER monster that was ACTUALLY terrorising the ENTIRE ISLAND, Ceadeus. All photos taken from google.
Game play wise, on the other hand, is both the most simple and most complicated game play I ever encountered. Why's that? You have to find a style you're most comfortable with and hope that you're flexible enough to try out new weapons to fit the style. It makes the weapon system in the game all that more amazing as each has its own pros and cons.

Also it's map is idiot-proof. Meaning it's Alex-proof, so I literally cannot get lost in the map. Losing the monsters within the map, however, is another embarrassing story altogether.

current weapon's list in MH3U
My weapons of choice, then? Switch axe, hammer and long sword. The switch axe is a great weapon, with a phial-system and powerful combo hits; downside? It trades it's power for speed. You need to be that more cautious when you're going against the monsters whose top stat is speed. I'd love to try out the Gunlances and Bows, but I have no like little to no hand-eye coordination to be able to line up shots properly.

What I also like about the game play is it's levelling up system. It doesn't really have one. It really depends on your armour, your gameplay style, and how buffed up your weapon is. And in connection with that, certain armours can give you advantages over monsters that inflict status ailments like Poison, Burn and so on. So you just have to build your inventory for armours.

Sample armours you can complete. Please notice the adorable fluffiness that is the Lagombi armour in the last row, all the way to the right.
And man, don't get me started on monster designs. I love and hate the monster designs. Love because it's so intuitive how they designed each monsters, and each part makes sense because it's what helps them in the environment, and it's not just decoration. Hate because those extra large goat-like horns? Yeah, you're going to be flying across the screen if you don't dodge properly. Like I love and hate some monsters so much I kinda want to make a list of the best monsters so far. 

Also Plesioth? Looks like a shark and a bird got freaky and it's offspring forget about the thing called "Evolution"
At this point, a lot of people could say that it should get boring after a while, since you're essentially hunting and gathering, and true, it sort of does. But that's where the multiplayer function of MH3U makes it all the more interesting. Because now the game is halved into two parts, the Low Rank and the High Rank. Now, the more you climb up the rank system in the game (meaning hunting/capturing certain monsters in the list), the more you find rare materials. Rare materials means better armours and weapons. Better weapons and armours mean lesser chances of getting KO and splurging on more cash. But sometimes better materials means having to fight the old monsters, but who have buffed up and are now tougher to fight. So now, 2-3 of your friends can join you and you guys can help each other hunt the big baddies.

In short, the multiplayer function makes this game even more fun than it should legally be. I mean really, 4 people screaming at DS screens to duck, run, heal, apologising for standing in the way, apologising for hitting someone in the way and "PLEASE STOP STANDING IN FRONT OF ME" all within a time limit of 50-60mins? Sounds like a Saturday afternoon well spent. Even if trying to mine for those Rare 5 ores are a pain in the ass.

It's sort of common knowledge that a Monster Hunter 4 is in the making (or coming soon anyway) and I'm sort of hoping it keeps the multiplayer function. Because me going to toe-to-toe with it's number one monster? Shortest hunting experience ever.

lol nope

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