Over the years my level of interest in the Monster Hunter series has grown from indifference to a sort of dislike, to a respect and finally to a genuine love of the series. It’s one of those franchises that I absolutely love and look forward to new releases each time they’re announced. The one thing I’ve not really liked about the series is the way it demos and the demos that Capcom has put out.
If you don’t know anything about the Monster Hunter series then the demos that have been available do absolutely nothing to show you what the series is all about. There is so much depth and so much to do in these games that it’s almost impossible to really convey in a short, limited demo. Capcom has more or less just said, here are all the weapons and here are all the monsters. Pick the weapon you want to fight with and the monster you want to slay and have fun. You get a basic idea of the mechanics, but no real feel for just what the series is or what you can do in the games.
Today Capcom released a demo for the next Monster Hunter game, called Monster Hunter Generations. I turned it on expecting more or less the same thing, but this time it was different. You have the option to just hop into one of the traditional 3 quests that they give you. You choose your hunter/weapon combo, choose your target and go. That’s what most Monster Hunter veterans will do. There are two new monsters and one familiar return for you to fight. You can fight offline, or you can join up to three friends and hunt online with each other.
If you’re new to the series, however, the company has finally given you the chance to learn the ropes a little bit before they throw you right to the Nargacuga’s. You now have a selection of training quests that you can do to learn some of the basics of the game’s mechanics. They teach you about the item box at your base camp. They teach you how to navigate around the map. They teach you how to properly cook a steak and so much more. That’s something this game has needed in its demo for a very long time.
I’ve said many times in the past that this series just doesn’t demo well. From all the material gathering to the crafting and selling that you need to do there’s just far too much information to digest in a short period of time. The full game extends all of this material out over the course of a few hours so that you can slowly begin to acclimate to what the game does and what you really need to do to be successful. If you just get thrown into quests with huge monsters and enormous weapons you’re going to get overwhelmed and you’re going to be left with a bad taste in your mouth.
Now they’re letting you ease your way into things and learn some of the most basic information a hunter needs. Many of these are quests that you’d get when you first launch the full game, but they were never available for people just trying out the game to see what it was like. I hate Monster Hunter after playing the first demo for Tri way back on the Wii. It didn’t demo well with me at all and I nearly brushed the series off entirely. I’m glad I decided to give the full game a try because I ended up falling in love with questing solo and with friends.
If you haven’t played Monster Hunter, but you’re interested then check out the demo that just hit the eShop today. It’s the best chance to learn just what to expect from the game when it launches later this year, but you won’t get tossed into the deep end of the pool right from the start. You’ll be able to walk your way down there at your own pace, fight a few smaller things before going after the bigger monsters you know you’ll want to get to.