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  1. The demo for Monster Hunter Rise released recently. What do you think of it? As someone who has never played a Monster Hunter game before (aside from the MH Stories demo), I have to say that the combat took quite a bit of getting used to. I chose sword-&-shield, figuring it would probably be the most beginner-friendly, and it probably is, but I am really not finding the combat very intuitive. I will say that the wirebug is really cool; I especially liked being able to take control of a monster (though the controls for that felt rather awkward, but I think that's intentional since you are forcibly puppeteering something a lot larger and stronger than you).
  2. https://www.nintendo.co.jp/nintendo_direct/20161027/index.html So, yeah. Remember that mysterious Monster Hunter game that's supposed to release by the end of Capcom's fiscal year? This seems like it will be it. Probably the most disappointing aspect is that it'll be on the 3DS, which as already had four Monster Hunter titles. Kinda hoping it's Monster Hunter 5 and 5G ends up on the Switch and is the one we get- it feels a bit too late for XG.
  3. http://www.siliconera.com/2016/09/15/hollywood-movie-monster-hunter-series-underway/ "during a Monster Hunter Stories event at Tokyo Game Show, Ryozo Tsujimoto casually announced it by saying 'this might not have anything to do with Monster Hunter Stories, but a Hollywood film for the main series is underway.'" Why? No video game movie has ever been good. Most of them have been awful, with the rare few approaching decency. I'm just hoping this doesn't harm the series in the West.
  4. While many of us where freaking out over FE Amie's reveal in the April 2015 Japan-only direct, I was freaking out of the announcement of Monster Hunter X. A game which took a series that had it's own logic and felt grounded in it's own way (yes, you CAN swing that sword larger than yourself; no, you will not be doing it with anything resembling "speed") and throws it out the window for hunting styles and arts that make the game super flashy. While initially lukewarm to the concept, I gradually warmed up to it- enough that I was very hyped when it was revealed to be localized as Monster Hunter Generations. Having just passed the 100 hour point, what do I think of it now? -The visuals A lot of people complain about "how much worse" it looks than 4U. I assume that those people played 4U exclusively on a Nu3DS, because it looks a step above it on my OG model. There's significantly less texture fade-in, and in general they brought over the Nu3DS-exclusive 4U textures. The Arena is the most jarring example- in 4U I could clearly see the game rendering the ground textures in a circle around me, while in Generations everything there looks much smoother. This is probably due to the game being locked at 30 FPS- something I actually prefer over 4U's stuttering "60 FPS" on the OG 3DS. Online, when you have all four players dogpiling on a downed monster with a hunter art or two thrown in there's a definite drop, but for single-player and most of online I've found it to be pretty solid. Overall, it's a step up from 4U with me. -The villages 4U was unique in that you could visit multiple villages in singleplayer- villages that tied into it's simplistic, but the best the series has seen, narrative. Generations brought back the villages from the "Portable" side series (localized as "Freedom"... 'cuz taglines?) that the director worked on for the PSP: Kokoto (1st Generation), Pokke (Portable 2nd/2nd G), and Yukumo (Portable 3rd- which was never localized). So, what do I think of them? They have nice music, provide a nice change of atmosphere... and that's about it. They're unlocked right as soon as you hit HR2, all at once. Though certain NPCs in each village do give you quests as the game goes on, they don't add much to the actual story overall. Generations itself introduced Bherna as it's main village; this is where stuff actually happens, and it has the most "plot importance" of them all. Really, I'm not quite sure what they were going for; it's based in mountainous terrain, has a chieftain that looks like an overdressed Scottish highlander, and has... fluffy Alpaccas/Moofahs as a native animal? It feels like a hodge-podge without a distinct theme. The online area itself, the Hunter's Hub feels as unremarkable. It gets the job done, but the tavern theme was dropped... as was arm-wrestling. RIP, you will be missed. -The new upgrade system Generations brought along a new upgrade system for improving equipment. Before, things would be fairly linear- you'd upgrade a weapon, come to a branch, choose one branch, and move on. However, now you can see all the branches from the very start- and as long as you keep upgrading the base weapon, you can go into any branch that you have unlocked regardless of weapon level. Also, material restrictions were lessened- sometimes, you just need parts from a specific monster or bugs to contribute to upgrades, instead of a specific part from a specific monster or a specific bug. With weapons, this is a good thing. But it's not the best idea in the world with armor. You won't be hunting for just armor spheres- you'll need to make sure you have extra materials on hand during upgrading. Also, upgrades seem to cost more than in past games- upgrading equipment is a major money drain late-game. -The areas Generations also brought back returning areas from previous games as well as adding one (technically two, but the latter is used only for one monster) of it's own. So how are they? A mixed bag. The Deserted Island and Misty Peaks fared the best, due to coming from the most previous generation. Outside of the excision of underwater combat (which as a Lance/GL main in 3rd gen I actually liked) warranting the Portable 3rd version of the Deserted Island, they're largely the same as before. Just with the occasional ledge here and there that feels naturally implemented into the environment- something 4U's maps kinda failed at doing. The rest of the maps, though, feel really bland and generic. Okay, the Arctic Ridge isn't bad, but whose idea was it to bring back the 2nd gen Volcano instead of Tri's much more interesting one? The Old Swamp is a first gen area, and feels pretty bland and lifeless- with dull textures to boot. Verdant Hills I have equally non-existent nostalgia for; on top of the drab environment, it's essentially set up as three "corridors" of areas- making it just a tad more frustrating to chase after a monster. The Jurrasic Frontier, this game's new area, is really good. It's very prehistoric themed, and has more than enough variety to keep it away from the "Green hill zone" all too many games start you out in. The returning 4th gen areas are unchanged; I'm fairly neutral towards them. For some reason, though, they cut the Sunken Hollow... the effects of this will be stated later. -The monster roster And by later, I mean now. They cut Nerscylla. Of all the monsters to cut, they cut Nerscylla. Nobody misses Gravios or Congalala, but when it came to 4th gen monsters to cut they just dropped Nerscylla. Not Najarala. Nerscylla. The Primeval Forest is still there... it didn't just exclusively live in the Sunken Hollow. Anyways, the game brings back a lot of 3rd gen monsters and cut some from 4U. The only 3rd gen monsters not to come back are the Great Jaggi (Jaggis and Jaggia are still there) and all other ggi's, Qurupeco, Ceadus/Jhen Mohran, and the arctic crew (Gigginox and Barioth). Outside of nostalgia pandering, there is no reason not to axe the Dromes and Kut Ku and make the Great ggi's and Qurupeco their permanent replacements- they're so much better from a game design department. At least they brought Lagiacrus back, and made it an actually challenge on land. Also, Generations has no subspecies- personally slightly miffed, but it has the largest variety of monsters disregarding subspecies anyways. That can be forgiven. Though Golden Rathian and Silver Rathalos are in there for some reason. The new monsters complement 4 and 4U's additions, bumping up 4th Gen to a comfortable new Monster count of 25 (including small monsters and not including subspecies). They're all pretty unique in their own right. The Great Maccao is the new Great Jaggi/Velocidrome... who actually puts up a fight at first, due to having a wildly different attacking style from either of them. Mizutsune is an awesome monster. Fight, design, music... it complements the Misty Peaks and Yukumo perfectly. Gammoth is kinda underwhelming. It's big and slow... the only way it will hit you is if you're trying to remove your snowman status because it kicked snow all over you. Astalos is one more semi-unique (read: not a Rathalos clone) flying wyvern... probably my favorite fight overall, and definitely in my top ten monsters. Glavenus, the flagship of the game, is a Brute Wyvern that is nevertheless extremely agile and not afraid to take you out with it's massive tail. Nakarkos, the online final boss, is pretty eh. It's music (it's first phase theme belongs in a Metroid game) and the atmosphere is really good... the fight itself is just eh. The only stinker of the bunch of Malfestio. It can infect you with a special "confused" status that inverts your controls for ten seconds and can also put you to sleep. It's just a pain to fight and is quite aggravating. Until you learn all it's tells and are in a group; then, it's complete domination. It's earned the nickname "Molestio" on Gamefaqs and Reddit, for good reason. -The Deviants Monster Hunter Generations introduced the Deviant system as a way to replace subspecies. They're definitely not as numerous (12 in total), but make up for it by being pretty challenging. Their gear also provides the best full sets in the game- they give you two normal skills and (when upgraded to level six) a special dual skill. The problem lays in upgrading them. You can't use armor spheres; you need tickets. Tickets are awarded at the end of each quest; you get two pertaining to the quest's level. You'll need to do each level of quest three times to upgrade your armor. There are ten levels for each Deviant. Do you see the issue? To max out a Deviant armor set, you need to hunt it 30 times. This is far and away the biggest flaw with the system. It's simply too much of a grind that can't be done without spacing things out. I've fought six so far: Crimsonhelm Arzuros, Snowbaron Lagombi, Stonefist Hermitaur, Dreadqueen Rathian, Silverwind Nargacuga, and Dreadking Rathalos. Dreadqueen Rathian is actually the most frustrating, due to leaving poisonous spikes all over the place and in general poisoning you at every single opportunity. Stonefist Hermitaur is probably the most underwhelming; yeah, it hits hard, but it's also a massive target and gets slaughtered by Aerial style. Dreadking Rathalos is the one that I've been farming, and it really isn't too bad. You can't flashbomb it out of the air at first- you need to break one if its wings. The problem I find is that nobody else seems to know this, and never brings flashbombs. So, besides staying in the air much more than normal, it's just a slightly bigger and meaner version of the Rathalos. Silverwind Nargacuga is pretty difficult- it's tail swipes and tail slams send out shockwaves (though if you manage to cut it's tail, they become pathetically small and weak). It's a nice system that needs some polish. -Hunting Styles One of Generations biggest additions is hunting styles. These alter the moveset of weapons, encouraging different playstyles. There are four in total: Guild, Striker, Aerial, and Adept. Guild is basically the exact same as 4U. Striker trims down the movesets of weapons while letting them use more hunter arts. Aerial replaces the normal evade roll with an aerial vault. And Adept gives a very large window during evasion to trigger a run-in that you can follow up on. I freaking love Aerial. I've been maining Aerial SA, and that things makes the 4/4U Inset Glaive look tame in comparison. The vault in sword mode counts as an attack on its own, meaning I almost always get two attacks off for each vault. It's a complete mounting machine, which lets monsters get demolished incredibly easily (my first Kut Ku died in less than three minutes to rank appropriate gear). Aerial Gunlance (at least for normal types) is also a blast to play; jump up, slam down, and full burst. However, it's also kind of a gamebreaker. The aerial vault has invincibility frames that, when taken advantage of, let you jump off of monsters' attacks (I once cut Glavenus's tail off mid-attack by doing that). Though it's not effective with every weapon, certain weapons (read: Switch Axe, Dual Blades, and ironically enough Insect Glaive) are just incredible in it. Also, most monsters can't really attack you while you're in the air- the best defense ends up being a good offense, letting things die super quickly. Adept style is also incredibly good for certain weapons- compared to having to learn the i-frames on your roll and take advantage of situations, it almost babies you. You pretty much have evasion+2's window to trigger the perfect evade- which you are invincible for the entirety off. You can then rush back in and keep up the offensive. It has a bit of a learning curve, which has served as a turnoff for some people- enough that it isn't super popular. The styles system needs tweaking and improvement. As-is, they completely change the feel of the game and- at points -trivialize it's difficulty. I actually think the main series should take something from Frontier's playbook- Style Ranks. Or at least, the actual functionality of it's styles- not the tedium of unlocking them. Each weapon has two alternative styles that drastically alter it's moveset and aren't cookie-cutter at all. For example, Storm Style SnS replaces X button attacks with stabs and lets you sidestep out of attacks- while Storm Style lance removes the charge attack but lets you chain together four stabs instead of three. And then Storm Style Switch Axe (or "Slash Axe F(rontier)", as it's called there) lets you use sword mode energy to literally rush in, and emphasizes switching between sword and axe mode. -Hunter Arts The other big addition Generations made is Hunter Arts. They're a mixture of flashy attacks and powerful support skills, and as with Hunting Styles they're a mixed bag. Certain weapons kind of got screwed in the exclusive arts department- I've seen numerous Hunting Horn mains disappointed with what they got, why Long Sword mains gloat that they've got the best selection in the game. However, I'll illustrate my main issue with Hunter Arts using my main for this game: the Switch Axe. The SA has three arts: Energy Charge, Demon Riot, and Trance Slash. Energy Charge charges 80% of the sword gauge. With the SA, sword mode is almost always more useful than axe mode- this is counterbalanced by each attack in sword mode draining a gauge. Once it hits the bottom, you're booted out back into axe mode. True, you could manually reload 50% of it, but it left you wide open. Energy Charge charges up super quickly (long before you'll run out of gauge), and at latter levels completely refills the gauge and boosts affinity. So, the Axe part of Switch Axe is virtually obsolete. What makes it completely obsolete is Demon Riot. It causes the sword gauge to slowly drain over time rather than with your attacks and also gives an attack buff to sword mode. In Guild and Striker Style, where you can equip more than a single hunter art, you can have both Energy Charge and Demon Riot at the same time. They also stack. Once you have Demon Riot up, as long as you have some semblance of how to play the weapon it will never run out, as you'll keep using energy charge to refill the gauge well before it depletes. Trance Slash is the least useful, but the most flashy: it's a long combo that, when coupled with Demon Riot, has a super powerful finisher. It's the most powerful hunter art in the game, but it's only useful on monsters that have just been knocked over from mounting; as such, I'm fine with it. The issue I have with Hunter Arts are with those that have secondary effects. They make the weapon more powerful by ignoring the technical aspects of it. I already illustrated it with the SA, but I'll give you an example with the Long Sword: Sakura Slash and Focus Spirit. Sakura Slash is a powerful attack that also raises the spirit gauge by one level, while Focus Spirit temporarily stops it from decreasing and charges up very quickly. It greatly de-emphasizes the use of the spirit combo to build up the spirit gauge. Then there's the general purpose Absolute Evasion art for all weapons. It has the quickest charge time in the game and when activated gives you... an evasion with massive invincibility frames. To me, it completely undermines the point of learning the game and learning how to dodge attacks- if it was an emergency evade, okay. But it charges up super quickly, meaning you can easily rely on it and never need to learn how to evade half a monster's attacks. Hunter Arts are a neat concept, but have a questionable execution here and need some polish. Notice a trend? -The Story Monster Hunter has never been about story, and never really cared about it anyway. 4/4U is the only game in the series to try to throw together an actual plot, which on it's own is very simplistic and uninteresting but for Monster Hunter was a huge step forward. Generations doesn't do that. Thanks to the four villages having no real connections, there isn't any real plot. This is perfectly explained by the four "flagships". Except none of them really feel like flagships (besides Glavenus, because he's on the cover and got a Deviant form). They all simply crash a 3* gathering quest and then are fought in 5* later. Glavenus is the worst offender, as it's the offline final boss. Let me back up a bit to 4U; I don't really like it's offline final boss, the Shagaru Magala. It's just Gore Magala, painted gold, brought to you by Michael Bay. But I actually enjoyed the fight as a climax; this creature that you had been hunting, that had been harassing you and disrupted an entire ecosystem, had molted and become something much scarier. It was a final showdown. With rank appropriate gear (the first upgrade to the Rathian Charge Blade, which has elemental phials and fire- what Shagaru is weakest to), it took me about 15 minutes to kill it. In Generations? Glavenus disrupts a mushroom gathering quest and then two quest levels later you take it on, kill it, and go on your merry way. Using rank appropriate gear (the level 2 version of the Astalos Switch Axe- element phial and thunder, something Glavenus resists), I killed it in seven minutes. Glavenus just leaves a bit of a bad taste in my mouth due to how much of an anticlimax it is. -Conclusion I really enjoy Monster Hunter Generations. However, it's definitely rough around the edges. More importantly, though, with the styles and arts it kinda doesn't really feel like a Monster Hunter game to me. There was a pace and balance maintained in the series that feels gone- you're spending less time fighting the monster and more time trying to be flashy. The focus feels as if it's gone from the monster to the player. The Deviants mostly avert this, but those are twelve end-game challenges out of 60+ monsters- the journey there is, at times, almost disappointingly easy. I'm not being super critical because I don't enjoy it; I'm being super critical because Monster Hunter is my favorite game series, and I do enjoy it. It's the most genuinely "fun" Monster Hunter experience I've had. I've experimented with many different weapons and styles, and have multiple end-game armor sets (compared to my 4U endgame strategy of "Grand Mizuha with gemmed in guard +2 and Status Charge Blades 4 life"). I wonder Monster Hunter 5 has in store, and what it improves upon and does differently. Tri launched in 2009 in Japan, and 4 was released in 2013- couple that with Capcom's financial reports listing an unannounced title in the series that's anticipated to sell 2 million units by the end of next April, and Monster Hunter 5 may be an NX launch title for Japan. Generations is simultaneously a celebration of the series and one big experiment with it- I am very interested in what lays in the series' future.
  5. With Monster Hunter Generations on the horizon, I was thinking that a chat channel should be created for SF Monster Hunter so it would be easy to set up halls with fellow SF peeps or have voice chat in the middle of hunts. So, for those interested, would Skype or Discord work better for this? We could do both I suppose but I'm lazy and would rather just do one or the other. EDIT: Looks like Discord wins and I made a new server for this. If someone could post to draw attention to this so I don't make a double post, that would be fantastic
  6. I was looking through the online manual Capcom released a few weeks ago, and I found something very interesting/disturbing. There are major caveats concerning save data for this game: http://game.capcom.com/manual/MH_Gen/en/contents1.html "Performing the following actions will cause the game to become temporarily unplayable. -Inserting the game into a different system and attempting to play -Switching out the SD card with one that doesn't have extra data created by the system" What's more... "Performing the following actions will cause the game to become unplayable. -Formatting the SD card -Deleting the extra data from the SD card -Selecting Format Save Data from the options menu" So, yeah. Most likely done to shut down the rampant save hackers, but the used market for this game has been killed along with it. Can you imagine somebody buying the game, only to be unable to play it because somebody returned it after firing it up? The only way to make it playable there would be a complete system data transfer. Screw you too, hackers. Screw you too. The takeaways are obvious: do not buy this game unless it's factory sealed/digital, as you run a very real risk of the game being unplayable. In addition, if you buy it physically and wish to sell it later, you can't (or that is, really shouldn't). I'm shocked I haven't seen this talked about more; I saw a single mention on the subreddit and that's it.
  7. https://www.humblebundle.com/e3-digital-ticket The bundle is mostly add-ons for F2P games, with the two big things (read: not add-ons for F2P games) in it being Psychonauts at the "pay whatever you want tier" and the Monster Hunter Generations demo code at the $4 tier. And now I'm going to stoop low and codebeg: if anybody has a spare Monster Hunter demo key, I'd happily take it.
  8. So, yesterday Capcom announced that Monster Hunter Generations (known as Monster Hunter X(Cross) in Japan) will be released in the West on July 17, alongside a limited edition 3DS model. PAL regions get a bundle with the game (and a red 3DS): Meanwhile, NA gets a stand-alone blue model: I'm honestly surprised that we're getting it this early. I was expecting September for sure; guess when they said "summer", they really meant summer. Anyways, what are you most looking forward to in Monster Hunter Generations? I'm looking to really get into the Switch Axe- in no small part because the Charge Blade (my 4G/U main) got a massive nerf in both power and versatility. Weapon nerfs are spoiled below. Thread were I got the details from here: www.gamefaqs.com/boards/163462-monster-hunter-x/72998227 EDIT: Forgot gunlance in "nerfs" section.
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