This is unbelievably for myself, but it really did happen: I have played Monster Hunter Tri for 120 hours now. There is no other action-adventure-like video game that I´ve ever played for this massive amount of time. Maybe if I add up all my playthroughs of Ocarina of Time, but even that is highly doubtful. And just to be clear: 120 hours of fun. This is not a play-time that resulted from filler or boring, tedious tasks. It is a hundred percent fun-time. Oh well, it´s less fun when you die, but that´s part of becoming an elite hunter – which I became.
At this point I´m about to grant MH3 the title of “Game with the best learning curve”. I remember when I was at hunter rank 8 and thought “wow, you´re starting to get it”. Then, when I reached HR16, I looked at other HR8-players and thought of them as beginners. When I reached HR21, I felt like I was finally there. And thought of HR16-players as beginners. And now I´m HR34 and I don´t look at other players at beginners – rather, I´m looking at myself, asking “when will I stop being a beginner?”. Even though I got the elite hunter-rank when I reached HR31, tough challenges keep coming. And I´m out there to overcome them all. I know I will.
In my previous report I wrote how Barioth and Diablos were my next goal. I can but laugh at these two now. Well, Diablos can be annoying at times, but he´s not the deadly thread anymore he once was. And Barioth? When I first met him, I thought “wow, you´ll never be able to fight this wild, fast beast”. And now I´ve beat him many, many times and it´s a fun hunt instead of stressful, unnerving one. And that´s not all. I´ve also overcome the two highest-ranked monsters available for me to choose: Uragaan and Agnaktor. Uragaan ist one heavy tank of a monster. As a sword and shield-user I can only attack its feet and a small part of its tail. But that´s okay. I´ve learned his attack patterns, his movement, and I know when to retreat. He´s got a lot of health, but will eventually die. And then there´s Agnaktor, who´s higher ranked than Uragaan, but actually a lot easier to deal with, at least in my opinion. But fighting him is pure fun. Especially as a Zelda-fan. For anyone not familiar with MH3: Agnaktor is like Volvagia on speed. Glowing of hot lava, shooting a lava beam at you and digging himself into the ground, only to rise up into the air. As with any monster, you have to pay attention, but he´s really not that hard.
For all the time I spent playing MH3, I exclusively used the sword and shield. That´s what I am, a sword and shield-user. But I´ve learned to add certain actions into my play-style to be more effecient. I know that I´m not the one that does huge damage to the monsters. But I´m fast. I´m agile. I can do some quick damage here and there, and be out of the monster´s reach before it launches its attack. I use an Azu Dahaki, so I also try to paralyze monsters. And when I do, I back away, giving my fellow hunters the necessary space for their high damage-attacks. But I´m not just waiting while they´re going for the core damage. My nickname is “Tail Cutter”, and that´s my business. Using the un-sheath attack, I jump at any monster´s tail, trying to chop it off. And I´m pretty successful with that. Sword an shield-users are pretty rare in the high ranks of MH3, but I really grew to love my role, where I can function as an overseeing hunter, doing what´s needed, instead of just going for the damage. And whenever I have one, I bring a healing horn with me to heal fellow hunters. I´m sure that all weapons offer very fun, individual possibilities. But to me, sword and shield is the way to go.
Now that I´ve no problem defeating Agnaktor and Uragaan anymore, one might want to say “now you´re not a beginner anymore, right?” But then I would have to disagree. Because just last time, when I fought a high level-Qurupeco, something happened. A monster I´ve never seen before appeared before me and my group. It was the biggest non-Jhen Morahn monster I´ve ever seen. And it scared me. No monster managed to scare me before, not the furious dragon Rathalos, not the annoying underwater monster Gobul, and not even Diablos with his devil-like horns. But this giant reptile, without any special features, did scare me. And I´m looking forward to the day when I´ll have to engage a real fight against it. I feel like this is the next challenge. The next step in my hunter-adventure. It´s the hunt for Deviljho.