Monster Hunter Tri 3 – Animal Crossing with dinosaurs

Let’s just ignore the fact I haven’t written anything on here in over two months…

Last week I started a new game, one that’s been on my shelf for quite a few years.  My husband bought it for me for a birthday or Xmas one year, and I hadn’t played any others in the series, but it looked cool, and came with a black classic pro controller for the Wii.

Sadly I was too slow to start playing it in time for the online features and Wii Speak capability.

Sadly I was too slow to start playing it in time for the online features and Wii Speak capability.

Yes, this is my first Monster Hunter game.  The franchise has been around for some time, having been launched with the first game on the Playstation2 in 2004.  It’s pretty popular in Japan, which I learned when I was over there in March, finding it interesting to see serious merchandise around the many monster creatures, as well as cutesy cat keyrings and other goodies.  I’ve since learned that the cats are “Felynes” in the game and are apparently indentured servants who cook and farm for you.

Nawww, so cute!

Nawww, so cute!

I’m not too far into the game, having only clocked about 12 hours as yet, but I am enjoying it mostly.  However, it’s very different to my initial expectations.  I’m not entirely clear what I thought it would be, but it’s definitely something I didn’t think it would be.  And that something is: Animal Crossing with dinosaurs.

But before I get into that, I want to describe my main issue with the game so far, which no doubt will bother few people except the sensitive animal-lovers like me.  The game makes you murder and butcher gentle beasts for fun and profit.  Fun and profit!!!  Well, mostly just profit to be honest.

For example, one of the quests made me collect “monster guts”.  When I referred to the best source of this resource, it was the Epioth.  The Monster Hunter wiki refers to these beasts as “peaceful, aquatic herbivores”.  From the in-game information, Epioth are “submissive, water dwelling herbivores that subsist on water grasses and moss. Epioth frequently surface to sunbathe. Extremely timid, they panic when danger is near, swimming about in a haphazard fashion.”

Don't make me kill it!

Don’t make me kill it!

So I had to go to the nice beach area, dive in, find a pod of Epioth and proceed to stab each with a harpoon, finishing them off with a series of violent knife slashes, and finally pull out their profitable “monster guts”.  Hmm.  This did not sit well with me.  Sure, if the game was about hunting for survival and these monster guts were necessary for me to live another day, I’d understand killing these beasts.  But no, this was to make a nice meal for the Village Chieftain’s bombastic son.  Not because he was starving, or ailing with some sickness only Epioth innards would cure; but because he thought they were tasty.  All I can say is, for this game, vegetarians need not apply.

Click pic for link to something a bit more tasty than actual monster guts.

Click pic for link to something a bit more tasty.

Now that bit of uneasiness aside, I continued on with the story (which seems to be about a big bad aquatic monster that is making it difficult for the local fishermen) and unlocked some additional aspects of village life.  Such as a farm.  On to the farm I ambled, amused by the little cat creature in a cute hat and the pig wearing a bandana.  I spoke to the farmer and he started asking me to help him with the farm, upgrading it and cultivating plants.  Wait a second, I thought, haven’t I played this game before?  I glanced at my 3DS, knowing full well that I was still entrenched in my year-long sojourn as Mayor of Tekville, and I realised I had just started another Animal Crossing-esqe game.  NOOOOOO!

Clearly not the only one who thought it... (I hope that doesn't say anything rude...)

Clearly not the only one who thought it… (I hope that doesn’t say anything rude…)

Collect plants, farm plants, cultivate crops, gather crops, repeat.  Talk to the farmer, who now wants a mushroom planter.  Upgrade farm, collect mushrooms, farm mushrooms, cultivate mushrooms, gather mushrooms repeat.  Oh now he wants an insect house.  Upgrade farm, buy a net, collect bugs, farm bugs, cultivate bugs, gather bugs, repeat.

I also have to mine ore and go fishing.

What have I gotten myself into?

2 Comments on "Monster Hunter Tri 3 – Animal Crossing with dinosaurs"

  1. Hmmm I was on the fence about this game, now I think I’ll give it a miss. I don’t think the slaughter would sit well with me either…

  2. To be fair, apparently this is the worst of the franchise, so the later (or earlier) ones might be better. Like many games, I think they poured their budget into the online experience and neglected core parts of the single player mode.

    There are a lot of bad points that I have just discovered after wasting an hour trying to complete a second level quest, and failing over and over.

    The difficulty peaks really early on with no explanation on how to get better. There are several different weapons, with again little help as to which would be best to invest time and resources into upgrading. The battle component is unwieldy and frustrating, with massively over-powered monsters that effectively gang bash you relentlessly. The camera is beyond shocking, and there is no auto-targeting method so keeping your prey in sight is horrendous, given how fast they move. Also your character will flail about retardedly, without hitting a single beast, whilst they take chunks out of you from every angle.

    Using items is preposterously difficult too – you can’t run and use an item at the same time. You must stop in the midst of the fray, to pop a first aid potion, only to have it made useless by the attacks you immediately are subjected to.

    Also there are these other cat creatures in it than attack you without provocation en masse, and steal your items (usually the most important, like your area map or last health item).

    I am determined to complete it, but I’m going to switch my gamesave over to the modded Wii and put some cheats in so I can do it without smashing everything and everyone around me.

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