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Monster Hunter is a game that is near and dear to my heart and to others. However, the game, at least on the western shores, hasn't gained the popularity it has in Japan. Since many people either haven't played/heard of monster hunter or was too confused about the gameplay mechanics, I decided to post a FAQ for Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate, the newest game in the series. Hopefully I'll answer most questions in the blog, but if not, I'm sure me (and hopefully any other MH vets) will be able to answer in the comments.
With that beginning out of the way, let the questionnaire begin!
Who makes Monster Hunter?
Capcom publishes and developes Monster Hunter. Tanaka Tsuyoshi was the series producer for the original Monster Hunter and Kaname Fujioka is the series director. Sadly, several people who worked on the first Monster Hunter left Capcom including the excutive producer of the first Monster Hunter, Noritaka Funamizu.
What is Monster Hunter?
I could go on and on about the concept of Monster Hunter, but I'll keep it simple. Monster Hunter is an Action Fantasy RPG where you traverse large fantasy maps battling, slaying, and/or capturing monsters. In each game, you begin the game in a rather robust character creation and make your hunter. Once you settle on your appearance and name, you go to a village and begin your adventure.
It may sound simple, but it's actually rather far from it. There's a bunch of concepts to wrap your head around and before you can fight that huge dragon on the box art, you'll be gathering materials and making several items, weapons, and armor.
Speaking of crafting, you'll be doing a lot of that. Any monster you kill can be carved for parts. Most of their parts can be made into armor that you then wear to make yourself stronger. There's a large amount of armor and weapons to make, and you can always get better ones by making new ones or upgrading your old stuff.
just one of many armor sets with matching weapon
What systems is Monster Hunter on?
The first Monster Hunter was released on the PS2 in 2004. The series stayed on PS2 for awhile, but then shifted to the PSP. Monster Hunter Tri, the third generation of Monster Hunter, broke the standard Sony tradition and was released on the Wii. Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate, continues the tradition and is being released on the Wii U and 3DS.Other systems Monster Hunter has been on includes PC*, PS3*, 360*, and iOS
*One important thing to note, several games have been Japan exclusive.
What is the gameplay like in these games?
Although I mentioned these games are RPGs, they play more closely to action games, just not as fast paced and involves more strategy and skill. Everything takes place in real time, so the game doesn't stop unless you pause the game (which some of the console games never allow).
The reason why I say these games require strategy and skill is because timing is everything. Learning when to hit and when to heal become incredibly important in a tough battle. Where you hit the monster can be the difference in doing high damage or doing almost no damage at all. And most importantly, knowing when to dodge and block literally means the difference between life and death.
How you fight entirely depends on your weapon. There are no classes in Monster Hunter, just weapon types. That 500 hundred pound looking sword looks super strong, right? Well that huge sword actually weighs 500 lbs. You are going to be very slow when attacking. Each weapon has their own strengths and weakness as well. Yeah, that huge sword is slow, but it's also insanely powerful. Those dagger looking weapons are going to let you do some fast hits and combos, but you can't block.
The differences between weapons goes on and on as far as weapons go. With 12 different weapon types, each one behaves differently than the other. Each one requires practice and patience to master, but once you do, you'll be killing monsters in no time.
Prepping for a super strong attack
I hear these games require a lot grinding. Is that true?
Well, random person, you are right. These games are very grind heavy . If you want that armor set, you're going to have to fight that monster several times for their parts. If you want to make some traps, your going to have to go out in the wilderness and gather some. Several materials aren't given to you, so you need to grind often to get some. This sounds like it gets very repetitive, but usually grinding means fighting monsters and I can assure you that these fights will give you some much needed excitement.
So this game is very similar to [insert game here]?
Monster Hunter is similar to several high profile games but to an extent. If one is comparing this to an open world (for example, like Skyrim), Monster Hunter isn't an open world game, it's split up into areas, although like Skyrim you can gather for various parts in the world.
Similar to Dark/Demon Souls, fighting bosses requires timed hits blocking and learning attack patterns. However Monster Hunter lacks your usual mobs around the world. While there is some small monsters also eager to spill your blood, you shouldn't have too much trouble with them.
If you wanted a good comparison, I suppose Phantasy Star Online is a good start, but, like other games, there's several difference between the two.
Is there any sort of storyline in these games?
For the most part, not really. Usually the story goes something like "You're the newest hunter in our weak village and we need help against monsters. So go and hunt monsters!"
Trust me, if you're looking for a good story in a game, you shouldn't look anywhere near these games. Chances are if you're playing this, you're in it for the gameplay. However, there is a good amount of info on the various monsters you fight.
Villages and cities are home to several NPCs, but not a storyline
Hopefully I covered some specific questions about the series in general. These next few questions will focus on Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate
What's the main difference between this and Monster Hunter Tri?
There's several changes. If you heard that Capcom only added two monsters or something like that, then what you heard is dead wrong. For starters, all weapon types that wasn't in Tri returns in this game. That means you've got all the original 11 weapon types from the second gen plus the new Switch Axe from Tri.
Second, there's 51 large monsters and a total of 73 monsters in the game. Monster Hunter Tri only had 18 large monsters and a total of 35 monsters. That's more than twice the amount of monsters in the original. Some people may argue that most of them are only recolored/reskins of other monsters, but these monsters have different moves from the original monster. Not to mention each has it's own weapons and armor. Also out of 73 of those monsters, 26 of them are completely new to U.S./EU areas.
Additionally, 3 Ultimate has some new features in hand. The new Target Camera is a helpful, new feature that helps you keep tabs on a monster by simply tapping the left trigger when activated to center the camera. You also gain a new AI companion when hunting solo named Kayamba. You can even bring one of them (either Cha-Cha or Kayamba) online if you need four players for a quest.
Finally, there's new quests, weapons and armor. This game has G-rank quests (in other words, soul-crushingly difficult quests) that you can do and each armor has a separate G-rank armor that is stronger and looks different from high rank and low rank armor sets.
I haven't played any monster Hunter game before, is this a good place to start?
Since Monster Hunter isn't tied by any storyline, there isn't a bad place to start, but this is definitely a wise choice to get yourself acquainted with Monster Hunter if you haven't started. The start of the game will go over everything from how to pull out your weapon to gathering herbs.
Also several mechanics have been refined from past games. Things that plagues other games like broken hitboxes and overpowered weapons have been fixed. Plus it doesn't hurt that there's a lot of content here if you get absorbed into the game like most do.
flagship monster of this game and my current avatar
I played the demo for Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate and didn't like it. Will I like the full game?
Let me start by saying that the demo doesn't do the game justice. The demo was mainly directed to hungry MH fans who couldn't wait to get their hands on the game. The demo does several things that the game doesn't do:
Now if you didn't like the game because of the gameplay mechanics or you just suck, (just kidding) then that's different. But in general, the demo only gives you the impression of hunting the monster. I would recommend trying the demo some more before making a final judgement. Try gathering, hunting small monsters, exploring, etc.
What's the main difference between the 3DS version and the Wii U version?
The biggest difference between the two is that the 3DS version does not have online multiplayer. The Wii U version also supports 1080p while (of course) the 3DS version does not. The 3DS version does support the 3D feature and is completely portable.
Does the 3DS version have any content difference from the Wii U version
No! Both versions have the same amount of content. Although the 3DS does not have online, you can still do local play or solo any multiplayer quests. It might be harder, but it's not impossible.
Looks like this guy is about to take a serious hit...
What is this about charm tables?
It's pretty complicated so I'll try to simplify. Basically, charms are special equipment that gives extra skill points so you can gem slot in some decorations and get extra skills. Charm tables is in game data tables that puts you in a specific table with an specific amount of charms and variation of charms. The reason why it's such a big deal is that there is some tables where you get less charms or in some cases, several bad charms.
This is only an issue if you plan on getting a specific set of skills with a certain armor set. Honestly, you wouldn't even know a difference between some different charms until possibly thousands of hours.
I didn't like the camera controls, should I buy a Circle Pad Pro? (3DS specific question)
Not necessarily. Although it does make camera control easier, most people who have an issue with the camera are PSP players who are used to "clawing" (using your thumb to move and moving the camera using the D-pad with your index finger. Only now on the 3DS it's near impossible to try to claw with your thumb on the D-pad and your index finger on the Circle Pad) If you played the demo and you used the Target Camera, then you should have no problems, or you could use the virtual D-pad to move the camera. Unless you had an issue with the camera, then stick with one of these methods and save your money (if you don't have one).
How is the online community? Will I be called a noob if I use [insert weapon here]? (Wii U specific question)
Of course I'm not sure how the online community will turn out, but with some info from my friends, the Wii U community is pretty friendly. If you heard of people being called because noobs from Monster Hunter Tri because of using certain weapons then don't worry about it. The "noob weapon" from Tri has been changed so it can't be spammed and anger players.
From my experience from Tri , most people won't think much of you until you prove them wrong. There was a couple of elites, lechers (people who do nothing to help with the quests), and noobs (nothing wrong with that though), but for the most part the community was good so I would expect the same for MH3U
Well that's all the questions I prepared. I hope it helped and potentially sparked new players from playing Monster Hunter. If there's any other questions you have feel free to ask in the comments.
Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate comes out March 19. There's a demo in the Nintendo eShop for both the 3DS and Wii U