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Here I go again, another new Monster Hunter, another set of weapon training. I picked up Tri Ultimate for my 3DS, but as it seems to be my custom, I didn't grab the Circle Pad Pro attachment. That's all right, I find the touch-screen camera control to work out just fine when I need camera movement but not offensive action.
I haven't reached the point where I've even picked up Cha-Cha yet, but I will eventually. Just building up my stock of arms and armor first.
Oh, and please do remember, these are my oppinions, yours will most likely vary. After all, I play alone 99% of the time, and I'm still no expert hunter.
Sword and Shield
I find these guys to be just like their Portable Third version, surprisingly strong, while still maintaining the nice balance of speed, evasive ability and defensive potential, and, of course, the ability to use items on the go. For some reason, I don't find them QUITE as dominating as they were in P3, but still, good "beginner's" weapons, while still being a good fall-back weapon if all else fails.
I'm definitely going to keep a stock of these things, they are the best "fall-back" weapon I know of, a weapon where I know I can kick some nass with, but don't want to rely on them all the time.
Again, just like their Portable Third version, and they even still maintain a feel of speed when fighting with them underwater. However, it feels like they've lost some range, which makes things a little more touch when dealing with monsters, but on the other hand, that's kinda the point of Dual Blades. The whole Archdemon Mode is such a nice touch for when you can build up combos quickly enough while Demonized, but need to recover some stamina before your next Demon-Mode burst.
Still a good weapon type, and the speed of the attacks is very tasty, but I find myself using them less and less. They require an almost perfect knowledge of fighting a monster at point blank range that I just don't trust myself to have without a trusty guard handy just in case. I'm still not the best with MoI.
It may just be me, but it feels like the Great Swords received a swing and recovery speed boost. This actually works in my favor, I've always prefered comboing with my Great Swords rather than spamming the Draw and Chraged Slashes. I might just start maining these, now.
I've been using these more and more, they require what I feel like the most skill out of any Blademaster weapon, especially for a combo-er like myself. I need to plan my strikes seconds ahead of actually swinging. That's not to say I don't use the Charged Slash, I do, whenever I feel like I can safely pull it off, like during a monster taunt or a trip.
I've gotten better at hitting things with the sweet spot, though it feels weird draining my Spirit Gauge when I start using Spirit Attacks, since you didn't do that in Tri when you had a full gauge (I think.) All in all, they haven't changed too much throughout this generation. Might use them more, since I play solo (and who cares if I spank my shakalakas?)
I do use these from time-to-time still, whenever I need a tad more mobility to go with some longer-reach attacks, though the Spirit Blade Finisher both has more range and less range than I expect all the time, for some odd reason. And I've been doing good at NOT hitting lil' Cha-Cha with them, which is something good for if I take these things up in multiplayer.
They will never, NEVER change Hammers, I swear. Recovery time seems to have gotten a little touchy here, though, not quite as forgiving as in Tri.
I use them more than Hunting Horns, surprisingly. Their bursty potential can finish a fight for me in near record time, though I do go through a tad more healing items with them than most other weapons. But I won't learn if I go through fights completely unharmed, now will I?
Now that I can see what notes do what (I haven't gotten around to fully learning Hiragana yet, hehehe,) I find that I can use Hunting Horns a lot more comfortably in Tri Ultimate than I could in Portable Third. I'm also getting the hang of using my Horns for sustained damage, rather than bursty damage like the Hammer has. Still will take some time to get used to attacking to get my notes, but I'll get the hang of it eventually. Will definitely keep a good stock for whenever I play with friends.
Shockingly, my favorite weapon, I've been using less and less. I feel they're actually TOO strong. Sure, they can't knock a monster out as quickly as a hammer can, but their sustained Impact damage wreaks havoc with a monster's stamina and fatigue. With only one "Cut" attack (which if a monster actually gets hit by that attack's pathetic range, it should just commit ritual suicide on the spot,) I can keep a monster weakened so easily that it's just not fair. Well, for the monsther.
I find them just like they are in Portable Third, an accurate offensive melee weapon with powerful defense incase it all goes down hill.
I've actually come to find them rather weak. Sure, they can still poke holes in something just fine on their own, but they just don't have the powerful feel they had in Tri. And their guard doesn't seem to be quite up to snuff. They are still AWESOME underwater weapons, though, and I will keep plenty in stock for any underwater monster fights.
Again, they feel like they did in Portable Third, far more defensive and slower than a Lance, but with a bit more comboing and piercing potential. They do feel a tad more sluggish, though I think I just need to get some practice in.
I don't use them all that much, surprisingly, a weapon type I've always liked. They have horrible mobility, and I've come to rely on that far more than I have straight up defensive power. Don't get me wrong, it's nice having a huge shield, and they have some great reach with their attacks, but what can you do?
Very comfortable controls, and their attacks seem to have gotten a little less sluggish and much more fluid.
One thing I will say I've gotten more comfortable doing in Tri Ultimate than Tri is switching back and forth between Axe Mode and Sword Mode mid-attacks, allowing some potent comboing or changing from a focused offense to some mobility, or the other way around. I still love the reach these things have.
Remember when these were just the weaker cousins of Heavies who got the job done with speed? Me neither, Light Bowguns still feel much more dominating than their heavy cousins, and even more-so than Bows, despite their ammo requirements.
Ammo Management and Power, Light Bowguns still steal the show for me when compared to the other Gunner weapons.
Seige Mode is still something of a pain to get used to, but if you need a defensive ranged weapon, you still can't go wrong with a Heavy that has a shield slapped on. Sure, you don't have quite the firepower you could have, but Light Bowguns seem to have taken over that department anyhoo.
Siege Mode is darn-near worthless in Single Player without a Shield attachment. Maybe next-gen we'll be able to roll out of it, that'll help out in the survivability aspect.
I find them to be stronger all around compared to their Portable Third cousins, even the Arrow Rain (or "Arc Shot," as they officially call it in game, lousy name,) seem easier to use, especially against larger monsters. Don't ask me why, it just feels that way. Still, they don't have the dominating firepower that a Light Bowgun has.
My previous thoughts still stand, about the only thing a Bow has going for it over a Light Bowgun is continuous elemental damage. Which makes them very weak feeling early on in the game. Ah, well.