Last Friday, some asshole came to work, all flu-ish, and decided to breathe on me.

I’ve been depressed for days.

So, as any depressed gamers who’s visual and concentration skills have been impaired due to rampant headaches and coughing up all kinds of brown mu- *gets slapped*, I decided to play the one game that would be suited for depressed people.

Monster Hunter Tri.

Yep. It’s just as crap as ever before, what with it’s tedious quests and “no margin for error” gameplay which is every bit as dependent on luck as it on patience and timing.

I could’ve went ahead and sold the game, but I wanted that damn Lagia Long Sword. But since I’m more of an Arcade person with no patience for all the grinding, I went Gecko on it. So I upgraded all the way to getting my bitchin Lagia Long Sword (Red version because these things take forever to kill).

DIEEEEEEEE DEVIL BIRD!!!!!

God…damn it felt soooo good goin medivel on his bitch ass.

So I’m rolling with my Lagia Red, get to the swamp and nearly get killed by the Ludroth with the Lion mane, but noticed he was weaker to thunder so bam. Took less time. As I progressed, the monsters were getting much harder to kill so I had to swap weapons with my god mode cheats and…

It’s actually weird how the game started to be more fun despite it’s ever increasing difficulty. Even with an overpowered weapon in hand, the monsters still have the capacity to take forever and still kick your ass. I think with the heavy emphasis on collecting materials and needing to prep for large monsters despite needing better weapons that you may or may not have access to when you need them, balance is one of the many issues this game has. So via cheats, I learned that monsters STILL take forever to kill with overpowered weapons in hand. It makes no sense. No enemy or boss should take ages to kill. I’d be an old man by the time I could kill a barroth with the max equipment I could have at the time.

One of the things I find to be just plain “fuck it” material are where they send you on quests to kill a specific large monster (like say the devil bird), but they always seem to make the entire process even more infuriating. Lets see, the boss is already cock-smashingly hard and whacking away at it’s infinite amount of HP tears at your patience. Say! Lets stick this Great Jaggi into the mix to spice things up! Yeah! So now you have 2 Large monsters to deal with! CHALLENGING ENOUGH FOR YOU!?  In addition to the amount of time it takes to kill the bird, you have to avoid the Tyrannosaurus Rex trying to tail whip you as well. All the while actually managing to wear out the bird, it will RUN away, so you have to go after him crossing possibly long terrain just to kill him while you’re being trailed by Rex. And all of this is timed. 50 minutes to kill this bird is just not enough without more powerful weapons.

And this is probably the biggest problem with Monster Hunter. The complete lack of balance you’re presented with gives you no real incentive to press on. The game tries to excuse this by using that little bitch at the counter saying “You’re a hunter, you’re supposed to take anything the guild throws at you!”. Well, FUCK the guild! I’m playing a game, not doing work! The majority of your time will be used to gathering resources from free hunts for Moga village to … do stuff like fishing, farming, trading in commodities with merchants, typical computer game bullshit. Primarily because it takes forever to really progress anywhere beyond the few quests in your way, you’re gonna be more busy playing “life sim” before you can move on due to the game’s flawed structure. Your character’s fastest method of attack and evasion is the slowest method of actually killing the monsters, and vice versa for everything else. That’s not balance at all.  The very act of killing monsters feels arbitrary in itself. In order to kill monsters faster, you need better gear. But to get better gear, you need to progress through quests to gain new areas. So to do that, you have to complete the quests with the monsters you want to kill. Your reward for killing the monster is essentially an easier time dealing with the same monsters. That’s like completing a hard game to unlock an “easy” mode. You give me this shit all after the fact.

Gathering materials is even worse because of RNG, that lazy ass programming shtick that the Japanese are so fond of to make THEIR jobs easier, but makes it harder for us. So getting materials to forge/upgrade decent gear takes even longer than you want or need. Or even gathering materials to combine.

The problem of this game’s combat, I think already stated before, but to add to it, the game’s combat is not based around player choices but rather player restrictions. Sluggish controls, limited storage space for items, and that goddamn stamina system (which the bar literally grows smaller over time, giving you less options when it comes to evasion and escapes.) all makes for an experience that is more about throwing you under a bus than having fun. The combat is reduced to waiting for the monster to get into a certain stalling animation for free hits. You don’t really change anything up beyond that because the restrictiveness of the combat system does not reward (or hell, even grant) you for using different options most of the time. And that waiting for the right time to strike just takes up more time than need be.

Now, I’m certain it’s more fun online with friends and what not. Having more people on hand dealing damage speeds the process up a bit, but seeing as this is the Wii (Nintendo Online and Capcom killing the servers)…. yeah.

If Capcom knew anything about Balance, this could’ve been, at least, a nice little sandbox game where you go around, kill monsters (in a shorter time) just to give yourself better materials for the fuck of it. Not for some arbitrary quest progression system where once you complete it all, you haven’t achieved a damn thing. There’s no real story to supplement the quest progression you’re forced to go through, so you feel no real accomplishment than bragging rights. Validation by a video game. If this is the real reason the hardcore love Capcom so much, it’s a wonder why they’re still in business.

This could’ve been better if, had Capcom gone full realistic, the game allowed you to kill Monsters in specific ways according to their attributes and abilities/weaknesses. Like say the Great Jaggi, just find some way to set him on fire, dead. One of the joys I’ve had from Metroid Prime was the multitude of ways you could kill stuff, likewise with past Zelda games. In Monster Hunter, it’s either whack/shoot until dead, or do the pokemon thing and try to catch it. There’s no other method. If I wanted to kill Barroth, I could lead him away from his watering hole and to the burning sand areas, have the mud dry up into stone (like it does when he shakes it off on you), and you’d have a better chance of killing him in sun light when his skin’s exposed to the harsh eye of Ra. Pop the Devil bird’s throat open to instantly cripple the jive turkey in pain. Of course, the controls would have to be much better for something like that. The poison… bird thing in the ice place, just plug his mouth with a lance to choke it to death. Something cool and clever, you know?

Items, why don’t you just SELL EVERYTHING AT THE DAMN STORE!? Instead of making you go around and find materials just to craft everything, just sell it to me for a fixed sum. More monsters I kill, more items in stock instead of making me go around trying to find RNG materials. Oh and if online isn’t available, do what God Eater does and give me some ally NPC’s that don’t suck (Cha-Cha is awful and doesn’t do shit).

It’s frustrating because there’s so much more potential in the game’s design that would’ve made Monster hunter a house hold name across the world had Capcom not gone the lazy MMO route and developed a game based on endless…fucking… grinding. I mean it just goes on and on till the break of dawn. No rhyme or reason, you just rinse and repeat. A slave to a process.

But hey, at least the Lagia gear is sexy.

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