Nintendo just held a Capcom Nintendo Direct video event in Japanese, announcing Monster Hunter 4. The next game in the Monster Hunter series will come to Japan on the 3DS September 14th, along with two limited edtition versions of the 3DS and 3DS LL handhelds. Capcom will also be having a demo event at Aqua City on Odaiba June 1st and 2nd.
Gameplay trailers shown today detailed new monsters, new weapon types and attacks, and new commercials featuring midfielder Honda Keisuke.
Also announced, the online play for Monster Hunter 4 will be free, and a 3D trailer for Monster Hunter 4 will be available on the eShop.
You know, Monster Hunter really takes over my life. I've not been playing anything on my pile, just Monster Hunter. How far have I gotten? Right now I'm on the cusp of 200 hours, and I've finished all the offline quests save for the final two (which are devilishly tricky), and online, I've reached Hunter Rank 7. It doesn't sound like much, but once i clear Hunter Rank 8, I've pretty much unlocked the entire game. From there on it's just hunting and questing for more materials for more weapons and armors.
Which brings me to the subject of today's post: how do you decide which pieces of armor to put together?
In most games, armor is usually rated on the amount of defence that it gives you. The higher the better. When you come to Monster Hunter for the first time, a common misconception that new players make is that they buy armor based soley on the defence stats. "Oh, this piece of mail has 8 more defence point than this other one, it must be better", and they put together a set of armor that has the most defence points.
The problem is, Monster Hunter incoporates a skill point system to its armor that makes it more valuable to put like pieces of armor together, rather than individual pieces with the most defence. In most cases, a beginner should try to make a complete set of armor of the same type, because each piece's skill points will complement and combine together to give you bonus abilities that you otherwise wouldn't have. These abilities, or skills as Monster Hunter calls them, can be anything from increasing your Attack damage, to reducing the time required to drink health potions, or even showing you where the monsters are on the map automatically.
Here's the key: skill points must total 10 or more in order for a skill to become activated. Let's take a look.
This is the skills status page for my hunter, equipped with various pieces of mismatched armor. See the skills? There's a whole bunch of skills listed, but look at the orange highlighted column on the right: each skill only has 2 points or less. That means that none of these skills are doing anything for you at all. Nada.
I often see new hunters with this kind of set up. Here's what I gently say to them: "Why don't you try putting on a complete set? Try all the pieces of the Leather set you started with, maybe, see what happens."
Now compare this mismatched set with no skills to the skills I have on my gunning/bowing set, which is a full Damascus set.
See the difference? Above the line, I have 5 skills activated. On the right most column it describes what the skill does, and you can see the totals to the left. +15 in Thunder Atk, and +10 in Wide-Range, Slime Coating, Reload, and Protection. These are specific skills that benefit using a bowgun or bow.
That's all well and good, but there comes a point where you want to create a custom combination, to try and get certain skills all together that aren't available in a standard complete set.
This is where mixing and matching really gets complicated. Knowing which pieces to put together so that you reach that magic number of +10 points in the skill categories you want involves a lot of finangling and juggling. When you take into account the added complexity of gems that can be attached to armor to give skill points, as well as a charm you can wear that also gives skill points (and may even have gem slots), the head starts spinning and my eyes tend to glaze over.
So I recently was recommended by a twitter friend @j_monster a Windows app that automagically determines mixed armor sets based on the skills you want to achieve. Athena's Armor Set Search for MH3G and MH3U is a free download and it really does the trick. You select which skills you want, and it will calculate what combinations of armor pieces will give you those skills. It will also take into account the various charms, how many gem slots your weapon might have, as well as even what level you are at in the game, both offline and online.
If you're thinking about what armor set to put together to use with your hammer to take down Goldbeard Ceadeus, for example, now you can just plug in the skills you think you need, and voila! Here's the pieces you could use to achieve that.
After all, Monster Hunter is a game as much about the gear and the preparation as it is about executing a plan and killing the monster in the little dance of death that we do. And what a sweet little dance it is.
Today Microsoft held a press conference to reveal the new xbox one. During the presentation they announced that they will be releasing 15 exclusive games for the xbox one during the first year, 8 of which will be new franchises. That got me thinking about the Wii U. How many exclusives will it get in the first year? Let's see...
- Zombi U*
- Nintendo Land
- New Super Mario Bros. U
- Rabbids Land
- Sing Party
- Tank! Tank! Tank!*
- Lego City Undercover*
- Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate
- Game & Wario
- Wii Party U
- Pikmin 3
- New Super Luigi U
- The Wonderful 101*
- Wii Fit U
- The Legend of Zelda: Windwaker HD
* new IP
There's actually more, but you get my point. The Wii U has plenty of exclusive games too.
Capcom has an interview with the sound designer on Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate, including samples that you can listen to to compare the 3DS and the WiiU versions of sounds. Fascinating stuff, especially the discussion about surround mixing and making sure the HD Wii U version was also upgraded in terms of sound quality and mixing.
kotaku says these commercials are awful. I think they're perfectly tuned. What do you think?
Listen, I'm all for advertising to core gamers, but I think all the core gamers have already bought their Wii U's. That amounted to what, ~2 million sales? Now Nintendo is going for the rest of their Wii market. You know, the other 90+ miliion people. The parents, the families. The traditional market for Nintendo.
These ads are perfect and to the point: games for kids, games for parents, games for kids and parents together, this is why you need to upgrade. I feel like that's a key word right there. Parents don't need to be sold on specs, or features. They need to know that there are games, and that it's an upgrade from the Wii that they probably already have. That's it. Parents know what an upgrade is. It helps fight the "Wii U as a peripheral" misconception.
For the target market of these ads, parents, it's perfect.
UPDATE: Crytek has taken it all back in a second press release, saying they're sorry to get everyone's hopes up but Monster Hunter Online is only confirmed for China yada yada.
According to a Crytek Press Release (excerpt below) emphasis mine:
Crytek’s groundbreaking CryENGINE® technology is being used to create Monster Hunter Online; a major new collaboration between Tencent Games and Capcom that will see the popular Monster Hunter series released internationally on Windows platforms for the first time.
“The Monster Hunter games are known for immersing players in breathtaking worlds where great gameplay and spectacular sights go hand in hand,” said Areil Cai, Director of Business Development - CryENGINE. “CryENGINE 3 is the perfect fit for the series, and will ensure Tencent Games and Capcom are well equipped to make Monster Hunter Online the groundbreaking MMORPG experience fans worldwide are eagerly anticipating.”
With over 20 million sales to date, Capcom’s Monster Hunter series enjoys huge popularity in Japan and boasts a growing army of followers around the globe. Monster Hunter Online will be developed for the international market by Tencent Games and Capcom, and marks an exciting new era for a series that has enjoyed critical praise to match its popularity with players.