Content of the article: "A Bit of a Sappy Story"
As I was watching the Developer Diary, just beaming, they just had to show the montage of everything they've done over the past two years. It genuinely made me tear up a bit because, for me, Monster Hunter: World has been more than a game. It helped me "meet" one of the best friends I've ever had (despite him being an acquaintance in real life beforehand, we'd never talked too much) and it gave me that ever-fleeting sense of pure bliss that few games can.
I don't expect anyone will read all this– so please, feel free to ignore the rest if you'd like– but as a time capsule of sorts for myself, I've got to write out why this game is so truly memorable to me:
It's the first game since Dark Souls to have such innate, all-encompassing satisfaction in terms of combat and gameplay.
I've played some of the other MH games before (3U, 4U, and Gen) but I always petered out of them. Something didn't "click" exactly. I was always disappointed by that since it seemed like a game that should've been my jam. GenU is a game I've since picked up and enjoy, so don't think I truly hate older games in the series. I pray they remake 4U since the plot of that game is by far the most compelling and I'd love to play it with a modern controller/control scheme.
There's a fellow teacher at my school who was really into Monster Hunter but didn't have a console, so was obviously disappointed at not being able to pick up the newest one. He had no intention on buying a console for one game, which is understandable, but I kept that in the back of my mind. At the point the game was about to come out, a few of my closest friends had been busy with other things so couldn't game. I ended up giving this fellow teacher my old Xbox One (since I'd picked up the Xbox One X) with the caveat that he had to suffer through Monster Hunter: World with me.
Turns out, this fellow teacher didn't suffer through it with me. We thrived and had an absolute blast. He taught me some basics and I was able to teach him a few things since there were new mechanics and options.
I ended up picking the lance as my main. I tried a ton of weapons at the beginning, but I usually play a tankier class whenever possible. Something about being the bastion of a group just works for me. Of course, after a while, I picked up every other weapon in the game. For those curious, the ones I played most were lance, hunting horn, and charge blade (in that order). My least played weapon was the bow (not because it's not great; I just didn't like the stamina management playstyle essential to putting out solid damage with it in the base game).
My wife dove into the background of the game and started to know exactly what monsters were called and even knew my favorites from Iceborne to get me a gift (some amazing coasters with Ruiner Nergigante, Glavenus, Velkhana, and Rathalos on it).
Heck, she won't even put cold drinks on Glavenus or warm drinks on Velkhana because she knows their elements.
When we started getting bored, my friend and I would do challenge runs in the base game. We'd fight tempered monsters naked or we'd pick each other's gear and weapons (he'd always make me play the bow, if you couldn't guess from above).
I remember the exact moment I stopped playing the base game. It was after repelling KT and ATKT a combined 300 times and never getting the stupid Claw Lance. It's all I wanted. Of course, my friend (who doesn't even play lance) got it twice the first day we played KT. After the 300th repel– and after about 1,500 hours– I was done.
Well, until a bit before Iceborne, anyway. About a week or two before the expansion dropped, I hopped online to re-familiarize myself with the controls because I wasn't about to be a backpack (and get carried) when I came back to the game. Turned out ATKT was available and, since the fight was always easy to me, I figured I'd use her to work out the rust. I ended up getting the Claw lance on that hunt. You know, right when it was about to become irrelevant. I haven't laughed a more bitter laugh maybe ever. The desire sensor is so real.
I'd also realized I missed Extremoth and ended up beating it on my second attempt after finding a healer. I was pumped to play a tank (yanno, rather than simply be a tankier character) but begrudgingly used a spread HBG instead of my lance since it was safer in that fight.
When Iceborne first dropped, I remember hearing about the Shara leaks and theorycrafting a story with my friend that Velkhana was going to essentially be a protector of the land and that us hunting it down eventually allowing Shara out of its slumber. I thought we'd have to team up with Velkhana at the end to re-freeze Shara and save the New World. Obviously, I was wrong, but I still think that would've been a phenomenal way to have done things.
I remember all the developer diaries and patch notes, excitedly chatting with my friend and then spouting the same information back at my wife excitedly (bless her heart for dealing with my bullshit sometimes, I swear). I remember us looking at all the math behind the attack values, crafting sets (shout out to MonsterHunterMeta ), and just really getting everything we could from the game.
The thing is– this game was something more than the simple loop of "hunt monster, slay monster, craft gear, rinse and repeat" for me.
It was one of those rare paradigm shifts both in gaming and my personal life.
For me, MHW was one of those rare video games that seem to be ever-rarer as I near 40 years old. Though I played other things while engaged in the game and though I will play the inevitable sequels, I can tell that Monster Hunter: World — for me– is going to stand as the one above all. It's just… exactly what I needed at that exact point in my life.
TL;DR: I'm a sap and MHW was perfect for me, helped me become much closer with one of my best friends, and was just what I needed at that point in my life. Thank you, devs.
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