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Pet peeves: Monster Hunter and it's boring as hell realism

Today I am going to write a totally opinionated piece, contrary to the usual stuff. I have many pet peeves as a gamer and Monster Hunter is one of them. Feel free to disagree as violently as you want, as this should not be treated as a balanced article.

I first tried Monster Hunter when it was released way back in 2004 on Playstation 2. It was impressive and groundbreaking then. Hunting dinosaurs to craft weapons and the realism of an ancient time? The franchise brought the typical rpg genre to a new level.  We all agreed this was a new beginning to a different kind of genre. But the Playstation 2 days were crazy. There was a new game almost every week. And you HAD to try everything. So I really didnt get immersed into it right away. 

My second venture into the series was when Monster Hunter Portable was released on the PSP. This was when handheld games really became hot with the consumers and you could literally play anywhere with friends, at a fast food joint, or at school. I invested close to a soul- sucking 100 hours into it. And got sick of it afterwards.

For the uninitiated, you craft weapons from monster parts in Monster Hunter. A monster has several parts to aim at, and some are weak to certain weapons. You kill the monster, and hopefully it drops the ingredient you need. If it doesn't happen, you grind it ad nauseam until it does. Several stupid problems here. 

First, THE GAME HAS NO LOCK-ON MECHANISM. Thank you realism. So you are trying to slash at a specific, sometimes very small part of a HUGE MOVING monster, and you cannot even lock on to anything. This is not Godeater or Lord of Vermillion. You cannot do double jumps, or combo hit very well in the early versions, and you generally slash VERY slowly in pathetic one or two hits at most. It is always entertaining when the monster interrupts you midswing.

We next come to weaponry. Here, they tried to be realistic as well, by introducing wear and tear. Weapons which can attack very fast get blunt very quickly, and you have to grind them to deal the same damage. They will only get blunter if you do not, dragging out the fight. This prompted several memes poking fun at this stupid feature. 

And then we move onto the boring missions, which you will be grinding like a zombie for money and ingredients. The egg mission is one of my best rants. 

So you have to sneak to a monster nest and steal an egg back to camp. So far it does not sound silly. Then you realise after picking up an egg that YOU CANNOT DO ANYTHING ELSE!. You cannot jump, you cannot shield , you cannot take any form of evasive action! You can't even attack! You are a sitting duck! The best is yet to come. You cannot even run either. You have to hobble back to camp with the stupid egg while avoiding monsters attack you, because one hit breaks it. If you fall from height, the egg breaks too. Believe me when I say it was a minor miracle that I could control the urge to not throw the psp against the wall. This has to be one of the dumbest moments in gaming history.

Now there are many other minor peeves that I could name. Money never seems to be enough, so you had to be grinding constantly. The carving of parts after a monster had died is a total waste of time and slows down the hack and slash element of the game. The pathetic number of items you can hold in the early versions were simply too little, meaning you ended up doing the same mission even more times than you had to. Bosses running away and healing while you get blocked by smaller monsters as you have to search the insanely huge maps on foot while they are gaining health is maddening beyond words. All in all, this is one series where I have sworn never to play ever again. 

Written by Don

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