Diary of a Monster Hunter–Part 1: Does This Game Have Soul?

Well, I finally did it–I bought my first Monster Hunter game. Yesterday, I picked up Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate for my 3DS XL. After everything I’ve seen and heard about the series over the years, I decided to take the plunge and see what it’s all about.

Mostly though, I picked up this game because it appears to have some similarities to Dark Souls and Demon’s Souls, two of my all-time favorites. In fact, I think it’s safe to say that my enjoyment of Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate will come down to how real those similarities are.

So, from the outsider’s perspective, here’s what I presume the similarities between the series will be:

1. Combat is pattern-based. In the Souls series, every enemy has a tell, and every animation counts. Getting good at combat means knowing when to strike, and exactly how vulnerable a particular attack makes you. Monster Hunter seems to take a similar approach to combat, and that’s very interesting to me.

2. Larger than life bosses. The boss battles in the Souls series are some of the most memorable I’ve had in any game. Monster Hunter to me seems like a game made up almost entirely of boss battles.

3. Building the right gear for the job. One of the best things about the Souls series is that you’re constantly building up your gear and weapons to take on the different threats you face. There seems to be a premium on that in MH3U as well.

4. Co-Op. Teaming up to take down bosses together? Sounds like the Souls series to me. Sadly, the 3DS version doesn’t have the online co-op features, but if I enjoy the 3DS version enough, I’ll pick up the WiiU one, as there is some cross-functionality between the two in addition to the online co-op the WiiU has. And my save carries over!

So, as I begin my first foray into the Monster Hunter universe, I’ll be writing about whether my perceived connections to the Souls series pan out, and whether I enjoy the game for what makes it unique as well. Stay tuned!