Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate is really starting to make sense to series virgin Dave Cook. Join him as he slaughters a community of cat-people, gets mugged and is mauled by sea beasts.
I’m totally understanding how this game works now. See, it’s a lot like Dark Souls in that you have to figure a lot of things out for yourself, but with a little perseverance the genius of its grand quests and crafting mechanics start to shine through.
Last week I charted my very first experience with the Monster Hunter series, as a way of showing how it all works and how it feels to be a newcomer in what can appear to be a very complicated game. Check out part one of my blog here.
It’s hardcore, make no mistake, but like anything in life, you’ll figure it out by simply giving it a try. Experimentation helps a lot, so don’t be afraid to poke the game with a metaphorical stick to every now and then to see what happens.
As with last week’s blog, I’ve made a video diary of my journey to show you how the game works. Here’s part two, in which I get mugged on the road by feline bandits, get murdered by the final boss (already!?), and cultivate crops with poo.
I’m honestly not making this up, look:
Quest your ass off
So what’s new this week? Well, I managed to repair the local guild base which means I can start accepting Guild Quests, and I quickly realised that these are the life-blood of Monster Hunter.
You walk up to the quest counter and are given a whopping list of available quests. Some ask you to slaughter a set number of beasts, while others task you with gathering specific resources out in the world.
It all starts to sound really daunting when the Guild Leader tells you that each quest can be failed, and are all set to a time limit. Sometimes there are even strict rules at play. But the first set of quests all have a 40-minute time limit, and that’s honestly more than enough.
So off I went in search of Jaggi hide – which are those odd raptor things I fought in my first video. The problem is, you aren’t always told what part of the map your specific monster is hiding in. At first I felt massively intimidated, and had all of these images of me meandering like a fool while my time limit trickled away.
Luckily the game spawns in more of what you need, so you’re never too far from the specific monster type required. I set about the Jaggi with my new katana – which is STILL annoyingly inaccurate to swing – and completed the quest without breaking a sweat.
Once you finish the quest you go back to the village and collect your money and loot rewards. One thing I should also point out is that the game tracks every monster you kill on each excursion. Kills are then converted into Resource Points.
You can spend these points at the resource stockpile in the village for rare items. You can even convert everyday items like herbs and mushrooms into resource points. It’s a great way of saving up for high-level items without having to actually pay for them.
So with the Jaggi quest done I accepted my next chore, which was to harvest some delicious-sounding ‘monster guts’. I already knew that the nearby sea creatures had this item, so I headed to the shore and dived into the drink.
The creatures didn’t put up much of a fight and you have an insanely big oxygen meter, so I managed to get some of the monster guts no problem. But then the music turned sinister. I turned around puzzled as to what he commotion was about.
Then there, in the distance was what I think is the game’s final boss Lagiacrus, swimming towards me, hurling fizzling balls of electric death at me. I started to panic like a fool and accidentally started harvesting from a nearby monster corpse by mistake.
After he took a severe chunk off my health I swam back to dry land and kept on running like a coward. The bugger wasn’t going to let me get anywhere near the monster guts, so I had to find another body of water to farm them in. I took a route across the map and came across a small cave where a community of cat-people lived.
They were just pottering around, mewing and not doing very much, until I started swinging at them with my katana of course. They didn’t like that one bit and started fighting back. It was futile as I managed to kill them all, and yes, I felt really guilty afterwards. Watch the video above, it’s brutal.
Anyway, I emerged from my bout of feline genocide and continued to the coast, where I came across a valley full of black-furred cat people. They mugged me. I’m not kidding, then ran towards me and started hitting me with their staffs, nicking an item off me each time. I don’t know if it was some sort of karma but they took my gear and ran off.
Feeling slightly embarrassed I reached the shore and found that Lagiacrus was nowhere to be seen, so I dived in and started farming monster guts again. But would you know it? He appeared again and hit me with his lightning blast which stunned me to the spot. With no way to escape he took his sweet time and knocked me unconscious.
Once you come to a bunch of cat-people take you back to camp on a stretcher and toss you into the dirt. It’s very weird. You also lose a slice of your cash reward but you can just dust yourself off and head back into the world to finish the active quest.
So, what have I learned this week? Pick your battles. I really shouldn’t have stuck around when Lagiacrus appeared, and I guess this really does make Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate similar to Dark Souls. If you can’t fight, just be smart and run.
Thankfully the penalties for failure aren’t as harsh as I thought they’d be, so my advice is to not be afraid when trying things. The amount of item combinations is insane too, as you can craft everything from cures, armour and weapons, to fishing bait needed to catch very particular species of fish.
It’s a deep game, but I’d urge anyone playing it to not get intimidated and simply try things. The rewards for just playing around with item recipes are gratifying, and you’re always earning new items. It’s a decent pace that will keep you going well into the 100+ quests on offer.
So, I’m no longer a noob, but will I stick around? Yeah definitely. It’s fun, really daft in places and holds immense depth. It may take me many months to complete given my busy schedule, but the bite-size nature of quests makes it easy to dip into. That in itself is quite the achievement for something so vast.
What do you think? Have you played Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate? Might you try it now after reading this? Let us know below.
Disclosure: To assist with writing this piece, Nintendo sent Dave a copy of Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate on Wii U. No merchandise or advertising was offered or accepted.