Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Rocket's adventures in MH3U Part 5: The big Tri server shutdown

Well today's the day. The original Tri version of the game on the Wii is having its online multiplayer support switched off. I didn't play that version of the game much but the crew here at NinTemple had one last big session of the game the other night and had a whale of a time.

This support lives on in the Wii U's Ultimate version of the game. Maybe I'll do that someday. For now though, I'm here with the local-only 3DS version, taking a break from the missions and playing it like it was Animal Crossing or something. I run around the woods, looking at everything with the binoculars I just bought from the gal with the goods.

(after reversing the Y axis of course)

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Rocket's Adventures in MH3U Part 4: Collecting, collecting, collecting, RUNNING!

So after I got someway comfortable with the controls I set out to get rid of the exclamation marks above the villagers heads by fulfilling their unfulfilled needs. I get some raw meat, I pick some mushrooms and herbs, I learn how to mine. I try to go through this part of the game as quickly as possible... and in my impatience I forget about one very important thing...

I take on yet another seemingly mundane mission about gathering resources. After a little bit of research from the literature I buy from the gal with the goods, I follow my lead to the very same area where I fought the Plesioth in the demo. After that stressful battle it felt weird being here doing something so normal. I dive into the water and gather what's asked of me. I then find myself short so I continue further into the next watery area.

*DUN!* sounds a dramatic, yet familiar, sound effect.

I immediately get this frantic text message on my magical monhun mobile tutorial telephone, telling me to get out of there because this gigantic creature called Lagiacrus had noticed me and I wasn't at all ready to face it yet. I hurried back into the previous water area.

The creature followed me!

All of a sudden the music from the Plesioth battle started playing. I swam back to shore as fast as I could, spotting the last bit of resources along the way. I quickly gathered the last of what was required and hightailed it out of the water. The running animation on my avatar changed to look like something from Tom & Jerry. It was hysterical!

On fleeing back to camp and delivering my stuff into the red box, I realised that important thing I had forgotten earlier: I forgot to actually have fun with this game; I forgot to chill out and enjoy the world that was having me.

I returned to the village. I bought a pair of binoculars.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Rocket's adventures in MH3U Part 3: Teething stress & fatigue

My adventure begins by meeting the people of Moga Village. Having to talk to so many people and learning about the services they provide is tiring but I have to start somewhere I guess.

After all the introductions and yapping I head out into the woods. I then get all these mini text messages at the bottom of the screen telling me about the various controls and customisations. I navigate the labyrinth of menus to put the map, monster target and various other things on the bottom screen.

As soon as I move around I have to go back into the options menu to change the camera controls to "Flip X+Y". This is the type of camera I used during the N64 era and I'm too tired to focus on anything else right now.

Why are default camera controls in games nowadays completely backwards to the way they were during the N64 days?? The standard was set back then!

Now I'm grumpy as well as tired. Thank goodness the first couple of tasks only involve picking mushrooms and herbs.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Rocket's adventures in MH3U Part 2: Shibata's apology

After the demo got me hooked I looked forward to the full game's day of release. When it finally came I set off on an eventful real-life quest to find and purchase a physical copy. GameStop were out of stock and they didn't have the newly released Circle Pad Pro XL either. They had the 3DS XL and Wii U bundles, but they weren't what I was looking for at that stage.

I contacted several other branches of GameStop and none of them had it in stock either. I then came across these tweets from Satoru Shibata, the lovely gentleman who hosts the European Nintendo Direct broadcasts:

I guess I should've expected the high demand. After all, there was an entire sub-culture waiting patiently for physical copies of this game to come out so they could buy and own them.

My 6th 3DS Game Card purchase became Luigi's Mansion 2, which came out a week later, well stocked and well advertised. The other day I finally found a branch of GameStop that had Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate in stock and that became my 7th.

My adventure will truly begin soon. For now though, I'm hunting ghosts!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Rocket's adventures in MH3U Part 1: Playing the demo

I don't even like this game that much.

However, when the demo came out a few weeks ago on the 3DS eShop, I got addicted to it. That's a strange thing for me, not particuarly caring for a game but not wanting to stop playing, yet that was the effect this demo had on me!

There were two monsters to hunt in this demo: Lagombi for beginners and Plesioth for veterans.

I chose the Lagombi hunt and went straight for it. It was this weird overgrown koala thing and it seemed all cute and peaceful, but that was before it noticed me. It started throwing snowballs and sliding all over the place in such fast crazy patterns. My character couldn't move that fast! Before long I was knocked out and brought back to camp on a stretcher. I looked up the electronic manual for more of the controls. I learned about sheathing to run, blocking, using items, using the lock-on and so forth. I raced back up the mountain, hugely determined to take on the beast once more. Much more cautious this time, I did a lot of attacking and running like the way a wolf hunts its prey but then the beast just absconded out of the area. I then ran out of time.

I was seriously thinking about giving up at this stage, especially considering little annoyances like getting pushed into the previous area I was in. This game was so austere and so much like hard work that it was almost scary how much I wanted to go back and play some more.

I spent a good while thinking about a purchase of the full game and about what I was getting myself into... I then rationalised that if I couldn't beat the two monsters then I wouldn't buy the game.

I started another session of hunting the Lagombi. You've only 20 minutes in the demo so I went much quicker this time, always worrying about my HP and the clock. This time I beat it.

Yeah! Now onto the Plesioth. It looked like a cross between the eel from Super Mario 64 and various other nightmarish things.

They weren't kidding when they said it was for veterans.... I had swimming to deal with this time too, and this creature was even faster and just thrashed all over the place. I lost time and time again and it seemed futile, just hacking away desperately at its ankles on the beach or scrawling at its back in the water. I felt lost, weary and frustrated and my fingers ached with the cold and from holding that little brick of a handheld.

I then started to check out the community and I gotta say, it was great. Chatting with MonHun fans and checking out their YouTube videos, I started to learn so much! I hope to get to know them more as I play.

I followed some good advice and made some changes. I chose the gunlance set up and did some preparation like eating steak to increase max stamina and kept myself as well prepared as possible.

After a few more trials and failures I noticed the Plesioth starting to limp and groan with weariness. Time kept running out so I had to get more and more efficient at what I was doing. After a couple of weeks of trying on and off I finally beat the monster.

Now that I had beaten the demo entirely I was in a much better place to make a judgement call on the purchase. I decided to buy the game.

I still don't like it that much, but damn it do I want to play some more!

Monday, April 1, 2013

An Idea Whose Time Has Come

There's just no use fighting it.  It's time for our website to undergo some changes.  For several years there has been one man with his finger on the pulse of the gaming industry.  One man whose ability to predict the future borders on prescient.  That man is Michael Pachter.

Oh, but you're one of the ultra minority that still doesn't believe in Michael Pachter, eh? You've got your head so far in the sand you haven't yet beheld the brilliance of Michael's predictions, eh?  Well, buckle your safety belts cuz I'm about to drop a heavy dose of spray-tanned reality on you!!

August 2008: Pachter predicts Nintendo Wii will cut price.
Sometime later: Nintendo Wii cuts price.
BOOM! Predicted!

June 2010: Pachter predicts PS3 will cut price.
Sometime later: PS3 cuts price.
BAM! Predicted!

September 2011: Pachter predicts XBox 360 will cut price.
Sometime later: XBox 360 cuts price.
KA-POW!! Predicted!

Still don't believe me?  Pachter says Nintendo is doomed.  Don't agree? Well, roughly one billion years from now, our sun will begin transitioning to a red giant.  At that time, the temperature on Earth will be so high all organic life will cease.  What's Nintendo gonna do then, huh?? HUH?!? DOOMED!!!!!!

Our only hope as a species is that Pachter predicts a way to migrate to some other solar system.  I say we begin giving Pachter his due now.  Come, follow us into this new era, at the PachTemple!!