I set out with no intent to write a piece on ole Monhun, but I felt I have a few things to say for new players. Having started as a newbie to this myself I can maybe see a few glaring hurdles that players face when entering the game. Not just mechanically but preconceptions about the game coming in fresh. Perhaps I can serve to ease those potential concerns.
What even is Monster hunter? I like slash em ups,I like games with maps, I like oversized weapons and lose hours just to character creation . Possibly most crucial of all though I like games such as Lost in Blue, etrian Odyssey and that Dark Souls. All Games where you experience that feeling of risk and reward and your own death mostly within your control. You forget to plan ahead or settle for what youve got and it costs you. Despite this though the last two games pretty much break this mechanic half way through their play time by allowing you to warp back home. I hope Moster hunter doesnt do this , or at least manages the trade off between getting so far out being boring to go all the way back vs that feeling of isolation/ desperation .(at this point I thought the maps might be larger /have more sections- maybe they do later?), and general feeling of being out in the wild,
After a few hours with monster hunter 4 Ultimate, my initial impressions from the demo
were focused not on any of this but purely on how it looked and how detatched I was from the character and experience. Slaying innocent AI dinosaurs
never really appealed. Is there even a question as to this game being some kind of crazed Whale hunting propaganda allegory? Add to this some of the more obvious frustrations for new players such as forgetting to tag a monster with paint and losing track of them when they flee., learning to use combos and height to your advantage and how important evasion timing is and what to look out for. You need time to learn each monster's attack patterns, so death can be seen as a good way to learn. Possibly frustrating for some! Despite this the demo seemed to give you decent defense stats so you werent pushed into learning this. Though i still dislike the way small areas visual design changes so abruptly, I can see much more clearly now how each area transitions to the next, having explored the map a little.And how that translates to the habitat mechanic. It is just frustrating that you can see into the distance and not "actually" go there,
as its such a touted thing in moden games and really feels a little jarring here at first. Whilst playing the demo you never really stopped to look around and appreciate the environment , but instead are herded straight towards an objective,running through yellow fields, then a red leaved canopy, then grey rocky land etc. ! Like totally random ! Though not as random as seeing someone with a pet sonic when testing out the online lobby...
Having put some time in to the actual game and realising what it is I'm actually playing I've been able to appreciate the attention to detail in this game:
from the run animations to the jurassic park esque monster calls. Sublime it truly is. Its almost so good you dont notice it until you sit back and
realise how immersed in the world you really were that last few hours. This can help even seemingly mundane tasks like carrying an egg become interesting -weighing
the mechanics of your stamina bar with the comedy run /encumbered animation.
Most of all the fun comes from learning how to play-you dont need to know it all at the start! And later realising how interesting either to watch or interact with the AI really is. Even how monsters react to and with each other, especially
One week later and I'm over 40 hours in. Help me.
tldr- play the actual game to "demo" it!