I’ve given in. It’s happened. I’ve finally played Monster Hunter.
Now that I have firmly decided on a topic, I can see no other reasonable excuse as to why I have not played this game already. As expected, I found it very average. While I am still working a few things out in my mind, I feel that I am slowly reaching closer to a conclusion as to why this game may be as huge as it is in Japan.
Monster Hunter starts out by throwing you into the deep end. I’m a member of a small village run by people with annoyingly large heads, I must speak to them, and then I must fight monsters. There is of course other elements to it, such as an inventory system that I do not at all understand, but that’s just the gist of it. Getting straight into my “research” I decided I wanted to try and fight a monster as quickly as I possibly could – seeing as that’s the aim of the game, right? Well I couldn’t, turns out I should have read the tediously large amount of dialogue because I did not know at all what was going on. It took me at least an hour to find a dinosaur to fight and I died instantly. I stopped playing shortly after.
While shown, the depth of my research was very shallow from a gameplay point-of-view, but this is only because I found out all I need to know: I do not find this world engaging. My initial idea of Monster Hunter was a challenging and unforgiving world where you and only you can fight your way to victory, this is probably because I try and make every game become Dark Souls. Rather, Monster Hunter is an eccentric but still challenging quest game to play with your friends. I understand I sound like a total killjoy saying this, but I just don’t engage with much over-the-top and whacky style, however in Japan this style of media excels (for instance every anime I have ever seen). While it would be very presumptuous of me to say that only the Japanese like this style of game, I rather think it is another strong contributing factor to its success, much like the marketing approach explored a few weeks back.