[Feature] How Monster Hunter’s community made my first hunt unforgettable
Posted on March 29, 2015 by Vincent Ward in 3DS, Features, Game of the Month, Wii U
If I said it once, I said it a million times; complicated games are not my forte. While most would prefer to spend hours grinding in the latest MMO and cry their eyes out from life-draining games such as Dark Souls, you’ll most likely find me playing Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker alone in my room and giddying with excitement waiting for Toad to do the next adorable thing. As sad of a life choice that may seem, I honestly prefer it this way. Why slay mighty beasts when I can admire the ever-so-cute Toad all day? So, that’s why it took me forever to finally get my hands on the famous Monster Hunter series, and boy am I glad I did.
Let me just start by saying I never once thought of the series negatively. It’s just that I typically avoid any game that seems confusing based on the videos I watch. But with Monster Hunter, what finally got me to try out the franchise wasn’t an epiphany or sudden decision to change things up. In fact, it was actually a last resort, all thanks to the Wii U game drought of 2013. If you were a Wii U owner from the beginning, you may understand my pain. After what felt like a significant period of time without a single first party title releasing, I was left with very few options when it came to Wii U games that I should throw my time at. My choices were either Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate or some cheap eShop game about shooting sheep out of a barn. After using my keen decision-making skills, I went with Monster Hunter.
Once I finally hopped into the world of Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate, everything seemed just fine. The graphics were alright and the tutorial didn’t seem too overwhelming (probably because I skipped most of it, but no matter). So after learning the ropes of combat (or so I thought), I decided to begin my journey with online hunts. Some may say I that I hopped in too fast and should’ve learned the game more, but I figured that slashing away at monsters wouldn’t be too overwhelming.
Anyway, I searched for a room that didn’t have too many confusing codes for me to decipher (I still don’t know what HR means. Home Renovation..?) and full of people who spoke English, and then hesitantly joined. I turned on my mic, and as soon as I began chatting with the group I was with, one thing became hesitantly clear: the players of Monster Hunter make up one of the best gaming communities I ever had the pleasure of becoming a part of. The people realized my extreme and deeply concerning lack of skill, and very kindly attempted to show me the magic of Monster Hunter. Everyone devoted their time and effort to guiding me through the Monster Hunter world, so I quickly felt welcomed. So after my self-confidence was boosted to a dangerous high, we decided to attempt hunting the only beast I was capable of fighting at my low HR – the Ludroth.
I don’t remember too many of the specifics, but I’ll try to piece together the bits and pieces that I can recall. If you haven’t played Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate, you should be aware that at the beginning of every quest, a chest can be opened in which you can get your quest necessities, such as a map, health potions, and whetstones. I guess my team forgot to mention the important role this chest plays, because I was never informed of it and ran right into the next area. Once my team arrived, they began running to the area they assumed the Ludroth would be located and left me behind. Over the mics I can hear them saying “Vward follow us! Follow us Vward!”, and due to my lack of a map I couldn’t sniff out their location. As I was wandering around searching for my teammates, I hopped into a pool of water and began swimming, and as I was leaving the area the music hit a quick rise and began playing dramatic battle music. I turned around and saw I beast I’ve never seen before. I quickly pieced together it was the Ludroth and prepared for a battle like no other, that of which would be carried down through history and never forgotten.
The Ludroth hit me several times before finishing me in a matter of seconds. Thankfully, before I died, my team found me and carried on the battle without me. I awoke back at base and skipped the chest once again, and then traveled around some more before being reunited with my team. As soon as I arrive, I hear one of the members shout, “Vward, hit it with a paintbomb!” I snickered, due to the fact that I assumed he was making a joke by comparing this massacre to paintball, the national sport of middle-schoolers. This appeared to have angered him, as he said, “Quickly, before he runs off!” Was I hearing things? In a game full of mass murder of innocent creatures, he wanted me to throw a ball of paint? “Ugh, whatever. I’ll do it myself,” he shouts, breaking me away from my moments of self-wonder. By the time I snapped back, the Ludroth was hurdling towards me. I refused to let him take me down once more, so I attempted roll myself out of harms way. I escape his attack, I quickly turn myself around, and begin slashing at him. Since there was no health bar, I had no visual representation on how much damage I was actually dealing, but that didn’t matter to me. I felt powerful, and I felt for once I was actually contributing to the team together. With every hit I landed, I knew I was bringing the beast closer to defeat, and it was gratifying. I felt I could take on the world!
With another hit I was down once more. No biggie, I’ll head back and we’d take him on again. Of course, my teammates were doing fine. Since this monster was way below their level, I had not a bit of fear inside. However, I would be more careful knowing that another death of mine would mean the end of the hunt. Even better, because of my team’s paintball, I could easily find myself back where I needed to be. By this time I figured to check out the chest, where I finally grabbed my whetstones, a map, and most importantly, some potions. I returned to the battle scene feeling more powerful than ever, and ready to take the Ludroth down once and for all. My team was attacking the wild beast, and I swooped right in to lend a hand. They began shouting at me to leave so I don’t die again and lose us this mission, but with my spirits at a new high, nothing was going to stop me. I dodged nearly every attack, and with every one he landed I managed to heal myself before anything was able to take me out. My great sword and I worked together and with I never felt stronger. It was such a rush, and I felt like I could attack this beast forever. It started to run away, but with my team by my side, we wouldn’t let it go anywhere. Its running led to limping, and its limping led to panting, and its panting led it to the best thing of all… complete and utter defeat.
As the beast fell over and the game congratulated me, my team ran over and began scavenging for parts. They muttered out the usual “GG” and “Great hunt guys”. Then it hit me. This was my team now. This was the beginning of a very long string of hunts. With every kill the monsters grow larger, and with every kill we grow stronger. We could take on the world, and the Ludroth was just the start. We’ll take on the biggest beasts the game had to offer, as long as we were doing it together. I was so lost in thought that I didn’t even get to scavenge the beast, but I didn’t care. On future hunts my team will venture on, and I’ll get more monster parts than I’ll ever need.
…Here’s where the sad part comes in. I never did hunt with them again. In fact, they left me as soon as we returned to the lobby and never responded to my friend requests. I did continue to play though, and I’ve racked up nearly 50 hours into Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate. That may not seem like a lot to series veterans, but there were plenty of great times in those 50 hours. I haven’t picked up the game in months, and don’t think I will for a while. Still, I’ll never forget the times I had hunting down beasts in areas as beautiful as mountaintops and deserts. If you haven’t given Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate a try yet, please do yourself a favor and do it. Get a glass of your favorite drink, a bowl of snacks and get comfy, because if you’re willing to put the time into it, Monster Hunter will reward you for it.