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As some of you may have already noticed (the stalkers that is) I have purchased a japanese copy of Monster Hunter Portable 3rd about 1.5 weeks ago. For those who really like stalking admins they already know I have beaten the game in the progress aspect, but by far not yet in the all-around aspect.
In these 10-11 days I've clocked about 94 hours already and made it to HR6 and the final quests in the village. I am now merely farming monsters for equipment and working on getting 100% in the game.
During these days I was privileged to enjoy and experience everything that's in MHP3. And in this blog I'd like to share my impressions of what I have seen in the gameplay department.
- Note: This blog will describe a lot of already known aspects of the game, but with subjective commentary from moi (that's "me" in French). And no worries, I'll steal some pics from the MHP3 page later to make this blog look less boring than it already is.
It's basically exactly made up in the same way as any other portable Monster Hunter game. It has an armory, a merchant, a travelling merchant, a farm engineer (or whatever you want to call that guy), a training school, a felyne soldier manager, a Guild Hall and, as a new addition to the series, a felyne merchant who deals in felyne weapon/armory.
The Yukumo Farm
Anyone who played MHP or MHP2/U already knows what it's like and how it works. In MHP3 it's not really different from before however some of the later upgrades don't involve yourself doing the work anymore but instead your cats.
For example, there's the so called mining cart (later upgrade), in which you hand your cats (1-4 can go at a time) pickaxes and they go into the mine, pickaxing their furry hides off, then rushing out of the mine and hand you their treasures. It should be obvious that there are alternative animations for when doing this, like, in 1 case the mine collaps and you get good to nothing, at other times you hear the cats go into hypermode and NYAAAAAA!!!!! they fly out of the mine and hand you the catch of a lifetime! The latter, in my opinion, being rather amusing to hear. xD
Other than that the farm also consists (will consist) of a Bug Tree/Gathering Spot, Fishing Pier, Beehive, Mushroom Tree and (new to the series) the board on which you manage and train your felyne comrades. Oh and before I forget... later on it will have a Gagua which brings your cats to assigned quests (on which they go by themselves and bring materials back for you, at the expense of Yukumo Points).
Compared to MHFU I'd say the Yukumo farm is actually a lot better. Sure, it costs a heck load of Yukumo Points to get it fully upgraded but this is monster hunter -_-... if you want good stuff you'll have to work your ass off for it.
The Guild Hall (Hot Spring/Drinks)
In the Guild Hall you can make use of a new and innovative way to boost your stats before going on a quest. In past installments there was always the option of using food combinations to gain certain effects, in P3 you have the Yukumo Hot Spring and Drinks; the Hot Spring providing Health/Stamina boosts and the Drinks providing Felyne Skills (if they're still called like that, I can't read japanese >_> but the point should be clear).
These, however... aren't available from the start. There are so called Hot Spring/Drink quests, which must be cleared in order to get access to the various power ups in the game. The quests aren't really hard though, but some of them can be a pain in the ass if you have to solo them (like the High Rank epics and you're in underleveled equipment).
Compared to previous games? I honestly like the Hot Spring & Drinks system better. They're always available, there are no stupid combinations you need to remember and using the spring is only a matter of hitting square to sit in it, then again to stand up and you get your buffs. Quite an improvement I must say.
Equipment, the bad, the worse and the worst
Just kidding, it ain't bad at all. I just liked using a lamesauce sub-heading like that cuz I can. >.> Anyhow, I'll give a description here of what you can expect when you start the game and want to advance in the weapon department.
Just like in Monster Hunter Tri (unfortunately), getting a somewhat worthy-of-being-called-a-weapon is a major eyesore in the beginning. Getting a weapon with Green Sharpness (any level of it) is nigh-impossible and you'll be bouncing over and over when you start fighting some actual kind-of-wyvern. Like the Curupeco, pray you hit the right spot because otherwise you'll be in bouncetropolis... making it a bastard to kill even for experienced players.
Halfway the village quests however you can finally get some better weapons and trust me when I say that you WILL notice a HUGE difference in killing-time all of a sudden. When you finally get a somewhat decent green sharp wep you suddenly can kill monsters in 1/2 to 2/5th of the time it took you before. Like an annoying Bulldrome (yes those bitches are back... and worse than ever... lock-on ftl) suddenly dieing in a minute or two instead of the 7-10 it took you on the 1st run.
Now for armors, armors are on the same level as in MH3. Defense wise that is. Resistance and Skills wise they have all been drastically changed, some armors even being buffed compared to their mh3 counterparts. Like the Jaggi armor, it actually is somewhat of a good general-purpose set in P3. Rec Spd +1, Cap Guru, AuS... still shit elemental resistance... but the new skills make up for it.
They're also not as hard to make as in tri (mostly talking about High Rank armors here), instead of needing like 40 Uragaan Carapaces (lol PurpleIsGood) you need only like half of them. And low rank armors cannot be improved to HR level anymore either. They have a normal low rank limit and that's the end of the line. Bummer? Maybe for some but for me it ain't. I'm actually glad they took that out, especially as the Low Rank armors got shitty amounts of slots... not really much point in having the option to make them high rank there you know?
And at last there are the decorations. Nothing to say about them really... except that putting them on/off an armor goes in a slightly different manner than before. To put a decoration on your armor you must go to the "Remove Decorations" menu (wtf logic...), select the armor piece and then you can put them on and off 'em.
Hm... can't really say more about them... except for one thing, I will let you guys in on a little secret I noticed about them (everyone who used them should've...) and that is that you DON'T have to make additional decos anymore to get a certain skill on multiple armors!
Yep... sounds weird but it's true. For example, you had Butterfly S armor and it has (it doesn't but this is an example) 10 slots. 2-2-2-2-2, you use 5 lightfoot Jewels on it (evade +3, takes 2 slots) and save the armor with that setup as a set in your item box. If you take them off now and put them on another armor with 10 slots and save that one as well, you will still have them equipped on the Butterfly S set BUT ALSO on the 2nd set you've put them on. This saves people a lot of trouble getting that specific gods-forsaken material for the one special decoration they want,
Cheap? Maybe, but hey it's there so why not make use of it, huh? Hehehe...
Most notable about MHP3 is how it has ALL of the weapon classes that have existed up to date combined in 1 game. It has 1st Gen weapons like Great Swords, Lance, Hammers and Dual Blades; 2nd Gen weapons like Long Swords and Gunlances and even the 3rd gen's Switch Axe.
All weapons (the ones that appeared in mh3) have the exact same moveset as before but with a few minor changes to them which I will list below (I haven't used all weps yet but this is what I know):
- Great Swords: can instantly charge from a sheathed position and have a new aura surrounding the player when doing so.
- Long Swords: do not have an infinite spirit guage anymore when a spirit finisher has been landed, the 3 differently colored spirit levels's duration are also indicated by the glowing bar gradually growing empty as time passes and can be refilled by landing another Spirit Finisher.
- Sword and Shields: Noticed nothing so far.
- Dual Swords: Completely revamped moveset, the only original attacks being the roundhouse jumping slash and the demon dance. Also new is that they have a Red bar (reminiscent of the LS's spirit bar) that is filled up when attacking in Demon Mode, increasing sharpness and attack power when filled and allowing to dash like in Demon Mode instead of the usual roll and use some unique attacks that are similar to the upgraded attacks while in Demon Mode.
- Hammers: The moveset is identical to the ones in MH3, the only difference being that all of its attacks can now KO, to compensate however, KO'ing monsters takes a considerably larger amount of hits than in MH3. Also, you can't evade after a superpound anymore if you wait long than 1-1.5 second, something that can get you into trouble if you're still used to MH3-style hammers.
- Hunting Horns: Also a completely new moveset. Notes are played during attacks but to activate them the player must hit R after a certain combinations of nodes has been made in order to gain effects from it. It works as follows: /\ = 1st note (weapon info display screen), O = 2nd note and /\O = 3rd note. Depending on whether you hold analog or not you can also perform 2 different attacks when hitting /\O, the usual superpound and a backswing. New to playing effects as well is that once you've made a right combination of notes and play it, you can hit R again right after the initial effect has been triggered to instantly play it again, allowing a quick 2nd level buff which is especially useful for buffs such as Defense/Attack Up and Infinite Stamina/Earplugs/Wind Resistance.
- Lance: The only difference is that after a counter you can only counter again after the 1st stab, after the 2nd stab it isn't possible anymore.
- Gunlances: The moveset has remained mostly the same but with a few new additions. For example, when hitting /\/\/\ the 3rd /\ (triangle) results in a smash and hitting O if the Gunlance is loaded will shoot all bullets loaded at once. You can also do a wyvern fire after this attack. Another new addition is that you can shoot-reload-shoot-reload by simply spamming O. Note: There are 2 kinds of shellings now, you have the normal shelling which is fired by pressing O and you have the charged shelling which is done by hitting R+O. This can be done after every attack and can also be reload-shoot-reload-shoot spammed. While holding R (or by using Auto-Guard) during shelling you can even shell and guard at the same time, at least... as soon as the shelling is shot you will be in auto-guard mode that is.
- Switch Axe: Nothing much has really changed here. There are a few new Phials (such as Exhaust Phial and Poison Phial) and the X-swing (which is the quick and stamina consuming attack after an upswing) can now be side-stepped/rolled at any time and chained with an overhead strike, allowing to resume back to normal combos. In sword mode the attacks for /\ and O have also been switched, /\ is now the vertical attack and O the vertical->horizontal move which can be chained with a mode switch. At last, the final explosion from a chainsaw (also called burst) is now more violent than in 3, though it doesn't necessarily deal more damage (as far as I'm concerned).
- Light Bowguns: Their power is somewhat buffed again. They're not as strong as in unite but much stronger than in MH3. You can also do 2 back/sidehops in a row before and after shooting to get yourself into safety or into a more convenient spot to continue attacking from.
- Heavy Bowgun: The only new addition is the so called "Siege" mode, which is basically taking a solid stance and shooting continuously (not all ammos can be shot in this stance and the ammos that can be shot vary with the bowgun).
- Bows: Basically the same as they were in Unite, in fact, they're just as deadly, if not deadlier thanks to their new Explosive-Tag Rain attack. On the 2nd charge level you can shoot an arrow into the air which will then explode and rain down a hail of bullets onto the red area it was indicating, it also deals stamina damage (not KO). You have 3 kinds of Rain attacks and each bow has 1 of those 3. You have Spread, Concentrated and Explosive. The latter being awfully similar to Clust shots with bowguns.
Combat (Felyne Comrades)
Everybody who has played MHFU is already familiar with the whole Felyne Comrade system and how it works. In P3 they're back and they've remained mostly the same. However, there have been made some drastic changes to their usability and they can now be fully customized when it comes to armors/weapons.
I'll start with the hiring/raising of Felyne Comrades; just like in unite you can hire felyne comrades from the Felyne Soldier Manager which is located next to your house. Felynes start at a level varieing between 1 and 3 and can be raised up to level 20 like before. The entire training system is still done via a Board on which option such as "Felyne Equipment, Training, Selection, Dismissal, etc" appear. Everything here should be self-explanatory.
There are 3 new additions in the Felyne area, those being:
- Instead of 1 comrade you can take 2 at the same time on a quest.
- Another new feature is that felynes can now be equipped with armors/weapons made from monster scraps, which are obtained by "converting" monster materials at the Felyne Armory (located directly below the normal armory). They can be equipped with any armor/weapon that the player can wear, such as Jaggi armor, Uragaan armor, Rathalos armor and even Alatreon/Akantor/Ukanlos/Amatsumagatsuchi armors and weapons. They don't provide armor skills and such but they do boost the defense/attack/elemental resistances of your trustworthy kittens.
- Buffed A.I. and a panic mode in which they go into some sort of frenzy and rapidly start attacking anything that moves (I also like to call it hypermode). xD Especially when combined with skills such as Paralysis Attack and Shock Traps the 2 felyne soldiers can actually replace having other hunters play with you. They're much and much better than they used to be in unite, where they were just dumbasses.
- A little note on their Gathering abilites... other than just normal items such as herbs/ores/etc they can now also gather/mine rare items such as Timeworn Charms and Rust/Ancient Shards, which is truly a godsend. Though not overly important, it sure as hell can come in handy if you just didn't get that final ore and they're the ones to still get you it. Big Thumbs up for this one!
I'll elaborate this section later, am going to gather some pics and add them here for show. ^_^
Personal opinion about the changes made to the weapons
For the Long Swords I am happy. It takes away the possibility to endlessly spam the same attack like all those noobs in tri did. Now you can actually say you know how to use those things without looking stupid.
For Dual Swords, at first I was a bit thrown off my seat. It felt awkward to have a completely different moveset especially after a few years of using the 1st gen Dual Blades. As the days passed however and after having used them quite a bit I started to like them more and more, until the point I almost fell in love with them. The new sharpness up (invisible) and chain of combo-possibilities really bring up memories from the days I still kicked major ass in Devil May Cry. It feels good to use them. The only thing I don't like (but don't really care about either) is how Evade Distance Up doesn't affect dashing.
As for Hammers, I am disappointed. I used to be hardcore hammerer in mhfu and tri and to see their KO-ability has been raped to nudity strikes me in the heart. Luckily they're still powerful, although not the way they used to be.
Gunlances... when I tried them for the first time in P3 I didn't feel comfortable with them. The new way of chaining attacks got me into a few nasty situations when I first used them and I thought about dropping them for good. But then, later when I was abit further in the game I decided to pick them up again and to master them no matter the cost. And so I did and can now say that they are truly an orgasmic weapon if used right. Especially when in teams and you're using the spam-charge-shelling you can easily break the heck out of any tough monster part. The shellings in fact even soften the armor of Agnaktors and can catapult Rangurotoras when they roll at you. A heavy weapon that requires practise to use but once you get the hang of them they will be your best friend in almost any situation.
Will work this blog out later. Feel free to have any discussion here that is related to MHP3. All questions are welcome too. I worked my ass off to write this blog... -_- I'd like some responses...