I really like the Monster Hunter series. In its early days it was a totally unique experience for me. Where most games would have you button bashing your way through combat, Monster Hunter took a much more methodic approach. It was about learning tells, strategy and making the most of narrow windows of opportunity. It taught me a patience in playing video games I never knew could exist before. Despite the games have always been incredibly popular in Japan, interest was always tentative at best here in the west. It wasn’t untill the games made the jump to Nintendo and Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate came out that I think it really started to become somthing people knew about.
The problem for me is that the newest Monster Hunter game is out, and I don’t think I’m going to play it. It’s too much right now. Not just because it feels like the last game only just came out, but because Montser Hunter isn’t a singular thing anymore, develoeprs have noticed what Capcom are doing and trying to make their own version, to fill what is still a bit of a niche area of the market. What’s been filling that game has been pretty good too. From Software being the developer that have produced what might be the biggest alternative to Monster Hunter in my opinon. All of the games in the “Souls” series (Demon Souls, Dark Soul etc.) share a pretty big chunk of vendiagram with Monster Hunter deep down. I can’t say that From were directly inspired by Capcom, but their game’s are very similar.Arguably, the Souls games do it better, removing the grind of collecting resources and allowing you to bang your head against the next part of the game straight away.
As these games have become bigger and other developers have started producing “souls-likes”, You might think that an overload of these similar titles might have burned me out on Monster Hunter, but you’d be wrong. For one, I’ve never played a Souls game, so that can’t be it. Also, Capcom have started to change direction with their Monster Hunter series. Seeing how things have changed since their early games, they have innovated and done something different with their new release. The games have become slightly less about the methodic chess battles of the series up until now, and instead started becoming much more action orientated.
I haven’t played the latest Monster Hunter games yet, but by all the word of mouth, the game has become much more about over the top action and super moves. It’s weird that games that seemed to be distancing themselves from the action genre of the PS1 era have come full circle and started embodying them more and more. With games like Devil May Cry in their back pocket, there’s no doubt that Capcom know how to produce these types of games. On top of this, word of mouth is still positive about the new Monster Hunter game despite the changes. So am I bitter that Capcom changed their base formula for a game I used to play the shit out of? No. I think it’s important that Capcom keep their games fresh, especially those that have been around for a long time like Monster Hunter.
Where I hit my point of burnout is that Capcom continue to insist on only releasing their new Monster Hunter games on handheld consoles. I love my 3DS, I play it a lot. The problem is that Monster Hunter is the last kind of game I want to be playing on it. The game requires extended periods of concentration and perfect control, when you’re hunched over a small screen with tiny buttons and “that nub” as your main camera input, it can be exhausting. The Monster Hunter game I played the most by far was 3 Ultimate, the one of the Wii U. I put more hours into that game than I would like to count, (although I did for one of my game of the year by volume articles a few years ago) But I can’t physically put that much time into a handheld that requires the amount of sustained concentration that this game does.
I tried to play a lot of MH4, I really did, but in the end I couldn’t spend 30 to 40 minutes on a single hunt turning myself into a pretzel at the same time. Please put another Monster Hunter game out on Console Capcom/Nintendo, my spine would thankyou.