Monster Hunter: Let’s try Again
I have always struggled with Monster Hunter. I’ve made a number of half-arsed attempts over the years to play and enjoy the series, but each failed miserably. As with Dark Souls, the idea of getting into Monhan has proved far more appealing than actually playing it, yet I keep wanting to come back and give it just one more shot.
My relationship with MH goes something like this:
Stage 1: I’m not interested in Monster Hunter
Stage 2: Other people get excited about Monster Hunter, and their enthusiasm is infectious
Stage 3: I commit to giving Monster Hunter a(nother) chance. I write an excellent blog post about this decision
Stage 4: I give up after a couple of hours
Stage 5: I’m not interested in Monster Hunter
This sequence of events repeats every few years, and all I have to show for it is a couple of blog posts and some extra copies of unloved games. You'd think I'd learn from my mistakes, but I really don't.
Welcome to Stage 3, the 2013 edition!
To be honest, I'm tired of my Monhan failures and have absolutely no desire to repeat the above pattern, yet here I am gearing myself up for another attempt at cracking the Capcom nut. This time, however, I believe it will be different (it probably won't be different) as I'm better equipped for the journey and thoroughly committed to making a final decision regarding our future. This is it, the last chance saloon, the final showdown, do or die, crunch time, the last stand and other appropriate phrases. Consider yourself warned, Monster Hunter.
I have put myself in a position where ignoring Monster Hunter would be rather expensive, having already blown £70 on two copies of Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate. As I did not have a Wii U at the time, I bought the 3DS version first. However, thanks to a substantial in-store discount, I now have Nintendo’s latest and wasted little time in buying the home console version of MH3U. Now that the initial excitement of new plastic has worn off, I'm desperate for a reason to lavish some attention on my Wii U and am therefore keen for Ultimate to stick. Basically, I'm trying to justify a somewhat ill-advised purchase by spending a further £40 on a second copy of a game that I might not even play. I am a fucking genius.
Looking on the bright side, having two copies means that I might be able to rope my wife into joining the hunt. I have already coerced her into creating a character, though I have a feeling her interest will nose-dive the second she realises this ain’t Skyrim. My Twitter timeline is full of people playing MH3U so hopefully I'll be able to get a few tips there, and perhaps even convince a more seasoned hunter to let me be their caddy for a day.
No matter how much it drags, I will push through the tutorials and forage missions that make up the first couple of hours. Veterans agree that you need to give it around ten hours before it starts to click - that is terrible game design, no matter how you spin it - so that's what I'll do. This way I'll know once and for all whether or not Monster Hunter is for me. Ten quid says I'll be playing something else within the hour.
As was my intention last year with Freedom Unite, I'll be keeping a hunting diary, which I’ll update here every week or two. It’ll be a place to share success and failure, and will of course be full of stories about braining herbivores with hammers and making berets out of their faces. Or maybe I’ll just play PlayStation 3, and you can look forward to another post just like this one whenever Monster Hunter 4 comes out. Let the hunt begin!