I'm told there are two attack buttons, but it doesn't explain the difference between them. Then it tells me about collecting some stat-boosting bug things, which seems like something that should occur well after the basics of the game are demonstrated, not right away. At one point it tells you to use the R button (or ZR, can't remember which) to target an enemy, but it didn't seem to work for me.
There's like ten different weapons to choose from, each with a three line blurb that seems both inadequate and also full of weird jargon.
The Easy mission seems bad! It told me to slay a Flibbygibber within 50 minutes, and I don't know what that is but there's a big red arrow to follow, so I do. I slay some big lizards (or tiny dinosaurs?), and then I fight a big bear guy and he thrashes me for a while until I damage him and he runs away. Then the arrow tells me to go back the way I came and my character's all "Hey there it is!" and I start fighting this velociraptor thing and its babies but I'm mostly dead from fighting a bear so fighting a velociraptor doesn't go well either.
Can't say I'm tempted to sink a few hundred more hours into this experience quite yet! But maybe I'll give it another try some other time.
@nate38 Welcome to Monster Hunter! A lot of people say it doesn't demo well, but I guess Capcom hasn't gotten the memo. It's definitely an esoteric series, pretty much everyone I know who's into it absolutely hated it their first time playing one of the games, myself included. It's like a rite of passage, hee hee.
My experience was similar! This game is indeed janky. No sound effects on dialogue boxes? A thousand upfront tutorials?
The lack of lock-on is weird; it took me a while to figure out what that tip meant too. Clicking the R stick switches which monster you're targeting on the mini-map, and then tapping (not holding!!) L(?) switches your perspective to the monster. But your perspective doesn't continue to follow the monster, like in every third-person action game that's come out in the past 22 years since Ocarina of Time.
I'm all for questioning conventions that don't fit your game's design from first principles, but in practice, all that the lack of lock-on seemed to do was make me spend a ton of time fiddling with the camera to accomplish what would be automatic in any other game. Maybe there's a great reason for it, I dunno, but that was really the main thing that stuck out to me as feeling really off.
...but I think I get the appeal! You lay traps, you experiment with different weapons, you lure different monsters into each other's territory to make them fight each other. The mobility that you get from the wireflies seems like it has a huge skill ceiling. I'm beginning to see hints of the emergence that anand is always talking about, like in his post where he urges us to not just play the demo once and then drop it:
I'm sure that Rise will have an online demo, as most MH games do. Play the living crap out of that demo! Don't just play it once and then stop. Try different weapons to see how they differ. Try different items and traps. Keep playing the beginner monster solo until you can read its tells and dismatle it with ease. Try to cut off its tail and smash its faceplate. Find out where it goes to sleep and then wake it up with a bomb in its face. Then try a more advanced monster. Then jump online with others.
But man, I think I'd like it more if the controls were better. Do you get used to them? @Mop it up?
Haha, @nate38's experience was weirdly similar to my own.
I just restarted Skyward Sword this week to play with my son. I haven't played it in a decade but I'm eager to dive in again, and it's reminding me how slooooowwww Nintendo's tutorials can be. Like, every single tiny mechanic has a lot of time devoted to it. It's definitely way too much, especially for anyone who played any prior 3D Zelda.
On the other hand, we have Monster Hunter Rise. Its tutorial is bad for a bunch of other reasons; each time I talked to the guy or went to some place, he infodumped a bunch of stuff on me all at once. Oh, here's a Wirebug. Oh and here're TWO mounts all at once, even though you haven't fought a single thing yet. Here are some things you can catch that boost parameters that you don't know about. You have dozens of items to scroll through in your pocket with no indication of what each one does. The menus are no help either; just like in other games with the RE engine, the control layout is weird and unintuitive and you can't really remap them. But don't worry about item usage or the multitude of meters onscreen, we'll yell that stuff out while you're immediately thrust into a boss fight!
To liken it to back to Zelda, it'd be like if in the first 10 minutes of the game, it told you how to craft items, improve your armor, use your Runes, pick up and throw Cuccos, cook things to boost your Stamina before you even know what Stamina does, and gave you a horse all at once, and then you're expected to fight a Lynel!
I'm definitely going to try the game again because it sure does look and sound great and the concept is intriguing. But holy cow, do they not know how to build a tutorial.
As someone who is hardcore into the series, there's a reason why it doesn't have full lock on and it's because in later hunts where you deal with multiple monsters at once, being able to manually manage the camera is so important to not be overwhelmed in those situations and if you aren't forced to learn to manage it in the early hunts than it will come back and bite you later on.
The lock on camera works in Zelda because combat isn't a focus to the extent that it is in Monster Hunter. I can promise you it wouldn't work so well in Monster Hunter without some massive reworks.
Especially with how chaotic the later fights are. There's a monster that just leaves explosive slime everywhere that you have to keep track of and avoid while you deal with it, there's one that shoots heat seeking balls of energy at you while it darts across the field at extreme speeds, and there's a quest in 4 ultimate where you fight both of them at once. i cannot fucking imagine trying to pull that off with a lock on camera.
I have the Hori Split Pad Pro. I can set it to be constantly submitting L inputs to get a Zelda style lock on system. But I also know better than to expect that to work in later hunts, especially when in this game you can potentially have three different large monsters going at you at once.
I don't know if I've ever loved the idea of lock-on for 3D combat. It definitely dictates the combat style and encounter design. It wouldn't work for Monster Hunter, because the combat is so location and context-sensitive. Different parts of the monster have different damage properties. Some parts are soft. Others are hard. Sometimes you can crack the hard parts for extra drops. Or maybe you want to chop that tail off! Maybe you want to set yourself up so that your charged slash hits the monster as he slithers by. And so on.
As for the demo, even I wasn't initially feeling it! The wirebug stuff was hard to control and the weapons felt different, as well. But I took my own advice and played the living shit out of it, and now I'm lovin' it! It feels radically different, but the new mechanics are really fun.
I dunno if I enjoy plaing it on handheld, tbh. The UI is so freaking small, the details are difficult to make out, and the controls are way worse. But it's godly on the tv. Such a polished, beautiful world. With a real sense of place.
Also, you can customize the crap out of everything, including disabling tutorials and that red arrow. And the actual game will have training modes and a slow ramp-up of quests (which people also complain about).
I'm still uncertain about leaving gyro on all of the time for camera control. But it works so well for aiming projectiles!
Tips to enjoying the demo:
1) Don't try to understand everything right away. Don't even fight right away. Just spend some time learning how to get around, exploring the map, and collecting the shiny bits. Everything will eventually fall into place. Here, watch this video to see how the area can be navigated:
Try to navigate to the same peaks that he does in the same way. Learn how to climb more efficiently and how to cover as much ground as possible from a high locale.
But, basically, the little wisps increase your maximum stamina/health/etc. for the rest of the quest, the flies temporarily boost your attack/defense, the wirebugs temporarily give you more wirebugs, and the petal thingies turn into great wirebugs that catapult you way higher. A lot of other bugs are ingredients for crafting, and it seems like some stuff is automatically crafted if you have the ingredients? Other bugs show up in your inventory, and you can chuck them at monsters to inflict effects like thunderblight.
2) Go to the blue chest and remove everything you can at the beginning of the quest. Eat a well-done steak to max out your stamina. Eat another when your stamina level drops. Riding poochers doesn't consume stamina, so use that to quickly follow/find a monster. (The monsters are shown on the minimap as question marks. Once you've met up with a monster, press the right stick to highlight the one you want to find.)
3) Make sure your weapon is sharp. If the sharpness gauge isn't green, use a whetstone. You can use potions, antidotes, whetstones, food, etc. while running or riding poochers.
4) Try different weapons! Find your favorites. Do you want a fast, spammy weapon? A slow, powerful one? One with a shield? A ranged weapon? A weird, freaky transforming weapon? Try one of each!
5) Check your weapon's moves in the Hunter Notes. Practice the basic moves and get comfortable with them.
6) When you encounter a new monster, just run around and study it for a little while. Learn its attack and movement patterns. Learn how to dodge its attacks. Understand when its vulnerable. That's when it's time to kick some back!
7) Watch your health! And be aware of the monsters position relative to yours. If you take a hard hit, make sure to immediately roll away from the monster in a direction perpendicular to his movement/attack. Run to auto-sheathe your weapon when you hightail it. Take a potion when you're clear. Mount poochers if you want to get clear quickly. And watch out for long-range attacks while you're healin' up!
8) Rolls have invincibility frames. But those are for experts. Hunting is like boxing. Always be aware of your weapon's range and the monsters range.
9) Pay attention to the damage numbers. They're very context sensitive. See how they differ for different attacks in different areas. You can't really go wrong with a good headshot!
10) Wirebug attacks and aerial attacks (including launching from the dogs) are super-useful and soften the monster for mounting.
I'm sick of typing and I might just be scaring you guys away... just start by watching that video and trying to reach the same places on your own. And keep playing the demo. It's free! And you're stuck at home, anyway!
This is why people say Monster Hunter doesn't demo well, because it just dumps everything on the player. While we don't yet know how Rise will play out, in previous games, they introduce the elements individually and have more of actual tutorial quests available. I have a feeling that starting up the game proper will be a lot less confusing than jumping into the fire with the demo. Not that they're particularly great at explaining things, just, better than the demos.
@Secret_Tunnel I would say I've sort of gotten used to the controls, but they still trip me up from time to time. Managing the clunk is part of the general gameplay, I s'pose. It might not seem like the type of game which should be, but MH is essentially a twin-stick game, with constant camera babysitting required for better or worse. I don't think it was until the fourth set of games that they even added the button to swing the camera to face a monster. There are also plenty of times where a good view will be obscured by monster butt or some such, especially when large beasts or multiple monsters are involved. While it's true that the manual camera can be better in some situations (such as the aforementioned multi-mon quests), I do still think there could be some more / better camera options available.
MH is a more deliberately-paced game that is more about management and reading tells than it is fast action attacks and dodges, though Rise is a bit faster than the old style. That's one thing I do like about the series is that it isn't fast fingers win, which makes it a lot more interesting. Part of the management I refer to involves working with the game's relatively lengthy and sometimes wonky animations for the various actions, which can go against one's instincts they may typically have for games of this type. MH follows its own set of rules and logic which one must figure out to succeed.
For me personally, the main appeal is the multiplayer aspect. Clunk is always more fun (and hilarious) when it's a group all fumbling around together trying to get things done. I always find the single player boring and tedious, but it's a nice hangout for friends to chill and do whatever.
These are the kind of tips I've been looking for! Thanks. I'm definitely looking forward to playing more. And like you and @Mop it up say, I have to imagine the full game deals things out a little more progressively!
This demo made me remember that a lot of Monster Hunter players use the finger hook technique, where you press the face buttons with your index finger so you can keep your right thumb on the analog stick at all times. Some say it's a necessity.
If a game is designed such that you need to hold the controller in a bizarre (and dangerous! maybe?) way in order to play it, doesn't that say something about the game's design? At the very least, I'd think that more common functions would be mapped to the shoulder buttons! But ideally, the game should be created from the ground up to naturally suit the controller.
Or are the finger hook people just going way overboard?
@Secret_Tunnel I thought that was just the way PSP players did it, because the PSP doesn't have a second stick so the camera was on the D-pad. I haven't heard of that outside of PSP meself, and I feel like that would never be a necessity except maybe with world-record speedruns or something. Hardcore pro players always do strange things in games that weren't really expected. I've never felt a need to be pressing attack buttons and camera at the same time, and dashing and blocking are on the shoulder buttons. Rise also adds the sheath button to R.
I'm curious if you had this same question about Kid Icarus Uprising...
I remember Kid Icarus Uprising and Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate were the two big games that everyone talked about in regards to the Circle Pad Pro, but I don't remember the specifics! I actually only barely remember how Kid Icarus Uprising controlled.
@Secret_Tunnel Yeah, "the claw" actually comes from PSP Monster Hunter games, I think. In the 3DS games, you could rotate the camera with the shoulder buttons. And there were additional camera options.
There are also a ton of alternate control options in Rise, if you go into the options menu. I changed a bunch of the defaults, like putting dash and guard on the same button and adding a secondary dash on the left stick button.
One thing that takes a while to get used to is holding the L button as a Shift key to scroll items (left and right) and ammo types (up and down). And it's also easy to accidentally use items with the Y button.
It feels weird at first, because no other games control like Monster Hunter. Controls for this genre haven't been standardized and codified like modern FPS controls. But you get used to it.
Could they have been improved? I dunno. There's a ton of functionality to cover. It's kind of like playing an Animal Crossing game. It's still clunky, but it used to be SO MUCH clunkier, believe it or not.
In the original Monster Hunter, I think the right stick was actually the primary control method for weapons.
I just played a bit more of the demo, and the item management really is interestingly unique, it somehow feels like using a computer. Keyboard shortcuts, or something. Or like a really streamlined MMO.
It seems like there a few different systems to master:
- Pure combat and mobility. Learning what all the different weapons do and understanding the controls well enough to execute the right moves at the right times.
- Item management. Learning what different items do, what situations they're good for, how to place or throw them.
- Exploration and resource gathering. Understanding the difference between a Permabuff Floppy Flooperfly and a Tempabuff Golden Goldifly.
- All of the interface stuff. Navigating menus, using the map, swapping between emotes, using shortcuts.
I've barely scratched the surface with any of these, and I assume the full game does a great job of teaching you all of them individually. But now that I can actually wrap my head around what they all are in a modular way, I'm starting to appreciate the game much more! Getting thrown into the deep end the first time I played them demo, it was hard to separate them all out from one another.
Turning that big red arrow off alone made the experience way better!
One thing that confused me while playing as a gunner was that certain ammo types in my shortcut wheel seemed to be off limits. I also couldn't find my original ammo type that I was using once I swapped off of it. Now that I type this out, I'm guessing that the shortcut wheel doesn't necessarily correspond to your inventory?
And it is easy to accidentally use items with the Y button. That button is attack in so many other games!
I also tried the Wyvern Mounting tutorial, and I think when you're riding a monster, it does automatically target the monster you're facing?
What's a good beginner weapon? I want something fast.
@Secret_Tunnel Yeah, the game layers several simple systems. Rise kind of integrates those layers more, with things like autocrafting. I wouldn't say that any of the games do a great job of teaching you how to play. But other players will give you tips. And you'll definitely be gathering some mushrooms before you need to fight any monsters in the single-player campaign! After the intro quests, though, it'll all be Human vs. Monster action.
I haven't used the radial menu too much yet. I've been using the legacy selection of L Button + abxy buttons. But I think you can customize the subser of stuff that shows up in the radial menu?
I usually toggle the item selector to the empty slot to avoid accidental item usage.
Wyvern Riding is weird. I'm not super-familiar with it yet, so I'm not sure if it auto-targets. There are more than two moves though. If you hold back and press X or A, you get two more. And the B dodge move is a good setup if you're trying to set up a juicy hit on a punch-happy rival monster. If there are no other monsters around, just ram into a wall, recover, and repeat until the monster falls. Then get to work on that skull!
Fast beginner weapon? Dual Blades or Sword and Shield.
Heavy weapons are satisfying, too. You'll just need to get used to rollin'. You can roll immediately after most attacks, including heavy ones. It'll leave the monster swiping at your afterimage while you charge up your next shot.
I started hunting with Great Sword and Bowguns on Tri, and then switched to Gunlance and Bowguns. I should really mix it up more. But those are so damned satisfying! (Without being too fiddly.)
Aaah, yup, it's all coming together. The Dual Blades feel great and the exploration is a blast. Despite only having two main missions, this demo is secretly huge. It reminds me of Ground Zeroes! I can see why Metal Gear and Monster Hunter go together so well, they both have the same loop of making a plan and then executing it using a crazy assortment of items.
My only concern is that, in the demo, the exploration feels very removed from the combat. There's this gigantic world to explore, but is the only reason to explore it to pick up little doodads that make you marginally more prepared for the fight? And if so, does having to spend 20-30 minutes at the start of each mission doing something completely different from the main appeal of the game just to get to the part that's interesting get tedious?
If they can successfully tie together the world and the combat in the full release, I can see myself playing this for a loooong time. Breath of the Wild with deep combat.
@Secret_Tunnel Cool! Make sure to try a more ponderous weapon, too. Along with a ranged weapon and maybe something with a shield.
As far as the exploration, I don't plan on going out of my way to "power-up" everytime. I think that they dropped stuff everywhere so you wouldn't need to actually go out of your way, unless you needed something specific. I'll just pick up the best stuff that I can on the way to the monster. You should only need to explore during a fight if the monster kicks your ass and you need to make potiins on the fly or you didn't properly prepare things like antidotes and traps before heading out.
There are usually separate missions for gathering. But you can also just buy ingredients in town, if you have the scrilla.
I'm a little surprised they chose Mizutsune for the demo, it's one of the more gimmicky beasts in the series and was introduced in Monster Hunter Generations, the entry right before World. For a more authentic experience, go after the Rathian (the dragon creature) that's wandering around.
Finding items in the field to increase max health and stamina is something new to Rise, so we'll see how things play out in the full game. Hopefully there are still other ways to reach max, as that seems like it would get annoying fast.