Matthew Odle

Monster Hunter Review - Tedious Gameplay Elements

☰ Table of Contents

Monster Hunter World removes a lot of the tedium of previous titles in the genre

Capcom did a wonderful job addressing complaints about gameplay elements from previous installments that didn’t add value to the experience. This host of improvements makes the gameplay much more seamless and lowers the barrier to entry for new players.

No more tedious utility item management

You no longer have to keep track of, and use up inventory spaces on, whetstones, pickaxes, or bugnets. A pickaxe magically appears in your hands when you see a mining outcrop, and whetstones are infinitely available from your item use menu. Bugnets are out, too. Bugs just sit around on logs and walls and rocks, and you drive-by gather them just like everything else.

Crafting is much more streamlined

As with utility items, combo books are out of the game as well. No more filling up 3-5 inventory spaces just so you don’t botch that pitfall trap craft mid-hunt. Coupled with access to your item box DURING hunts, this gives you a lot more flexibility when managing your inventory.

You also no longer need to craft base items before the final recipe. Your max potion or pitfall trap will show as available to craft, even if you have zero mega nutrients or nets on hand.

When opening the target item’s craft screen, the missing ingredient will be highlighted. Tapping the ingredient will open ANOTHER craft screen, allow you to craft the missing ingredient, then return you to the target recipe’s craft screen. It’s wonderful!

I had one instance where the item I wanted was missing ingredients two levels down, and the sequence to craft the sub ingredients and the final item was seamless. No backing out to the main craft screen, finding the sub ingredient, crafting it, then going back to the thing I wanted in the first place.

Gathering is no longer a chore

Gathering no longer takes two to three seconds per item obtained. You don’t even have to slow down in most cases. You just zoom around and hammer the circle button and fill up your pockets.

Most nodes only have one gather attempt, and you get multiple items per gather. The exceptions are things like mining outcrops and bone piles, which have multiple gather attempts with a single item per attempt, so at least there’s SOME friction when gathering to make it feel like a decision you have to make. Do I grab that mining outcrop or do I keep moving because my target is escaping?

The game also alerts you to which gather points are nearby using a list on the left of the screen, and the scout flies jump out and highlight those gather points as you get near.

No more quest abandonment when you forgot to do that one thing before departing

The camps have much more utility, and you really only need to return to the main hub to craft gear, progress the story, or obtain new quests. You can enter a tent to manage your item box and change equipment. You can eat at the camp’s canteen if you forgot to meal up before departing.

Having access to all of your items only a fast-travel away makes planning almost unnecessary (which is somewhat of a shame, since the planning and strategizing was a good part of the challenge/fun, though the frustration from not knowing what to bring and forgetting items was a barrier to a lot of players). This frees up a ton of inventory space, nearly eliminating the frustration of inventory management.

In previous installments, you either gathered, or you hunted. Attempting to do both, especially when over-prepared item-wise for the hunt, led to frustrating inventory management which broke up the pace of the hunt.

Paintballs are out. Scout flies are in.

No more endless wandering while the target is area-hopping faster than you can get to it

The scout flies do most of the work when tracking monsters. You just need to feed them information. It’s like machine learning. Gather data on your target’s behavioral patterns, like footprints, slime on the rocks, a fallen feather, and eventually the scout flies will lock on to your target’s location and lead you to it. If you lose sight of your target, the flies will help you find it again.

If you’ve lost sight of the target, no sweat. Once you’ve encountered a monster, you can open your map and track its movements that way. You can also put a pin in the one you want your scout flies to lead you to (this also works on gathering items, which is really awesome).

Fewer exploding bugs

In the previous entries to the series, you had to jump through a bunch of hoops to get insect parts from the vespoids and the like. The best method was to get a poison sword and shield, poison the target, and wait until it keeled over. Not very fun. Especially when the target is about to die from the poison and Cha-Cha demolishes it in an unsolicited fiery rage.

Instead, you can use a new tool: the slinger. The slinger uses various plants and fungi as ammo, which automatically equips when you gather it. Lock on with L2 and R3, fire with R2. There’s a particular type of ammo that’s very prevalent that will take out a vespoid in two hits, leaving the corpse for juicy carving goodness.

Overall, friction between the player and the game is reduced

And that’s a good thing. Because the point is to destroy fearsome (and sometimes cute) creatures, hoard loot, and dominate your environment. Not micromanage bug nets.

Update: 2018-01-28

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