I remember playing Monster Hunter on the PSP briefly. I enjoyed what I played of it, but I didn’t realize it was designed to be played cooperatively with four players at the time. Apparently there were some elements of coop play that were de-emphasized for the US release making it kind of a difficult solo trudge type of game, whereas Japanese players were grouping and strategizing over wifi making it a totally different experience. I especially found it hard to wait through load screens. I felt the next generation of hardware, beit PSVITA or PS3 would provide the proper online service and horse power necessary to make this game work properly.
…even in the easy mode I still feel the absence of a group to play with.
The game demo of the latest version of Monster Hunter is now available on WiiU and 3DS, and I’ve played it. For one, I like the fact that the game loads maps a lot faster than on the psp system. The same goes for both 3DS and WiiU. However, I am now finding the game to be a bit too empty. If you are playing solo you have two little companions helping you out, but not in combat roles. The demo has you hunting down two different enemies in separate difficulty modes, however, even in the easy mode I still feel the absence of a group to play with.
This all takes me back to Metal Gear Peace Walker. The games boss battles were designed to be taken down by group effort via cooperative play. These game play decisions were influenced by the popularity of Monster Hunter and it’s multi-player combat. I’m feeling the same sense of frustration with these enemy foes. I never experienced coop Metal Gear, but I feel that once that option is available for Monster Hunter 3, I might find it a better game to play. At the moment, I don’t think I want to play solo anymore.