Monster Hunter: Starting From Scratch
I‘ve taken a lot of flak off TheGameJar team, especially on the DBR Podcast, for purchasing a WiiU, especially when there weren’t many titles available then or even a few months after. With Rayman Legends moving to September I felt a little disillusioned with Nintendo and my WiiU. It’s the first Nintendo console I have purchased when it was relevant (I had an N64 about three years after it was no more) and the single biggest reason I wanted one was so that I could expose myself to games that I had never played before. I’ve never played a Zelda game for more than ten minutes, can’t say I’ve touched Smash Bros and with the WiiU Gamepad I’m certain there will be unique titles coming down the line. Thankfully though, to pull me out of my disillusioned state there is a game that I have heard a lot about. A game that has a hardcore following and is a pretty big deal, especially in Japan. I am of course talking about Monster Hunter.
I don’t really know much about Monster Hunter at all… there are huge monsters and you go hunting for them? I’m not trying to antagonise any hardcore fans who may end up reading this – it certainly isn’t my intention. I’m just uneducated. So as Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate is coming out for the Wii U on March 22nd in Europe, I wanted to try and look at the game and its fans, to try and learn some basic knowledge for when I throw myself into this completely alien world.
My first port of call was to the Monster Hunter Facebook page where there are plenty of images of small people fending off huge monsters in various locales. It’s actually pretty daunting with names like “Duramboros” and “Nargacuga” being banded around. With pictures of these behemoths, for someone new it’s very difficult to think just how much game time would need to be put in before you get to such monsters, as generally you start with small things and build up to the big baddies. Or maybe I have it completely wrong and you start off with the huge monsters and just get even bigger. If that’s the case then it sounds pretty awesome, but I’m sure there will be a lot of systems I need to get used to in order to become remotely good at the game.
Something else that stands out from the Facebook page is how engaged the community is. Whoever it is at Capcom keeping the page updated is doing a fantastic job with weekly live streaming sessions, and new images being released. The fans who want to know more and see more are getting that and eating it up. There are a lot of user posted pictures and people talking amongst themselves – it’s really great to see and there is one particular cosplay image that just blew my mind.
When you see something like that and you read some of the Wiki’s or fan sites that are around the web, as a new player it really does scare you a bit. The community seems lovely but as a newcomer to the series, someone who hasn’t even picked up a controller and tried to play it, I’d feel a bit silly jumping in and asking a question. What exactly is Monster Hunter? What’s the appeal of it to you? Do you have any hints and tips that I should do when I play it for the first time? I just wouldn’t do that, not because I don’t think they would respond well but because, well, it’s such a huge franchise that I should really know about it.
Come March 22nd I will know all about Monster Hunter because it will be in the disc tray of my WiiU and I will dive in head first. It will be a brand new gaming experience for me and that’s something that a lot of people don’t seem to want to do nowadays. They will play the same type of games again and again, which is fine because they like that genre they are playing. But me, I want things to surprise me and getting involved in a game that you have no idea about and going outside of your comfort zone is the only way to truly be surprised. If there are any die hard Monster Hunter fans who stumble across this page, help me out. Please answer the questions a couple of paragraphs back, help me to understand what it is you love so much about Monster Hunter and why, hopefully, I will too.