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So I got my hands on Monster Hunter Portable Third, finally giving in to the fact that Capcom isn't going to bring over another Monster Hunter for the forseable future. More's the pity.
So like every other new Monster Hunter game I've played, I went through a lot of weapon and control training. Getting the hang of the weapon controls was easier than keeping track of the fact that Circle is now the confirm button, not X. Ah, the confusion that caused...
However, I must say, it's great having two Felyne Companions with me. It really feels like I'm having a little hunting party going on at all times.
Sword & Shield
I swear, this weapon has gotten ungodly strong. It still has all the halmarks that Sword & Shield lovers have come to love over the years; quick, speedy attacks, a quick switch to evasive or defensive manouvers, using items while drawn... For being the "beginners" weapon, these feel so dominating. And their PSP controls are quite comfortable. Sure the "Spin Slash" is on Select, an annoying button, but as that's only used as a finisher, there's no real worries.
It took me a while to get used to their new attack style, but it feels like I'm swinging faster than in Unite, even without Demonization. Speaking of which, that little "Demon Gauge," for want of a better term, is a handy little thing. The step manouvers let you quickly reposition yourself and continue to lay on the pain. However, it seems like Demonization drains your stamina quicker as well, but the attacks feel more powerful too. Could just be me. The controls are decently comfortable, just took me a while to get used to the fact that you don't Spin Slash outside of Demonization.
Not much has changed here since Tri, though the charging flashes are a bit different. It's still the same-old-same-old Great Sword, though it's easier to control again now that I'm back with PSP controls. Nothing to really report on here.
I find them a little harder to use here in Portable Third, for some odd reason. I've always been horrible at hitting with the sweet spot on them, but the constant use of the Spirit Gauge to improve your attack power leaves me open to way too many attacks. Sure, it's very satisfying when you smash something with the Finishing Blow of the Spirit Combo, but I have trouble landing it on monsters. However, the controls are identical to Unite, with the natural exception of directing which way you want your Fade Slash to go.
Will they ever really change hammers? The shear power and simplicity of the hammer hasn't changed at all, though all their attacks do KO damage now, so the stun resistance of enemies has been adjusted. Ah, good ol' hammers...
I'm actually a little put off with how Hunting Horns are. Sure, they put out some good sustained Impact damage, and they're far more offensive than they used to be, but I can't play the right note combos very well. Probably because I can't read japanese, and thus, have no idea what the notes do. I'll have to remedy that fact later by readin' up on the note combos here on the Wiki.
These things are offensive now, using their evades and multiple stabs to quickly poke holes in whatever is on the other end of your lance. That huge shield on your arm seems like a second thought now. Moving the Lance Charge from Triangle + Circle to Select makes it a lot harder to spam that move. Having the Lance Sweep on Triangle + Circle instead makes mob smacking easier. The Shield Advance throws me off since it's on Triangle, where your main poke is, rather than X, where your evade is (and where it was on Tri, at least on Freestyle.) Still, good, all-purpose, well balanced weapons.
Oh, how I missed these things. Compared to Lances, they are far more defensive, and their attacks are a bit slower too, but they have decent combo capabilities, and Wyvern's Fire is just as destructive as always. However, all their shots and explosiveness is rather... well... mute. Where's the BAM! that I've come to love? Still, a very impressive weapon with great defensive capabilities. However, as per normal, their mobility is horrid, since they don't seem to have a Shield Advance like Lances do.
This weapon feels so comfortable on PSP controls, and it feels less clunky over-all than its Tri counterpart. Other than that, there's not a whole real lot to say about it, though I've been using it frequently.
Like Sword & Shield weapons, Light Bowguns feel all sorts of powerful for some odd reason. While there's no real change to them at all, they just feel stronger over-all.
They have this Seige Mode thing going for them now, which unfortunately trades even more of your already limited mobility for a better rate of fire, and maybe power, I can't tell. However, compared to their previous versions, they feel kinda weak, almost as if they NEED the Long Barrel attachment to do some decent DPS.
I don't know why, but compared to their Unite counterparts, these things feel horribly weak. Their little Arrow Rain trick is also a pain to target and hit with. I really can't put my finger on why though...