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Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate: a noob’s journey – part two

Monday, 25th March 2013 10:07 GMT By Dave Cook

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.

Aquatic games

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.

Stay safe

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.

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13 Comments

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  1. locus2k1

    Great to see you’re still at it Dave, I’m still waiting on my microphone to arrive in the post, but I have started to put some HD videos together for the quests involved in Moga Village:

    http://www.youtube.com/user/locus2k1/videos

    Uploading my epic 24 minute battle with Lagiacrus at the moment :D Never used the Switch Axe before (SnS and Long Sword in previous games) so it re-introduces a challenge trying to find new openings

    Dark Soul fans really should check this game out

    #1 1 year ago
  2. Showmeyomoves!

    Great read, Dave. Here’s a tip for when you’re stunned, though: mash those buttons and wiggle that stick! Wiggle that stick like you’ve never wiggled a stick before!

    That came out wrong. Anyway. Wiggling the control stick will get you out of a stunned state quicker.

    #2 1 year ago
  3. Dave Cook

    @2 Hah, many thanks :D I’ll bear that in mind for next time.

    @1 Yep, Dark Souls fans will love it.

    #3 1 year ago
  4. mistermogul

    I’m tempted to get this for a long flight I have coming up but can I just ask – do you actually play towards a certain goal or is there not really an ending as such?

    #4 1 year ago
  5. TimX93

    @4 There is not actually an ending, there is not even a real story.

    @Dave: Lagia is not the final boss .. to be honest, it is one of the weaker monster in the game considering it’s the ~15th out of 50 monsters :D great read by the way!

    I’ve already spent about 120h hunting (60 offline, 60 online) and still feel as if I’ve just scratched the surface. MH3U is a VERY huge game and worth every cent.

    #5 1 year ago
  6. monkeygourmet

    Nice article Dave.

    It’s been good to read as this is my first Monster Hunter too, glad you are enjoying it! :)

    I must have put in about 40 hours now;

    Have cleared Level 1 & 2 Guild Quest but am struggling alot on Level 3. I think I need to craft some more kick ass weapons!

    Dabbled a bit in the multi-player which was awesome; Did a 4 player hunt for a ‘Gobul’, which was one of my favourite moments in recent gaming. Really exciting trying to work as a team trying to track and kill the beast. Got some sweet loot too!

    There are some too many epic bits to mention but it has def won me over, and am def getting the same ‘Dark Souls’ vibe.

    Edit:

    My build started ‘Hammer’, then have gone ‘Switch Axe’ which was cool, although have just made a really nice ‘Gun Lance’ which I will try tonight :)

    #6 1 year ago
  7. Dave Cook

    @6 thanks :D Yeah I’m really liking it. Just need more time to put into it. The Dark Souls vibe is awesome isn’t it?

    #7 1 year ago
  8. monkeygourmet

    @4

    It’s crazy addictive once you get into a ryhthm, the flight will literally ‘fly by’! :)

    #8 1 year ago
  9. mistermogul

    @8 – lol think I better get me some MH then!

    #9 1 year ago
  10. locus2k1

    @5 well… there sort of is a storyline, in the Moga Village you do try to find out the cause of the Earthquakes and put a stop to them, but there is very VERY little Dialogue.

    Hey, there is even a “twist” near the end ;)

    oh, Lagiacrus fight finished uploading!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wF6BAyAA5HM

    I’m a Switch-Axe noob, but I do look forward to being as good with it as I can be with Hammer on a Rathian ^^; (a la link below)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K6BRPaN9AmE

    #10 1 year ago
  11. polygem

    i enjoyed a monster hunter game on the psp (was fun – controls not so much but was addictive). it did not make me a fan though. i tried tri again on wii but couldn´t really get into it. it´s not exactly my cup of tea but if i would still own a wiiu i´d pick it up.i planned to but now wiiu´s gone. that´s ok though. maybe i´ll get the 3ds version later. that said, i now looked into soul sacrifice a bit more (thx for the reminder mg) and i really like the vibe and the flow of the gameplay. looks promising, looks smoother than monster hunter, a bit more casual maybe, but i think that´s exactly what i like about it :)

    #11 1 year ago
  12. Wildartist83

    @Dave Cook – my brother and I have been playing this series since it was on the PSP and have introduced a number of people to it, yet over the years, no one has taken the time to do a truly in-depth article about Monster Hunter and it’s finer points. So on behalf of all my monster hunting buddies, thank you! Please continue to enlighten the community about what is by far, my favorite video game franchise.

    A tip, try out different weapons on the monsters you encounter. Depending on the type of wyvern you’re fighting, how fast or slow they move and what element type they are, you could find dual blades a better choice or a gunlance if you still want a little defense while getting up close and personal. Hammers are great if you practice with them, as they’re slow and you need to be precise with the timing should you decide to stop a charging monster with it. Bows have a new attack that allow you to rain arrows over your prey and coupled with the right armor, can be devastating.

    Happy hunting!

    #12 1 year ago
  13. Digital Bamboo

    Enjoying this series of blogs.

    I asked my sister to mail me a copy of Monster Hunter Tri for Wii, but I’m secretly hoping that she couldn’t find one so I have an excuse to get it on the Wii U…when I eventually get one. May have to pick up a PSP MH game to tide me over until then.

    Looking forward to part 3!

    #13 1 year ago